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The health benefits of getting punched in the face

by Rico

Martial Art is a sport and a hobby for most people, but for me, it is a way of life. Ever since I started training martial arts, it has helped me grow from being a small, overweight kid with anger problems and no self-confidence - to the person I am today. That is why I want to encourage others to train and here are just some of the benefits:

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Full-body development

Different martial arts focus on different things: Muay Thai with legs, boxing with arms and Brazillian Jiu Jitsu with core - but they all use every part of the body. In training and fighting, you are exercising every muscle groups, making them stronger, more flexible, and you are developing and strengthening your core.

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Improve endurance

In boxing, there are 12 rounds with each round going for 3 minutes.
That is over half an hour of running, weight lifting, and building pain tolerance from getting punched all over your body. This is not even the pinnacle of endurance, in boxing it is what is expected of anyone who steps into the ring.

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Improve self-image

The more you train with your body, the more you understand your body and what it needs. Rather than focusing on how you look, you begin to focus on how you feel, and what areas that you need to focus on to become stronger and do better. Now, instead of looking in the mirror and thinking that you are not good enough, you are thinking of what you need to train that day.

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Self-discipline

When I was starting out, I was an angry little kid who would throw a temper tantrum at every teases or jokes. The repetitiveness of training helps me control my temper, it taught me that I can throw as many temper tantrum as I want and I would never win against those who know how to control their temper. In the ring, anger only makes your partners lose their respect in you.

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Self-confidence

Fighting requires you to believe in yourself. As such, martial arts help you build your self-confidence and destroy your self-doubt. The process of continuous training gives you a sense of accomplishment as you notice that you are getting better every day.

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Humility

First time I ever sparred was against the shortest student in my group. To put this into perspective, I am a 5’7" guy with a medium build who has been training for a while. My opponent was a 4’11" girl, skeleton thin and would always arrive late.

Of course, I asked my trainer to put me against someone else since I saw it was enormously in my favour. Instead, they said no and ask if I was scared. Me being who I was shut up and intended to go easy on her. 

That one decision gave me my first ever blackout and the realization that the reason she always shows up late is because she was (still is) the best in the whole gym.

Martial Arts teaches you more than just physical improvement; it changes you mentally. Martial Arts taught me how to be humble, to leave my ego out of the mat and to respect other regardless of what they look like. It enables those who are weaker than us to be stronger and us to be equal to those who are stronger than us.

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Support group

A good dojo, training partner and teacher would always be there to motivate and support you, these are the people that you train with every day. Whether you benefit the most from self-confidence, physical development, or just humility, the most important piece of martial arts is the respect you give others and the respect that you earn from them.