17 Reasons Why everyone should train in the Martial Arts at Martial Arts 360 & BJJ Unchained
1. Everyone always says self-defense and it’s true. Call it building Confidence or Bully Proofing or whatever marketing concepts but it does teach self-defense. Hopefully so well that you don’t ever get into a situation where you need the physical techniques. It is an important skill to have to protect yourself, your family, and anyone else where ever you go because they will be safer because you are there. Being a complete martial artist works on your mind and body. You should develop the mental ability and physical skills to handle difficult or dangerous situations.
2. Fitness: The Martial Arts is a full body workout. Strength training, stretching, cardio, agility, focus, athletic development and so much more. Biggest reason I love the fitness part it is different all the time. Constantly learning and every time you spar or grapple it is a different learning experience. You have to work with people weaker, stronger, more or less flexible, heavier or lighter, and so many other variables. Lifting weights, running, biking or other fitness exercises may or may not work the whole body. Most of these exercises are guaranteed not to be different every time you work out.
3. Friendships and teammates: The best friends I have I met through the martial arts. Being in the martial arts and being part of Martial Arts 360 & BJJ Unchained plus other organizations have allowed me to be part of something much bigger than myself and my little world. I have friends that we train together, compete together, grow together, improve our abilities and lives together and help our community. For example: This past year we raised almost $3,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, collected dozens of books for the Partnership for Children literacy program, raised money and had great time for Special Olympics at the Polar Plunge, and collected toys for the Toys for Tots program. We did more being friends and part of a team then we could have done individually.
4. Learning: In the martial arts you constantly deal with new situations. If you can take all the things you learn to improve your martial arts ability and apply the concepts to all areas of your life you can achieve great things. You will have to deal with wins and losses, feelings of strength when you help others and feeling incompetent and foolish sometimes while learning something new. You will make many mistakes before you succeed.
5. Great mini vacations: When you come to class you bow into the school to show respect but also to set the first trigger to forget everything else you do during the course of the day. Then you bow when you go onto the mats. Thats the trigger that sets your mood for training. It’s your escape from the other troubles and tribulations of life. Now it’s time to train mind, body, and spirit. You bow to your partner and it’s on. Test yourself. See how you’re learning and how much you have improved and how much more work you need to get better and how much more there is to learn. What a great way to treat yourself for all the work you do!
6. Self-improvement: In our leadership program we have instructor classes and we study the Psychology of Winning. Building your self-esteem, self-talk, self-dimension, self-expectancy, self-motivation, self-image, self-direction, self-control, self-awareness, self-projection, and so much more. If you can’t easily define the above concepts you would benefit a great deal to be in that program. If you are not in class with us you should look into this program. You learn to do more, have more and be more.
7. Leadership / teaching: At some point in your life you will be in a situation where you need to lead or teach someone. It may be your children, staff, coworkers or someone else but you will be put in that position. Teaching and communicating with others is a skill you learn not something you are born with. After a very short time training and taking class you will have partners that are newer than you and need help. You learn patience, communication, understanding, demonstrating, and empathy when working with others. Great skills to develop and will help you in all areas of life.
8. Courage: It takes courage to step out of your comfort zone and do something new that you are not good at. In the Martial Arts you will grapple and spar. Unlike taking an academic class there is a completely different element involved. No one is attempting to choke you out, hit you, arm bar you or do something that will cause you physical pain. You learn a lot about yourself while you are competing. For example in a MMA fight you learn how to deal with anxiety, fear, excitement, pushing yourself to your limits and a great deal more. When the cage doors lock do you look to win or look for anything that will get you out of that cage as fast as you can? Now not everyone needs to cage fight but the concepts of dealing with partner that is trying to submit you take courage to deal with that situation and overcome those fears.
9. Problem solving: Let’s face it. Most people are not great problem solvers most are complainers. Problem solving is like a muscle. The more you exercise it the better it gets. The problems of the Martial Arts match are more than what the untrained eye sees. It isn’t always about who is faster, stronger, longer reach, or more flexible. You need timing, strategy, assessment, and calmness. If you are about to get submitted you need to do some quick problem solving. Panic usually will end badly. You need to think clear when you are in a struggle and yes sometimes the best solution is to tap out and reset.
10. See the world, travel, and meet amazing people: In my martial arts career I have met and had the honor to train with dozens of world champions, Olympians, TV and Movies Stars, Authors, millionaires, been to the playboy mansion, and slums in foreign countries. As I am writing this one of my Black Belts is in Russia getting ready for a fight in two days. Let’s face it if you like football, baseball or just about any other sport you will more than likely never get the chance to meet your favorite players let alone go play that sport with them. In the martial arts I can go to seminars, conventions, or even to the school that they teach at and train with the champions in their field of martial arts. It has been an exciting ride so far and I can wait to see what’s to come. Every state and country I have been in have people training that gives me an immediate bond with them because we have an understanding of some of the trials and success we share in our time training.
