Martial arts teaches discipline, character and enriches lives

Martial arts training benefits people in a number of ways. In a vacuum, it's easy to say that the primary benefit is to help you win a fight in the event you're threatened with physical harm. However, true practitioners of disciplines such as karate and taekwondo take a more holistic approach to mastering these forms of self-defense.

A recent article from the Philippine Daily Inquirer touted the fact that training in the martial arts builds character for students and teaches discipline. For example, a black belt in karate or taekwondo may know that they could win a fight and in the process, cause a person serious physical harm, especially if the aggressor is provoking them into confrontation.

One of the main tenets of martial arts training is to use violence only as a last resort. Not only does a decision like that take discipline, but it is also reflective of a person who has high character. These are things that are continually stressed in any martial arts school and something that is aggressively promoted.

Martial arts help students master pain
Whether training in taekwondo, karate, Brazilian jiujitsu or any other martial arts discipline, a student is bound to feel pain of some kind. This could occur during a sparring session or simply learning how to master a new move. However, students are often taught techniques on how to breathe, stay centered and block out any pain or discomfort they may feel.

These are principles that are transferable in any area of life. The Times of Israel recently highlighted a rabbi who started a camp to help kids with cancer learn how to manage pain. Today, the camp has converted into a nonprofit called Kids Kick Cancer with a presence in Israel and North America.

"Martial arts teach that pain is not a message you have to listen to, that pain is something you can push away from you," Rabbi Elimelech Goldberg told the newspaper on the principles that he teaches.

For those children who are terminally ill, each is awarded a black belt. However, the program highlights the benefits of martial arts to people from all walks of life and how its principles can lead to increased fulfillment. These are philosophies that school owners should preach to students who are interested in enrolling in classes. It's important to educate people on the values and life skills that are taught when learning martial arts as these points are more than likely to be more desirable than the self-defense training itself.