11 Valuable Reasons To Learn Martial Arts | Benefits

martial arts

Learning martial arts provides plenty of value to the trainee. Consequently, the rate of people training in one is constantly rising. In 2017, 3.42 million people trained in martial arts. (Statista)

For me, it changed my life. The number of benefits I gained from martial arts is extensive. For that reason, there isn’t a single part of my body that’ll recommend you not to begin as soon as possible. That way, you’ll be able to progress sooner than ever.

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced trainee, you most likely have seen some change in yourself from training. It can be as little as losing a single pound to better mental health. 

Today, we’ll discuss the distinct reasons one should begin to learn martial arts. It doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female or any other external factor. As long as you want to develop yourself, you can benefit from it.

The following list is the reasons and benefits one should learn martial arts. 

  • better physical shape
  • increase self-confidence
  • improve pain tolerance
  • teach you to use self-defense
  • decrease overall stress
  • assist you in controlling aggressiveness
  • shorten reaction time
  • improve your performance under stress
  • enhance self-esteem
  • better social life
  • martial arts are a form of self-help

Throughout this post, you’ll come to realize that martial arts are a suitable place to shine. You can become the person you thrive with using it. As a result, it’s a fantastic way to self-develop and constantly overcome more significant obstacles.

Lastly, when I trained in MA, I didn’t have solid gear. Thus I couldn’t train at home and neither could I improve outside of the classes. Because of that, I encourage you to check out this punching bag by Everlast. (Amazon) It’s one of the best available on the market.

1. Better physical shape

Training and exercising are crucial in staying healthy. Martial arts are an incredible way of doing just that. Additionally, by doing them, you’ll learn all about self-defense. 

According to a study, Krav Maga is a remarkably intense workout. It meets the ACSM guidelines for an activity that manages body weight. (ACE) Generally, most martial arts will assist you in getting in shape, losing body fat, and gaining muscleFollow the links to read articles of mine on such topics. 

“. . . exercisers can expect a moderateto-vigorous intensity workout that teaches self-defense techniques while simultaneously providing a full-body workout.


Training in martial arts will better your physical shape because the training is intense. You’ll use many muscle groups, thus burning more calories than the average activity. In particular martial arts, the focus may be fitness rather than self-defense, such as Kickboxing. Yet, it depends on the instructor. 

Because punching and kicking use many muscle groups, they’ll better your aerobic and anaerobic shapes. Therefore, your condition will be better as you stay consistent. 

Overall, that’s one of the earlier benefits you’ll get to experience. As a result, it may assist you to stay dedicated to the training. At the beginning of anything challenging in life, there’s a phase I like to call “ghost town” It’s when you invest all the effort into something but don’t notice results. 

With martial arts, it’s the same. You’ll invest plenty of time, effort, and potentially money. Yet, you won’t notice any improvement or self-development. When you’re about to give up, there will be a wave of benefits flooding you. Stay consistent. 

2. Increase self-confidence

Training in martial arts has altered experiences of control and vulnerability, self-esteem, self-concept, fitness, confidence, and relaxation. As a result, some researchers characterize martial arts practice as a form of self-help.

(Columbus & Rice, 1998).
Man pushing a boulder
Image by Schäferle from Pixabay

In most activities, you’ll need to overcome various obstacles. When you fail, you’ll feel disappointed. Yet, when you succeed, you’ll feel great. With time, these feelings add up to experience, which equals self-confidence. 

Martial arts training increases confidence because you’ll overcome many obstacles in training. As a result, one can expect to have higher self-trust and feelings of security. The workout will continuously push your boundaries, physically and mentally. Thus you’ll feel more capable. 

From personal experience, don’t expect to notice that level of results earlier in your journey. You’ll be disappointed if you don’t catch it. I wrote an article on tips for Krav Maga traineeswhich are relevant to all martial arts, and I highly encourage you to read it to learn more about what you should and shouldn’t expect. 

In my military training, I did Krav Maga for 14 months straight. Yet, I can tell you that I didn’t notice some of the benefits I mentioned until that period. Once I looked back to what I achieved, I had this sudden view that I could complete any task I set my eyes.

It’s only then I caught a glimpse of the fruits from the seeds I’ve planted. I invested all that effort and time. Because I stayed consistent, I laid a solid foundation to develop myself. 

3. Improve pain tolerance

In most martial arts, you’ll get hit. In the beginning, you’ll crumble instinctively. As time passes, you’ll notice you’re more willing to get hit. I’m not saying you should strive for that. Yet, you’ll see that you care less about it.

