It can be hard to find hobbies as an adult. In between work and taking care of our families and trying to exercise, who has time for one more thing?

That’s why so many people turn exercise into a hobby.

Whether it’s playing a pickup game with your friends, golfing on the weekends, or coaching your kid’s soccer team, it’s important to enjoy the things that keep us fit.

One potential exercise that’s often overlooked by adults is martial arts, a term that can encompass a wide variety of activities. But these classes are not just for kids with bullies. Adults can gain a great many benefits from practicing martial arts as well, which many people realize once they enroll their children.

With that in mind, here are the top 5 reasons adults should consider taking up martial arts too.

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1. Stress relief

We all feel it. According to the Mental Health Foundation:

In the past year, 74% of people have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.

Caused by any number of things, from debt, the health of a loved one, housing worries, or even body image, we all feel stressed out.

Along with stress comes depression and anxiety.

Having something to focus on and getting moving in a supportive and healthy environment can do wonders for all kinds of stress.

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2. Community support

If the past year showed us anything, it was how important having a community can be.

Whether you needed to rely on your herd to help take care of your kids while you were working, to get you groceries when you were sick or in quarantine, or just to chat and boost you up when you were feeling down and disconnected, I bet you realized who was important in your life.

Taking martial arts classes can offer you a supportive community outside of work and home, new friends, facing challenges together, and encouraging each other in solidarity.

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3. A sense of accomplishment

There’s nothing quite like setting tangible goals and meeting them to feel accomplished.

As explained by Happiness On:

Research has shown that personal goals that are congruent with your interests increase your emotional well-being.

This means that working on your goals makes you happy.

And martial arts with progressing “belt” levels, like Karate, Judo, and Taekwondo are all about setting clear, concrete goals.

Meet your goals and progress to the next level, with a fancy new belt to show off your skills.

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4. Self esteem

Just as it feels good to make progress towards a goal, martial arts can make you feel more confident.

Whether it’s because you feel safer in your environment or because you’re more in touch with your body and its place within the world, there is something to be gained for everyone.

As Life Hacker points out:

Moreover, you’ll learn how to cultivate a sense of resilience when placed under pressure.

Training can be grueling (if you take it seriously), and you might find yourself under more physical strain than you ever have been before, but you’ll also find that you have the fortitude to keep going in the face of that exertion, and that you can stay calm amid the intensity of a sparring round.

And not only that, but the work out can help you get in great shape, too, which can also boost self esteem.

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5. Self defense

Okay, I saved the obvious one for last.

But we’ve all felt threatened from time to time, especially if you’re a woman who has ever walked to your car alone after dark.

Learning self defense moves, no matter your age, can go a long way to assuaging those little fears.

But knowing what to do is not always obvious, especially in a moment of panic.

The discipline and training of martial arts can help you keep a cool head, and fall back on your training in a crisis.

For a few great tips that you could learn thanks to martial arts, watch this excellent YouTube video on self defense for women, made by women:

Those are all excellent reasons to sign up for a martial arts class.

It’s an idea I’ve had kicking around in the back of my mind for awhile. Maybe it’s finally time to take the leap.


What about you? Would you consider taking a class? Tell us in the comments.