Topp Performance Martial Arts
What We Offer
Benefits of Martial Arts Training for Adults and Kids
While there are no statistics available for the number of Canadians who study martial arts at some point in their lives, anecdotal evidence suggests that it’s significant, perhaps in the range of 20%. Aside from the obvious benefit of teaching you how to defend yourself, studying a martial art has a long list of other benefits you may not have considered.
There are also some additional benefits for kids. Most dojos, and certainly ours here at Topp Performance, focus as much on teaching kids respect and self-control as we do on teaching the art itself. All kids benefit from these lessons, and even kids with behaviour issues show noticeable improvement in their demeanor with regular martial arts training.
Here at Topp Performance, we teach KickBoxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Above you’ll find a short synopsis of each. What follows below is a partial list of the many benefits of martial arts for your fitness, belief in yourself, and mood.
At Topp Performance, martial arts for kids is as much about teaching respect and self-control as it is about defense and fitness.
Full Body Workout
Any kind of martial arts training is an intense cardio, full-body workout that hits every major muscle group. You’ll develop better muscle tone, endurance, flexibility, balance and strength.
Improved Cardio Fitness
Did we mention it’s an intense cardio workout? Your sensei will push you to your limits and beyond and you will achieve new levels of cardio fitness beyond what any other form of exercise, save perhaps CrossFit (we offer that too), can offer you. You have no idea how exhausting twenty minutes of continuous sparring can be until you experience it for yourself!
Looking to shed a few pounds? Combined with a proper diet (see our Nutrition section for lots of informative articles about that) the kind of intense cardio workout you’ll get from studying a martial art will melt the fat off your body and replace it with lean muscle.
Martial artists are often the most flexible of any kind of athlete. As part of your training you’ll be encouraged to develop greater flexibility. This flexibility will pay benefits and not just in being able to kick higher either. Flexibility helps to prevent injury when doing anything physical, and also goes a long way toward keeping us mobile as we age.
While your reaction time is a function of genetics and your fitness level, martial arts will train your brain to respond to threats in a way that can seem almost prescient when you reach a high enough level of proficiency. In time you’ll learn to read what your sparring partner or opponent is about to do just by the way they are standing, by a shift in balance or even something as subtle as where their eyes are looking. Once you get to this point, you’ll be moving before they are and the blow they aimed at you will meet only empty air.
In addition, martial arts training also teaches you to overcome your unconscious response to an incoming threat – closing your eyes and turning away. While this is a natural reflex that helps to protect our vision, it almost guarantees you’ll get hit. Once you learn to keep your eyes open and either move or block, you’ll find yourself doing this in any split-second situation and you’ll be far less likely to take an injury as a result.
Among the many physical benefits of martial arts training is improved flexibility. This means greater mobility and a lower risk of injury, regardless of what activity you are engaging in.
Mental and Emotional Benefits
Martial arts training has many benefits beyond the merely physical. You'll be calmer, more confident, slower to anger and learn greater self-control. Exercise in general also pays many benefits for our mood and outlook on life.
It’s more than just knowing you can handle a physical threat to your person. Martial arts teaches you goal setting and a sense that you can do anything you set your mind to. MA training is tough – very tough, and when you find that you can not only hack it, but excel at it, you gain a greater belief in your own abilities. And knowing you can defend yourself helps a lot too!
Be a Better Person
Early in this article, we pointed out that one of the major benefits for kids studying martial arts is that they are taught respect and self-control. This applies to adults too. Think of all the situations in your adult life when you’ve lost your temper, or had your judgment clouded by hostile emotions. MA training will teach you self-control. After you’ve spent hundreds of hours on the mat getting hit, you’ll find that it’s much easier to control your response to a threatening or frustrating situation, even when the circumstances are entirely emotional. This will pay great benefits in your personal relationships. Getting angry and losing our temper never makes a situation better.
Martial arts teaches focus and concentration. When you’re on the mat, your world narrows to a single point – your opponent(s). In addition, learning katas and forms helps to train your memory and sharpen your focus. When every move must be a precise balance of foot placement, body posture, arm position and a keen awareness of our peripheral vision you will learn to focus. This, combined with greater self-confidence, teaches you to calm your thoughts and concentrate on the task at hand, whatever it may be.
Any consistent and intense form of physical exercise has a long list of mental and emotional benefits, but we’ve addressed that extensively in this article: The Hidden Benefits of Exercise
Of course, in addition the many benefits discussed in this article, you'll also learn how to defend yourself - even against larger, stronger assailants. Self-defence is a strength negator. It's all about speed and technique.
Mental and Emotional Benefits
Of all forms of exercise, it could easily be argued that nothing approaches the extensive benefits of martial arts training. Whether you choose KickBoxing or Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t matter. What does matter is commitment, consistency, and intensity. Focus on these and the benefits listed above are just some that you will receive from MA training.