The majority of martial arts can be traced back to Asian and Indian cultures; where physical prowess in battle was often valued far more highly than anything else. Back then an individual that could defend themselves with or without a weapon could go on to great things; from serving at a high rank in the military all the way to acting as personal guards for nobles and lords.
In fact the latter option was something that certain cultures specialised in; namely the Samurai who would train for the entirety of their lifetimes under the service of a lord. As times changed, the need for those who trained in the use of weaponry such as swords dramatically decreased – especially as the introduction of firearms and ranged weapons made their services all but obsolete.
As a result, many practicing martial artists instead turned to other methods of defense and self-control, and this led to what is now referred to as the modern martial art movement. These arts encompass a broad range of practices – from those that relate to fists, all the way to the types that rely on advanced leg manoeuvres.
But what is it about these traditional techniques that appeal to so many people?
Perhaps it’s the ability to practice something with a history dating back hundreds (if not thousands) of years, or maybe it’s the potential to aspire to a higher level of self-awareness that creates the appeal. There are those that want to improve their fitness by undertaking an active and energy-fuelled martial art, as well as others that might want to enhance their emotional well-being by focusing their attention on an ancient practice.
Whatever the reason, the results are similar in almost all cases – regardless of the art form being practiced. Most practitioners will agree on one thing and that’s that their chosen form will have introduced them to a unique skillset, whilst encouraging the development of their physical and mental attributes.
These practices aren’t just a great way to develop focus; they can actually benefit a person’s life substantially, too. The greatest thing about them is that they can be started at any time, making it ideal for people of all ages and walks of life to begin practicing.