Most of us turn to martial arts to learn an effective self-defense technique. However, one of the lesser-known benefits of practicing martial arts is improved self esteem. Like any other physical activity, martial arts have a strong impact on our mental and spiritual health. Does Martial Arts and self esteem impact each other? We think so.
Thousands of personal testimonies and ample scientific data indicate that martial arts boost confidence and enhance self-image, especially in teens and children. We wanted to take a deeper look.
What is Self Esteem?
Self-esteem refers to what we think of ourselves. This perception of how we view ourselves greatly influences how others view and label us. Becoming self-aware and confident is a natural process that progresses while you are training for martial arts. The chemistry and reasons behind this connection may be different for individual men and women. However, testing and pushing your limits give a deeper insight into your inner-self and become confident of your strengths.
It is common for parents of introverted or depressed children to enroll them in martial arts training. Not only this form of exercise prepares you to tackle any unexpected challenge; the rigorous physical activity helps you lose weight and raises your energy levels.
How Can Martial Arts Improve Your Self-Esteem?
Martial arts such as Aikido compels you to perform at your best and compete against your partners, without causing any harm. This healthy competition positively influences your self-esteem while keeping you empathetic of others’ needs and weaknesses. You focus on conquering your fears and insecurities to perform well without harming your opponent. This commitment and persistence builds self-confidence and alleviates stress.
As you progress through different belt-colors of Karate, your spirit and pride solidify your commitment to reach the ultimate. Whether your goal is to reach the coveted Black Belt, advance through different ranks, or winning a competition; you also strive to give your 100%, which does wonders to your self-esteem.
Kohlberg and Richman conducted a study in 1986 to discover the impact of martial arts on an individual’s self-esteem. This research involved 60 martial artists, who took part in the Battle of Atlanta tournament in 1985.
The researchers grouped the sample population into four categories, according to their expertise. Group 1 included participants who held white through gold belts while Group 2 had professionals with blue, green, and purple belts. Participants of Group 3 had brown or red belts while all participants of Group 4 held black belts.
A self-report questionnaire was used to determine the self-esteem of all subjects. Participants who held higher belts showed higher cores for ‘self-confidence.’ Such participants also performed better during the tournament.
Martial Arts and Self Esteem
Another study was conducted to study a sample population of 100 females, to test the same. Fifty-one of the participants practiced karate while the rest of the participants were offered general health classes, for a period of 18 weeks.
Using a self-concept test, before and after the sessions, the researchers discovered that women who took part in Karate sessions showed visible improvements in self-identity and self-esteem than the subjects who participated in health classes.
Research findings provide sufficient data to establish a strong connection between martial arts such as karate and self-esteem. When you trust in your abilities and understand your inner-self, you become more confident. You are determined to accomplish anything you set mind to and create tangible goals.
More and more people are turning to martial arts therapy for curing disorders related to the mind and body. People who have poor body image can greatly benefit from martial arts training.
Self-satisfaction is earned when you perform consistently well. Your confidence in your abilities grows as you continue to collect personal victories and attain a fit body. Thanks to higher self-esteem, you aim to achieve bigger things in life. Competing with others brings out your fighting spirit to overcome challenges.
Since martial arts are performed in a group setting, participants learn to work in teams and groups. Naturally, you overcome your anxiety and fears and learn to perform in social settings. Many participants claim to overcome their social anxiety and eating disorders after completing their martial arts training.
Martial Arts teach you to give you best without fearing the outcome. It also develops your coping and defense mechanisms by cultivating your logical analysis skills. Your newfound confidence stems from self-awareness and your drive to push your physical and mental limits. If you are ready for a self esteem boost, try a free class at Shin Gane today! You will be glad you did.