The Martial arts are frequently thought upon as a very masculine practice. While gender shouldn’t be an issue, we do find that many women either disregard martial arts as a guy’s endeavor or are intimidated by the perception of a boys’ club. That being said, there are so many great benefits for women practicing martial arts and this thought that martial arts practices are manly pursuits prevents many women from receiving said benefits. Here we highlight some of the biggest benefits martial arts for women provides.
Empowerment and Self-Confidence
Martial arts for women can help reduce feelings of inadequacy, boost self-confidence and self-esteem, while developing mental fortitude and resilience. Men and women both may feel their self-esteem drop, at certain points of their lives. The martial arts are a great way for people to develop self-confidence and feel empowered. While the American media can sometimes become synonymous with fear mongering, being able to defend oneself in a confrontation is a great skill to have. Self-defense adds to that feeling of empowerment, reducing the negative effects of fear.
Discipline is another character trait that is developed through practicing martial arts for women. The perseverance and commitment one needs to give in order to advance through the belt ranks helps build mental fortitude and toughness; the feeling of progress through the ranks also helps. With a continued sense of achievement, these benefits can last a lifetime.
Cardiovascular Health and Motor Skills
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 1 in 5 adults are meeting their physical activity guidelines set to improve wellbeing. The health benefits of an active lifestyle are well known but it can still be difficult for women to find the time or motivation to stay active. Martial arts for women can be a great boost to physical and mental health, especially when adhering to a regular class schedule. By being a part of a class-based system, there is more of a sense of responsibility and urgency over attending classes, when compared to personal activities like jogging or going to a gym to exercise alone.
As students age into their senior years, the boost in motor skills martial arts for women provides can help prevent debilitating injuries from physical mishaps. By regularly exercising and stretching in class, women have a greater chance of maintaining their health and ability to remain active further into old age.
For many mothers, martial arts can serve as an outlet away from the family. Everyone needs a healthy social life and some variety in their lives to stay happy in the long run. Martial arts can be a great place to make friends or spend time with your friends and family. Meeting challenges and goals with the aid of your fellow students can also create enriching, lifelong bonds. It’s no wonder we see so many martial arts schools with a dedicated core group.
Many people find practicing martial arts helps reduce stress in their everyday lives. Martial arts for women can help improve mindfulness, focus and being at peace with oneself. Physical activity can do wonders for helping relieve stress and brighten your moods, by pumping up your endorphins and reducing symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Many of the best traditional martial arts schools will also teach you some form meditation and the importance of mindfulness. While physical activity serves as “meditation in motion”, we believe the extra emphasis on meditation really boosts the amount of stress relief and mindfulness your students will receive.
To learn more about how martial arts can benefit people, check out this infographic on the benefits of martial arts for kids.
What do you think is the biggest mental barrier for a woman to join martial arts? Share with us on our Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.