Benefits of Martial Arts to Multiple Sclerosis
Of the many benefits that Martial Arts training carries with it, one of the most obvious is the knowledge of self-defense. This is one of the major reasons why Martial Arts have been developed, worldwide, in the first place. Knowing how to defend oneself and loved ones in a potentially dangerous situation is an asset in today’s world just as it was hundreds of years ago.
There are numerous other benefits that Martial Arts training can bring to ones life whether or not they suffer from Multiple Sclerosis.
Though most people would list physical fitness as an obvious benefit of studying Martial Arts, few people really understand all the physical benefits. Two things separate martial arts training from the many sports and workout regimens.
First, Martial Arts have developed over thousands of years, and in that time, the teaching techniques have perfected the breakdown and perfection of each movement. Second, Martial Arts are a discipline that will continue to provide physical benefits throughout a person’s lifetime. Martial Artists are known, not only for long lifetimes, but also for being physically fit well into their last years. Martial Artists as old as 100 years have performed in tournaments.
- – the techniques taught in most martial arts systems build from simple movements to complex combinations. The teaching techniques are accessible to anyone no matter how much or little natural grace they may have. The process of putting together the techniques inevitably provides improved coordination, balance, and grace.
- – Martial Artists emphasize flexibility more than most sports.
- – Martial Artists employ both traditional and modern exercises to develop and maintain the strength needed to support the advanced techniques.
- – As someone pursues their development as a Martial Artist, they will find that they can work harder, longer, and with greater ease and enjoyment.
Though the Martial Arts seem at first glance to be a set of physical skills, in reality the real goal is to condition the mind. It is the mind that has to learn to act quickly, often reading subtle signs and responding with a complex set of moves. The mental benefits of Martial Arts are possibly more significant than the physical. Some of these are:
- – The Martial Artist must learn to bring all of his or her attention to the activity at hand.
- – Learning is a skill. Anyone who works his or her way through a Martial Arts curriculum is learning to learn. The level of challenge, the individuality of instruction, and the visible results all work to make learning Martial Arts uniquely valuable in the art of learning itself.
Similar to the mental benefits, attitude is such an important benefit that it deserves a separate category. A trained Martial Artist, at any age, has a certain attitude. This attitude is composed of several features:
- – While natural talent might carry some a long ways in many sports, the Martial Arts requires discipline. The traditional forms require performance of an intricate set of movements, with crispness and rigor. Many of the specific skills in Martial Arts can only be achieved by doing difficult exercises repeatedly. In addition, the atmosphere of the Martial Arts school is filled with the discipline of other students and instructors who push themselves to achieve greater mastery.
- – The mental abilities already discussed, along with training in self-defense and sparring, produce an attitude of mental awareness. The experienced Martial Artist is aware of his or her surroundings at all times. This attitude helps the student respond better to many aspects of life.
All of these aspects to the Martial Arts have obvious multiple benefits not only to those affected by Multiple Sclerosis but anyone with the ambition to make a difference to every aspect of life.