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The health benefits of martial arts: physical and mental

August 10, 2023

There’s no doubt about it – exercising is great for your body and mind in various ways. But what makes martial arts any different than traditional sports and extracurricular activities? Let’s dive deeper and appreciate what martial arts offers us through training.



There’s a large variety of martial arts with each having their own respective physical benefits. Altogether, they share some core physical benefits that will help improve your health and lifestyle.

1. Self-defense

This important skill is exclusive to martial arts training. It’s not something you can gain from football, baseball, or any other traditional sport. You can’t undersell the importance of self-defense because not only can you protect yourself, but also your loved ones through grappling, kicks, and strikes.

2. Overall physical fitness

Martial arts utilizes your entire body to train. Being consistent has proven to show better mobility, flexibility, and coordination.  While you are burning calories you’re also sharpening your techniques.

3. Stamina and conditioning

Along with contributing to your overall fitness, regular martial arts training will benefit other areas of your life, particularly if you participate in sports. It will reduce muscle tension, risk of injury, and feeling behind when you come-back from the off-season.

4. Blood Pressure

We often forget to recognize the less visible physical benefits of training. Not only do martial artists have lower blood pressure and heart rates, but they have also improved overall heart health. Training lowers cholesterol and provides more regulated blood sugar and insulin levels.



It’s important to recognize that while mental health matters, not everyone has the capabilities or willingness to seek treatment. Fortunately, many people are able to help take care of their mental wellbeing through other activities such as sports. It provides a more affordable outlet to improve mental health all while doing something they enjoy. There are numerous ways it can help your state of mind, so let’s highlight the top contenders for mental benefits.

1. Emotional regulation

Life can be overwhelming with the worries of work, school, or home life, but martial arts helps you control these feelings. Training and learning to manage your emotions can ease anxiety, depression, or anger issues and help you overcome obstacles.

2. Improved Self-Esteem

Martial arts trains you to recover from setbacks and determine how to overcome them in the future. It sets a foundation for confidence and prepares you for future adversities. Some schools will even have “mat chats” to accompany their physical training.

3. Personal Development

In unity with the last two points, training encourages you to consider your approach to life and way of thinking. While you may have teammates and a community while training, martial arts is an individual sport that allows for internal self-evaluation. You’re able reflect on your thoughts, feelings, goals, and each step you need to take to achieve a better lifestyle.

4. Find a Community

It’s guaranteed you will meet new people in a martial arts class. Going regularly will even give you the chance to make friends and socialize with people that share interests with you. Making friends while training can boost your mental health and self-esteem.