MMA is a widespread televised cultural phenomena. But as a martial art, it is but one obscure way to test one’s skills. For most Americans, it is a health risk to enter cage fighting. But by watering down the practice for most Americans, you risk losing stress testing that produces the key benefits of the practice.
Children explore all sorts of programs when they are young. But martial arts is unique in that it also plants important seeds. In addition to self defense, it also prepares them for life by improving confidence, discipline and teaching peaceful resolutions to conflicts among others.
Many women in our cultural have been conditioned to think of themselves as helpless victims. This is just wrong. The reason martial arts started was so the weaker person can successfully defend themselves. Aikido and Tai Chi are among the most popular martial arts for women.
Generally, about 3 hours per week is sufficient in Aikido. Our extensive schedule makes that easier and you practice can in your own home as well. For tai chi, the main point is daily training at home, which can be first thing in the morning. But commitment is important. Then training makes you more efficient in daily life so investing some time now gives you more time later.
Obviously checking with your doctor is important. But generally, you adjust the practice and only do the things that improve your health. You avoid practices that harm. Tai Chi has a strong emphasis on health. We think of it as "meditation in motion," but the Harvard Medical School calls it "medication in motion." Some people find you can build yourself up to do more than expected.
Benefits for Daily Life
When we drive a car to work, ride a bike, or even walk up and down stairs, we are actually putting ourselves to some degree at risk. No one can avoid the possibility of danger.
Martial arts training is designed to help us relax as we face danger so we can find the most effective way out of trouble.
We have had a number of students - adults and children - report they have avoided car accidents, and safely rolled out of bike accidents and even down stairs.
Traditional martial arts teach relaxation during stress testing to insure people get this benefit. Self defense classes or MMA that only focus on technique may not provide this benefit.