Martial Arts. Are you looking for something to supplement your daily life in West St. Louis County- something that is good for you and will help you cope with stress and endow you with positive qualities? Gracie Barra is the number one martial arts team in the world, for top quality instruction, inextinguishable interpersonal relationships, and countless improvements to your physical and mental health which take place when practicing martial arts.
Types of Martial Arts
Each style of martial art is unique, but martial arts as a whole is the collective systems of combat and defense training used to defend against threats and defeat opponents. Each different style of martial arts is governed by a distinct 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 special approach that incorporates principles of several martial arts from different styles. We are best known for our Brazilian jiu jitsu teachings, 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. If you are looking for a way to get healthier and grow as an individual, martial arts is a gateway to self-improvement. 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 meet the recommended amount of aerobic exercise. In martial arts, training and warm up routines naturally raise the heart rate and is good for overall heart health.
2. Muscle Tone
Martial arts helps build strength and muscle tone throughout the body, including hard-to-target muscles that aren’t targetted 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.
In martial arts, individuals are challenged to hone their reflexes. Sparring in practice and fighting in competition are excellent practice for improving reflexes. When your martial arts opponent acts, quick reflexes will allow you to best them, whether by dodging, blocking, or maneuvering to counter-attack. Repetitive practice of certain combinations over time makes you quicker, improving reflexes and shaving down reaction times.
5. Flexibility and Mobility
Martial arts involves deep and extensive motions that require flexibility. Stretches are an important part of any physical activity, and the stretches and warm up routine at the beginning of every Gracie Barra martial arts class helps improve flexibility and makes for a more nimble and mobile body. Flexibility inherently improves posture, reduces the risk of injury, and reduces tension.
In martial arts practice, tournaments, and in real-life self-defense situations, strength is necessary for defeating your opponent. While it is nothing without the technique, skill, and experience of practice martial arts practitioners, strength in the ingredient that enhances these technical abilities in martial arts like BJJ. Conditioning in practice and full-strength sparring with others of the same level build muscle and strength that allow you to become even more successful in your martial arts of choice.
7. Balance and Coordination
A stable physical foundation is essential in martial arts, and so is coordination. The moves taught in martial arts involve a coordinated effort in moving or keeping stationary different parts of the body in complex ways. Students first practice each part of the move slowing over and over, and eventually are able to do them reflexively. As you improve in strength, flexibility, and other physical aspects, you will, too, improve in 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 naturally experience a lower heart rate and reduced blood pressure.
Other Benefits of Martial Arts
1. Stress Relief
Martial arts is like other physical activities in that it helps with stress. Physical activity releases endorphins, as well as norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin and reduces the negative effects of stress on the body. Plus, when you spend time around others who share your goals and encourage you to be better, you may feel stress less severely – a unique benefit of martial arts.
2. More Energy
When you engage in regular workouts, such as 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 easily. After martial arts or other activities, you are also able to sleep better, allowing you to be more refreshed when you wake up.
3. Peace and Balance
There is no dispute about the way martial arts teaches the skills of internal peace and tranquility. Martial arts is a form of a meditation or mindfulness exercise, where your mind is focused and present. This quality puts you 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 just for kids anymore. Many adults who practice martial arts have found that martial arts helps them in matters of discipline such as quitting a bad habit. While stopping smoking, drinking, drug use, or other addictions should be done under the watch of a medical professional, 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. Learning and mastering new skills and competing against others builds confidence and humility simultaneously: humility in encountering unfamiliar and challenging tasks, and confidence when we are able to acheive them.
6. Mental Health
With the numerous physical health effects and the stress relief and peace it teaches, mental wellness is a natural byproduct of practicing martial arts. On top of all the internal skills and qualities that precede better mental health, in practicing martial arts you are exposed to intimate interactions with other 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 going to your martial arts gym regularly for weekly scheduled classes 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.
West County martial arts classes and competitions are a special way to form uniquely powerful relationships with others. Between you and your coaches is a bond of mutual respect. For your fellow martial artists you learn and practice with, you will have camaraderie and understanding of each other in a way that you don’t generally find in other types of interpersonal relationships. In martial arts, you challenge and get to know each other and form long-lasting, quality friendships.
Through these benefits, martial arts has a powerful effect 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 West County| Gracie Barra
If you are ready to change your life, looking for a hobby, or would like to add more physical activity in your lifestyle, martial arts are perfect for you. Gracie Barra is a unique martial arts experience that emphasizes important skills and values from a variety of martial arts disciplines, 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 wait any longer to discover the astonishing, very real world that is opened up by the practice of martial arts. 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.