A first purpose of most martial arts training is self-defense, to prepare you to defend yourself or your loved ones from danger. But a nice little bonus to that knowledge is that martial arts also focus on how to predict and avoid conflict in the first place.

A second purpose for studying martial is physical fitness. You'll want to be clear, however, on which physical qualities you want to improve. Many disciplines provide a mix of anaerobic and aerobic exercise (exercises that rev up the heart and breathing rate).

A third purpose for studying martial arts is the mental and spiritual focus that will result from your study and practice. As you become able to free your mind of outside influences and achieve the goals you set within your program of study, this focus will seep into other areas of your life. You'll find yourself better able to relieve stress and manage anxiety. Others will recognize your newfound confidence, and this will increase your leadership abilities.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW study martial arts?