Martial arts misconceptions are all around us! There are many different beliefs and opinions of what martial arts really is, which often leads to misinformation on the practice. Let’s break it down.

A misconception is a misunderstanding about a particular idea. And misunderstandings begin with naïve theories. Naïve theories are prejudices on a subject made before learning the proper information on the topic. These are often based irrationally on assumptions and are very hard to change as people don’t like to be proven wrong.

However, we can definitely benefit from rethinking our naïve theories! Life is about learning new things after all.

Martial arts is one such topic that is plagued by misconceptions. Since it’s a contact sport with a long history in mainstream media, people have a variety of different ideas about what it is and who it’s for. We’re here to shed some light on the topic! Here are 6 martial arts misconceptions – Debunked!

1. All Martial Arts Styles are Similar

This is one of the most common martial arts misconceptions out there. Many people think that martial arts is one practice where two people hit each other in a series of swift kicks and punches. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth!

Martial arts is made up of several different categories such as Boxing, Karate, Jiu-Jitsu, Taekwondo, Capoeira, Muay Thai, as well as many others. Each discipline has their own unique fighting style, emphasizing certain aspects more than others. The main reason for this is because each of these martial arts originated in a different country.

For example, Taekwondo first began in Korea and focuses on teaching fighters different kicking techniques. Different moves are taught, from basic front kicks to challenging spinning kicks and so on. On the other hand, Jiu-Jitsu – a Brazilian fighting technique focuses on locking different parts of your opponent’s body as well as dominating them on the ground. This martial arts style involves a lot of strategy and thinking in order to beat your opponent.

2. Martial Arts is Not a Safe Sport

Next on our list of martial arts misconceptions: many people believe that martial arts is a dangerous activity where getting hurt is a part of the sport.

Wrong again!

martial arts misconceptions, woman and man practicing martial arts
Studios are always mindful of their students’ well being. A safe environment is always created with skilled trainers watching their pupils’ every move.

Studios are always mindful of their students’ well being. Coaches and studios usually provide the necessary gears needed during training such as headgear and padding. Additionally, coaches often pair up two people of the same size or weight category when fighting, and ask them not to use their entire body strength to avoid any injuries. A safe environment is always created with skilled trainers watching their pupils’ every move.

We’re not saying that certain injuries may not occur, but proper precautions are always taken to ensure safety. There are risks involved in any sport, however martial arts has always gotten a bad rep.

We’ve got your back martial arts lovers! This theory has been debunked! Next!

3. Martial Arts Will Make You Violent

This is another one of those martial arts misconceptions that we must put to rest. Martial arts is not about teaching violence! Due to this myth, many parents are worried about enrolling their children in such classes, and some adults avoid the sport because of the effects they believe it might have on their personality. But, not only does this sport not make you aggressive, but it may even regulate your emotions and make you more balanced.

Martial arts is about teaching people how to defend and protect themselves against danger. Students are encouraged to use the least amount of force necessary to dominate their opponent and to avoid injuries. Fighters don’t enjoy hurting people, this misconception needs to end!

People don’t practice martial arts because they are aggressive and violent by nature. In fact, a study has shown that children who practice martial arts show less violent behavior. This is due to the core values of such fighting styles which teach discipline and respect in addition to a strong work ethic.

4. Martial Arts is Just for Kids

Although martial arts is a sport which kids can enjoy and benefit from, adults can excel at it too. Many believe that your martial arts practice must start when you’re young, but that’s not true!

martial arts misconceptions, adults practicing martial arts
You can learn martial arts at any age! It’s never too late to start.

Learning martial arts can be done at any age. Even on the professional side, certain famous MMA fighters started their careers late. For instance, Travis Browne, the American martial arts master first started practicing Jiu-Jitsu when he was nearly 26 years old with no former MMA training whatsoever. Since then, he has competed against some of the most experienced fighters in the world and has an impressive streak of wins.

Contrary to popular belief, martial arts is a sport for people of all ages. It’s never too late to learn a new practice and gain an incredible life skill.

