Is Learning Martial Arts Worth It?

woman training mix martial art

You might be considering becoming a martial artist but unsure if the whole hype surrounding martial arts is real and if it is worth your time, money, and effort. But is martial arts just a fun game or is learning martial arts worth it?

Learning martial arts is worth it as it offers physical, mental, and social benefits. Some physical benefits include physical fitness, agility & reflexes, flexibility, weight loss, and muscle gain. Mental benefits include stress relief, improved self-esteem, increased focus, memory improvement, and peace of mind. Social benefits help you develop self-confidence, meet people of similar interest, have a sense of purpose, and improve your overall social skills.

It is not an exaggeration to say that there is no downside to learning martial arts.

The benefits are almost endless as you will soon find out in this article.

Without a doubt, anyone who decides to learn the art will forever remain grateful for taking the step.

Is Martial Arts Worth Learning?

Yes…martial arts is worth learning considering the numerous physical, psychological, and social benefits it offers.

The benefits of regularly practicing martial arts are numerous.

As you train, you become physically and mentally fit.

Your balance, reaction time, and decision-making skills will improve dramatically.

You also learn to be a good leader while staying humble.

In addition to learning to defend yourself, you will also become more aware of your surroundings.

One of the biggest benefits I have gained from martial arts is “respect”.

I have trained in Taekwondo for almost a decade and it has taught me a lot about respect; respect for myself and respect for others.

For example, “courtesy” which is one of the five tenets of Taekwondo teaches you to show respect to all others in the dojang (training area or school) including people you may meet outside of formal Taekwondo training.

You will learn how to uphold these values both inside and outside the dojang as you progress through the ranks.

You will also learn how to keep your head high and not listen to what others say about you.

You will develop a better attitude towards life and learn how to push yourself and not give up.

Oh, and did I mention that having a martial arts belt looks great on a resume even though it can sometimes be overlooked?

Martial arts is indeed relevant in the business world of today.

This is especially true if you dedicate yourself to earning a black belt as drive and determination are highly valued by potential employers.

Yes, martial arts can sometimes become expensive when you consider the cost of membership and training kits.

However, this cost is justified as martial arts offer so many benefits (for example, social skills) which are priceless in today’s world.

Now, let’s examine some of these benefits in greater detail.

Benefits of Martial Arts

Physical Benefits

Physical Fitness

Martial arts is another form of exercise.

Through martial arts training, you can achieve a full body workout in no time.

According to Health Digest, no matter the martial arts you choose, you will get an incredibly physical and mental workout.

And with consistent practice, you are bound to improve your body’s pressure response, increase muscle, and increase overall mobility.

Since many martial arts involve repeat muscular actions over time you’ll build strength and burn fat. Who doesn’t want that?

Weight Loss & Muscle Gain

I’ll put these two things under the same benefit as they go hand-in-hand.

Training any martial art will give you a complete body transformation if you’re consistent.

Most martial arts are high-intensity workouts, meaning you burn a lot of calories quickly.

Burning calories means rapid weight loss and loss of excess fatty tissue, and with martial arts classes, you can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour.

This of course depends on what you’re doing in class, as well as your age, gender, weight, and height. 

As you train, you’ll also notice a steady muscle gain not just from training the martial art technique itself, but through other physical workouts like strength exercises.

So, if you’re looking to get in shape quickly and healthily, there’s no better way than starting martial arts training.

It is considered a perfect and improved alternative to a gym workout.


Flexibility is an important part of martial arts training.

Martial arts require a certain degree of flexibility, and irrespective of the martial art you choose, your flexibility will surely improve.

Martial art training requires a lot of stretching to prevent injuries, and the movements themselves will help you become more flexible.

As you move into more challenging techniques, such as high kicks, spinning kicks, or ground submissions, it’s important to develop flexibility.

In addition to helping you become a better fighter, flexibility reduces your risk of injury while training, sparring, or competing.

