8 Benefits of Studying Martial Arts

Are Martial Arts Effective

Here at Tiger Martial Arts Academy, We are dedicated to teaching martial arts to the highest standards with classes held by fully qualified, CRB/DBS-approved instructors.

With our emphasis on safety, we are the first choice for families and individuals in Oxford interested in martial arts.

We have carefully selected 8 key benefits to studying Martial Arts, we hope you are inspired to begin your Martial Arts journey at TigerMA!


1. Building Self-Confidence

The impact that Martial Arts can have on an individual’s confidence is massive and often under-appreciated. Martial Arts offer people of all ages an opportunity to build their confidence and revive a low self-esteem. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re bigger, smaller or slower than most of your peers, Martial Arts training will teach you that once you step on to that mat you are equal. These factors that might’ve once discouraged you from trying new things won’t impact your chances of success as long as you are willing to learn and work hard.

Throughout the process of Martial Arts training, goals will be set for students to reach. As they meet certain milestones and start to recognise the progress they’re making, more and more self-belief is built. This is will feed into all aspects of the person’s life, helping them to succeed at school, work, in their social life, as well as in training.

Businessman pretending to be a martial artist

2. Developing a Strong mentality

Practicing Martial Arts requires a certain mentality and level of self-discipline. In order to master one of the Martial Arts, students need to learn and develop good habits, build will power and practice self-control. The discipline and resilience that comes from learning Martial Arts can be hugely influential in the lives of young people, especially in education. Students learn how to build their mental strength, resulting in improved concentration and dedication.

When learning Martial Arts, you are taught to remain calm and collected in stressful situations. This can be very useful when applied to numerous contexts outside of training. For example, if your child struggles with anxiety and is self-conscious, any setback can be difficult for them to deal with themselves. However, Martial Arts training teaches coping strategies for people to apply when faced with adversity, meaning that they are less impactful and easier to overcome.

Papercut head with fire inside

3. Learning to defend yourself

Woman defending herself against man with a knife at self defence class.

It’s unfortunate that in this day and age people still need to learn self defence skills to feel safe out in public. However, it’s very empowering to feel like you are capable of recognising and navigating dangerous situations, keeping yourself and loved ones out of harm’s way. Martial Arts training is one of the best ways you can learn to defend yourself.

If self defence is your primary motivation for Martial Arts training, it is important to consider which type of Martial Arts is right for you. There’s no officiating in a real world setting – it’s all well and good learning how to fight in an organised match with fellow Martial Artists – you must also have the appropriate skill set required to safely diffuse and get clear of threatening situations outside of the ring or off the mat.

The Best Martial Arts for Self Defence

Some of the best types of Martial Arts for self defence include Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Muay Thai, and Brazilian Ju Jitsu.

As the name suggests, MMA training blends all the best aspects and techniques from multiple selected Martial Arts, in order for the individual to develop a well-rounded skill set.

Muay Thai training combines standup fighting with grappling in the clinch which can be very useful for real world encounters which won’t be straight forward 1v1 affairs.

Brazilian Ju Jitsu training is much more grapple focussed, where the individual will learn different kinds of joint-locks and chokeholds. This Martial Art can be very effective for self defence if you are smaller in height and want to prepare for encounters with people taller than you.


A huge advantage of Martial Arts as a hobby is that it provides opportunity for regular exercise that is fun, rewarding and out of the ordinary. On average, only around 1 in 5 adults get the amount of exercise that is recommended by health professionals. Why should exercise be a burden? Depending on the intensity – a Martial Arts class can burn between 500-900 calories! Improve your aerobic fitness, reap all the health benefits, and burn fat whilst learning new skills and having a good time!

The exercise that Martial Arts practice provides has numerous health benefits. Check out some of the key advantages of working out this way below.

Woman doing stretches at the gym.

5. Physical health

Girl Running across black background.

One of the main physical benefits of Martial Arts training is the amount of physical strength it helps you to build. Whether you are striking, grappling or wrestling, there is a lot of physical exertion involved in Martial Arts practice, contributing to a growth in muscle mass and overall power. An advantage of increased muscle mass is that it results in a faster working metabolism, meaning that your body’s ability to burn calories is improved and that it’s easier to shift fat and lose weight!

Naturally, your body will also become more flexible overtime as you train in Martial Arts. This will be a result of the variety of throws, acrobatic strikes, high kicks and grappling/wrestling techniques you will be practicing. The more flexible you are, the less likely you are to get an injury during training or other exercise. Flexibility can also contribute to an improved posture and balance, improving your overall physical performance.

Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Martial Arts

In addition, Martial Arts also help to vastly improve cardiovascular health. Some drills you encounter when practicing Martial Arts impact heart rate similarly to high intensity interval training, which has been proven to be very effective at improving heart health, overall fitness and endurance. A healthy heart has numerous benefits to your body’s overall health, such as the increased ability to maintain a normal blood pressure, prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of a heart attack.

In short, Martial Arts training will help you build a more powerful, flexible and overall healthier body. The benefits of Martial Arts training do not stop here though, it also has a massive positive impact on the mental health of students.

6. Mental health

Exercise is a hugely influential factor contributing to the overall mental health of the population. Any form of exercise has been proven to boost mood, alleviate the effects of anxiety, depression and stress, as well as improving overall mental alertness and cognition.

Martial Arts is great for improving mental health as not only is it a great form of exercise that can help relieve stress, but it also helps to encourage people who are socially withdrawn to come together, try something new, learn Martial Arts and socialise.

Female martial arts fighter laughing at the gym.

7. expanding your social circle

Two female martial arts fighters socialising at the gym.

As touched on previously, the social benefits of martial arts training can be massive. Classes bring like minded people together to learn, socialise and have fun – a fantastic opportunity to make new friends and build long lasting relationships.

Martial Arts training could be a fantastic opportunity for your child to not only learn practical skills but also to develop social skills that will be hugely important in everyday life as they grow up.

8. Mastering a new skill

There have been a lot of advantages discussed thus far regarding the benefits of martial arts classes and how they help students learn and grow. However, a significant yet simple benefit to Martial Arts training is purely mastering a new skill!

Learning new things, making small gains, seeing progress, reaching targets and achieving what you set out to achieve is massively satisfying for students of Martial Arts. There is nothing more motivating than recognising the rewards of your own hard work – this is a fantastic lesson for young people to learn and Martial Arts training teaches it.

Young male Martial Artist making respect sign in kimono.
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