Although martial arts are not team activities there are many elements of cohesion that motivate martial arts practice more that any other sport. Let analyse why this is true:
- Practicing a martial art is a long time investment in your health and well being: the time to proficiency is often long enough to establish good habits in your life, those that last for a long time. If and when you stop training for a while you’ll miss it, both physically, mentally and emotionally.
- Most martial arts teach a broad variety of techniques that keep you busy for many years just to master them all. In this you see a natural progression and having continuously new things to learn it makes it very interesting. Many masters state that perfection can be aimed but never achieved, therefore even after many years of training you are running after perfection while you keep adapting your knowledge and techniques to you ageing body.
- As are you naturally going to meet people that are better than you it will be natural to have a sense of challenge to improve day after day, session after session. In general the progression is easy to monitor and to measure therefore it is relatively easy to compare results against effort.
- The achievement of a certain level of proficiency, lesson after lesson will release endorphins that naturally make you feel good. At the end of each training session, with the natural tiredness you’ll have a feeling of well being that is quite addictive.
- Although martial arts manifest in many different ways and levels of intensity the overall training will ensure the practitioner to be a well round, balanced athlete with a decent level of fitness, stamina, strength, flexibility and coordination.
- Although martial arts are usually practiced in pairs and groups, some of the training can be rehearsed solo: that allows the practitioner to keep training, at least on some of the exercises, when she is on her own.
- Martial arts practice involves a reasonably complete workout rather than concentrating on a single part of the body. Different styles will put more emphasis on different areas of the body while practicing a balanced mix of exercises.
- Martial arts are a great stress relief: the aggression accumulated during work or while at school can be easily channelled and released in a controlled manner toward the practice of your techniques. It’s likely that after training the amount of aggression you had before starting is reduced or completely gone and you feel calmer and more in control.
- Martial arts training ensures that your whole attention will be directed toward your training, with minimal distraction. Even when your feel at an adequate level of proficiency and most moves come naturally without the need of thinking too carefully, your partner / opponent is there to punch you, to kick you or to throw you. Self preservation will naturally motivates you to put full attention in what you are doing.
- The sense of challenge and cooperation that can be found in many martial arts club I have experienced can foster friendship and social entertainment outside the training hall (dojo, kwon, dojang…).
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