The Most Peaceful Martial Arts
“To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is the Art of Peace.”
Maybe because of the word “martial” in the name – a word referencing war and violence – martial arts are often misunderstood. It is often assumed they are all about conflict and fighting. However, while offensive and defensive moves are a part of the training, in every martial art there is also a focus on meditation, control, and self-discipline. In fact, some of these sports focus entirely on those peaceful aspects above all else.
Can Martial Arts be Relaxing?
It’s possible to find and practice martial arts with a dedication to avoiding conflict entirely. These are more about the mental and physical health benefits to the student, rather than the specific fighting techniques. These “peaceful” styles are great choices if you want to prioritize a better mind and body throughout your life.
The Benefits of Peaceful Martial Arts
If you choose a more subdued, calming martial art and follow it for a long time, you will undoubtedly see many benefits that have nothing to do with combat. People of all ages can experience this – children, young adults, adults, and seniors can all boost their mental and physical health, learning skills like:
Peaceful Martial Arts
Aikido – “the way of the harmonious spirit” – was developed in the late 1920s and has since split off into many subforms. The basic idea behind its creation, though, has remained: it focuses mainly on peaceful movements and “overcoming oneself”, rather than combat techniques. In the event of a conflict, the moves are meant to defend oneself rather than injure the attacker, redirecting momentum so that both sides stay as unharmed as possible.
Physical training is used to build up strength and abilities, with a high importance placed on instincts, appropriate reactions, and confidence in oneself. While an aikido practitioner is definitely capable of solid defense in a fight, more emphasis is placed on the daily benefits of good self-control and levelheadedness
2. Tai Chi
Tai chi as a definitive style originated in the 1800s, building on earlier techniques from China and gaining popularity for its focus on personal health and wellness. Defined by its many slow and deliberate movements, it was conceived as a way to balance internal and external forces on the body, maintaining a confident readiness in each motion. Today, many older people can be found practicing it, because of its low impact and high versatility.
A huge part of tai chi is meditation, and learning to be and remain calm. There is also a large emphasis on controlled breathing, as well as “pushing hands” and taolu, which are solo forms that make up a kind of choreography. The taolu are the key to successful tai chi steps, enhancing self-awareness and thoughtfulness.
Rooted in Chinese medicine, philosophy, and martial arts, qigong seeks to align body posture, breathing, meditation, and movement. Like tai chi, it is heavily rhythmic. It uses slow, fluid motions, controlled breathing, and mental calmness. With a balance between dynamic (active) and meditative (passive) techniques, it emphasizes relaxation and peace.
Qigong is also popular among elder people and the younger generation alike, because it helps with posture and muscular health, balance, meditation, focus, emotional control, and general self-perception and holistic health. Plus, with 75 ancient forms and 56 more contemporary ones – plus many more not listed – there is no shortage of motions and abilities to practice.
Relaxing Martial Arts in Calgary, Alberta
At the core, every martial art has some level of nonviolence built in, helping to strengthen mental abilities as well as physical ones. Kung fu is no different, with a huge importance on meditation and control.
In fact, there are many benefits to following kung fu, because practicing it is meant to improve your life in many ways. If you’ve been thinking about getting into the sport and you want to see if it’s right for you, why not come down and see what you’ve been missing? We have an introductory program meant for people just like you. Join in the fun and get ready for kung fu for life!