Seasonal Sports & Activities Benefit from Martial Arts

It’s an exciting time of year. In a few weeks, the mornings will be chilly. The Panthers will most likely play for a division title. Bands will march. The Dawgs will fight for a return to the SEC East and beyond. Our little ones will excite us in the rec league. It’s fall in the south, and it’s awesome.

Now fast forward to late November, school is out, the holidays have begun, and the six to eight-week football season is over for most. What now? More specifically, do you have a plan for your child until next season? Before you answer, please read on.

Many martial arts schools see seasonal sports and activities as direct competition. They are frowned on. WE ABSOLUTELY DO NOT SHARE THIS OPINION. In fact, we think that other sports not only benefit from the martial artists who participate in them; those who do are often excellent examples of self-discipline and become leaders within their respective teams.

However, unlike the season stuff, martial arts are practiced year-round. We prefer to think of ourselves as a home base for the development of healthy, long-term goal setting. Meaning, earning a black belt isn’t easy, it’s incredibly challenging and takes upwards of four-and-a-half years to achieve. Just considering the time alone, it’s very similar to the years needed to earn a college degree. With both achievements, a lot can happen, the challenges are endless, but as we all know to be successful at ANYTHING requires unwavering commitment. Those who see their long-term goals practice self-discipline.

A black belt understands that life has many priorities or seasons that compete for time and focus. This is perhaps one of the most significant differences between the black belt’s mindset and that of the average person; they embrace the benefits of the long view. They are multi-faceted and understand that eight to six weeks does not a year make.

So the next time you consider allowing your child to step away from martial arts to participate in another activity, just keep in mind that their compliments almost every aspect of life. It makes practitioners mentally and physically stronger. In parting, check out this list of seven professional athletes who credit their own continued success to their martial arts training.

D’Brickashaw Ferguson
This 6-foot, 6-inch tall, 310-pound offensive tackle for the New York Jets is a black belt in karate, and his father is a karate instructor. Also, Ferguson practices Taekwondo. He will be the first to tell you that his training in martial arts has vastly improved his coordination and discipline. When asked if his background in karate helped on the football field, Ferguson told Yahoo Sports, “I think it really helps with the discipline.”

Nick Chubb
Following a devastating injury on the field, Georgia star running back had a future in limbo. After surgery and rehabilitation, Nick practiced Taekwondo to build his leg strength and increase flexibility. Since his recovery, he’s been drafted by the Cleveland Browns for the 2018-2019 season.

Phil Mickelson
This professional golfer, who has won five PGA major championships in his career, practices kung fu and Taekwondo. He attributes his ability to focus on the golf course and his control over his body to the practice he’s had in martial arts.

Clay Matthews
During the last NFL lockout in 2011, NFL linebacker Clay Matthews took the time off from work to train in mixed martial arts. According to the Los Angeles Times, the players wanted to accomplish two things by training in martial arts. First, they wanted to condition their bodies to be able to stay healthy, given the brutal nature of football. Secondly, they wanted to train their minds to be stronger than their opponents’.

David Akers
Six-time Pro Bowl kicker David Akers consistently trains in the martial arts of jiu-jitsu and karate. At one point, he held a share of the record for the longest field goal in NFL history, too. Maybe all of the kicks he practiced in martial arts translated to a positive result on the gridiron?

Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq is a whopping 7-foot, 1-inch, 325-pound retired NBA center who enjoys training in mixed martial arts. At one point, he challenged retired MLB star (and fellow mixed martial arts student) Jose Canseco to a fight. He was at the forefront of the push to legalize MMA in the state of New York.

Many of the athletes on this list were sourced from