The benefits and drawbacks of martial arts

I have been going to Taekwondo classes for more than 7 years and plan to continue for the foreseeable future. So I think I safely say I have a passion for martial arts. While I was researching for this assignment, I came across an article titled “The social-psychological outcomes of martial arts practice among youth”. So, as someone within this category I thought it would be interesting to read and talk about the benefits and drawbacks of martial arts and my personal experience.


Alright let’s start with the perceived positives. Firstly martial arts is believed to provide positive learning opportunities for youth. In my experience, this is correct. I believe martial arts have contributed heavily to my increased discipline and adoption of new healthy habits over the years. Secondly, it has been suggested that martial arts training can improve self-reliance, enthusiasm and self-regulation. I have personally experienced these benefits over the years. Especially over the past few years, I have found myself using my time more effectively, setting goals and creating habits on my own and being more focused in and out of school.


Finally let’s talk about the perceived negatives. Critics of the effects of martial arts say that it encourages participants to be antisocial. Though the validity of these studies have been called into question, I believe the effects on socialization are neutral. It’s not a team activity so being social isn’t baked into the sport. But it doesn’t encourage people to be antisocial. I have met and talked to many new people and the instructors encourage positive social traits like respect. Another claim that I have seen is that martial arts, specifically combat competitions, promote aggressive behavior. I think this one is partially true. Of course you’re going to get aggressive in a sparring match, you want to win. This aggressiveness can be used as fuel or motivation to do better. And from watching and competing, I find that competitors are quite respectful out of the ring. But, I do think it may encourage already aggressive people to become more aggressive, so maybe the combat competition part of martial arts shouldn’t be for everyone.

In conclusion, I believe the positives of martial arts far outweigh the negatives. Martial arts provide many benefits while many of the negative are either minor or not proven.

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