The benefits of martial arts on one’s personality and physical fitness

Joining a Martial Arts class can be very beneficial for people (kids and adults) who are or have experienced bullying. When someone decides to enrol in a Martial arts class, his main aim is to learn different moves & techniques to be able to defend him/herself. This remains the main aim that someone gains whichever Martial art he studies. However, there are various other benefits that one can master, to name a few; improved physical strength, better stretching and dexterity, better balanced body and sharper co-ordination.
By providing benefits such as confidence, discipline, respect, self-control, leadership, stress relief, and self-defense; martial arts helps those people to take control of the bullying problem in their lives. By joining a traditional martial arts school (like Kung fu, karate etc) , one can build and strengthen his character. Generally, people who are bullied generally suffer from low self-esteem and self-confidence , martial arts training helped these people in sharpening these skills. Once a person feel better about himself. He be able to live his life with his head held high and being less of a target to bullies. During a martial arts class, students practise various techniques like stances, discipline, breathing and internal training; these enable the practitioner to be calmer disciplined. As stated before, these skills enable a person to be calmer in situations where he/she is bullied and ensure to tackle them in a calmer and safer way. The beauty of martial arts training is that apart from the internal aspect, one will of course sharpen the physical side of his character. By practising regularly, one will gain more strength in his core muscles, become more flexible, more powerful and faster. More importantly, the person will also enrich himself with techniques on how to defend himself in a ‘sticky’ situation. These skills will enable the person to be capable physically to confront people who threaten him physically, by defending himself without escalating the situation, hence making it worse. These skills will immediately empower the person with more confidence in his skills and abilities. Being more confident in itself already give you an edge over the possibility of being bullied, making you a less easy target of bullies.
Locally, there are a huge number of martial arts schools, all with their own style and way of teaching. Before joining a martial arts school, we suggest that one visits the club and has a chat with the instructor to gather info on the type of training involves.
A reputable and experience instructor will be able to channel the right tuition during the classes to sharpen all the skills named in the article during his classes. In the end, the person will be walking away with a stronger & more confident character who after all is more happy with himself and the world around him and in a nutshell, that is what martial arts practise is about, one can achieve the perfect balance between his physical & inner aspect, hence gaining the perfect balance for a better way of life and a better YOU!
An anti-bullying empowerment initiative, Bullying Prevention Initiative In Action (BPIIA), is currently in progress, initiated by the group, AGAB – Action Group Against Bullying.  The Group is composed of Alexander Libreri, Rita Catherine Orsten and Mark Spiteri. AGAB – ACTION GROUP AGAINST BULLYING can be contacted at:  librerial@onvol.net.
Mark Spiteri, Malta Self Defence Academy
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