Man punching another man
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

In self-defense situations, being scared to get hit will lead you not disabling the attacker. Picture yourself trying to pin the hostile to the ground, but you’re afraid to get close. Exactly, impossible. In martial arts training, you’ll get used to feeling pain. Thus you’ll be less intimidated by it. 

According to this study conducted in March 2021, physical activity doesn’t affect the pain threshold in men and women. (Pubmed

Well, I stated otherwise. Let me explain.

Martial art will higher your pain tolerance because you’ll be more used to pain. Consequently, you won’t be as afraid to get hit to close distance with the attacker. Therefore, you’ll be able to disable the hostile more quickly. Overall, it decreases your chances of losing, which our logical sense says otherwise. 

For me, I’ve noticed that I accept hits in training, and I don’t crumble. As a result, I’m now more imminent to pain. Additionally, when I don’t expect to get punched, and I do, I react more quickly to disable the threat. These are all consequences of the martial arts classes I attended. 

4. Teach you to use self-defense

The leading purpose of learning martial arts is self-defense. Today, people feel defenseless. It’s no wonder that’s the case. In the US, the rate of aggravated assaults has risen in the last couple of years. (Statista)

Consequently, learning self-defense is a valuable activity you should do.

Martial arts training will teach you how to defend yourself properly. As a result, if you feel defenseless, it’s for you. Many fighting styles focus more on that aspect, including Krav Maga and MMA. Consequently, training them will be of higher value for those looking to learn self-defense. 

Before choosing the martial art, you want to learn, consider each’s advantages and disadvantages. I wrote an article that strictly discusses the different martial arts you should train in for self-defense. I recommend you read it if you want to pick one that’ll suit you. 

5. Decrease overall stress

According to a study, martial arts combined with mindful exercise assist in managing stress. (Source)

martial arts stress relief
Diagram showing the reciprocal activity between martial arts, mindfulness, mindful exercise, and stress.

Overall, martial arts training is an outlet. You can be as aggressive as you want to let your fits of anger out. Consequently, outside of it, you’ll be more calm and controlled. 

Because of that, controlling the stress—you’re experiencing outside the class is more manageable. Thus martial arts will decrease the overall stress you have. Call it a stress-relief exercise, if you will. 

MA tends to value self-knowledge and self-control while performing a form of self-defense that includes ethical and philosophical qualities.

Martial arts as a stress relief activity

Eventually, by training in martial arts, controlling your emotions will feel more comfortable. You’ll have this outlet that, in it, you can be yourself. Hence you’ll release all the anger you may have built up over the last period. 

6. Assist you in controlling aggressiveness

Controlling your aggressive traits is challenging. Training in martial arts assists you in doing just that. You’ll have more control over your emotions, which correlates with the previous point.

According to a study conducted in July 2021, the aggressiveness amongst martial arts trainees was lower than the average person. Additionally, hostility levels and physical and verbal aggression were also lower. (Frontiersin.org)

The title of this reason is martial arts assist you in controlling aggressiveness. If it decreases it, how can it help me manage it? That’s a terrific question that has a straightforward answer. 

By training in martial arts, you’ll be able to dictate to yourself whether you need to be more aggressive. In training, for example, you’ll need to apply significant amounts of physical force. Consequently, being less aggressive won’t help you. Instead, you’ll turn on the part of you that can be hostile. 

You’ll be capable of performing as you wish. You’ll become like the avatar, being able to control its ultimate state. Whenever there’s a need to inflict physical force, the aggression dial will instinctively turn up. Yet, if you need to be calm and controlled, the dial with turn down. 

7. Shorten reaction time

According to this study, Karate athletes reacted more quickly to the situations they practiced. (researchgate.netAdditionally, women’s reaction time tends to be lower than men’s. 

By training in martial arts, you’ll develop this muscle memory. Whenever you stumble upon a situation you practiced, you’ll react almost instinctively. Consequently, repetition is crucial for self-defense and martial arts

Eventually, you won’t shorten your overall reaction time. Yet, you’ll respond more quickly to self-defense situations. Many martial arts, such as Krav Maga, will develop a sense of adapting to various dangerous scenarios. A knife attack, for instance, is a fantastic example of that.

In Krav Maga training, one will practice reacting to a sudden attack. Thus if one ever stumbles upon such a situation, responding will be effortless. 

From personal experience, I’ve managed to shorten my reaction time by becoming trusty about my instincts. Whenever I sense a dangerous situation by seeing the pre-signs, my aggression dial turns up. Hence everything I learned about self-defense and adapting to the scenario will automatically kick in. 

