Whether the last 12 months have been some of the best or some of the worst, the good news is you can now start planning for the next year and setting the goals that you want to achieve.
It’s natural to want more, so every year we make resolutions, promises to ourselves that we’ll, push harder, lose weight, eat better, get fitter, work towards that promotion at work, quit your job, the list goes on.
Whilst it’s hard sticking to these resolutions, we all make these resolutions in an effort to improve ourselves, ours standard of living or to achieve that goal we’ve been thinking about for some time, and the New Year seems like the perfect motivator to get started. Whilst it’s not the only time that you can set new goals, it probably helps that there’s a whole host of other people with a ‘Let’s do it’ attitude for a (short) period of time. As the long dark Leeds January days go on, keeping that attitude and motivation is hard, but imagine if you were surrounded by people with a similar mentality each week all year round!
Martial arts are generally individual ‘sports’, with very few of them offering opportunity to really compete as a team, like you would say in football or rugby etc. That being said, every training session is a group pursuit towards self-development and improvement and ‘the team’ surrounding you during those training sessions is a key part of ensuring you maintain your motivation and achieve your goals.
So, let’s look at how starting a martial art can help you achieve all your goals next year and why it will help you improve your overall lifestyle and attitude to life.
1. Get fit and Lose Weight
Whether losing weight is a priority or not, getting fit or simply improving your fitness will have a big impact on not only your body but your mental attitude and well-being.
Taking up a martial art and training regularly will definitely see you improve your fitness and probably get you into the best shape of your life. The variety of movements and training techniques ranging from cardio based workouts to strength, flexibility and speed will ensure that you develop a dynamic all round fitness.
2. It's a Challenge
Not only will taking up a martial art provide you with a great level of fitness but it will challenge you in many ways aside from the physical aspect.
One of the reasons why many people do not end up seeing their resolutions through and making it a part of their normal routine is that far too often the ‘new’ becomes the ‘old’. Gym workouts and routines become stale and boring. Starting a martial art will see you challenging your self to learn new techniques, spar against someone better, and no doubt the instructor will be by your side demanding more from you to help you reach your goals.
Martial arts allows you to start just as a fitness ambition but provides a whole host of other opportunities for development and challenge such as competitions and fights, should you wish to go down that route.
Every time you step into the dojo you’ll be in for a new experience a new lesson.
3. Make friends
If you’ve been a gym goer in the past or are on e currently you might have noticed that you can attend the same classes week in and week out or go at the same time, recognise people by site, but after years you are likely to have never had a meaningful conversation with them aside form a polite smile at the water fountain.
Martial arts again, whilst often quite individual demands that you socialise and interact with your fellow martial artists to improve. No one ever got good at boxing or fighting by punching and kicking thin air, you need to interact and meet and train with others to improve and also to have fun.
The likelihood is that when you start of at a club you’ll be working with people of similar experience and together you will progress and work hard, which gives you both a great sense of belonging and achievement.
Many martial arts clubs might give an air of intimidation as you walk in, and you might feel like you’re being challenged or judged just walking in the door, if that’s the case, it’s unlikely to be place that will foster self-improvement and development. Find a club or dojo, where when you walk in you’re greeted with a smile and relax atmosphere.
4. Learn something new
For many people this will be the biggest hook that keeps them coming week in and week out. As humans we love to learn, we love to feel like we are progressing, martial arts will offer this to you and will keep you fit at the same time.
Joining a gym doesn’t offer quite the same level of engagement, a treadmill is a treadmill, aerobics is aerobics, once you’ve mastered the dead lift you’ll just lift more. Martial arts offers endless learning and room for engagement.
You may start off learning some basic self-defence moves, then move on to striking, grappling, throwing each of which has endless learning potential, many martial artists dedicate their lives to just one of these groups of skill.
Depending on the club or martial art there will also be levels of progression that you can achieve as you improve, always giving you something to work towards.
5. Be yourself
Aside from the physical benefits of martial arts there is also a strong emphasis on mental and personal development.
Whilst training you will learn new things about yourself, and get a better understanding of what you are capable of. Martial arts will allow you to be you, and express yourself in your training like other more conventional fitness routines wont.
Martial arts will allow you to identify your key skills and teach you how to hone them to your advantage. It will develop your self-confidence, and this will spill over into your personal and professional life.
So, if you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution that will really kick start your year and help you not only achieve your primary goals, but also spill over into the rest of your life, then starting a martial art must be on the top of your list.
Ichiban Leeds - Martial arts classes
Here at Ichiban Leeds we offer a variety of traditional martial arts for both adults and children, including karate, Aikido, Jiu Jitsu, Judo and muay thai.
We’re always taking on new members of all levels and with a variety of goals. If you’re not so sure about diving straight into a martial art just yet, why not attend our Friday evening Fighting Fit sessions, which will give you a small taste of martial arts and definitely improve your fitness in a safe friendly and welcoming environment.