The Martial Arts Effects on Health
Charles Wilson

Martial Arts are more than simply breaking a bunch of bricks and boards with various parts of the body.  The Martial Arts are about discipline and balance.  They are philosophies in and of themselves which teach good moral character, non-violent attitudes and behavior, and spiritual enlightenment.  The martial arts proscribe various movements and techniques which emphasize focus and centering by eliminating discriminating consciousness and merging intention and action into an uninterrupted flow,

Key to the martial arts is the emphasis on the mind-body relationship.  The fitness and strength of the mind, body, and spirit are enhanced.  Today many people are discovering the benefits of martial arts for their health.  People of all ages join clubs and schools instructing martial arts not only for the possible benefits of self defense but for the health benefits as well.  In many cases, one or more of the martial arts is prescribed as a type of therapy for treatment of various ailments.

There are two basic types of martial arts, the hard martial arts (i.e. karate of kung fu) and the soft (or internal) martial arts (i.e. tai chi).  But, many like Tai Chi are practiced primarily for their health benefits.

The Joplin Globe: Martial Arts guide man through life's challenges.  (

Tai Chi Chuan  (
Overview of Tai Chi and its health benefits.

NIA - Tai Chi for Older People  (
Study on tai Chi helping older people to stay stronger and healthier.

Physical, Mental and Spiritual Fitness Through Martial Arts  (
Fitness through martial arts written by an instructor.

Martial Arts Philosophy  (
The philosophy of martial arts and its effect on the body.

Taijiquan in the Workplace  (
Taijiquan, how it improves health and productivity in the workplace.

Martial arts therapy offers alternatives  (
Martial Arts can act as a physical therapy.

Return to class readings page:  Kinesiology 493: Philosophy of Kinesiology