Martial arts are often described as a type of physical exercise. Throughout the course of training, the entire body is involved, building strength, endurance, speed, flexibility, and coordination. Students of martial arts improve hand-eye coordination, from deliberate, pointed actions to smooth, fluid movements. By the time they reach the highest levels of the art, they are more powerful and agile than ever before. Here are the most important benefits of martial arts training.
The first martial arts were practiced by the ancient Chinese peoples. The art of fighting, hunting, and war was practiced by each civilization. Although most people think of martial arts as coming from Asia, their roots lie in ancient India. Around 600 BC, trade between China and India flourished. This trade allowed Indian martial arts to spread to China. In addition to preserving the art of martial arts, other Asian cultures influenced martial arts practices.
Martial arts differ in their forms and techniques, but they all have one thing in common: they all practice systematic fighting techniques. The methods used for training vary from one style to another, but the main goal of any martial art is to train and perfect techniques. Some disciplines have sparring rules that are similar to those of other martial arts. While sparring can be performed without a partner, it is usually performed alone. Forms are particularly prevalent in Asian martial arts.
Many martial arts include side disciplines related to medicinal practices. The traditional Chinese martial art kung-fu, for example, teaches acupressure, qigong, and other aspects of Chinese medicine. This form of martial art is often referred to as kickboxing. These types of martial arts are practiced in gyms and are often a part of an overall fitness regimen. In the United States, however, most forms of martial arts are derived from Asian styles.