Importance of Martial Arts

By: Rose Essn

Martial arts are usually associated with physical fitness, self-defence, and Bruce Lee. But, there is far more to martial arts than that. Unlike slugging it out in a gym or going for a jog in the park, training in martial arts requires internal and mental agility and strength. A person practising martial arts can only completely succeed if he is mentally as prepared and strong as he is physically. It's a discipline which is not easily attained and once imbibed, can be helped in every sphere of life.

Martial arts, though always popular has now become a part of student curriculum. Emphasis on self defence is getting highlighted as not only a form performed by professionals in the field of sports or actors who are trained for their on screen battles, but also as a part of everyday life.

The most popular form of martial arts is unarmed where the focus is usually on "strike", which is an attack on the opponent and "grappling", which is a technique used to maneuver or counter the attack of the opponent, or a mix of the two which is termed as hybrid martial arts. Under the "strike" category, "Muay Thai" and "Taekwondo" are the most practised form of martial arts worldwide.

Contrary to popular belief, martial arts training can be practised by the elderly as well; it is not restricted to children and young adults only. As a matter of fact, there is a rising trend in women to undertake martial arts training for physical fitness as well as self defense.

The best part about practising martial arts is that there is no need for equipment as such. Neither is any specific space required or an opponent during practise. Even the training schedule is flexible. A physically and mentally weak person can develop not only physical fitness, but also mental toughness; many children with short attention spans have developed extraordinary high concentration levels with the help of martial arts training.

The hands, legs, body muscles, eyes, ears and brains, all these body components work in complete synchronisation when they perform their exercises. This practice allows the entire body to function with far greater efficiency as it makes a person naturally alert. This balanced body work out is superior to the working out of a specific problem area only as done in the gym.

The belt ranking system in martial arts gives the trainee a sign of his progression in his practice. It works wonders on a person's self confidence, both internally and externally. This factor is especially essential to women as with the help of martial arts training, their level of security of going anywhere alone increases tremendously. Belief in self makes a person walk with pride and makes it far less likely for the person to be attacked. The confidence a physically fit and trained person exudes is intimidating for the people around.

Various movies and Olympic medalists in martial arts have promoted women trained in martial arts. With the increasing statistics of incidents regarding violence against women, their enrollment in self defence classes has escalated, which is a sign of good things to come. The average training time is usually two hours for three times in a week, making it non-interfering with a person's tight schedule and is far more cost effective than enrolling in the nearest gym.

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