If your goal is to improve your fitness or lose weight but you need to do something more exciting than jogging on the treadmill to motivate you, perhaps you should consider taking up martial arts such as boxing, kickboxing, karate or judo.

In this article, we list the top 10 reasons to consider doing martial arts for fitness and weight loss to help you decide if doing one is right for you.

1. Practice martial arts to lose weight

It is no coincidence that gyms, personal trainers, and producers of sports videos and DVDs are now massively incorporating training techniques and exercises from a wide variety of martial arts into their workouts.

Boxercise, Tae Bo, Cardio-Kickboxing, Kung Fu Aerobics, and personal trainers who use punching bags, center gloves, and kick pads in their sessions are just a few examples of how martial arts training can use cardio for fitness and weight loss.

Since martial arts training is usually high intensity and usually lasts at least an hour in most cases, it burns the maximum kilojoules or calories per workout and is therefore great for anyone who wants to lose weight and lose it fast.

2. Do martial arts for fitness

Most martial arts include exercises and drills that improve cardiovascular fitness and endurance, help build muscle strength and improve muscle flexibility so they are perfect for anyone who wants to improve their overall fitness.

Cardiovascular fitness improvements require us to raise our heart rate regularly for extended periods and most martial arts training can help us do that.

Improving the strength, size and shape of our muscles requires that we regularly subject them to some form of resistance training. Martial arts training helps provide this training by asking us to perform exercises such as push-ups and squats using our body weight for resistance.

Improved flexibility is a natural byproduct of martial arts training because most, if not all martial arts styles, include stretching exercises in their workouts.

As a result of providing all these fitness benefits, martial artists like boxers and kickboxers are widely regarded as being among the fittest athletes in the world, and practitioners of karate, judo, etc. are considered to be some of the strongest and most flexible athletes in the world.

3. Practice martial arts and self-defense

One of the most obvious benefits of practicing martial arts is that it equips us with the fitness, strength, skill, and techniques to protect ourselves from being attacked by others who are out to do us harm if the need arises.

Like an insurance policy, we hope you’re not in a position to use martial arts training to defend yourself, but it’s great to know that this ability exists just in case.

Since they are mainly concerned with raising our heart rates to burn energy and improve our fitness, many of the above workouts such as Tae Bo, Boxercise, etc. do not really provide this benefit to the same extent as doing martial arts training with a professional teacher in a martial arts school who only does one service – to teach you a specific martial art.

Many people mistakenly believe that because they hit the focus gauntlet 50 times during a session with their personal trainer, they know how to hit correctly and so can stand up for themselves if they need to. This is a huge mistake and we hope that these people will not find themselves in a situation where this belief will be tested.

Unless they have many years of martial arts training themselves, most personal trainers and gym instructors will not be able to advise you on your punching and kicking technique, they are only qualified to hold focus or kicking gloves for you while you punch or kick.

Remember, while these instructors may be great at what they do, they are more like aerobics instructors than specifically qualified martial arts instructors.

4. Practice martial arts and self-confidence

In addition to providing us with the ability to stand up for ourselves, one of the greatest personal benefits that martial arts training provides is a high degree of self-confidence.

This self-confidence results in part from knowing that we are better equipped to defend ourselves since we have done some martial arts training, but it also comes from a sense of accomplishment once we begin to master the techniques we were taught and the newfound confidence that results from feeling fitter and stronger and looking fitter and stronger.

Given that one of the first things to struggle with, and one of the hardest things to re-establish afterward, when we gain weight is our self-confidence, this benefit is especially valuable to those of us who struggle with a weight problem.

5. Practice martial arts to improve body balance and coordination

In addition to helping us become fitter and stronger, martial arts training usually involves mastering a range of techniques that require us to be well balanced and have superior physical coordination.

In learning to master these techniques, we naturally improve our balance and coordination which aids us in other aspects of our daily lives.

6. Do martial arts for variety

Martial arts training provides great variety in two ways.

First, martial arts training sessions have a great variety built into them by including warm-ups, cool-downs, stretching exercises, strength-building exercises, cardio exercises, and exercises designed to improve and teach a variety of techniques.

This variety is great for our mind as well as our body.

Second, there is such a wide variety of martial arts to study that we should be able to easily find the martial arts that suit our own goals and interests.

Whether we prefer to do a martial art that mainly revolves around striking or wrestling techniques or a perfect combination of both, or we want to study a highly technical or very simple style, the choice is great.

7. Martial arts practice teaches discipline and provides motivation

Everyone knows that studying martial arts requires discipline and learning it.

Since it is also goal-oriented, training in one of the many martial arts also provides a great deal of motivation.

Lack of discipline and motivation are among the most common reasons for weight loss failure and for this reason, doing martial arts for weight loss and fitness may help many of us who lack the discipline and motivation required to achieve our weight loss goals overcome these common barriers to success.

8. Practicing martial arts for spirituality

One definition of spirituality is “activities that rejuvenate, uplift, relax, heal, and inspire ourselves and those with whom we interact.”

Martial arts training has been practiced by millions of people for many centuries because, among other things, it has a great ability to elevate our spirit.

In addition to establishing a better connection between our mind and our body, it also has the ability to form a better connection between us and our world and between us and others.

9. Doing martial arts training is relatively inexpensive

Compared to joining a few gyms and hiring some personal trainers, training in a martial arts school or dojo is relatively inexpensive.

Many martial arts schools charge a very modest monthly fee for training, and the beauty of it is that you can train when and how often is convenient for you.

In addition to the low costs of ongoing training, purchasing uniforms and any equipment you may need for training will in most cases be relatively inexpensive as well.

10. The practice of martial arts has a social aspect

Many people who start out with martial arts training to lose weight, improve physical fitness, or for self-defense end up enjoying it the most because of its social aspects.

In addition to training and learning with others who have similar goals, many martial arts apprentices help encourage and motivate each other and end up becoming good friends.

Many martial arts instructors also have very friendly dispositions and promote a fun and friendly environment to train in which endears them to their students who also become close friends.


If your goal is to improve your fitness or lose weight but you need to do something more exciting than jogging on the treadmill to motivate you, perhaps you should consider taking up martial arts such as boxing, kickboxing, karate or judo.

In this article, we have listed the top 10 reasons to consider doing martial arts for fitness and weight loss to help you decide if doing one is right for you.

Categories: Weight loss


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