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14 Reasons Why You Should Consider Taking Up Martial Arts

There are several martial arts methods out there. Each one of them has its own strengths and weaknesses, and each one is associated with a particular philosophy.

Here are a few of the most popular schools:

TaekwondoJiu-JitsuBrazilian Jiu-JitsuKarateMuay ThaiJudoTai Chi

This list could go on forever, but if you incorporated even a few of these practices into your life, you’d reap so many benefits.

1. You’ll learn about self-confidence and self-respect. There is no better confidence booster than knowing that you can handle yourself in tricky situations.

You'll learn about self-confidence and self-respect. There is no better confidence booster than knowing that you can handle yourself in tricky situations.

Flickr / MarineCorps NewYork

2. You’ll burn some calories while training in martial arts. You will run, jump, lift, and generally kick your own butt into shape.

You'll burn some calories while training in martial arts. You will run, jump, lift, and generally kick your own butt into shape.

Flickr / University of the Fraser Valley

3. Getting your kids involved will help them fight childhood obesity.

Getting your kids involved will help them fight childhood obesity.

Flickr / mjaaaae

4. Martial arts will put your resilience and persistence to the test. When you first start doing martial arts, you will suck at it, plain and simple. But if you stick with it, you’ll get to see a whole new side of yourself.

Martial arts will put your resilience and persistence to the test. When you first start doing martial arts, you will suck at it, plain and simple. But if you stick with it, you'll get to see a whole new side of yourself.

Flickr / Ed Garcia

5. You’ll experience greater focus. The mental fortitude that one must have to fully experience what it means to practice martial arts is on an entirely different plane.

You'll experience greater focus. The mental fortitude that one must have to fully experience what it means to practice martial arts is on an entirely different plane.

Flickr / Republic of Korea

6. You can use it to help you break out of your comfort zone. Mastering the techniques will leave you feeling so accomplished that your newfound confidence will spill over into other aspects of your life.

You can use it to help you break out of your comfort zone. Mastering the techniques will leave you feeling so accomplished that your newfound confidence will spill over into other aspects of your life.

Flickr / Rodrigo Della Fávera

7. You’ll learn how to fight properly. This seems like an obvious one, but it’s one of the main reasons why people take these classes. By taking up martial arts, people can learn to protect themselves and those around them.

You'll learn how to fight properly. This seems like an obvious one, but it's one of the main reasons why people take these classes. By taking up martial arts, people can learn to protect themselves and those around them.

Flickr / fightlaunch

8. You will gain flexibility. Many of the moves associated with martial arts training will require you to develop far more flexibility than you probably have at your disposal right now.

You will gain flexibility. Many of the moves associated with martial arts training will require you to develop far more flexibility than you probably have at your disposal right now.

Flickr / Ida Braaten

9. It will also help you relieve stress. Take the stresses of your day out on the punching bag, or release some anger while kicking the pads. (Just be respectful of those around you.)

It will also help you relieve stress. Take the stresses of your day out on the punching bag, or release some anger while kicking the pads. (Just be respectful of those around you.)

Flickr / Flavio~

10. You will make new friends. Sure, most classes will consist of you trying to subdue your opponent, but afterwards, you will most likely end up being friends with that person.

You will make new friends. Sure, most classes will consist of you trying to subdue your opponent, but afterwards, you will most likely end up being friends with that person.

Flickr / The U.S. Army

11. You’ll develop greater control over your body and mind. You will learn not only how to defend yourself, but also how to control your body in more ways than one. Whether it’s establishing a dominant position against an opponent or learning how to correctly throw a punch, you’ll learn to be more in control of yourself.

You'll develop greater control over your body and mind. You will learn not only how to defend yourself, but also how to control your body in more ways than one. Whether it's establishing a dominant position against an opponent or learning how to correctly throw a punch, you'll learn to be more in control of yourself.

Flickr / Rodrigo Della Fávera

12. You’ll learn how to breathe better. Controlling your breath is an important part of any athletic activity, and this is no exception. It’s important to keep your cool in stressful situations, and controlling your breath is an essential part of that.

You'll learn how to breathe better. Controlling your breath is an important part of any athletic activity, and this is no exception. It's important to keep your cool in stressful situations, and controlling your breath is an essential part of that.

Flickr / Rodrigo Della Fávera

13. Almost anyone can do it. Anthony Bourdain, the famous chef, recently started doing martial arts at the age of 57. It’s never too late!

Almost anyone can do it. Anthony Bourdain, the famous chef, recently started doing martial arts at the age of 57. It's never too late!

Flickr / John Ragai

14. It’s fun! All of those great benefits fall under the umbrella of having a great time. What could possibly be bad about getting in shape, sharpening your mind, learning new skills, and making friends?

It's fun! All of those great benefits fall under the umbrella of having a great time. What could possibly be bad about getting in shape, sharpening your mind, learning new skills, and making friends?

Flickr / Ken Sutton

So what do you say? Will you invite martial arts into your life? Even if you don’t happen to excel, it’s always good to say that you’ve tried something new! After all, these awesome benefits far outweigh the possibility of something bad happening to you if you give it a whirl.

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