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Martial Arts and Mental Health

What is Martial Arts?

In most cases now, martial arts is only taught on the physical side of things. They are more focused towards competition or just becoming the best fighter they can be.

Martial arts teachers have passed down their tradition for millennia now including kung fu, karate, judo, and too many more to count. This includes self-defense, competition, physical, mental and spiritual development.

Benefits of Martial Arts

A true martial artist doesn't only focus on the physical side, but also the mental. But how does martial arts affect mental health?

Stress relief: By learning how to practice controlled breathing, meditation, and mindfulness, you train the mind to keep focus while still being calm and alert. This is extremely useful for tasks that require you to divide your attention to multiple areas.

Life purpose: In tandem with controlling stress martial arts will have you often feel calm, confidence, and at peace with who you are and what your purpose is in life.

Emotional regulation: By practicing martial arts you master your mind and emotions. With that control it will help develop emotional stability, assertiveness, self-confidence, and decrease aggressiveness feelings.

Self-esteem: The same way exercise strengthens the body, the challenges of martial arts strengthen the mind. You will learn to bounce back from setbacks that life will give you and not let them bring you down, no matter how hard it gets.

Personal development: In martial arts, you are highly encouraged to dig deep into yourself, clear any mental blocks, and become unstuck. This will help you identify things you need to improve on and will give you confidence to make better changes.

Forgiveness and healing: Learning how to set boundaries by redirecting negative feelings will empower you to find your inner strength and heal any past trauma you may have.


When you find the right martial art practice is both empowering and validating, however you only get as much as you put in.

Always remember that even though martial arts is a great tool for regulating your mental health, it is not a substitute for mental health treatment. If you are experiencing intense emotion that require medical attention, please consider talking to a licensed mental health professional.

Credit to WebMD - "Mental Benefits of Martial Arts"


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