Martial arts are very popular all over the world and people enrol for various reasons.
Martial arts are traditional combats used for various reasons such as self-defence, physical, mental and spiritual development, competition, entertainment, law enforcement, and preservation of cultural heritage. Performing martial arts goes beyond fighting, and in fact, most of these are created purposely for peace, and defending oneself or others. However, there are children or women who are discouraged from practicing martial arts by their parents or partners because of certain misconceptions.
1. You need to be fit to start.
It is a common misconception that you have to be physically fit in order to participate in martial arts. This is not true. In fact, martial arts help you get fit as you go long, not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. A lot of people, especially adults, even get into martial arts to lose weight and tone their bodies. It will also motivate you to have discipline by eating healthy, sleeping right, and cutting out vices such as smoking and drinking to keep your body in good shape for every training or tournament you may want to join. Since martial arts also teach breathing techniques, it releases endorphins that improve your mood and reduce anxiety and stress.
2. All martial arts are the same.
Many people think that martial arts have all the same activity, which is kicking and punching taught only in various techniques. This is actually far from the truth. There are many types of martial arts, each with their own unique fighting style and emphasis on certain aspects. Martial arts also originate from different countries, so the expression of culture integrated in each martial art is also unique.
3. Martial arts teach violence.
Parents are mostly uncomfortable about the idea that martial arts might teach their children to become violent or aggressive. Actually, this idea needs to be debunked. Martial arts is all about teaching you how to defend and protect yourself and others from danger, not the other way around. Once you are into martial arts, you do not enjoy hurting other people, and it is not the way it’s being taught. In fact, the core values of martial arts circles in discipline, respect, and promoting peace. Teachers often do not tolerate signs of aggressive behaviour among students and correct this by coaching them to have a better understanding of the core concept of martial arts.
4. It’s not for girls.
Many perceive women to be the weaker sex, hence, learning martial arts may not be suitable for them. We have lived in a society where women are taught to become reliant on men especially for protection. But now that we are in the 21st century, women are already taking roles and responsibilities that are equal to men, and they too are tough and competitive. Women are often victims of oppression, abuse, and rape, so teaching them martial arts can give them confidence and a sense of empowerment knowing that they can protect themselves from physical or emotional threats.
5. You need to compete in tournaments.
The truth is, competition should be the least priority when entering into martial arts. Although some people may find this to be their main objective, others don’t. You may always sign up in order to learn self-defence, integrate the discipline of martial arts into your life, get fit, or improve your overall well-being. It doesn’t always have to be all about competing. Like in aikido basics for beginners, you will be taught that this particular type of martial arts is not a sport, and is intended for self-protection.
Given that all these common myths are not true, martial arts is indeed for anyone who is willing to devote their time and energy into learning and mastering the art.