Ask any martial arts practitioner, and they will tell you that martial arts training is the most complete form of exercise that they have ever encountered. Its approach to health and wellness encompasses the conditioning of the mind, body, and spirit as a whole unit, resulting in a focused approach to fitness.
People today have become more health-conscious. With the rising trend of obesity and its related illnesses, it’s now more important than ever to take full control of our well-being and make sure that we have our health covered. A key component to a healthy lifestyle is, of course, exercise.
As people search for the most effective workout available, martial arts has recently emerged over the past few years as a viable option. Its flexibility, given that it caters to practitioners of all walks of life, and of any age, makes martial arts a popular option. Furthermore, it has proven to not only be a great physical workout, but also an effective way to engage both the mental and spiritual aspect of wellness.
Martial arts training has a unique system in place to help join the most important quadrants of every human being. Let’s dive into some of its more profound effects.
Today, Evolve Daily shares four ways martial arts helps you join your mind, body, and spirit.
1) It Makes You Physically Aware of Your Entire Body
Martial arts training encompasses the full breadth of motion of the human body, working out from top to bottom every limb and joint. It combines both aerobic and anaerobic workouts with resistance training, which allows practitioners to build lean muscle and burn fat.
In disciplines such as boxing and Muay Thai for example, a strong emphasis is placed in using both the arms and legs in varying rotary motions. A lot of the techniques focus on building strength and speed, which are two key components in delivering powerful blows.
In wrestling and BJJ, there is a heavy focus on abdominal or core strength, utilising the natural weight of the human body to manoeuvre opponents into various advantageous positions. This not only trains the strength of the core and of each limb but also enhances flexibility.
By consistently training every part of the human body, the mind also becomes more self-aware of its own physical space. Understanding how your own body moves, increasing spatial intelligence, and overall just being more conscious of how each part functions works towards making practitioners more efficient in their movements.
2) It Calms Your Mind and Teaches You How to Focus
One of the most important benefits of martial arts training is that it teaches practitioners how to maintain focus. Through constant meditation and mental exercise, practitioners are given the ability to clear the mind as they reach the sort of zen-like state required for maximising performance.
Martial arts has a lot to do with the mental state of a human being in order to reap the full potential. A calm and more focused martial artist is usually more effective than one that is distracted. This sort of mental development also has benefits outside the gym and off the mats.
By calming the mind and increasing focus, we are able to accomplish our tasks quicker and more efficiently. Be it in the household, in school, or at the office, we all greatly benefit from improved focus.
Training in martial arts allows us to strengthen our mind and teaches it to work in unison with our body. Martial arts practitioners quickly learn through training that the mental aspect of each discipline is just as important as the physical aspect.
3) It Speaks to Your Soul Through Meditation
Meditation also brings about better conversations with one’s soul and spirit by way of self-discovery. Many people struggle with finding their own identities. Perhaps we do not fully understand what we are physically and mentally capable of. Some people have loads of potential that goes un-utilised due to the spiritual disconnect between mind and body.
Martial arts training serves as the bridge for which offers better communication between the mind and the body.
A huge portion of martial arts deals with meditation. By training every detail down to proper breathing techniques, martial arts allows human beings to dive deep into their own spirits and discover their deepest thoughts. It allows us to take a step outside of our physical shell and observe ourselves from a near third-person perspective.
A lot of different types of martial arts involves meditation and self-reflection, and also promotes the same when applying defence principles. Martial arts training helps practitioners get in touch with their souls on a daily basis.
4) It Helps Your Body Function as a Unit
Perhaps the most important benefit of martial arts training with regards to joining the mind, body, and spirit is its ability to train the entire body to function as a unit.
Most people are raw and uncoordinated and lack a sense of cohesion. Our body parts move independently from each other and we are often off-balance. Martial arts helps to fix this problem by teaching our bodies to function as one.
By training every single muscle in the human physique, training the mind to become self-aware of its own space, and teaching the soul to bridge the physical and the mental capacity, martial arts helps us to become complete and whole people.
The result of this is that we can then accomplish tasks more quickly and more efficiently because we are approaching obstacles with our entire being. By better understanding what we are capable of, we develop better strategies to tackle problems.
This article, "Here’s How Martial Arts Connects Your Mind, Body, And Spirit", originally appeared on Evolve MMA, Asia’s No. 1 martial arts organisation.