We have seen many examples of martial arts in preppers, from ex military and law enforcement preppers to those who seek out martial arts to prepare themselves. There are many benefits to training in martial arts when it comes to prepping, which may be different than what is expected. In order to determine whether martial arts are a good investment of your time and money into the most important item on your bug out bag list, you need to know what you might be getting into.
Definition: Live martial arts vs. others
The most important distinction to make when choosing a martial art to study is whether it is a ‘live’ martial art or not. Live martial arts are ones that are practiced live, usually in sparring or some form of competition. Static forms of martial arts are usually practiced using specific routines, often referred to as forms or katas.
1. Physical Preparation
All forms of martial arts will include some form of calisthenics as part of a warm up routine. Most will also include stretching. One of the important things about martial arts is that you will develop sport specific cardio. Running on a treadmill may very well increase your cardiovascular health but will not help you defend yourself. Training in a specific martial art will make you much more efficient at using it to defend yourself.
Compared to a sedentary lifestyle, this can be a fun way to get into shape. The comparison with more traditional forms of exercise such as weight training or running is a bit more tricky. In addition to the specific cardio mentioned above, the strength gained in martial arts will help you move your body and others around much more effectively. From my perspective, this is the most important strength to have in a bug out scenario.
2. Mental Preparation
The distinction between live and static martial arts shines here. One of the most important aspects of martial arts training is mental toughness. Training a live martial art essentially allows yourself to be placed in a simulated life or death situation every time you spar. Dealing with jitters, recovering from bad positions, and being aware of your surroundings are all things that will be heightened by martial arts training.
Competing in particular can become a great way to adapt to stress. Nothing will test your ability to perform like martial arts competitions, which are available in most major cities.
3. Self Defense
This may seem strange as the last item on the list, but it is here because it is the most variable. Different forms of martial arts have different utility. Static martial arts without live training are, by definition, not tested and thus have the least utility. Live martial arts have
much more utility but are
limited by the rule sets of their competition.
Every martial artist will assert
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theirs is the best but at the end of the day being armed is the most effective form of defense. You can’t block bullets. Regardless, the physical and mental preparation from martial arts will carry over into every area of your life, including self defense with weapons. For this reason, martial arts are highly recommended.