Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Martial Arts as Exercise

Why engage in a martial art? Each of us will have a different answer to that question. Some for the discipline, others for the fitness, still others for the aspect of self-defense. Whatever your motivation, it has been shown by numerous studies that martial arts are beneficial as a form of exercise.

Martial arts are more than simply breaking a bunch of bricks and boards with various parts of the body. The Martial Arts are about discipline and balance. They are philosophies in and of themselves which teach good moral character, non-violent attitudes and behavior and spiritual enlightenment, the martial arts proscribe various movements and techniques which emphasize focus and centering by eliminating discriminatory consciousness and merging intention and action into an uninterrupted flow.

Many of the physical benefits of training resemble those achieved by any other form of exercise. A normal training session usually consists of a period of warming up stretching, then training. The exercise one gets from martial arts training improves balance, flexibility, stamina and posture. Weight loss is promoted through extended cardiovascular activity. These are all results of long term martial arts training. There are many different types of martial arts: Karate, Judo, Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, TaiChi and many types of KungFu. The list is extensive. Find one you enjoy, if you haven’t engaged in physical activity, get a physician’s clearance and start.

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