When I first started training Capoeira, in 2000, I never imagined that 19 years later I would not only still be practicing it, but that it was also my career. I started training Capoeira because I had just come out of a difficult relationship and I wanted to do something for myself. I’d seen it four year previous to starting, but I wasn’t in the position to start.
When my relationship was finished I was open to trying something new and trying it for me. Capoeira filled that spot perfectly. It wasn’t easy, the nearest class was an hours drive away and I didn’t have a car, but I hitched a ride with another person who, by chance, was living near by and heading to the same class. It was meant to be.
5 Reasons you should practice martial arts
Health and wellbeing for your mind and body
Martial arts, when taught well, create a direct link between your mental and physical health. They will increase your stamina, improve your flexibility, build your strength whilst creating space for mindfulness, clearing your mind and body of stress and pressures of daily living.
Depending on your level of commitment, a martial arts philosophy will also help you relate your training into your life and the decisions you make, supporting your wellness on and off the mats.
Humans are social beings. It is in our DNA that we thrive when we are within a supportive community. Martial arts can be competitive, but from my experience it’s not usually with each other and more so with yourself. The martial arts community around you is a supportive and caring and one that wants you to be the best you can.
Why is that so? Because in being the best you, you also help to elevate others and their own level.
Self-defence and confidence
All martial arts have practical elements that translate literally to how you carry yourself when you are out and about. Of course, a martial artists first line of defence is not to get into a situation or to walk away from it. But in those moments when you need to protect yourself, your martial arts training will help you to think and react quickly.
Your confidence will also help to carry you through difficult situations in your work and home life. Maybe giving you the boost you need to make a presentation or helping you choose your next house.
We are creatures of habit and when we have a healthy habit it makes us feel good. The discipline of martial arts keeps us on that path and the dedication it takes to work up the ranks of belts or sashes. Attending a martial arts academy keeps us accountable and helps to keep our motivation, to keep turning up, in check.
Global travel and culture
Martial arts are practiced around the world. It’s hard to imagine a city in the world that doesn’t host a martial arts class or ten. Most of them have originated in places far from our home and practicing a martial art will present opportunities to travel to compete or train and be amongst like minded people, even if they don’t speak your mother tongue.
Experiences cultural traditions different than your own help to open you mind to possibilities and compassion for others that live here on earth.
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