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8 Ways Training in Martial Arts Builds Self-Discipline

As of this writing, I’ve been training martial arts for a little over two and a half years.

However, during that modest time span, I traveled the world and visited some of the best martial arts schools. I have trained in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, The Maldives, and The Middle East. My experiences have taught me the value of this lifelong practice.

But one attribute stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to learning martial arts—and that is the development of self-control.

In this post, you’ll learn 8 ways training in martial arts builds self-discipline and lays the foundation for becoming the best version of yourself. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Physical Conditioning

Whether you train Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Wrestling, etc., you’ll get a full body intensive workout every time you step foot inside your gym. Your physical condition will drastically improve with a regular training program.

This is perhaps the best way training martial arts builds self-discipline.

Physical activity is often the most grueling for most people. That’s probably one of the main reasons why 1 in 3 American adults is overweight or obese. For this reason, a consistent training program can have incredible results in a relatively short period.

These results can include:

  • More energy and vitality
  • Enhanced concentration levels
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Better mental and physical performance
  • Stronger muscles and more stamina

These results will serve you well as you age (provided you continue training).

Look at someone like Joe Rogan, for example. He’s 56 years old—as of this writing—and has been a martial artist pretty much his whole life. As a result, the man is in phenomenal shape. A common misconception many people have is that they’ll have to struggle to stay in shape once they attain good health.

However, the truth is staying in shape is much easier than getting in shape. While you’re getting in shape, you’re dialing in the right habits and disciplines.

But once you get there, you’ve now cultivated those healthy routines into your lifestyle.

2. Focus and Concentration

Most people have the attention span of a fruit fly.

And it’s understandable… We’re inundated with email and social media notifications, swamped with personal and professional responsibilities, and flooded with promotions and advertisements daily. The result? We carry a scatterbrained level of attention.

Martial arts builds self-discipline by channeling your focus.

When class is in session, you have no choice but to focus. If you don’t, you’ll miss the coach’s instructions, perform poorly while drilling, and get smashed during sparring. As a result, you’re forced to exercise your concentration muscles.

In a world that is constantly distracting us, this is perhaps one of the most beneficial ways martial arts builds self-discipline.

3. Commitment And Consistency

They say that 90% of success is just showing up.

I couldn’t agree more. Consistency is one of your most powerful tools, and martial arts will help you develop consistency not just in training but in life. The ability to be consistent is a skill that anyone can learn.

And a martial arts training regime will help integrate this quality into your life.

When you begin training, you’re forced to show up to class. If you want to improve and develop your skills as a martial artist (and get your money’s worth for the services you’re purchasing), then you have to be consistent and show up to training regularly.

And consistency in one area has a tendency to spread to other areas.

4. Personal Integrity

Do you do the right thing when the right thing is required?

Many people have difficulty orienting their moral compass. Martial arts can help straighten the crooked areas in your psyche. How? This art form is based on a foundation of honor and respect. For this reason, those who train in martial arts are typically more conscious (and careful) of their actions, as they operate from a set of ethical values.

Now, that doesn’t mean every martial artist is a saint.

On the contrary, there are countless fighters (and combat leagues as well as martial arts organizations, for that matter) who are less holy. However, it does mean that generally speaking, people who train in martial arts have a stronger set of principles that they adhere to.

5. Emotional Control

Have you been in traffic where someone gets cut off?

And then you see them lose all emotional self-control as they begin screaming, cursing, and flipping off the vehicle that slighted them? This situation illustrates someone with no inner restraint. And I guarantee that person doesn’t train in martial arts.

Martial arts builds self-discipline in numerous aspects of your life.

And emotional discipline is one of the most important of those aspects. People who train are constantly put under pressure during their training regimes. As a result, they typically have a handle on their emotions when things don’t go their way in the real world.

And this brings us to the next facet of how martial arts training can make you disciplined.

6. Composed Under Pressure

Life isn’t always a streamlined experience.

On the contrary, many times, things can get in a knot. And when a heated situation springs up or when things don’t go your way, how do you handle yourself? Do you fold under pressure? Or do you remain calm and composed, facing the storm head-on until it passes?

Martial arts builds self-discipline in many ways.

And perhaps the best way is your ability to remain composed under pressure. This skill will develop in you the more you train. After being exposed to countless intensive experiences brought on in the form of training, you’ll become a master at remaining composed in difficult situations in your day-to-day life.

Look at someone like Khabib Nurmagomedov, for example.

He’s a Russian retired professional mixed martial artist. With a record of 29 wins and 0 losses in his professional fighting career, Nurmagomedov is one of the calmest, most pacified people you’ll ever see.

7. Goals and Ambition

Do you struggle with goals and dreams?

Studying and training a martial art can help sharpen your ambition. It’s a confidence builder, serving as a pillar of self-esteem that bolsters your competence to go after larger aspirations. The more you train, the more you develop your skills in whatever martial arts discipline you’re participating in.

As a result, you feel more capable of pursuing other goals.

8. Steadfast Dependability

Martial arts is your greatest tool for self-improvement.

It humbles you, builds self-respect and confidence, and makes a steadfast and reliable person out of you. A good example of this is Sandman. He creates Brazilian jiu-jitsu content on YouTube, where he offers random people on the street money if they can tap him out.

His life was going down the drain in his earlier years.

He would literally hit the streets looking to get into fights. Every weekend, he would deliberately find an altercation. As you can imagine, this quickly began to spin out of control—that is until he found BJJ.

Now, he has turned his life around and creates entertaining and inspiring BJJ content on YouTube.

He is an advocate of martial arts, promotes positivity in his community, and inspires others through his entertaining content. If that doesn’t make you a reliable force in the world, I don’t know what will.

Final Thoughts

Martial arts builds self-discipline in many ways.

However, one of the overarching benefits of taking up a martial art is the character development you undergo. For this reason, I believe training in a combat sport is one of the best things you can do to fast-track your personal growth.

If you’re looking for additional self-improvement tips, be sure to sign up for The Motivated And Disciplined Newsletter below for weekly tips delivered to your inbox.

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