4 Reasons to join a martial arts gym (The series).

Reason number 4: Learning self-defense and building confidence

First off, I’d like to say I am huge advocate for finding the right gym for yourself, a lot of martial arts gyms offer 1st week free memberships and some even offer no contracts just pay per class (another blog post for a different day). Most gyms will provide you with the gear: hand wraps, boxing gloves and headgear. Now lets talk about reason number 4 to train martial arts.

Self-defense

Self defense is innate, if you are being attacked you have two natural instincts “fight or flight”. I have a few friends tell me “I got hands” or “I’ll beat anybody around here”… and I have a few other friends that ask me questions about grappling techniques, because they are afraid of bullies etc. I respect both sides and I believe being afraid is a good thing, it means you are thinking about the situation. We all know how to bawl a fist and throw a punch, or a kick, but what is the level of accuracy, power and knowledge of how to avoid taking damage and end a fight quickly. A street fighter doesn't necessary understand how a great defense creates a great offense. Martial arts will help anyone level up their confidence and fighting skills.

After taking the first class of martial arts you will have an “ah ha” moment. A moment in class where you learn something new about body awareness. “Body awareness is the sense that we have of our own bodies. It is an understanding of the parts that make up one’s body, where they are located, how they feel and even what they can do” - study.com

I equate these “ah-ha” moments to trying a red velvet cupcake for the 1st time! It’s amazing and then you want to learn the ingredients… Yes?! Most of my students get excited to learn a move that allows them to get out of a struggle or if they see danger coming they can make a conscious and effective attack to take their opponent to the ground.

Once you find a few moves you like, repetition is you’re best friend. Just like in the movie Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel “wax on, wax off”. I call it the “bread and butter” move. If it’s going to be a few days before you can make it back to the next class, keep practicing at home. Spend some time in front of the mirror practicing the movements, once you step foot back in the martial arts gym you will be ready to learn more.

After a few more martial arts classes. Your confidence in your abilities will bloom! A good instructor will be able to monitor you’re progress. One of my favorite quotes is “Once you've taken a few punches and realize you're not made of glass, you don't feel alive unless you're pushing yourself as far as you can go.”

There are many grappling styles i.e judo for throwing and submissions, Brazilian jiu jitsu for submissions, wrestling for all around grappling, boxing for knock outs and so many more. In a Mixed Martial Arts gym you can try all these classes and learn a little bit from each class.

I’d like to end this with a caution: Fighting should never be done for fun. People get seriously hurt. I hate seeing these senseless knockout street brawls. One giant takeaway from class is discipline. When to use your skills and when to walk away from confrontation aka “fight or flight”.

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