Do the benefits of martial arts training outweigh the risks?

When you think of the martial arts, many adults and that’s me included!! We still picture Mr Miyagi from the Karate Kid Films. But ask a kid and they may talk about Master Shifu and his quotes:

“Before the battle of the fist comes the battle of the mind… then the dramatic entrance”
– Master Shifu

Martial arts has given us great TV programmes, a way to defend ourselves and the most brutal of sports on the planet. But is that it?

These days, the theraputic benefits of martial arts is rarely spoken about, but this was originally one of its greatest values.
This is partly becuase the original values of the martial arts has been dilluted over time but they’re not gone. When you watch a martial arts class these days, you’ll still see the remnants of the internal skills that made it invaluable.

Many of these benefits as mindset based. In our childrens Krav Maga classes, we still train centering our focus through breath control and mindfulness.

In Thai Boxing, you’ll see fighters wear a Mongkon to show gratitude for the people have helped them in their training.

In Brasilian Ju Jitsu, many players of the sport aim to focus their awareness on the present moment. They calmly acknowledge and accept one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations through an aspiration of flow from rolling.

In Tai Chi, the benefits that it has on reducing falls in our elderly and improving posture are well documented.

There are a number of risks from training in the martial arts. From being punched, dropped, strangled, kicked….. the list really does goes on.

But with our modern lifestyles and the many risks of illnesses being generated through stress and poor posture.

There’s a growing trend of evidence to show that the benefits of training in a martial art can greatly outweigh the risks long term.


Prev Sci. 2001 Dec;2(4):229-39. Tai Chi, self-efficacy, and physical function in the elderly.
M.ABrudnakDDunderoF.MVan Hecke. Are the `hard’ martial arts, such as the Korean martial art, TaeKwon-Do, of benefit to senior citizens?