Team Armada Logo


Photo via We do not own the rights to this photo.

Have you heard someone say that practicing martial arts has transformed their life? 

This is because martial arts has a wide array of benefits, not only physically, but mentally too. It’s important to remember that no two people experience anxiety or depression or any other mental illness in the same way. For some people, getting into a stable habit of physical activity & healthy eating might be what they need to improve their mental health, while others might need to explore different approaches such professional help.
Here we will touch on different ways of how martial arts can help improve mental health:

#1: Improves Focus

It can be challenging to focus on something when one is feeling anxious. Training martial arts is like learning a completely new skill. By doing so, it will help you stay in the moment and will help you gradually gain a better perspective and regain your concentration. As the class starts, all distractions go away, and you are left to concentrate on the present moment.

#2: Stress Relief

We are all overwhelmed with endless daily challenges in life, causing us to fall behind. Constant facing of stress and anxiety can eventually lead to health problems. You have probably heard that cardio can help alleviate stress. It’s true, and training martial arts is a great cardio workout! Attending martial arts classes helps you hone in on thinking about your body and mind rather than outside stresses. Doing this relieves physical tensions since you’re being attentive to moving your body. 

#3: Mindfulness

Many traditional forms of martial arts emphasize mindfulness, as well as mental strength. Possessing a still mind is essential to get the most out of your training. Focusing on martial arts values helps people increase self-control, form positive habits, and reduce impulsivity.

#4: Improves Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem takes a toll on your mental health. Training martial arts helps build strength of mind and spirit. Just like working out strengthens your body, challenges strengthen your mind. There are many success stories of how training martial arts has helped World Champions. Through martial arts, you will discover that you are capable of so much more than you thought you were – physically and mentally. This mentality will carry over to different aspects of your life, and you may find yourself conquering new obstacles and challenges.

#5: Releases Feel-Good Hormones

Any form of exercise stimulates production of happy hormones, known as dopamine and endorphins. These hormones have a great impact on mental states. And in martial arts, you have the added bonus of working towards concrete goals (like new belt levels) while practicing endorphin-boosting activities.


All in all, your mental health is something that you have to take seriously. Increasing your physical activity is one of the ways improve your state of mind. Finding the right type of martial arts for yourself can feel empowering, but what you get it out of it depends on how much effort you put in.

If you are experiencing distressing emotional experiences that affect your ability to function, consider talking to a licensed mental health professional.