Should Everyone Practice Martial Arts?

Dan Couzens Martial Arts Explored


I have long thought that if you’re passionate about your subject, enjoying the study, the practice and the pursuit of excellence then there is also the deep feeling of wanting to share it..

I feel like this with martial arts, it’s been an incredibly rich and rewarding journey, sure there has been up’s and downs and the road has often times been bumpy, but that’s life.

Here are 10 reasons to get involved
(not in any particular order)

1/ The Focus

In an earlier blog I talk about getting organised and gaining focus. When you learn a new technique you are organising your mind, developing awareness of the body to understand the pattern of technique.
I am making a guess here but I sense that this is a very healthy thing for the brain and the body to do; to concentrate on a single task with such intent nothing else matters. I see it week in week out, people turning up to the dojo with work on their minds feeling tired after a hard day, then after some more hard work on the mat they leave the dojo feeling energised and mentally refreshed. Amazing!

2/ The Fitness

You need aerobic, anaerobic, flexibility, strength, coordination and stability, you need them all and they will all develop with you as you progress. Also it is common for people to train in martial arts for decades. What is better, a 6 week fitness blast or decades of consistent physical work?

3/ The Camaraderie

Each dojo is unique, unique style, unique approach, unique teacher and therefore the journey you go on in each dojo is unique and only shared with others in the same dojo.
Over the years you’ll recognise this in each other and a strong bond forms. New starters can sense this as soon as they turn up for the free intro. The atmosphere created by the work ethic of the Bushido Bristol students is palpable; come along and see for yourself.

4/ The Combative Skill

If martial is in the title, then martial should be in the content. The combative skills you will learn with Bushido Bristol Martial Arts are highly effective. The speed, power and accuracy of the techniques as well as the force of spirit and mental attitude that we can help you develop will equip you well for a real life encounter.
Combative skill is not just about your fighting ability, it’s about awareness, alertness and behaviours see blog on self defence circles

5/ The Confidence

There is no doubt about it, martial arts training leads to greater confidence. I irreverently refer to confidence as kung-Fu. I know its cheeky but I love the line your kung-Fu must be strong, your confidence must be strong. I joke with my students on this all the time, we can over react when we feel an element of us is threatened and sometimes this threat is simply a lack of confidence meaning your kung-fu is weak!

Martial arts not only deals with the threat but also gives you the awareness to notice when you feel threatened. Kung-Fu practitioners, please don’t take this as disrespectful, we wear pyjamas with different coloured belts, so lets not get too serious!!!

6/ The Challenge

People can be at their happiest when facing some kind of challenge in a direction they wish to pursue. Again, this is a guess but I think this is because we have to tap into potential and push our abilities onwards in order to meet the challenge. Pushing ones ability can be totally stimulating especially if there is risk. Read the book, ‘Rise of the supermen’ by Steven Kotler and you’ll find an extreme version of what I am saying.

7/ The Artistry

Sometimes the movements in martial arts are like poetry in motion. If you are watching, it’s inspiring and if you are the person who’s performing the techniques and expressing themselves there is no feeling like it. It can arise from any of the techniques in fact; it’s not about the technique it’s about you and the space you are in.
You see it in sport sometimes, there are athletes that have that extra bit of time, that extra bit of finesse and control, and the best athletes are also artists of their discipline.

8/ Awareness

Martial arts can be a personal development system that uses the combative scenario as stimulus for learning and performance. Development of body awareness is the first step to greater awareness. Awareness can mean your ability to directly observe you internal and external environment and therefor make better choices, but it can also mean the ability to learn and gain new knowledge and understanding. You cannot know too much, but you can overvalue what you know.

9/ Creativity

Creativity is part of what it is to be a human being, it’s one of our universal traits, however, it is one area that seems to be underdeveloped and undervalued in our society. Watch the Ted Talk by Sir Ken Robinson – Do Schools Kill Creativity? I love what he has to say. The good news is that creativity can flourish in later life. I push myself to find new ways to teach, this is because if I am not excited and enthused about the subject, how can I expect you to be!

10/ The Norm

Doing something in your week that’s outside the Norm can be hugely beneficial, I aim to make training like pit stops for your professional and personal life. You turn up and leave feeling revitalised.
Focus on something other than the serious stuff, give yourself a break and discover something new.

Dan Couzens