4 Reasons Martial Arts are Essential to Building Confidence, Mastering Self-Discipline, and Complete Self-Improvement.


Confidence and Self-Discipline are essential to everyone. If you have those two elements you can face fears and ignore distractions when necessary.  Studying Martial Arts is one of the best ways to cultivate these and other essential traits required to unleash your potential. Martial Arts Confidence is a mental state that can be carried to any area of your life. With lowered stress, you naturally feel more capable of handling yourself in any situation. 

I recently walked into an MMA gym to try a striking and grappling class. The instructor taught us basic footwork in the striking class plus how to jab and cross. It didn’t seem too difficult, so I signed up for a month of these classes fully intending to attend as often as possible.

Although I’ve only been doing these classes a few weeks, I’ve learned a lot. There are a lot of benefits, such as the obvious self-defense, and improved health, but here I want to share my favorite benefits I’ve gotten so far:


1. Killing your weaknesses

On my second day of class I twisted and pivoted my feet on the mat for over an hour as I went through foot work. 2 large blisters quickly formed on the bottom of my big toes. I tried to ignore the pain but it was so uncomfortable I left class early. I had to wait a few days for these blisters to turn into calluses to continue training.

Upon returning I realized another weakness. My coach asked, “Did you recently have an ankle injury?”  I didn’t have a recent injury. My ankles were simply too sore from class a few days before. I was wobbly and off balance.

It took time for me to grow legs that could actually fight. Still working on that actually. My ankles are still sore after going to class for a few weeks, but they feel a lot stronger.

I was going to the gym 4 or 5 times a week before taking these classes so I thought my muscles could handle it. But I was using completely different muscles I’d barely trained. Even the bottoms of my feet and thumbs were sore.  I had to quit going to the gym to focus on my MMA training. Once I get used to it, I’ll start going to the gym again.

If I never took these classes I wouldn’t know how weak some parts of my body actually are.

It’s a full body workout that exposes weaknesses and builds strength. It helps you achieve a high level of physical fitness that only comes from intense full body training.

In combination with eating right and sleeping well, regular martial arts training might be all the exercise you need. Depending on your goals of course.


2. Endurance

I mistakenly assumed I could handle 3 or 4 martial arts classes a week because I go to the gym regularly. But my body was used to the exercises I do in the gym. Those exercises had gotten so easy for me I overestimated my strength and endurance.

These classes have really been testing my endurance. I’m finally able to go to class 4 days a week, but it took time to build that endurance as my body slowly got used to it. I was especially exhausted after going to the MMA classes for 3 consecutive hours. I could barely walk after class. But it’s worth it. I feel my weak points being challenged to either grow or die. Of course, that growth must come with adequate rest and sleep.


3. Martial Arts Confidence 

This is a crucial piece of the puzzle that makes you a whole human being. Usually confidence is situational. You learn to be confidence at your job, school, or at parties because you get used to socializing in these locations. Martial Arts Confidence, however, can be applied to multiple situations. You will have less reason to worry about being attacked if you know you can take care of yourself if necessary. I don’t mean to imply most people are walking around paranoid about a physical assault. What I mean is that many people are scared to share their real opinion, or even stand up for themselves because they fear being incapable of handling the consequences. 

They live with constant stress sucking away all their energy. Stress caused by constant worry about making other people happy or avoiding the consequences of angering someone. Of course, most people would probably just be annoyed if you did something wrong. They aren’t likely to physically attack you. But with regular martial arts training at least you are prepared if the necessity arises. You have a more comprehensive understanding of what your body is capable of. It’s a confidence that comes from knowledge of yourself. 

With martial arts confidence you are then much more capable of handling the nonsense life throws at you. This is also because you’ve probably gotten used to challenging yourself in your classes. If you can handle that adversity, muscle pain, and learning new skills then it gives you more reason to believe you can handle other situations. You gradually improve your capacity to handle adversity. 

I’ve only been studying MMA a few weeks, so i’m no authority. But I can definitely see the mental benefits of long term training. 


4. Self-Discipline

Martial arts are associated with discipline with good reason. MMA and most martial arts will demand you eat and sleep well in addition to taking care of your body.

You are also expected to practice self-control and use technique instead of aggression when appropriate. If you want to train hard and keep your mind and body in shape it takes discipline to do these things properly.

Developing your sleep schedule is essential to most things you want to do with your life. Your body gets stronger when you are sleeping. That’s when everything is healing and regrowing. It can take discipline to go to bed at consistent times, and to sleep a little longer if you know your body needs it.

I’m currently filling in the gaps in my discipline as part of my Map to Optimization Plan. With proper discipline I will be able to focus on my goals with limited distractions. At least, that is my goal.

If you’ve read my free book, Goal Setting: The Proven Plan to Achieve Personal and Career Goals, then you’ve written down exactly what you want to do with your life. Imagine you’ve written down a huge list of goals. You have all these fun adventures you want to experience. Skills you want to learn. But the truth is you can never do any of those things successfully without discipline. 

I have a massive list of goals. But without discipline, I would be much farther away from them. Martial arts training requires discipline to do well. You repeat the same actions to learn them well. You endure some pain and soreness, and rest when appropriate. 

There are many paths to self-discipline. Personally I find martial arts training to be one of the best choices.  If you want to accomplish your life goals then you must figure out a way to improve your self-discipline.

If you need some help in this area of your life consider reading my book: 

10 Days to Lifetime Self-Discipline


So how do you work on your self discipline? Please leave your suggestions in a comment.

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