Martial arts are one of the most fascinating physical activities that have been developed in the known world to date. There are many reasons to study this art form:

1. Exercise

In our ever-increasing technological society, there is a greater need than ever to prevent ourselves from becoming “couch potatoes”; that is, we are always out of breath after the simplest task of lifting a heavy object or running down the street to catch the bus. There are many activities that can be taken up to avoid this, such as sports like softball, jogging, weightlifting and so on. Martial arts certainly qualify as a good form of exercise.

It is worth noting that with such a lengthy and diverse history, martial arts are (in my opinion, anyway) among the better forms of exercise because the variety of techniques to be learned promotes interest. As an example, I personally find weightlifting quite boring, especially when compared to something like a sparring competition with another person.
2. Discipline

Many parents would be surprised to learn that martial arts do not promote violence; in fact, they do the exact opposite. First, the mental aspects of martial arts (such as remembering the terminology, learning the patterns of movement, and reacting to a sparring partner) require a lot of attentiveness, which obviously encourages discipline. Second, learning about the effects of a punch or kick make one realize just how easy it is to get hurt by one, especially in an uncontrolled situation like a street fight. Finally, martial arts teach plenty of techniques that are useful to avoid fighting entirely, thus preventing a street fight before it even starts.
3. Confidence

Martial arts instructors, like any good teacher, are never satisfied with your performance: they are always encouraging you to try harder, to move faster, to aim your punches better. This breeds an important positive attitude: to always be willing to give everything your best shot, and to try as hard as you can. This kind of teaching inspires confidence in one’s own abilities, which cannot help but become apparent not only in the martial art, but in everything one does.
4. General Interest

If you’re anything like me, you’ve grown up seeing plenty of martial arts in the movies and on TV. Ordinary-looking people are somehow able to take on multiple attackers (with or without weapons), dodge bullets, perform impossible-looking kicks and maneuver with amazing speed. Learning a real martial art not only explains what can and can’t be done in real life, but it also gives you an appreciation for the skill that many martial arts practitioners (and stunt actors!) have.