What do you think of when someone says the word combat? Two groups of heavily armed people having at each other with lethal wild abandon? Or two sportsmen punching each other around in a roped ring?

Combat is defined as a struggle/conflict between two people, groups or ideas. So a combat sport by definition is therefore a conflict between 2 or more people within the rules,  confines and techniques of the sport they have chosen. For example; Boxing. Two people get into a ring to punch each other for up to half an hour to either knock the other out or score enough points to win in the end.

Now I'm not just saying all this to define to you something you probably already know. I'm saying this to give definition to the topic at hand. Which is my belief that everyone should take up one of the many combat sports available world-wide. Why, do you ask? There are many reasons I believe people should start one of these sports as I will outline below. So read on to find out just how you benefit (and you will without doubt) from a combat sport.

One quick note before we go any further though. Knowing the benefits of taking up a combat sport ,is quite different from knowing your personal reason as to why you wanted to start one in the first place. For me personally? It's fear. A fear that tomorrow I won't wake up better than I am today. I am sick of holding myself back and being my own worst critic and enemy. I got knocked down twice in sparring and decided to get back up again. To learn to roll with the punch and straight up stop myself from letting it happen again. This may be your reason why as well or you may have something different in mind altogether. But remember and focus on your reason why you started and you'll only ask why you didn't start sooner. It will keep you going during the best of times and the worst. But that's a topic for another day. So read on to see what you get from learning to get punched in the face for fun.

Improved fitness

Let's start with the obvious here. The physical strain on your body will cause it to adapt as you progress deeper into combat sports and martial arts. Eventually your body will not only adapt but improve as well. You physical being will change. You likely will lose weight, or even put on good weight and muscle. Your cardiovascular endurance will go through the roof compared to what it was. Eventually that marathon run, becomes a light jog. That physically draining full combat fight will be like a light sparring session. You look and feel better. For most people this reason alone is the main factor to get into a combat sport of some kind. Keep going and you will reap life changing benefits.

You will learn that you aren't made of glass

You will be punched, kicked, elbowed, set - upon in ways you've never even thought possible. And you learn to roll with them. You learn to take and embrace them. You find out that you are made of more than what you thought. You aren't invulnerable, but you are made of skin, blood and bone. And that can take a hell of a lot of punishment. This goes over to other aspects of life as well. You realise that you are capable of more than you ever knew.

Confidence booster

Going hand in hand with learning you aren't made of glass,  you learn to stand on your own two feet and not fall down easy. You often hear that martial arts boosts confidence and it’s one of the most true things you will hear. You feel more empowered to deal with situations that arise and the principals you learn in class can be applied elsewhere in all aspects of life. Dedication, determination and the drive to improve in class will improve how you feel in other parts of life and your drive to come out the other side still standing.


Unless you're some Kung Fu master on the top of a misty mountain then you will be forced you interact with other people. Train long enough and these partners become your friends. You all go through hell at training and this forges a bond unlike anything you have seen or felt. Many people do martial arts and combat sports to meet new people and make new friends. And with so many new and old classes out there you will struggle to not find somewhere with people you get along with.

Like I say there are so many reasons to get into combat sports these days and with the rising popularity of events such as the UFC as well as the constant popularity of boxing there's never been arts better time to start. Have a look around in your local area and see what you like the look of. And remember, tapping out and taking a hit isn't a bad thing, just remember to learn how to stop it happening again next time.


Published by Bradley Hall