This article outlines the benefits of martial arts for adults.
Physical Benefits of Martial Arts
All martial arts feature an aerobic component that, over time, builds up the trainer’s endurance.
A typical training session will involve a warm up consisting of calisthenics, followed by kata (a pre-determined sequence of movements) and sparring with a partner. Such vigorous activity puts a demand on your cardio-vascular system and the first time you train, you’ll no doubt be gasping for breath half way through the warm up.
However, the body is quick to adapt and after only a matter of months will have responded to such an extent that you’ll be able to last the duration of the session.
One of the benefits of martial arts for adults is that it can improve an individuals strength. Martial Arts training typically involves the performance of body-weight exercises, such h as push ups, to increase the practitioners level of strength and muscular co-ordination. It’s important to
note that strength development is not the primary objective of martial arts, with the over-ridding emphasis on skill and technique. However, those styles that involve deep, low stances will inevitably see its practitioners gaining power throughout the chain of muscles in their lower bodies. This will lead to an increase in the force of any kicking techniques they use.
Martial Arts training also focuses on the development of flexibility and considerable time is devoted to its development during a typical training session. The primary reason is to enable the practitioner to kick higher.
Given the amount of time most adults spend behind a desk, this increase in overall flexibility is reason in itself to practice a form of martial arts.
Mental Benefits of Martial Arts
After a heavy day in the office or spending time looking after the children, it’s good to do something completely different where you can effectively switch off and be completely absorbed in something outside of your normal day to day activities.
Karate, for instance, has been described as “moving zen” where the focus on the precise movements actually becomes an act of meditation.
The development of focus in this way translates to life outside of the dojo in the form of an increased ability to concentrate.
Studies have shown the karate training can also lead to improved memory. This is no doubt in part caused by the aerobic benefits outlined above but also in part by the requirement to learn and remember a large number of kata that form a component of many martial arts. Indeed, as they say “use makes the organ” and by regularly learning new forms and testing your recall by performing them, you may find your memory in this area improves.
Another mental benefit of practicing martial arts is the development of confidence. As your fitness improves, so too will your muscle tone and your own body image. As your body gradually transforms into a healthier version you’ll begin to feel proud about the progress that you’ve made.
In addition, you’ll typically find that your posture improves as your stretch out your muscles and become more flexible. As a result, you’ll project a more confident image.
Hopefully this article has shed light on the benefits of martial arts for adults.
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