How Martial Arts Training Helps Overcome Stress

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Martial arts training isn’t just for athletes who want to hone their skills and fight in the ring. Today, health buffs can practice martial arts as a hobby to blow off steam and reduce stress or anxiety.

RELATED: 11 Ways To Stay Calm In A Stressful Situation

7 Ways Martial Arts Training Reduce Stress

1. Turns Negative Energy into Positive

Anger gives the body a high amount of energy. This energy boost is fueled by the hormones produced by your emotions and adrenaline rush.

While it may be short-lived, it’s still powerful. Repressing these emotions or using your extra energy haphazardly may lead to consequences, such as tiredness and fatigue.

Release your pent-up energy by practicing martial arts. By doing so, you’re regulating your emotions and using it as fuel for a positive activity that strengthens both the mind and body.

This is a far more productive and beneficial thing to do than screaming, shouting, or worse, hitting your enemies out of rage.

2. Improves Quick-Response Decision-Making Skills

Stressful situations are a part of life. No matter what your age, gender, or race is, you’re bound to encounter difficult events that will truly test your mental strength and patience.

Just imagine how heavy the damages would be if you were to overthink and stress out over every little inconvenience that comes your way.

To prevent these issues from affecting your health, you need to train your decision-making skills, and that’s exactly what practicing martial arts does. You are taught to make quick, accurate decisions while using very minimal effort.

Once you improve your decision-making skills, you can assess situations calmly and objectively. Not only does this alleviate the symptoms of stress, but it also allows you to create effective solutions quickly.

3. Helps You Overcome Fear

Fear is a driving factor when it comes to stress. The mind tends to overthink issues in an attempt to find a solution to problems you’re currently facing.

While careful analysis is important in addressing issues, overthinking can lead to unnecessary, negative ideas that cloud your thoughts. Not only do you end up feeling stressed, but it also becomes harder to come up with a solution.

Use martial arts training to develop your mental fortitude and help you overcome your fears.

Start with something small and simple, such as throwing a punch or hitting a sandbag. From there, you can work toward conquering your biggest fears.

Tip: Facing the things that scare you is great, but don’t force yourself to do anything you’re uncomfortable with. Remember, fear exists to protect you from harmful and hazardous situations so do not disregard your senses.

4. Teaches Discipline

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Most schools of martial arts focus on discipline. Apart from strengthening your body and granting you power, they also teach you how to use it responsibly.

Even kids studying taekwondo are taught not to abuse the techniques they learn.

Discipline is vital in controlling stress and developing your character. A disciplined, responsible individual who knows how to handle situations calmly is someone who won’t be swayed by stress and negative emotions.

5. Releases Tight Muscles

Stress doesn’t only affect your mental health, but it also has visible effects on the body. That’s why your legs and arms quiver when you’re scared.

If you’re constantly stressed, your muscles are consistently tense, as well. This may lead to some painful cramps and tightness.

Apart from the regular pain relief stretches, you can undergo martial arts physical training to loosen and relax tight muscles. Try martial art styles that focus on flexibility, such as karate, muay Thai, and kung fu.

RELATED: 7 Ways To Boost Bone Strength Naturally

6. Promotes Good Blood Flow

Good blood flow brings oxygen and nutrients to various parts of your body, including your brain cells. This is necessary if you want a clear, objective brain capable of handling heavy situations.

The best martial arts to stimulate blood flow are fast-paced ones such as capoeira, muay Thai, and kung fu. You can supplement your training by doing some quick cardio exercises, as well.

Tip: Remember to take deep, long breaths when placed under stress. Doing so is a quick way to improve blood circulation and calm down the nerves.

7. Stimulates the Production of Endorphins

Exercising stimulates the production of endorphins, which are chemicals that have a potent analgesic effect. They reduce the mind and body’s perception of pain by giving you a temporary feeling of “high,” one that’s similar to what morphine provides.

You may not be aware of these chemicals, but their effects are evident. Studies show that low endorphin levels put you at greater risk of mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

Martial Arts Classes You Can Attend

1. Judo

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Learning Judo can be your go-to stress reliever.

Judo is a Japanese form of martial arts-centered on grappling and wrestling moves. It involves tackling, throwing, and pinning your opponents to the ground.

In this sport, size plays a major role. The bigger you are, the better your chances of winning, but the odds won’t always be in your favor.

There will be times when you’re pitted against someone much bigger than you. So apart from training the body, you must train the mind, too.

To be a successful judoka, you need the mental fortitude and confidence to face opponents much larger than yourself. Otherwise, your movements are hampered, and you won’t be able to give it your all.

The same teaching goes when facing difficult situations. You’ll be surprised at how big of a difference having the right mindset and attitude have on your ability to solve problems.

2. Kung Fu

Kung fu is a globally celebrated traditional form of Chinese martial arts. It’s popular for its acrobatic fighting style that consists of multiple kicks, punches, jumps, and even flips.

You can divide kung fu into two different schools: styles that focus on upper body attacks and ones that consist of lower body attacks.

What makes kung fu a great stress reliever is it teaches you how to use the opponent’s force against themselves. This can be very useful when dealing with stress as you learn to relax and pace yourself at all times.

3. Krav Maga

Krav maga is a special fighting style used by the Israeli Defense Force. It consists of a mix of grappling, boxing, and kicking techniques.

What makes Krav maga special is it uses functional moves meant to deal the most damage to your opponents. You’ll be learning moves you can use in hand-to-hand combat if you ever need to.

So apart from practicing Krav maga to deal with stress, you can also use it for self-defense purposes.

Overall, martial arts training is a great way to improve athleticism, strengthen the body, and clear the mind. If you’re worried about getting hurt, don’t be! You don’t have to spar or fight if you don’t want to.

There are dozens of martial arts and disciplines to choose from, so don’t limit yourself to the common and popular ones. Explore all your options and focus on one that best piques your interest.

Do you do martial arts training? Share your experience with us in the comments section below!

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