Why train in the martial arts? For the Samurai it was a matter of life or death. Their very survival depended on being fit and ready at all times. Nowadays there are many other reasons.
To get fit. Adults join especially for this reason. The martial arts will get you fit in more ways than one. It will strengthen your limbs and build up your heart and lungs. Fitness is a very popular reason.
To learn self-defence. Learning to defend yourself is another big reason to take up martial arts. There is no feeling like walking the streets with confidence, without any worries about your security and that of your family. For a child, protection from bullies is a very common motivation, and it certainly works.
To make friends. Many good friendships are built in the dojo. They sometimes last a lifetime as strong bonds form when you train hard with others.
All my friends are doing it. This is a very common reason for kids to start the martial arts, but probably less so for adults. Very often, if the leader of a peer group joins, the rest of the group will soon sign up.
To be able to do what they do in the movies. Again, this is more likely to be the motivation of a much younger person. In my day, it was Bruce Lee. When I started Kenpo for the first time at 18, this was my main motivation. I thought it would be cool to be able to move like Bruce Lee.
To obtain self-discipline and focus in my life. When I took up Kenpo again at 26, this was my main motivation. I was lacking direction in my life at the time, and the martial arts got me back on track. I have studied Kenpo since.
My kids started it, and it looked like good fun, so I did too. Many of those in our adults/parents classes started for this reason. Others started to help their children out. Some of them are now black belts.
My parents made me take martial arts. Unfortunately some kids start for this reason. Although I don’t support forcing it upon children, I have seen a number of children who, after obtaining black belt level, are happy their parents insisted upon it.
To have fun. Many kids join for this reason, as having fun is the biggest goal of a child.
For whatever reason people join martial arts classes, it rarely stays the same as they progress through the ranks. For me, competition, self-defence, and fitness became the most important reasons as time went on. Also, it became my life’s passion.
Why do you study martial arts? I pose this question to all of you. Let’s make this a fun post and get lots of answers, ok?