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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Martial Arts Poses Many Benefits

Apr 01, 2015 10:24AM

The benefits of martial arts are numerous ranging from the obvious physical ones to the realms of psychological, emotional and the spiritual.

Although “martial arts” comes from the term “Art of Mars”, Mars being the Roman god of war, the modern-day benefits could not be more peaceful in most contexts. Obviously, self defense is one of the first benefits that comes to mind. But, when examined deeper, self defense or the ability to defend oneself, can give the practitioner an enormous amount of self confidence. Confidence that is exuded in settings of work or school, public speaking, leadership roles or even in personal relationships. However, confidence gained through martial arts is most often tempered with humility.

In addition to the direct correlation between the physical benefit, in terms of activity level, and self defense related confidence, there is the peaceful underlying philosophy of most martial arts. Even the art forms that concentrate on pure efficiency of technique, like modern mixed martial Arts, that may not have a storied, ancient message or ethos of “flow” or “beginner’s mind,” create a huge mutual respect and camaraderie—two social cornerstones of any healthy society. Some of the bonds and friendships attained while training in such a physically demanding setting are some of the strongest that can be experienced. Lifelong friendships are formed.

Since self defense is a common underlying component of most modern-day martial arts, the benefit extends into a more intangible realm. Self defense is not self offense; there is no unprovoked aggression. There is a “live and let live” psychological state accompanying a healthy, properly trained martial artist. Violence is not condoned. Even in contests that appear violent to untrained onlookers, the combatants are willing participants in a sport following rules. Medical personnel are always present. And the activity takes place in a ring, mat or enclosure. The only “street” violence the properly trained martial artist is involved in is defense of themselves or of another that may need assistance or has been victimized by criminal activity.

There are ultimately many reasons to begin a martial art. Everyone has their own, usually very personal story behind beginning to train. Once embarking on your journey, you’ll realize many benefits. But, as in life, the first step in a direction is always the most important. And with martial arts, the most difficult “belt” to earn is the White Belt. So, don’t wait!

Resource: Pat Vacanti, Migliareese Black Belt under Phil Migliarese, owner, Vacanti Jiu Jitsu, 1351 Rt 38W, Hainesport, N.J., 856-313-0557,

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