The Bliss of Martial Arts

If you want something unique to add to your exercise regimen, martial arts training is probably the very thing you are looking for. Martial arts training has the benefit of exercising both your mind and body.  Through martial arts training, you get a complete full-body workout that aerobics or weight lifting just can’t match.

Martial arts have never been more popular as it is today. Hollywood action blockbusters that feature acrobatic fight scenes like “The Matrix” and “Kung Fu Panda” have been hugely successful (Charlies Angels, the Transporter, Bloodsport, Sister Street Fighter, Man of Tai Chi, Kiss of the Dragon, The Prodigal Son, Warrior's Gate) But long before Keanu Reeves and Drew Barrymore sported their chops and kicks on the widescreen, the martial arts were already widely used in Asian movies. Chinese martial arts gave birth to a popular genre of cinema. The films of Bruce Lee in the 70’s was instrumental in popularizing the martial arts in feature films.  Today, martial artists actors such as Jet Li and Jackie Chan have appeared in many Western films as direct beneficiaries of Bruce Lee's pioneering work in movies.

While the closest that many martial arts enthusiasts can go to a dojo (a place where people practice martial arts) is playing Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter on their gaming system in their living room, others are keen to hit the training room and have a go at martial arts themselves. From the graceful, dance-like moves of Tai Chi, to the exciting styles of karate or fitness kickboxing, there is a martial art style to suit just about every individual taste, interest, or inclination. Businessmen to bus drivers, students to politicians, moms to doctors, people of all ages and from all walks of life are discovering the physical and mental benefits of martial arts.

Rock stars have often used martial arts to spice up their live performances. No other than “The King”, Elvis Presley, a karate black belt, entertained his fans on stage with his karate kicks and antics. Other celebrities that train or have trained in the martial arts include Willie Nelson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ed O'Neill, Bear Grylls, Guy Ritchie, Wesley Snipes, Forest Whitaker, Sean Connery, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Justin Bieber, Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln, Pierre E. Trudeau, and Justin Trudeau.

But more than just entertainment and exercise, the martial arts form part of an ancient philosophy or way of life.  According to legend, the martial arts originated in Henan, a province in North Central China, where they were introduced by Bodhidharma, who was said to be a wandering monk who came over the mountains from India. He brought with him the fighting techniques and philosophy of his home land. As developed by the monks, martial arts are systems of practices and traditions of training for combat. They may be studied for various reasons including combat skills, fitness, self-defense, sport, self-cultivation, meditation, mental discipline, character development and building self-confidence, or any combination of the above.

Moreover, many doctors have realized that martial arts can replace drug therapy for patients suffering from psychological conditions such as depression. The use of meditative principles allows the participant to utilize self-evaluation and self-introspection as a means to practice martial arts. The styles such as karate and kick-boxing appear to help people with problems such as depression, while the softer discipline of Tai Chi can help people who are anxious or under a lot of stress. The healing power of these martial arts may lie in the combination of movement, meditation, and breathing exercises.

An individual's total well being, both psychological and physical, can be improved simultaneously through martial arts. Its psychological benefits include increased self-esteem and self-confidence as well as decreased tension, stress, anxiety and depression. While the physical aspects of exercise improve your general health, martial arts can likewise improve one’s emotional health.

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get yourself a “gi,” turn off the TV, put down that mouse or game controller, and head off to the Port Credit Academy of Martial Arts in South Mississauga. Kardio Kicks (Fitness Kickboxing), Karate, and Tai Chi all complement each other in a well-rounded blend of Martial Arts training.

The Port Credit Academy of Martial Arts in South Mississauga has been voted the best club in Mississauga and Port Credit area since 2001 by the readers of the Mississauga News. In addition, the Academy was voted as the “Top Choice” for Martial Arts clubs in Mississauga for the last two years (2016, 2017).

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