Embarking on a martial arts journey can be an incredibly rewarding and transformative experience, but it’s no secret that many people hesitate to step onto the training mat.
From the outside looking in, martial arts can appear intimidating, unfamiliar, and even exclusive. What most people know about martial arts is what Hollywood has shown us – and much of that isn’t entirely accurate! A combination of factors, ranging from personal insecurities and safety fears to popular misconceptions, can dissuade individuals from taking that first courageous step.
We want to dive into the various reasons why some people may feel hesitant or embarrassed to start training in the martial arts and discuss how you can overcome those fears and concerns. By understanding these obstacles, we can shed light on the barriers that prevent martial arts from reaching its full potential as a popular, beneficial, and inclusive activity for all.
What’s Holding You Back?
One of the biggest reasons that people shy away from martial arts training is potential embarrassment. The lack of confidence we see, especially at the beginning of training, is prominent. Of course, trying something new can be challenging and intimidating, but the martial arts seem to hold additional pressures that many students feel the need to live up to.
One specific concern is self-doubt and physical insecurity. There is no doubt that becoming a master of the martial arts requires some level of physical fitness, flexibility, and coordination. However, it’s important to stress that this mastery isn’t expected from students, and it is not necessary to master the martial arts to enjoy it’s benefits. With consistent training schedules and practice, students will achieve better physical fitness including flexibility and coordination.
While it is true that many martial arts styles require a significant investment of time, effort, and discipline to master, the key is to take training one step at a time to alleviate those perceived pressures. Training can be physically demanding and may involve intricate techniques and philosophies that can be challenging for newcomers to grasp. However, our learning module breaks these techniques down into smaller, more manageable pieces that a student of any level can work towards.
Our program is specific to each student – what you see when you’re training with us on your dashboard is relative to you, no one else. The standards set for each student are relative to their individual abilities and their belt level. If you’re just starting out, we don’t expect you to move and react like a black belt. We will never ask something of you that we know you can’t complete. You progress at your own pace when you’re ready…with nothing to hold you back except your own self-doubt. We believe in you, now it’s time for you to believe in yourself!
Fear of Judgment
A fear of being judged is another concern that we see frequently. Something different like martial arts training can make a student feel self-conscious in their abilities. They might feel judged by those more experienced or feel intimidated by the expectations they see. This is especially prevalent when training in person in a dojo.
When you’re a student with us, this fear completely disappears. Your training is done where you feel most comfortable – in your room, in a park, as private or as public as you’d like. Our trained instructors are the only people that see your performance, and their one-on-one feedback and consistent two-way communication is for your eyes only.
♦ We have such an unwavering belief in the transformative power of martial arts that we developed this program specifically intended to accommodate individuals of all skill levels and abilities. We don’t want anyone to feel hesitant to begin their journey simply based on fears and insecurities. Our program was designed for accessibility, and there are no limitations!
Misconceptions and Stereotypes
One of the other concerns we see, especially from parents, is that martial arts are often portrayed in movies and popular culture as violent or aggressive. These misconceptions can create a negative image that discourages people from exploring martial arts as a hobby or sport. Additionally, some may associate martial arts solely with self-defense or fighting, overlooking the numerous other benefits they offer such as fitness and personal growth.
Martial arts offer much more – improved self-discipline/self-control, increased confidence, and emotional regulation to name a few. These are especially beneficial for children who may encounter challenges when learning a new skill as these skills transfer into everyday life.
While our students learn self-defense, they also learn physical, mental, and emotional strategies that will help them in their day to day lives. We encourage our students to explore alternate avenues to resolve a situation, and to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Martial arts doesn’t have to be about physical violence but rather about learning to harness our reactions and create smarter, more beneficial choices throughout life.
The “Zero Risk Effect”
Our program is the definition of the Zero Risk Effect. Training in person in a dojo can be intimidating, as we’ve mentioned – we believe this is one of the main reasons that many people don’t engage in the martial arts. However, when you train online with us, the hesitations that many people feel disappear. It’s important for martial arts schools and instructors to create a welcoming and inclusive environment. We emphasize that martial arts is a journey of self-improvement: our beginner-friendly online classes are open to all abilities, and our instructors offer support and encouragement wherever they can.
You don’t have to worry that another classmate is judging you, or that your abilities aren’t as advanced as the student next to you. Our online format erases self-doubt and provides a “safe space” for students to learn while building their confidence in their own abilities. Your program is designed for YOU: it will challenge you when you need it and support you along the way.
The world of martial arts holds immense potential for personal growth, self-defense skills, and overall well-being. While certain factors like self-doubt/physical insecurities, fear of judgment, and misconceptions surrounding martial arts can discourage individuals from starting their journey, there are solutions that can help overcome these barriers.
Our online martial arts training platform provides a welcoming and judgment-free environment, allowing individuals to learn and progress at their own pace without the pressure of comparison or scrutiny. This accessible and inclusive approach erases concerns about being judged or feeling embarrassed in a traditional dojo setting, making martial arts more approachable for a wider range of people. It is truly the Zero Risk Effect.
Moreover, it is crucial to address and debunk the misconceptions surrounding martial arts. By highlighting the discipline, focus, and mental fortitude required, we can shift the narrative away from negativity and showcase the profound benefits martial arts offer. Emphasizing the values of respect, self-control, and personal growth, martial arts can be recognized as a holistic practice that nurtures both the body and the mind.
It is through dispelling these misconceptions and offering inclusive training opportunities that we can foster a community where anyone, regardless of their background or skill level, feels empowered and inspired to embark on their own martial arts journey.