The act of defending yourself and pushing your body to its extreme limits is something that has been the core-essence of martial arts practice. However, even in modern times, martial arts is still perceived or regarded as a masculine practice which may make many women apprehensive about taking it up. That said, as physically (and mentally) challenging it may be, martial arts offer immense benefits for both men and women.
Women, in particular, can benefit tremendously from practicing martial arts as it provides with a full body and mind workout that is not only beneficial to maintain a healthy physical body but can also help boost confidence.
In western countries such as the UK, many women not only opt to take up martial arts as a part of their fitness regime but also a way to learn self-defense moves. With UFC increasing in popularity amongst both men and women, it also drives demand for combat sports such as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Muay Thai.
On this post, I’ll be sharing 5 ways how martial arts can be an important tool in instilling confidence in women:
1. It empowers women
Growing up, young women may be faced with a multitude of issues such as being a subject of bullying, societal pressure to act in a certain way, and peer pressure.
In these instances, the practice of martial arts can help girls and women alike realize their self-worth, helps boost their self-confidence and self-esteem by way of developing mental fortitude and grit resilience. For example, some disciplines of martial arts follow the belt rank system wherein one works their way up to being promoted and earning different belts as per their skills. As you watch yourself being ‘promoted’ and being valued for your position, your self-confidence and self-esteem continue to rise.
2. It helps to develop superior focus
During martial arts sessions, participants are often to asked to spar with other practitioners in the class and at some point, may even spar with the instructor(s). Sparring does not necessarily mean participating in a ‘real’ fight. That said, sparring with an opponent may give you an uneasy feeling (or fear) but when done consistently, this feeling or belief tends to fade away as you tackle your fears head-on and doing so, the lingering doubts that one has about themselves gets immediately replaced with self-confidence and self-belief.
3. It improves physical strength
Having an active lifestyle is a healthy habit and one that should be followed to the “T” but most women find it difficult to find time for this endeavor on the account of other commitments in their lives and busy schedules.
The discipline of martial arts helps to increase your body’s strength. As you delve deeper into your training, you will feel a significant improvement in your overall physique and a significant transformation within your body like toned up physique and strength development within the body. This in itself acts as a huge confidence booster. Additionally, regular practice of ‘gentler’ disciplines such as Tai Chi can impact positively on older women as it enables them to stay active in their senior years.
Studies have also shown that constant practice and undergoing physical activity like martial arts can help women prevent the risk of physical injuries and mishaps.
4. It serves as a stress-busting tool
Stress is a common part and parcel of our lives. Our busy commitments in lives leave us with no room to release stress. Our routine jobs as a professional or a busy housewife just make us fall prey to the monotony of routine without leaving any room for venting out stress. Practicing martial arts can not only help to reduce stress but also help regulate our bodily functions.