If you’re new to the martial art world, your knowledge is probably limited to what you’ve seen on television and in various pop culture outlets such as magazines.
What you see on television is often dramatized for theatrical effect but the reality of martial arts as a hobby is that they’re more than just beating up your opponent for fun, they’re a way of life.
Essentially, they offer the ability to develop humility, confidence, mindfulness, and of course the ability to defend yourself.
They’re also a great way to stay in shape without deliberately going to a gym to work out which makes them more fun.
Let’s hone in a little bit and see why taking up martial art can be one of the best hobbies.
10 Reasons Why Martial Arts Are the Perfect Hobby
1. They develop your sense of self
Having an identity is something that many people struggle with; they don’t have core beliefs that really indicate who they are or what they’re about.
A hobby isn’t part of your psychological identity per se but having one can help you to discover those fundamental things that help ground us as people and make us more confident inside.
Essentially, a hobby is a great way to peel back those layers to find out who you really are.
Are you a committed person? Do you prefer artistic formats? Can you discipline yourself?
These are some fundamental questions that regularly spring to mind and can be answered by embracing a hobby like martial arts.
2. They’ll help you meet likeminded people
Attending a martial arts class is a great way to meet new people, make friends, and have different kinds of conversations with a myriad of different folk.
You’ll go through some of the most challenging moments together with these people and will likely be helped along the way too and vice versa.
This makes martial arts a great hobby as you’ll be able to increase your social network and may even find some lifelong friends along the way who’ll stick with you through anything.
Martial arts also help to increase social skills, teamwork, and confidence as you’ll need to partner up to achieve different feats such as learning new techniques but you’ll also need to trust them completely whilst in potentially vulnerable situations.
3. It can make you more mindful
Martial arts aren’t just about learning brutish techniques to overwhelm your opponent; they’re about learning discipline and becoming more aware of your state of mind.
For example, an untrained person who doesn’t attend martial arts won’t be as mentally ready for a fight as you would be, but why is this?
Well, martial arts teach us to prepare our minds before our fists — being aware of our thoughts and the types of tension we carry are vital for being a more confident fighter but can also translate very well into our general day-to-day life.
Having to be aware of your state of mind before a fight can also help you to be more aware of the general thoughts you’re having every day — in essence, you’ll be more in tune with how you feel and how you respond to those sensations.
This can be great for diffusing anxiety and being able to deal with difficult situations in a more composed manner.
4. They’ll make you more humble
Humility is something that’s lacking in modern society but is vastly positive when demonstrated between two sets of different people or between different cultures.
It’s the ability to set one’s differences aside, even for just a moment, where each party forms a sort of mutual respect for one another.
Lack of humility often stems from a lack of understanding about the other person or what they’re about, or when prejudgements are made about that person’s character.
Nothing will help you to understand another person better than getting to grips with them in a healthy, physical confrontation such as through a martial arts bout or during a sparring session.
On a more general level, martial arts teaches you to never underestimate people at face value and that humility should be a given before any preconceived consensus is made about the person.
5. Martial arts help you get fit whilst having fun
Going to the gym day in, day out is something that can be maintained but usually only for relatively short periods of time before you become burned out or bored.
Simply getting fit for the sake of it isn’t usually enough for the average person to want to continue doing it, and thus, doing something that’s both entertaining and active is the best way to stay fit.
Martial arts fits the bill perfectly because you’ll be meeting up with others, practicing drills together, testing each other’s limits, and getting to know yourself on a more intricate level.
In essence, you won’t even notice the fact that you’re burning hundreds of calories for every hour that you spend practicing these different movements and techniques, or whilst you’re doing fun drills with your classmates.
6. It will help you relax after a tough day
You might not imagine martial arts as being a great way to relax after a hard day’s work, especially since it involves being physical, however, the inverse is actually true in most cases.
That’s because we’re spending increasing levels of time indoors, sitting down, and glued to our television screen or computer screens playing games.
The human body has been finely crafted through hundreds of thousands of years of evolution to respond positively to regular activity and not to being seated on our bums all day doing nothing.
This heightened physical activity releases endorphins which are a powerful chemical that makes us feel good but it also acts as a natural painkiller.
Endorphins also act as a mild sedative producing a calming effect in the body making it much easier for you to relax and wind down after a hard training session.
Basically, martial arts and physical activity are exactly what you need to help you relax and destress.
7. It can increase your flexibility and mobility
Mobility and flexibility are something we take for granted mainly because we grow up without having to worry about this until we’re much older.
In most cases, flexibility starts to decrease as early as your twenties and progressively gets worse as time goes on until you’re as stiff as a board.
The same goes for your general range of motion and mobility; moving pain-free is something that we experience as a luxury in our younger years but commonly suffer with as a symptom in our later years.
Martial arts are the perfect hobby to counter this as you’ll regularly be active performing stretching drills and performing general mobility exercises that keep you feeling limber.
Your body will also retain more muscle due to the constant working out which means you’ll have increased bone mass and a more solid foundation to keep you feeling fluid.
8. You’ll increase your awareness of the world
Learning anything new will increase your awareness of the world, but martial arts are often derived from a wide range of different cultures meaning you’ll also be taking a deep dive into the history of how the practices came to be and who taught them.
This will open your lens of the world and will give you a newfound respect for other peoples and cultures who came to teach such disciplined practices for you to benefit from.
Combat can bring the worst out in humanity but it can also bring out the best, especially when it’s taught in a more mindful setting.
9. You could find romance
As with any hobby that involves meeting up with others, it’s quite likely that you’ll find other people that you’re compatible with but more so who you may be able to share a romance with.
In fact, in-person activities are one of the best ways to meet people where you can get to know them slowly, over time, where you won’t feel as pressured to act in unnatural ways.
Martial arts requires physical contact which also means that a higher level of trust needs to be established between you and the other person.
This makes them the perfect potential candidate for a possible love interest, though, proceed with caution as it’s easy for this to become an awkward situation.
10. You’ll be able to defend yourself
Ultimately, the main reason for attending a martial arts class or practicing martial arts as a hobby is to understand how to defend yourself in a safe and effective manner.
It’ll give you the tools needed to assess and neutralize possible threats whilst also remaining totally composed while doing so.
It’ll also give you a better understanding of the levels of force required to bring an assailant down without dealing criminally liable damage.
Once you’re at a decent level, you’ll have higher confidence in day-to-day life as you know you’ll be able to handle yourself should the need arise in any physically threatening situation.
There are very few hobbies that can provide this kind of psychological security to make you feel more at peace when going about your general living.
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Martial arts as a hobby is fun, physically advantageous, and will improve your mental wellbeing in many different ways.
It’ll expand your lens of the world and will teach you to be more humble of others around you and to never judge a book by its cover.
It can also help you feel more confident to engage with others and will also teach you how to deal with threats in a safe and effective manner.
Overall, martial arts are some of the best hobbies in the world that can help to reveal your inner identity of who you are as a person.
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