Many people are unaware of the different forms and specific benefits that can be derived from practicing martial arts. While weight loss, flexibility, self defence, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, improved reflexes and muscle mass are some of the most obvious health benefits of martial arts, there some forms of martial arts that can also improve your moods and strengthen your mental health. Budo is one of them; it is a Japanese martial art that focuses mainly on the mind-body connection and inner peace.
The word ‘budo’ is made up of two different words, where ‘bu’ is a Japanese word meaning martial or combat and ‘do’ is derived from the Chinese word ‘tao’, which is the path of life, whereby what is learnt is extended into wisdom. Budo is much more than just the techniques and applications of martial arts; it alters all the facets of life.
Budo is a form of martial arts that does not depend upon physical strength but instead focuses on psychological and physical techniques to exploit one’s power and energy. Budo developed from Bushido (the Way of the Warrior), as an art of making peace with severe training by promoting skillful techniques, physical strength and the unity of the mind and body. Budo is the essence of karate, without which karate would be a mere method of fighting.
The practice of budo enhances one’s mental health in such a way that the practitioner can control their opponent even without a physical confrontation. Here are a few other ways in which budo training benefits an individual:
• Self control: Budo enhances one’s mind to the extent that they can accomplish a task even if they are unfocused. The practitioner is good at decision making and has full control over their mind and actions.
• Self defence: Budo involves kicking, punching and exercising, which can not only boost self confidence but also enable the practitioner to overcome bullying, eve teasing, etc.
• Physical fitness and posture: Budo aids weight loss by burning calories and correcting body posture.
• Co-ordination: Budo helps improve one’s performance of physical tasks. It also improves the motor skills and mind-body co-ordination.
• Longevity: Budo is known to keep diseases, enemies and mental health problems away, giving you a longer life. Practising budo regularly can also strengthen your immune system.
Budo is all about becoming conscious of and enhancing your life experiences. It is never too late to start practising budo and experience the difference.