MA: General Info

Why Martial Arts Can Help Your Mental Health

Many people associate martial arts with self-defense and smashing piles of bricks with your bare hands. However, martial arts is also about self-discipline and inner peace. In this article you’ll discover why martial arts can improve mental as well as physical health, and some of the best ones to practice.


You’ll find huge benefits from learning martial arts skills including improved focus, better ability to deal with stress, supple joints, stronger immune system, and a lot more. Any one of the following martial arts can be learned with a qualified instructor. You may want to join a local class or even get your own private instructor.


Tai Chi


Thai Chi is the least likely martial arts to be associated with self defence. It’s slow, low impact movements are great for increasing joint flexibility. This is perfect for anyone experiencing Osteoarthritis symptoms as it can help relieve pain. All ages and abilities can safely practise this gentle martial art, even those in wheelchairs.


Judo is similar to Tai Chi in that it focuses on gentle movements. However, the ultimate aim is to be able to throw your opponent down using slow movements. Judo is great for building self-confidence and making you feel good about yourself. There are quite a few levels to master in judo with black belt being the ultimate. It requires self-discipline and focus to master any martial art, and developing these skills is great for mental health.

Any form of exercise including martial arts releases feel-good hormones or endorphins. These give a sense of well-being, banishing depression. Practicing a martial art could be a better alternative to prescription drugs.


Aikido is a Japanese martial art. Similar to Judo, it’s used for self-defense, overcoming opponents with their own energy in a soft and gentle way. Ai means harmony, and ki means energy. Aikido is also used in improving the mind, and meditation plays a big part. Zanshin is the name given to the practice of mindfulness in Aikido. Being mindful helps you stay focused on the present moment, reducing stress. It also helps sharpen the mind, improving focus.


Taekwondo is one of newer martial arts and created in the 1950s. Like the other martial arts mentioned here it promotes self-discipline and improves focus. Being able to concentrate your mind on one task at a time is hugely beneficial to mental health.

Whichever martial art you decide to practice will not only improve your physical well-being but mental as well. The mind and body are very closely connected, with mental health having a direct effect on the physical body.

Reducing stress not only makes you feel calmer but lowers blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attack or stroke. Practising martial arts can help you have a healthy body, and sharp, focused mind.