By becoming flexible, you will be able to dodge incoming strikes or takedown attempts more quickly and effectively.

Agility & Reflexes

You will gain agility, quickness, and mobility very quickly by practicing martial arts.

This can be achieved even before you develop basic technique skills.

When I started martial arts, I felt sloppy performing certain techniques and exercises.

The pace was just too fast for me, or maybe I was just lacking the ability or strength to move.

Over time, I realized that by training consistently, you develop fast-twitch fibers in your muscles, which are responsible for explosiveness, evasion, and lateral movement.

Your reflexes will improve as your body becomes more capable of maneuvering at higher speeds.

You will be able to react much faster in any situation, not just during training.

And as you get used to staying focused in stressful situations, like hand-to-hand combat or sparring, your reflexes will improve.

Mental Benefits

Reduces Stress and Frustration

Every martial arts practitioner knows that combat sports can significantly reduce your stress levels.

According to a study, martial arts is associated with reduced anxiety, reduced stress levels, self-control, and physical relaxation.

Yes, stress or failure is inevitable, no matter how careful you are or how much effort you put into something.

There will always be some pressure, such as commitments, responsibilities, and deadlines.

However, by learning martial art techniques, exercising, punching a bag, or just getting your mind at peace through meditation, you can let out that negative energy inside of you.

‘Take things as they are, punch when you have to, and kick when you have to.”

These were the words of the legendary Bruce Lee.

Develops Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence

Martial arts is great for our self-esteem.

Self-esteem essentially refers to how we think of ourselves. The way we see ourselves strongly affects how others see us and what labels they assign to us.

Luckily, training in martial arts naturally results in the development of self-confidence.

When you learn martial arts, your confidence is bound to grow as martial arts is a confidence booster, especially for kids.

Your fitness goals, such as losing stubborn body fat and toning your muscles, will become more attainable the more you train.

As a result, you will experience an increase in self-confidence, which you may then apply to other aspects of your life.


Challenges strengthen the mind just as exercise strengthens the body.

Martial arts teach you to believe in yourself and not let life get you down no matter how hard things get.

It also teaches you how to bounce from setbacks.

Obviously, learning how to punch or kick won’t solve all of your problems, but achieving your goals is a great boost for future motivation.

You’ll discover how to develop resilience when faced with challenges.

Intense physical effort may result from training (if you take it seriously), but you’ll also discover that you have the stamina to persevere through it and that you can maintain your composure in the face of the stress of a sparring contest.

Additionally, though it goes without saying, regular practice in any discipline can help you defend yourself (self-defense) if the need ever arose.

Develops Self-Discipline

Distractions must be avoided in this environment to focus on the task at hand.

So, expect to become used to direction and structure by attending martial arts classes.

Ultimately, achieving your martial arts goals depends on you.

There is no one else who can do it for you. As a result, self-reliance and independence are promoted!

To improve and grow, you need to put in the work, and the effort and dedication you put into your work will help you achieve your best.

As you progress, you’ll gain self-discipline that will benefit every aspect of your life.

Improves Mental Stamina

Research has shown that aerobic exercise (like martial arts) changes the brain in a way that improves memory and learning.

The same study shows that a new dementia case occurs every four seconds worldwide. So, martial arts can help prevent this debilitating condition.

It’s just amazing that many people aren’t aware of this martial arts benefit.

Boost Your Focus

Muhammad Ali once said, “It isn’t the mountains ahead that wear you out, but the pebble in your shoe.”

We all experience different sensory distractions that make it challenging to focus on the task at hand.

However, intense physical exercise, such as martial arts training, can strengthen the brain pathway, according to several medical journals.

Depending on the session, martial art success relies heavily on focus and concentration to achieve any significant success.

All those outside distractions disappear as soon as the session begins, leaving you free to focus on the here and now.

Regular practice will teach your mind to adjust perception as necessary, allowing you to concentrate on tasks like crucial work without constant distraction.

