What do you love about martial arts?

After getting over the challenges associated with learning the fundamentals of a new sport, most people who take up training in the martial arts, end up falling in love with the disciplines they train incessantly to master. With Valentine's Day this week, we wanted to uncover what makes others love karate, taekwondo, Muay Thai and other martial arts forms.

After exhaustive research, what we found is that one of the things that people enjoy about their training is the way it can be easily applied in other areas of life, beyond simply being able to prevail in the face of a physical altercation.

Actress and law student credits martial arts training for success
Katheryn Winnick is an actress who began her martial arts training at the age of seven in Canada. According to a profile by the Tribune News Service which ran in the Idaho Statesman, by the time Winnick was 13-years-old, she had earned a black belt.

Three years later, she was the owner of her very own martial arts studio Toronto.

After deciding that she wanted to become an actress, Winnick would often travel between Canada and New York to make her dream come true, all the while holding to the discipline she learned as a martial arts student and teacher.

"No one's going to give you anything," she told the newspaper. "You can't rely on your looks. You can't rely on who you know. You need to work hard. With the martial arts discipline of training four hours a day or training for competition or tournaments, you really have to have strong perseverance and you need to have dedication."

Ali Viola, a law student at Duquesne University, is a seven-time world champion in the national Black Belt League. In December of last year, she won a team title and individual sparring championship in the middleweight division at the 2014 World Games. Viola says that the discipline and self-confidence she learned studying martial arts has helped her in her individual competitive pursuits and as a coach on Team Kumite, a traveling karate team.

"I'm going to compete as long as I can. I fell in love with it. I'll always be here. I'll always be teaching," Viola told the news service.

Currently, Viola is training her niece who has already earned an Amateur International championship in the 4-and-under division.

Hearing the success of others and how they cite the self-discipline and self-confidence gained in their self-defense studies are two of things we love most about martial arts. What are yours? Let us know!