When you sign up for a martial arts class, you’re doing more than working out or improving your physical and mental health. You’re becoming part of the martial arts family, a community of people who are brought together by a shared interest.
Your martial arts journey isn’t only about your personal quest to become physically fit or learn how to defend yourself. It’s your opportunity to become part of the martial arts community and find friends and colleagues who share your interests and will support you as you learn and grow.
What is the Martial Arts Community?
While some communities form because of geography and nothing more, the martial arts community is unique in that it brings together people of different ages, education levels, and fitness levels to share a common experience in the martial arts.
The martial arts community isn’t a monolith. By that, we mean that it encompasses large and small groups of people who practice martial arts in its many forms. The global community consists of thousands of smaller communities within martial arts schools, towns, cities, and regions.
If you practice martial arts, you’re part of the martial arts community. You share a passion with everyone else in the community and whichever martial art you practice, you are a valued member.
What Are the Benefits of the Martial Arts Community?
Now, let’s review some of the most important benefits of being part of the martial arts community.
- Social support. When you are part of the martial arts community, you have a built-in network of social support as you take classes and master the martial art of your choice. Whether you’re studying Mixed Martial Arts or Muay Thai, you’ll be surrounded by peers who support your choice and will provide encouragement every step of the way.
- Accountability. Undertaking any new endeavor is challenging and having one or more accountability partners can help you stick to your plan and reach your goals. In the martial arts community, you have access to a whole group of people who will be there to keep you accountable (and who will ask you to keep them accountable in return.)
- Sense of belonging. One of the hallmarks of any community is a sense of belonging. All members of a community should feel that they belong and are a valued member of the community. In the martial arts community, you’ll be embraced and welcomed.
- Fun. There are a lot of benefits to learning karate and other martial arts, but perhaps the best is that it’s fun! When you join the martial arts community, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, make friends, and enjoy yourself as you get your body and mind in shape.
Whether you’re learning a martial art for self-defense or simply for fun, you can take advantage of being part of a tight-knit community of like-minded people.
How Does the Martial Arts Community Give Back?
One of the best things about the martial arts community is its desire to give back. Here are some ways that volunteerism shines among martial artists.
- Food drives. Local communities often have families who lack the money to buy nutritious food. Martial arts schools and individuals often volunteer to collect food to donate.
- Fundraising for underprivileged students. Not every family can afford to send their child to martial arts classes, but volunteers can solicit donations for scholarships.
- Providing free self-defense training. Domestic violence is a widespread problem, and many martial arts schools provide free self-defense classes to women in shelters, so they can defend themselves if the need arises.
You can see that the martial arts community consists of vibrant, caring people who are eager to support one another and do what they can to improve life for people in the community at large.