What Martial Arts Can Teach You About Life

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Whenever I think of martial arts, I think of anime-inspired ninjas. I think of Mr. Miyaki from The Karate Kid and his “wax in, wax out” motto. I think of Jean-Claude Van Damme and his machochismo, as well as his fluid movements. I think of ..well, I think a lot of things when I think of martial arts.


What I don’t think of, though, is how martial arts is something that can teach me about life. Or rather, that’s how I used to think and that’s probably the same for you as well.

Martial arts is widely accepted as a form of self-defense and combat sport, but not as much of a tool to help teach someone about life.

The truth, though, is that martial arts can really teach you A LOT about what life is and how to deal with it.

Curious to see how? Then read on below.

  • In life, how you breathe helps with how you’re able to keep calm in any situation and in turn, it dictates everything in your life. From how you handle being rejected, to how you handle being in the middle of a fist fight, or how you handle the pressure of being the star athlete. And, efficient breathing doesn’t come easy. With martial arts, though, emphasis is put into it, making it easier to learn and develop, allowing you to learn how to breathe, not from just your lungs or just, but from within yourself.
  • Taking things slowly. In a world where efficiency is key to succeed, many people think that the faster you are, the more efficient you’ll be. In many cases, that’s true. But, there are cases where it couldn’t be any more of a lie. This is why, in martial arts, students are taught to take things slowly and to take things one step at a time. Or, as the common phrase goes, “to go fast, you have to slow down.”
  • The greatest battles are fought within yourself. Behind all the strikes, maneuvers, grapples, and other skills you’re taught in martial arts, many instructors or coaches will be the first to tell you that “conflict begins and ends from within”.

To be better in martial arts, and in turn, be better in life, one has to learn that the battles we face in life are nothing when we’ve learned how to face ourselves, our fears and our doubts.

  • The importance of the journey. We put so much emphasis on winning today that we often forget that it’s not always about the accolades and recognition. Sometimes, “winning” is a matter of perspective as it may come in the form of learning a lot from a loss. And, as a martial artist, you learn how you can expand your viewpoint to the point that you learn to value far more things than simply winning.

It doesn’t matter what form of martial arts you plan on training in.

What’s important is that you take into heart the teachings you learn and how you’re able to apply them in your life.

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