While it can often seem like our mind and body are two separate entities (if you’ve ever fought against a food craving, you know what I mean), the reality is, they are more deeply connected than we know.
To illustrate this, did you know that just by assuming a “victory” position (throwing your fists in the air with your shoulders back and smiling) immediately increases your testosterone production, even if you’re doing nothing more than, say, going for a walk?
Yep: your bodily movements have a profound effect on your emotions and hormones, and vice versa.
This is one of the reasons why MMA is such a powerful sport: the style of training, the movements, and the demand of the training on your mind and emotions helps breed confidence.
It’s also why you’ll often see timid and shy people who come to a gym gradually become more confident and assertive as they master movements and training!
Let’s get in to a few more reasons why MMA is an awesome confidence-builder below.
MMA: Confidence Builder
Improves Your Body Image
If you’ve ever trained MMA, you know that the sessions are no joke.
This is a sport that tests your body and mind for (essentially) survival. Physical weakness is going to be the first thing that is rooted out in order for your body to be able to support the required movements. And because of this, your physique is likely going to get an awesome overhaul!
Often, lack of confidence can be caused by low self esteem due to not being satisfied with your body image. Maybe you have a few pounds you want to get rid of, or you don’t feel as strong as you’d like. Regardless, all of these body image issues can cause you to not have as much confidence as someone who is completely “at home” in their body.
MMA, aside from toning you up and getting you stronger and more agile than many other types of workouts, also gives you an enhanced feeling of control over your body. You’ll have more balance, a steadier posture, and a purposeful stride forward. Why? Because in the ring, being timid will get you, well … hurt. When sparring, you’ll be forced to confront an opponent and defend yourself effectively, which requires absolute control over your movements, which then spills out into your daily life.
As mentioned, sparring and grappling will definitely enhance your physical self control, but will also enhance your mental self control.
In the same way that it doesn’t pay to be timid and unsure in the ring, it also doesn’t pay to be impulsive or unfocused. Training MMA will force your mind to become obedient to you, it’s Master.
What I’ve noticed from years of training is that lack of confidence partly stems from a lack of feeling in control of various factors. When you can gain a little control, especially over yourself and your reactions, your confidence level skyrockets because you feel as if you can trust yourself.
Helps You Overcome Obstacles
In reality, MMA is all about overcoming obstacles – both inner AND outer.
First things first, you have to overcome your inner obstacles: your doubts and your fears. THEN, you are confronted with outer obstacles: your physical weaknesses, blind spots, reactions, and, finally, your opponents.
Another huge aspect of lack of confidence is the belief that you “aren’t good enough” or “can’t” accomplish something. When you finally overcome an obstacle and prove to yourself that you, in fact, CAN do hard things … well, there’s almost not better confidence boost than that.
This is particularly great for kids, as it primes them for confronting real-world problems. Because in the real world, there will be pain and disappointment, and you’ll often feel inadequate … but to succeed, you’ll have to confront these head on.
MMA teaches this at its very roots.
The Bottom Line
And also, if you don’t have access to classes or a gym or just want to train at home, be sure to check out my Fit and Fight Ready Course. It has everything you need (including my personal techniques) to get yourself in the game!