Are you a martial arts studio owner? Read here for how to market your martial arts studio to adults.

5. Martial Arts is Not for Girls

Besides not being for adults, many believe that girls and women should not practice this sport. Due to its violent nature, girls are believed to be too weak and delicate for such an activity. Like all the previous martial arts misconceptions, this one is absolutely false!

martial arts misconceptions, two girls practicing martial arts
Martial arts aren’t just for boys! Teaching girls this practice early will give them a sense of empowerment and confidence.

Welcome to the 21st century! Women have dispelled the myth of being meek creatures who long for someone to save them. In fact, teaching girls martial arts early will give them a sense of empowerment and confidence. Females are as tough and committed to this sport as any man and can surpass most people’s expectations.

Take Rhonda Rousey, for example. She is a former UFC Women’s Heavy Weight Champion who literally changed the game. She shattered the glass ceiling and made martial arts an open sport for women to participate in. Rousey paved the way for so many female martial artists to compete and dispel this common misconception.

6. You Need to be in Good Shape

Another one on the martial arts misconceptions list is that you have to be physically fit to participate. Sorry to break it to you, but this myth is incorrect as practicing martial arts often helps people get into great shape. Time to find another excuse (or don’t).

Countless people start this sport in order to lose weight and tone their body. Muay Thai, for example, can help people burn close to 1,000 calories in just 60 minutes! Martial arts requires endurance and core strength which are all things that can be developed as you train. Soon enough, you’ll start to notice your body changing and transforming into its peak condition.

Since every workout session is so intense, martial arts will motivate you to eat healthier in order to supply your body with the proper energy it needs. Not only does it help you physically, but it also helps you mentally. Most styles of martial arts also teach proper breathing techniques to use when training, which releases endorphins that improve your overall mood. This can in turn help reduce anxiety and increase confidence levels.

To Make a Long Story Short…

Martial arts misconceptions come in all shapes and sizes. It’s time that people know the truth behind this incredible practice and give the rumors a rest!

First, not all martial arts styles are the same! Martial arts is an umbrella term for a variety of different fighting styles. Second, martial arts is not as dangerous as it seems. Even though it is a contact sport, the necessary protective gear and precautions are always taken before any training begins. Third, this sport will never turn you into a violent person! Martial artists are taught to avoid danger, and never to instigate a fight. Fourth, people of any age can practice martial arts techniques. Not all martial artists started fighting when they were young, as seen with some famous names today. Fifth, martial arts is a sport for both males and females. Women, such as Rhonda Rousey, have become household names and are known to pack a punch. Lastly, you don’t have to be in peak physical shape to start practicing martial arts. People often start this sport to get in shape and lose weight, and this intense workout definitely does the job. And not only does martial arts provide a physical workout, but it can improve your mental health as well. Martial arts misconceptions beware! We’re on a roll!

Don’t let these rumors affect business at your martial arts studio! WellnessLiving is here to help you market your martial arts studio the right way. Book a free, no-commitment demo with us today and show your clients how powerful your hook can be!

References: 

https://ablconnect.harvard.edu/revealing-and-dealing-misconceptions  

https://evolve-mma.com/blog/5-common-misconceptions-about-martial-arts/  

https://www.livestrong.com/article/342575-a-comparison-of-martial-arts-styles/  

https://evolve-mma.com/blog/9-reasons-brazilian-jiu-jitsu-perfect-martial-art/  

https://www.onefc.com/articles/7-misconceptions-most-people-have-about-training-in-martial-arts/  

https://www.psypost.org/2017/04/martial-arts-training-shows-promise-reducing-aggressive-tendencies-youth-48847  

https://www.foxsports.com/ufc/story/travis-browne-chasing-the-most-unlikely-ufc-championship-ever-010214  

https://www.tigerfitness.com/blogs/for-women/mma-for-women  

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=26334343  

https://evolve-mma.com/blog/the-top-6-health-benefits-of-martial-arts/