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Martial arts to improve mental health

Mental health benefits of martial arts


Martial arts started as a combination of traditions and systems used in  combat and practiced for self-defence. Today that history is still kept alive with some military still teaching martial arts as a hand-to-hand combat system. Alongside this tradition there has also sprung up martial arts competitions to test opponents against a set of rules that don’t appear in combat. Both traditional and sports martial arts require physical, mental, and spiritual development.

Martial arts masters have passed the tradition down over the ages from generation to generation. Today there are many different styles and types of martial arts, such as karate, kickboxing, kung fu, jiu-jitsu, aikido, taekwondo, kick-jutsu & judo to name just a few. Each style or art differs in the way they practice and train. Different systems may include throws, strikes, joint locks, kicks, and takedowns, but the physical side of these skills is only one element of martial arts, as they offer the opportunity for personal growth along the journey that can help develop mental resilience.

Here are several ways in which martial arts can improve mental wellbeing:

Martial arts can reduce stress levels that in turn will help with reducing the feeling of anxiety. Any martial arts system will encourage you to breath correctly whilst executing various techniques, you will practice deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness. Breathing correctly, ( most of us do not), fills your brain with oxygen and this helps us to think more clearly. Training your mind to keep your attention focused while remaining calm and alert will help to reduce stress levels. Mastering your mind and your emotions will  help you develop greater emotional stability, assertiveness, self-confidence leading to more clarity of thinking.


Martial arts is a great way to increase your self-esteem, meeting short and long term goals, perfecting skills and techniques will enhance the feeling of self-worth and self-value. It will  challenge your mind as you progress and this in turn will strengthen your mind.


It is absolutely no secret that physical exercise gives you a feel good feeling and whilst practicing martial arts you will get lots of physical exercise during classes giving you a nice boost of the  "feel-good" chemical that your body produces as a result of exercising. These are known as endorphins, and they will help to lift your mood after classes.


If you want to improve your own mental health then come to one of our martial arts classes.

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