Martial Arts

Martial arts are typically associated with the combat arts of eastern Asia. However, the term originally referred to combat systems developed in Europe as early as the 1550s. The term is derived from Latin, and means “arts of Mars,” referring to the Roman god of war. Today, participation in martial arts groups is increasing worldwide.

What are Martial Arts?

Martial arts are codified systems of combat that have evolved beyond the traditional focus on self-defense. Instead, modern martial arts groups shift the focus to spiritual and personal development. Furthermore, practicing martial arts helps preserve cultural heritage, since many types of martial arts are connected to the history of their respective countries of origin. Additionally, martial arts groups in some cultures are performed in dance-like settings, incorporating music, especially strong percussive rhythms.

Martial arts help teenagers by joining physical fitness goals with personal growth. Therefore, building physical fitness in martial arts classes goes hand in hand with developing resilience, mastery, and interpersonal skills. Consequently, in a therapeutic environment, martial arts classes can promote spiritual well-being. Moreover, martial arts practice helps young people develop discipline and focus.

Martial arts do not promote aggression, but rather can be used as a treatment modality for at-risk youth. In fact, studies have shown that martial arts classes help reduce aggressive tendencies. Although there are many different types of martial arts classes, the benefits of martial arts practice are similar in most cases. The key is consistent practice.

Sources: Black Belt: World’s Leading Martial Arts ResourceContemporary PsychotherapyUS National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health)

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