There are multiple direct benefits from learning a martial art. I’m sure most of you reading this will acknowledge at least one item from the following common list.
- Self defence
- Increased self-confidence
- Greater patience
- Becoming a better person in general
- Getting yourself out of the house and meeting new people
Which is all wonderful and good stuff, but you don’t want to read about how I’ve achieved all that, do you? Not when you’ve been there yourself. So instead I present my frivolous list of unexpected outcomes from learning a martial art.
Being able to name the muscle sets around my upper torso and shoulders. I’ve no medical training, I’m an Engineer and Geologist! Nuts and bolts, rocks and oil. That’s the sort of thing I can drum up a specialist language in. So I am rather stunned that I can outshine a newly starting undergraduate medic in naming muscle groups around the back and shoulders.
Due to a combination of an old shoulder injury which flares up when I impact the mat too hard and a wonderful physiotherapist I can locate and talk with great confidence about my scapula, rhomboids, pectoral minor and major, deltoid, and latissimus dorsi muscles to name but a few. Not bad for someone who mainly deals in hammers.
I bought a car. For years it’s been, “save the environment, use public transport, walk where you can.” Circumstances saw:
- One of my Aikido sessions being on a Tuesday night
- Poor public transport after 1800 hours in my area
- My husband needing the car on that night every other week.
Key decision time! Did I either a) miss Aikido sessions or b) buy a car?
MA fanatics will know it was a no choice. The car was bought and normal practice resumed.
Collecting martial art films. I may be a female who always worked in male dominated professions but until 18 months ago I swear you never would have caught me with a six pack of beer watching a DVD of Bruce Lee kick some serious moves. Well, I might have done on the odd occasion, but not once a month with a bunch of people who had spent the past 30 days trying to punch me. I admit a Jet Li bias, but was recently “squashed” by a 2nd kyu in favour of watching Kung Fu Panda.
Imaged sourced from: http://www.youwall.com/?ver=NDA1Ng==
Drink reduction. Film nights aside. I’m a former Merchant Seafarer, our reputation for drinking alcohol is well earned. But if you spend most your evening training, there goes a massive chunk of drinking time. And while you’re not going to prise out of me gory stories about morning training following a night after heavy drinking, I’m going to assume you know that being thrown on a delicate stomach is not wise. Yes I still drink. I just drink far less.
Fitness. I used to scoff at those joggers. I would smirk at those who went to the gym. Prior to Jitsu and Aikido I wasn’t unfit. I was (still am) an avid hill and mountain walker in all weathers, and I had worked in a physically demanding job. Work and leisure was my gym!
Any regular exercise increases your fitness and having achieved that increase I feel no urge to loose it. So I have shyly started road running. But my free weights and Swiss Ball are for my physio exercises. Honest.
So there we go folks. A light hearted view of the extras you gain from taking up a martial art!