martial arts lifestyle

It's hard to deny that those who learn martial arts develop many skills and strong character traits needed to take the practice seriously. From improved confidence to self-discipline and respect, the things martial arts teaches are so much more than just physical.

One character trait that is often ignored but is an important part of practicing martial arts is courage. Here we explore how martial arts builds courage in its students and helps both youth and adults overcome their fears and develop new, braver senses of self.

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If I may be so bold as to offer a prediction: We should expect to see more bearded athletes in MMA, boxing, kickboxing and other fight sports. Why?

Writing for Integrative Organismal Biology: A Journal of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology on the Oxford Academic website, E.A. Beseris, S.E. Naleway and D.R. Carrier posit that human males might have evolved a propensity to grow facial hair because it protects them in personal combat. Specifically, the presence of a beard could reduce the amount of energy that is transferred when fist strikes face.

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