Helps You Feel Good

Dopamine is a chemical in our brain that is necessary for feelings of pleasure and happiness.

It is however unfortunate that our bodies lose dopamine as we grow older.

It is estimated that 6 to 7 percent of our receptors that accompany approval and pleasure are lost every decade.

The good news is that practicing martial arts can aid in boosting dopamine production.

This is because dopamine is stimulated by any type of physical exercise.

And since martial arts training is an intensive physical exercise, you undoubtedly benefit from the advantages that this hormone provides.

In addition, your body also produces endorphins, which also contribute to the great feeling you experience after working out.

Dopamine levels increase as you train, helping you gain a stronger persona ultimately.

Dopamine is important because research suggests that dopamine, when used correctly, can be used to hijack motivation and increase attention spans among learners.

This is because the most important brain reward pathway is the mesolimbic dopamine pathway.

So, if you yearn for a sound mind and a healthy body, this is the best time to get into martial arts.

Social Benefits

You Meet People With Similar Interests

Common interest is considered a big factor in friendships, and a martial arts training ground is definitely the place to be if you want to expand your social circle and meet new people.

It is a healthier option than the club or bar. After all, you will be burning calories rather than taking in extra ones.

And what better way to meet new people and improve your social circle than through exercise?

By becoming a regular at training, you can meet and interact with fellow trainers and even fans.

Thanks to your common interests, you might be able to hit it off with them right away.

As a result, you can foster strong bonds which could lead you to hang out with them outside the gym.

Helps Develop Your Character

Having a stronger personality or character can help you become more social and outgoing around people.

A lot of people have difficulty expressing themselves in front of or to other people.

This sometimes stems from insecurity or low self-esteem, while sometimes it’s a result of a lack of socialization due to fear of bullying, mockery, etc.

Whatever the case, martial arts can help you build character quickly.

As you get more confident about yourself, you are likely to express yourself and your opinion more easily.

Your Develop Respect

Martial arts not only help you develop self-respect, but it also teaches you to respect other people.

In martial arts, respect or courtesy is one of the core values all students must learn and perform both on and off the mat.

For example, Taekwondo considers courtesy as the number one tenet of the art.

This includes bowing to instructors and opponents at competitions, as well as treating every person with kindness and decency.

You Learn to Lead

Martial art is a platform that teaches you to become a good leader.

For example, there are days when you are instructed to lead the training session may be due to the absence of a senior, or just as a way of deliberating assigning you leadership responsibilities.

And over time, you can effortlessly lead the team even in the absence of an instructor or senior member.

This is a skill set that can be carried into other aspects of your life such as work or home.

You Learn Team Work

Martial arts teach you to thrive in a group setting.

Although martial arts is an individual sport, a lot of teamwork is required to achieve success.

You will always have a group of reliable teammates who not only train and spar with you on the mat but also cheer and motivates as well.

This way, you learn to function well in a team.

Increased Sense of Purpose in Life

There are times in our life when we feel deeply, intangibly unfulfilled, and we are unable to explain why.

We might have everything we desire, including a rewarding career, a great family, and a wide circle of devoted friends.

We just are unable to identify the source of our underlying discomfort.

Achieving a Black Belt is one exciting, worthwhile, and demanding goal that can give your life new meaning and help you deal with some of your restlessness.

People who practice martial arts frequently feel as though they are on a mission since it is a noble and unique profession.

Is Martial Arts Difficult to Learn?

Martial arts isn’t difficult to learn as long as you are committed, consistent, patient, and motivated. These factors affect how easy it ends up becoming for anyone to learn Martial Arts.

Martial arts is just like every other sport such as football, basketball, baseball, cricket, etc. that all require a good amount of hard work to achieve any great success.

Some factors to follow to ensure an easy martial arts learning process include.

  • Consistency
  • Patience
  • Motivation

See: Is Martial Arts Difficult to Learn?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *