There are many benefits to practicing martial arts but can practicing martial arts also help you in your career? Each of the following articles comes from distinctly different martial arts backgrounds. There are a plethora of different martial arts schools and traditions in the world today, so this is just a sample. While you may not be the next Bruce Lee, martial arts may be a way to help you stay happy and healthy.
Andrew Grifftiths, practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, touts the intellectual quality of the Art, and lists eight attributes that can help further your career:
- Fitness & Appearance
- No Fear of Confrontation & Control of Adrenalin – Be Polite & Courteous But Direct
- Determination – Adopt a Focused & Motivated Mind-Set
- Tolerance – Be Patient With Others Who Are Still Learning
- Humbleness – Lose the Ego
- Discipline – Don’t Make Excuses
- Stress Release – Find a Way to Release Tension & Negative Energy
- Confidence – Confidence Built Outside the Workplace Can Transfer to the Workplace
I think we can agree that all of these can help one be successful in leadership as well.
Mr. Griffiths also reminds us that the first and foremost attribute of martial arts is that they teach us to “fight.” To put it another way, a martial art can develop the resilience necessary to confront the inevitable stumbling blocks we encounter in life and work in a positive way. A student will eventually internalize the external techniques studied on the mat developing character. Ultimately, martial arts can help your career and should translate well in any leadership role or in team building.
An article published by Dark Horse, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, by an unnamed writer I assume to be the head instructor, tells of his experience of his earlier students returning to him to tell him how their training enhanced their careers.
He lists five points these longtime students related to him:
- Self Confidence
- Continuous Self-Improvement
Classic Fight Team, a mixed martial art, published a blog listing five career supporting attributes of martial arts:
- Improved Focus
- Creative Thinking
- Embrace Challenges
- Continuous Learning
- Stress Relief
An article by Evolve MMA provided its take on how martial arts can boost a career with these five attributes:
- Will get better at thinking out of the box
- Won’t get distracted as easily
- Will always strive to be better than you were yesterday
- Won’t shy away from challenges
- WIll learn to look on the bright side of life
Practicing martial arts helps you focus on the important matter at hand despite distractions. It takes time to master any art including martial arts and many people also learn dedication. After learning the basics, practice becomes easier, and more enjoyable, as you learn the value of perseverance and endurance. Naturally, improved skill results in increased self-confidence through training. Students often begin to understand that with time and practice they can achieve remarkable goals, learn new skills, and accomplish difficult tasks.
There is no doubt that these virtues can advance a career. Many of the qualities sought after in leaders are developed in the Dojo. One of the most important qualities of martial training is learning how to work well with others.
Virtually all martial arts have the family model of a training school in common. In a very short time, students begin sharing with newer students things they have learned. Many martial arts are practiced in pairs and are fairly intimate. Grappling and sparring can be really fun and help students gain body confidence.
If you have an interest in martial arts, you need to find a place where you feel aligned with the teaching and enjoy the training. How do you choose among the endless options in the world of martial arts?
Here are some important considerations:
Different martial arts require different time commitments. Make sure you know how much time you can invest to keep balance in your life. The goal is stress relief, not additional stress.
Location is critical because distance equals travel, equals time, might equal stress.
Check out any instructor carefully before you make any type of commitment. Great teachers tend to be experienced, humble, and welcoming.
- Look fo happy students training hard
Try to picture yourself training with the people you see. Are they having serious fun? Are they respectful and welcoming?
- Beware of McDojos
Sadly, there are frauds everywhere including martial arts, so it is important to check out any school. How long has the school been there? The most obvious clue is a complicated scheme of colored belts resulting in a black belt in six months for a steep price in advance.
- Does the school love beginners?
What to Keep in Mind
The most important clue to judge any martial arts school worthy of the name is its attitude toward new students. Beginners are so important to any school. So everyone should be ready to help any beginner at any time of any ability or no ability. That is to say successful schools are successful because they treat everyone with respect. Most good schools emphasize everyone working together to improve their individual situation.
My last admonition is to avoid martial arts that spend a lot of time philosophizing; Specifically about the mysterious or magical powers of their respective disciplines. There are some mind-boggling truths revealed with much practice concerning the physical and mental power a person can develop over decades of dedicated practice, as is the case with every serious art. But the bottom line is that skill comes with dedicated training.
Interested in hobbies like martial arts that help you with your career? The coaches at Ignite Your Potential are here to help. Reach out and take advantage of our complimentary 25-minute phone sessions.