How Martial Arts Make You Fit

In order to get in shape, you need to make a serious commitment and work on your physique over the course of months and years. Sadly, a lot of people simply don’t have this kind of discipline. The solution to this problem lies in the idea of trying out martial arts. This is an effective and fun way of exercise that benefits both your mind and body in so many different ways. With that in mind and without further ado, here’s how martial arts make you fit.

1. It’s incredibly exhausting

The first thing you need to know about any kind of martial art is that it can be incredibly physically exhausting. Take any list of physically exhausting sport and chances are that you’ll see both boxing and MMA amongst the top 5 (boxing usually taking the No.1 spot). This could be quite problematic for beginners, seeing as how they might need to take light versions of training in order to make it past a certain point. Once they’re ready, however, they’ll be able to withstand even the harshest of training sessions, thus pushing the limits of their possibilities.

2. It involves a lot of HIIT

In most combat sports, there’s a round system (usually 2, 3 or 5 minutes each). This is why most of the training sessions are segmented in such a way. For instance, if you were to train boxing, each training would be segmented in a similar way a regular match would. You do an exercise for 3 minutes (skip rope, shadow boxing, bag punching, pad work or sparing) and then you rest for 1 minute (as much as you would in a regular match). This system can be considered as HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and it’s great for burning calories and, overall, an efficient condition training.

3. Something for everyone

The key to making it in any physical activity lies in maintaining a certain amount of continuity. To do this, you need to find something that you like, which is quite easy due to the fact that martial arts and combat sports are umbrella terms. Boxing, MMA, wrestling and fencing are completely dissimilar sports and you have the privilege to choose what you believe suits you the most. This freedom of choice drastically increases your chances of picking something that you know will work in your case. Websites like Fighting Report can help you figure out which of these martial arts and combat sports would work best in your case.

4. Keeping you motivated

Another thing you need to understand about combat sports and some martial arts is the fact that there’s a lot of sparing. Here, being out of shape may result in a worse outcome, which makes people motivated to work harder during their training in order to avoid it. This goes even for someone who trains martial arts recreationally. For the competitor, the more beating they take in sparing, the less they’ll take in the competition. Unlike weight lifting where if you have a dad day, you’ll just slightly underperform, with martial arts, there’s a real and imminent physical danger.

5. It gives you a reason to change your lifestyle

Still staying on the topic of motivation, what you need to understand is the fact that as you become better at a certain martial art, you’ll virtually get addicted to the effects of this physical and mental transformation. Sure, you may have started to learn a thing or two that will help you become better at self-defense or to get in shape a bit but as time goes by, you’ll feel the need to push your boundaries. There are a lot of people who completely changed nutrition in order to get in shape for the martial art that they’re training and there are a lot of people who started lifting weight for this same reason. There’s also no small number of those who quit smoking and alcohol to pursue this passion.

6. It gives you a great variety

Unlike with weightlifting, calisthenics or running, you’re not doing the same thing over and over again. For instance, MMA training sessions are separated into grappling and striking, sometimes this segregation goes even further (boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, BJJ, etc.). This means that you’ll get to work on so many skills simultaneously and this will reduce the probability of getting bored in the process. Same goes for other combat sports (even though the variety is not as great), For instance, in boxing, you have conditioning training, sessions where you work on your technique, strength training, and sparring sessions.


In the end, getting physically fit is just one of the positive effects of training martial arts. Mental discipline, self-confidence, and positive lifestyle changes are just some examples of benefits that one gets to reap from engaging in martial arts and combat sports. On top of it all, you will have a chance to get in a great physical shape, which is an incredible motivator on its own.

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