Martial Arts Can Replace Your Gym

Martial Arts Can Replace Your Gym (no really)

Many people, when they look to physically improve themselves, the gym is the first place they would go to. Yes they have trainers, TV's, and maybe a pool. However, there are many unique aspects in martial arts training that gyms will most likely will not provide.

The major benefit martial arts schools provide that gyms won't is the opportunity to learn self-defense. Even if some gyms offer the modern MMA course, which likely only engages on a physical level---like everything else provided in a gym. One can be doubtful if a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) course can teach beyond enhancing physical fortitude and incorporate training for the mind and spirit. Traditional Martial arts will offer all three. Where else could flexibility training and meditation be taught at the same time? Where else can someone learn to use windshield wipers or a pen for defense?

Anybody can workout in their free time. Unless the individual is capable of motivating themselves with efficiency and routine, most will just choose a simpler option and spend their time on other tasks. Martial arts schools are all about discipline. Most schools will have schedules that help people meet with a schedule to improve their fitness goals. Having a consistent timetable is crucial for achieving any set of goals. Committing time to oneself is important, even greater is committing time to something bigger than oneself. Through attendance as a student, someone can eventually learn to train not only themselves but others and perpetuate traditions, ideas, and mentalities. Those that attend gyms typically are only in it for reasons of self rather than selflessness.

Atmosphere is important in training. Not the climate related atmosphere but rather the social company of others seeking a similar goal to improve themselves. Both gyms and MA schools have their own atmospheres but there's one uniqueness at Monk Wise, as well as other Traditional Martial Arts schools---culture. Martial arts (especially kungfu) has a long standing tradition of incorporating culture into its techniques and training regiments. Meditation, breathing, stances, and even the basic movements all have an almost poetic and artistic value. Everything in martial arts serves more than a singular purpose of physical improvement. The most helpful atmosphere is the comfort of having others to carry each other through tough times and offer tips for physical health. MA schools will always have a feeling of comradery available that no social media could offer. Sharing the experience of bruises, mental exhilaration, sweating, and the laughs that can be had in an MA school aren't so available in a gym.  

-Johnny Pak, Monk Wise Academy