Martial Arts. Are you looking for something to supplement your daily life in the O’Fallon area- something that is good for you and will help you work through the tough things and endow you with positive qualities? Gracie Barra is the world’s top martial arts team, for top quality coaching, unbreakable interpersonal relationships, and numerous physical and mental wellness enhancements that come from practicing martial arts.
Types of Martial Arts
Every martial art is unique, but martial arts as a general term refers to a collection of different types of combat and defense training meant to defend against threats and defeat opponents. Each different martial arts discipline has a different focus and style.
Martial arts fall into one of the following categories:
- Striking or Stand-up Styles
- Muay Thai
- Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
- Throwing/Takedown Styles
- Weapons Based Styles
- Low Impact Styles
- Tai Chi
- Chi Gong
What we teach at Gracie Barra to our martial arts students is a convergence of principles of several martial arts from different styles. We primarily identify as a Brazilian jiu jitsu gym, but also borrow techniques used and taught in other martial arts including muay thai, judo, and kickboxing. Learn comprehensive martial arts skills and master Brazilian jiu jitsu by studying at Gracie Barra.
Physical Benefits of Martial Arts
Martial arts is both an art and a sport. It is a holistic approach to wellness and strength of the mind, body, and spirit. Martial arts is a path that leads to personal growth and wellness. The benefits of practicing martial arts like the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes Gracie Barra is known for are many and immeasurable.
1. Cardiovascular Health
Heart health is extraordinarily important, as we all know. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, yet less than 20% of adults engage in the recommended amount of aerobic exercise. In martial arts, training and warm up routines naturally raise the heart rate and fortifies heart health.
2. Muscle Tone
Martial arts maximizes strength and muscle tone throughout the body, including hard-to-target muscles that aren’t addressed in more conventional workouts like weight lifting and running. Through warm ups and training drills as well as sparring involving punching and kicking motions, with a variety of grappling and groundwork moves practiced in Brazilian jiu jitsu, builds muscle mass.
3. Weight Loss
With more muscle mass, the body naturally increases its metabolism and burns more calories. With overall increased fitness and physical activity by practicing martial arts, it is easier to lose weight and maintain a healthy body weight.
Martial arts challenges its practitioners to hone their reflexes. Sparring in practice and fighting in competition improve reflexes over time. In martial arts, reflexes are vital to besting your opponent, from dodging, blocking, or maneuvering to counter-attack. Repetition of certain combinations over time builds quick reflexes and shaves down reaction times.
5. Flexibility and Mobility
Martial arts involves deep and extensive motions that require flexibility. It’s always important to stretch before engaging in any physical activity. At Gracie Barra, our programs are designed with stretches and warm-ups that will improve flexibility and makes for a more nimble and mobile body. Other benefits of flexibility are improved posture, reduced risk of injury, and less tension.
In martial arts practice, tournaments, and in real-life self-defense situations, strength is necessary for defeating your opponent. While strength alone is not sufficient against an opponent who is proficient in martial arts like BJJ, proper form and knowledge of technique are enhanced by overall bodily strength. Repetition of movements and full-strength sparring with others of the same level build muscle and strength that make you even more successful in your martial arts of choice.
7. Balance and Coordination
Stability is critical in martial arts, as is coordination. To learn martial arts, you are tasked with mastering coordinated techniques that require moving and holding still isolated parts of the body simultaneously. Students first practice each part of the move slowing over and over, and eventually are able to do them reflexively. Over time and through the improvement of other qualities like strength and flexibility, you will soon master the moves and improve your overall balance and coordination.
8. Blood Pressure
Through the repetition of physical movements, increased heart health, and improved physical state that occur through the practice of martial arts, you will enjoy a lower heart rate and reduced blood pressure.
Other Benefits of Martial Arts
1. Stress Relief
As with any other form of exercise, martial arts helps with stress. Physical activity releases endorphins, as well as norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin and mitigates the negative effects of stress on the body. Plus, being surrounded by like-minded, determined people supporting and pushing you to be better is calming and encouraging – a unique benefit of martial arts.
2. More Energy
With a regular workout schedule, like attending weekly classes at Gracie Barra, you naturally have more energy. This is due to the increased blood flow and cardiovascular health, which allows oxygen to circulate through your body more efficiently. Many people who join martial arts also report sleeping better. A better sleep cycle allows you to be more refreshed when you wake up.
3. Peace and Balance
Inner peace and tranquility are undeniable skills taught by martial arts. Martial arts is a form of meditation or mindfulness exercise, where your mind is focused and present. You become aware and in control of your body and breathing. This translates to other areas of your life and you become more able to stay calm and centered in your life.
Discipline and self-control are not skills only children need to practice. Many adults who are involved in martial arts have found improvements in matters of discipline such as the difficulty of quitting a bad habit. Though it is not a miracle cure (quitting smoking, drinking, or drug use should be done under the supervision of a physician), efforts can be supplemented by a dedication to martial arts.
5. Confidence and Humility
Martial arts helps people of all backgrounds and confidence levels move to a healthier place with their self-confidence. For those who are shy or uncomfortable in front of others, belt ceremonies and tournaments encourage them to step out of their comfort zones. Those who are prone to being driven by ego are, in martial arts, asked to bare themselves honestly in front of others. The martial arts learning and competing process builds confidence and humility simultaneously: humility in encountering unfamiliar and challenging tasks, and confidence when we are able to acheive them.
6. Mental Health
Because of all of the physical benefits of martial arts, and the stress relief and peace it teaches, mental wellness is a natural byproduct of practicing martial arts. On top of all the individual skills and qualities that precede better mental health, in practicing martial arts you are immersed in a community of people who identify with your struggles, support you on your journey, and are going through similar journeys themselves.
Signing up for structured martial arts classes can have an huge impact. The regularly scheduled commitment of attending your martial arts gym regularly for weekly class keeps you moving and working towards your goals and helps motivate you to focus on your priorities both inside of and beyond your martial arts life.
You will form relationships through your martial arts classes and competitions that are unique and powerful. There is mutual respect observed between students and coaches. Between the people you learn and struggle with, you will develop camaraderie and understanding of each other in a way that you don’t generally find in other types of interpersonal relationships. In martial arts, the challenges you face and overcome form long-lasting, quality friendships.
Through these benefits, martial arts is a powerful force on your mental and emotional health. Each of the listed benefits has its own indirect positive effects on your life. When you join the martial arts community with Gracie Barra, you may very well see measurable changes in your life such as healthier familial and romantic relationships, advances in your career, and a new bank of positive memories on which to look back. Martial arts is something that can be enjoyed by all ages, so you can potentially enjoy the ongoing benefits of martial arts for the rest of your life.
Martial Arts Near O’Fallon| Gracie Barra
If you are motivated to change your life, looking for a hobby, or would like to add more physical activity to your lifestyle, martial arts is perfect for you. Gracie Barra brings a unique martial arts experience that teaches important skills and values from various martial arts, including Brazilian jiu jitsu, muay thai, kickboxing, judo, and more. For every age, every schedule, and every level of experience, Gracia Barra is the martial arts gym for you.
Don’t deny yourself the world of martial arts and its astounding benefits any longer. Try your first class for free to get a taste! Reach us online or call us at 636-544-3655 to learn more or to sign up for your first martial arts class today.