11. Humility: I will admit not everyone always has humility but it is a lesson taught daily in the martial arts. There is so much to learn. I have multiple Black Belts in traditional karate systems, combative arts, and grappling arts and it never ceases to amaze me how much more is out there. I still learn things from my students, my instructors and my training partners. It never stops. Now, I’m not saying running is bad. I’m sure people that run marathons get some kind of enjoyment from it. I will promise they are not continually learning something new every time they put one foot in front of the other. There is a great humility knowing that I can practice something for over 30 years and still learn something from someone half my age and only a couple years of training.
12. Patience: Life can be hard. The martial arts can be hard and take a long time to learn and become proficient in it. It may take years and years to earn belts, awards, and competitions. Those that start and quit probably do that in most of the areas of their life. When we let our kids quit that’s the worst. Kids don’t quit, parents let kids quit. Master yourself through the continuing lessons that the martial arts teach then apply those lessons to all areas of your life. Does someone constantly beat you because they can think a couple moves ahead of you? What if you can predict what your opponent’s reactions will be? You can. What if you used that thought process of thinking ahead before you open your mouth or before you make a rash decision. Would that help you in relationships? In finances? You need to be patience to learn to grow and to contribute.
13. Dealing with failure: If you can show me someone that hasn’t failed in their lives I’ll show you someone that has done nothing with their life. When you train, spar, grapple I promise you, you will lose at some time. How will you deal with it? Will you cry? Quit? Get angry? Retaliate? Or will you learn and grow so you perform better next time? Embrace failure it may be the best education you will ever get.
14. Experience the Journey: It took me a long time to get this. I have always set goals for myself even as a child. I was a Cub Scout then Boy Scout. In scouts there are many badges, ranks, and awards you can earn. When I went to Scout Summer Camp my goal was to earn as many merit badges, awards and rank that I could. I would earn more than any other scout at the camp. I did have a good time but I rushed a lot and could have learned a great deal more and had a better time if I focused on the journey not the goal. I earned my eagle scout in the shortest time allowed. I was a highly decorated scout. This goal setting continued in the martial arts and even as a Marine in the United States Marine Corps. I was Marine of the Year had numerous meritorious promotions and awards. I set goals and focused on earning them. I missed out a lot of the benefits of the journey to earn those honors. When I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu it was in my own karate school. There were no BJJ Black Belts for hundreds of miles of my school. I knew earning my black belt would take a long time. I decided to never worry about promotions, requirements, competitions I just enjoyed the ride. I trained and trained and had a great time doing so. One day I was at a seminar and the Instructor gave me a blue belt same thing happened for my purple belt. I didn’t expect it I just trained and it eventually happened. The process was so much better than reaching other goals I have had. Love the ride!!
15. Mastery: Training in the martial arts allows you to experience mastery. You train or do the martial arts. You put the physical and mental applications together. You don’t become a master of cooking by watching the cooking channel. You don’t improve you golf swing by watching the golf channel. You don’t become a better driver by watching NASCAR. Get off the couch and go to the gym. Learn, practice, improve, teach and Master the arts. Apply it to all areas of your life.
16. Competition: I think everyone should compete. I don’t push everyone to make it the focus of your life or of your training. I compete on a daily basis and I don’t need a tournament or cage to do so. I do believe that competition helps you learn faster and become better. There are so many elements to the competition that the regular class doesn’t have. The crowd, judges, timers, referees, scales, new opponents, traveling, music and nerves!! It teaches you to deal with and overcome anxiety, nervousness, excitement, new situations, good and bad opponents or refs or situations. You train and practice as a team but it’s up to you to pull it off when it’s only you out there. Win or lose it is your fault. It is an empowering way to take responsibility and control over your life.
17. Knowledge: Apply the lessons of martial arts studies to your training and to your life you will have gain a great deal of knowledge. Pass it on. It has been said knowledge is power. It is not. Action is power. Use your knowledge to improve your life and those around you. Be the coach, friend, Yoda, or Sensei to those around you.
Bottom line get to the gym, school, dojo, dojang, academy or whatever you want to call your martial arts training center and start your journey. You will have times of discomfort when you want to quit. Don’t. Have a problem with a classmate, instructor, ref or anyone resolve it. If you get injured then heal and come back and train. So much to learn so much to experience so much fun, excitement and feeling of accomplishment. On the days you beat everyone you’re the champion! On days when everyone beats you well you learned something and at least you got a good workout in! It’s always a great day in the Martial Arts!!!
I took the list from another great article I liked and put my own descriptions in place. You make the martial arts your own. See you on the mats.
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