Martial arts are great for fitness. They also help instil some good habits into your everyday life. Activities such as judo, karate and Tae Kwon Do are often the first competitive activities that children are introduced to. They are valued largely because of the discipline and respect that martial arts instil in its practitioners.
Whatever age or ability level you are at, it is never too late to take up one of these activities. It could be the striking and stand-up styles of Karate, Kickboxing or Kung Fu. The grappling and ground-fighting moves of Jujutsu and wrestling. The throwing or takedown style of Aikido and Judo might appeal. Or you could favour the weapons-based Kendo or the more mediative styles of Tai Chi. There is something for everyone.
Health and fitness benefits of martial arts
Martial arts give you a great aerobic workout. You use every muscle group in your body during a training session and, as you become more competent, so the level of intensity rises. Stamina, muscle tome, flexibility, balance and strength will all improve.
Due to goal-setting, which is mainly working towards different belts (levels), one of the greatest benefits reported by students is a growth in self-confidence. The training and competitive environment is all about positive encouragement and respect for others. Goal-setting allows you to push yourself out of your comfort zone but in a safe environment.
Martial arts leads to improved cardiovascular health as the strenuous activities involved in practice and competition, regularly push – in other words, train – the muscles of the heart.
Mastering weight control
Taking part in martial arts will help with weight management. An hour’s moderate activity will burn more than 500 calories and the regularity of the exercise will also help stabilise food cravings. You will also build more muscle mass, which means you will burn more calories on a daily basis as your metabolic rate rises.
Improved reflexes is an important by-product of martial arts. Research has found that as your reflexes improve through training, so those improvements are reflected in everyday life.
So many values go hand-in-hand with martial arts. After consistent practice, martial arts students tend to be less impulsive and aggressive towards others. They show patience, insight and calmness, not just in training but also in everyday life.
Improved muscle mass and tone means you will be able to cope with the demands of everyday life to a greater extent. As you get older, this will help prevent falls and broken bones.
A final, but extremely important point is the impact that these activities have upon our mental wellness.
The research all points towards regular exercise being one of the best ways to improve your mood. Performing martial arts is not only a good way to relieve stress and frustration, but may actually help to make you happier. The endorphins released by physical activity appear to be active in your body for as many as four hours after exercise.
Check out the different styles of martial arts here
While Kelsey Kerridge do not offer tutored martial arts classes per se, many of our classes contain elements of martial arts. There are also visiting instructors who run regular courses. Our staff will be happy to put you in contact with qualified instructors.