The Mental Benefits of Karate and Martial Arts at Douvris
The physical benefits incorporated with martial arts are lengthy- but have you ever considered the even longer list of mental benefits? Martial arts connects deeply with a balance of both the body and the mind. When it comes to improving of one’s mental health, the balance is no different.
Douvris Martial Arts is a mindfulness forward dojo. In which, we aim to improve upon one’s mental health daily through combatting stress, incorporating physical exercise, and working to improve self esteem.
Relieving Stress With Martial Arts
From the minds of senseis to students, stress and martial arts always go hand in hand. Martial arts has a unique way of being able to tackle stress by two points. One, being through the mindful focus and calmness needed to excel in the art. Two, being the physical action of releasing stress through a series of movements. Most commonly, Douvris Martial Arts works to relieve stress through the process of deep breathing, the implementation of stress meditations, and the concept of kata.
Stress Relief Through Deep Breathing
In martial arts, it is believed that much of one’s energy, focus, and calmness can be directly attributed to proper breathing. Taught in the dojo and often referred to as a sense of meditation, this simple process can have an incredible effect on how one performs in their art and in life. Beyond the successes in the dojo, this transferrable skill also has a direct effect on one’s overall mental health. Deep breathing practices are also used as a technique to reduce levels of stress and anxiety. Although you may not realize it, by implementing this into your sessions at the dojo, you are working on your mental health at the same time.
Stress Relief and the Mind
Mindfulness is a very key component of our dojo culture. Having the ability to be in control and in touch with your mind reflects significantly in one’s level of experience in the dojo. With that, our teachers compliment many of our sessions with stress meditation and mindfulness training.
Stress Relief and Kata
Another element that follows very closely alongside martial arts is the practice of kata. Kata is a Japanese word that directly translates to ‘form’ or ‘direction’. However, in a much deeper sense, this refers to the fundamental movements of martial arts.
Maintaining a proper practice of kata requires a deep level of concentration and focus. Something in which that typically can only be achieved with a calm mindset. With calmness comes focus, and with focus comes kata, which helps to maintain a clear and calm sense of mind.
Inviting physical exercise into your life is a near sure-fire way to improve one’s mental health. This is where endorphins come into play. If you are not familiar with the process, endorphins are released when your body gets moving. These are like little positivity triggers that float through the brain. They’re known to give you a buzz along the way and help to improve one’s overall mental health.
In addition, physical exercise also improves one’s…well, physical health. With physical health comes visual progress. Having the ability to see your goals being achieved can have a key play in one’s sense of confidence.
Increasing Self Esteem Through Martial Arts Karate and Martial Arts as a whole are very structural and achievement-based. Both externally being physically, but more important- internally. Internally referring to mentally. Much of one’s success refers to how they approach situations in their mind. Oftentimes, students have the capability to achieve their goals long before they do, they just need the confidence to try- and try again.
All of this stems from one’s self-esteem. Self-esteem paints a different picture for everyone, but the beauty is that the painting is never finished. Embarking in challenges that helps one master new techniques and achieve new levels is an incredible method to boosting inner self-esteem. Some common ways that this is achieved in the dojo are:
- Through the growth and achievements of belt ranks.
- Through the mastering of skills. Sensei leadership and student repetition can allow one to develop new skills that they can then put forth in the dojo with confidence.
- Naturally with age and experience. Students will achieve internal self-esteem without realizing as they become more and more familiar with martial arts over time.
Physical benefits are easy to see with martial arts, but it is always important to be aware of the many more mental benefits as well. Incorporating the proper balance that martial arts brings into your life can be a key factor to improving upon mental health. You can read more about our martial arts methods here.
Please note this article is based on our own thoughts and has not been formally approved by a healthcare or fitness professional.