8. Improve your performance under stress

In life, you’ll encounter many situations with anxiety environments built-in. Consequently, you’ll need to stay calm even when it’s challenging and rough. While many external factors are influencing you, you can minimize them. 

boxing battle

Martial arts training will assist you to perform more consistently in high/low anxiety environments. Because in training, you’ll practice reacting to stressful situations, you’ll perform better over time. Thus your mind will get used to working under stress, which will assist you in staying calm. 

According to a study conducted in March 2015, police officers with a martial arts background performed better in low/high anxiety situations, such as arrests, than those without one. (PubMed)

Our results indicate that doing an additional martial arts training once a week may lead to better performance under anxiety, although it cannot prevent that performance decreases under high anxiety compared to low anxiety.

Performance under anxiety of officers with and without additional experience in martial arts

We can interpret that while many factors influence you in stressful situations, martial arts can assist in managing them. Because of that, training in them will ultimately force you to deal with such high and low anxiety scenarios. 

9. Enhance self-esteem

According to a study, Karate participants increased their self-esteem by staying consistent with training. (Source)

This outcome is inagreement with previous findings that martial arts practice improves exercise self-efficacy (Caldwell, et al., 2009). They found that a 15-week tai chi program had a significant effect on exercise selfefficacy among college students.

The Effect of Karate Practice on Self-Esteem in Young Adults with Visual Impairment

Overall, all the signs say that martial arts training increases self-esteem. Today, such an accomplishment is highly desirable. Hence if you can better it while training your self-defense skills, why not jump on the opportunity.

From personal experience, martial arts granted me the thought I’m capable of achieving anything. As a result, I realized I had much more potential than I initially thought. Consequently, I know I can achieve fantastic feats in my personal life. 

Yet, it came from hard work, dedication, sweat, and consistency. For a prolonged period, I didn’t notice any results. Yet, as time passed, I began harvesting the fruits from the hard work. 

10. Better social life

For me, martial arts classes were an outlet. I let go of all judgments and solely focused on myself. As a result, I became calmer- and less stressed from external factors. Furthermore, I became more social to the outside. I began accepting more people into my life. Now, I can say it was because I trained in martial arts

Martial arts training will better your social life because you’ll develop a character in yourself suitable for being more social. Overall, you’ll become calmer, less stressed, and less judgmental. Hence your social life will improve, and you’ll begin accepting more people into your life. 

Some people aren’t willing to invest big chunks of cash in their martial arts training. While that’s understandable, you must learn to train at home before beginning. I wrote an article on how you can learn Krav Maga at home. I highly encourage you to check it out if that’s the path you’ll take. 

11. Martial arts are a form of self-help.

Generally speaking, the data supports martial arts as an effective self-care practice for mental health professionals. This is a significant finding because martial arts are growing as an extracurricular activity, arguably due to its glorification through the entertainment industry and as a means of physical fitness.


With the rise of social media, many people have become insecure. Having this outlet named martial arts is a suitable way to develop yourself. As a result, many people began noticing significant results from their training. 

Martial arts are forms of self-help and self-development from research. They provide an outlet for many people to overcome obstacles. Thus their confidence increases. They begin trusting themselves to a better degree, consequently becoming independent. 

From personal experience, I’ve seen success in developing myself through martial arts. When I did Krav Maga for 14 months, I noticed I was confident and trusted myself better. As a result, I was more capable in general. 

The importance of martial arts

Self defense
Image by inna mikitas from Pixabay

Martial arts training forces you to develop. Because you’ll overcome many obstacles in your journey, you’ll become a more reliable and trustworthy individual. 

In addition, you’ll develop a more powerful character for yourself. Thus others will respect you more, and you’ll be more independent.

These are all bombastic words, and I’m aware of it. However, it’s true. From my experience, I experienced all the reasons I stated. Hence it’s effortless to display these to you here. 

Many people aren’t aware of the benefits martial arts hold. They’re practical and have a high value. Consequently, doing them will assist the trainee in developing themselves as a powerful character. 


Martial arts have changed my life. I’m sure they’ll change yours too. At first, noticing any results will be challenging. As time passes, you’ll see that you’re getting the results you’re expecting to get. Increased self-confidence, for instance, will be one of them.

Today, we know the effects such training has on our lives. Not only will you get in shape, but you’ll also develop yourself mentally. Consequently, at some point in your journey, you’ll see that you experienced all the reasons I stated in this post in your life. 

I wrote an article that’s closely correlated to this one. The ten benefits you’ll experience from training in Krav Maga. They’re all backed by research and relevant to martial arts. 


I've served in the military as a special forces operator for 4-years. In that period, I've trained in many martial arts, including karate, MMA, BJJ, boxing, and even Krav Maga. I want to share my passion with you, so here it is!

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