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Martial arts have been around as long as the art of war has been around. Some of the oldest martial arts reach back several thousand years. A few of the ones that are popular today came around within the last century or two, however, and our improvised improvements upon martial arts they have been around 4 many times longer.
Learning a martial art is beneficial for nearly anyone. I went from doing no martial arts at all until I was 21, to becoming a mixed martial artist in 3 years. I trained professionally at a gym on and off, and also messed around with my friends and I mixed martial arts club on campus. In 3 years, I learned the foundations for Judo, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Capoeira, and Aikido. I also touched on small bits and pieces of Sambo, Taekwondo, and Krav Maga. I do not claim to be an expert in any of the aforementioned by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel as though I know enough to hold my own grounds if an event were to occur. Here are a couple reasons why learning a martial art is beneficial; not just for travelers, but for everyone.
1) You learn practical skills.
At first it may not seem like it, but martial arts are full of practical skills. They are infrequently things that you can use in day to day activities, but the opportunities are out there. You will learn how to manipulate your environment surrounding you, which can always be of use.
2) You'll learn your own limitations and how to overcome them.
As a new martial artist, you will realize that there are quite a few things that you can't do yet. You will learn in time, and you also learn how to overcome the things that you couldn't do before. It will take some time, but you will learn how to overcome your limitations.
3) You can build your confidence.
Before joining martial arts, I will admit that I didn't have the most self confidence in the world. Starting martial arts though, I learned a lot about myself and how to build up my confidence effectively without limitations. Being a martial artist has helped me to be proud of who I am, and to take initiative in situations.
4) Build your endurance.
After watching mixed martial artists on the television, have you ever thought to yourself that surely, you would never be able last as long as they do in that sort of situation? Well, you will eventually be able to do just that. You will build up your endurance and activity tolerance too levels that you once thought to be impossible. What you could once do for two minutes without getting tired, you will actually be able to do for 5 minutes or more without getting tired.
5) You become one with yourself.
In martial arts, there is a huge connectivity to spirituality. Martial arts will help you find your center, to quiet your mind, to humble yourself. Through meditation and meditative techniques, doing martial arts will slowly change the way you view yourself. And you will definitely know that you have quieted your mind when you realize that you can take another's life into your own hands if need be.
Martial arts harmonize mind, body, and spirit, and really get all of them working as one functioning unit. When do you learn even one martial art, no matter how formally or informally, you will begin to learn to control your own consciousness and emotions.
6) You can relate to more individuals.
Taking martial arts, you'll never know who you will run into who has also learned to martial arts.
And for your friends that have not studied martial arts, you'll be able to impart some basic knowledge unto them as well. It is so much fun, that you will know how to keep away, and you'll make friends in the process of doing so.
This is a very short list of items, but all of them are applicable as a martial artist things outside of martial arts. You will also learn how to communicate with. I highly encourage anybody to learn a martial arts, because for some, it could just be the difference between life and death.