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Functional Fitness Through Martial Arts

By Noah Fleder »

The information provided herein is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as medical advice or to replace professional medical care. You should always seek the advice of a medical professional before starting any new medication or dietary supplement, as well as when starting new exercise regimens. The opinions stated herein are those solely of the writer who has been compensated by the up4® Probiotics Brand, and do not portray the opinions of the brand, i-Health, Inc., or DSM.

Through the combative teachings of martial arts, you learn so many tenants. One of the most useful skills I’ve personally learned is possessing the indomitable will to never give up. For years, I grew up getting beaten in sparring class, doing forms incorrectly, failing board breaks and not passing belt tests. But just like life, martial arts teaches you the ability to “roll with the punches.”

Below are five elements that benefit my fitness through martial arts.

  1. Having a highly functioning cardiovascular system. Sparring five, three-minute rounds kills your cardio system; or just trying to perform a Kata (traditional Japanese form) with full intensity helps test your anaerobic system.
  2.  Because martial arts focuses heavily on kicking, I make stretching a heavy part of my training. The health benefits of stretching alone will keep your muscles and joints strong for longevity!
  3.  Applying isometric work helps build what I call “real power” into my training. Whether it is holding my legs out in a kicking position or holding stances, I train all the minor muscle groups that traditional weight training neglects but martial arts heavily emphasizes.
  4. The agility required to perform kicks takes a great level of balance and coordination that is hard to find in other sports and in traditional fitness.
  5. Boxing requires tremendous muscular endurance, which is one thing I love about it. Maintaining power while your cardiovascular system is being tested, will have both your aerobic and anaerobic systems firing on all cylinders.

For new practitioners or more experienced artists, I highly recommend training martial arts because I believe no matter where we come from, the art of combat is in our DNA. Fighting is an art form that can teach you about life while getting you in great shape. Martial arts helps increase your flexibility while exerting tremendous strength and having the best cardio of your life.