combative sport stress management

Combative sport stress management: Fight for a happier life

Combative sports are great for many things and can strengthen us mentally and physically. One powerful benefit I believe combat sports can bring to our lives is stress relief, through the development of our mind and body. There are so many reasons why practicing a combative sport or martial arts is good for your mental and physical health. This article will go into some of the compelling reasons for combative sport stress management.

What are combat sports?

Combat sports involve forced physical contact between two people. The style of physical contact can take many forms, including striking with your fists, kicking, or grappling. Common examples of combat sports include boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, judo, karate, and jujitsu. There are even disciplines that include all of these styles, such as mixed martial arts (MMA).

Combat sports do not have to be practiced with the intention of competing at a high level with other competitors, most people simply train for the many benefits they bring. There are many clubs and communities that specialise in various combat sports, some of them focus on the beginner-medium level, whereas some gyms focus mainly on professional fighters.

Combative sport stress management

Combative sport stress management is the concept of managing stress in our daily lives through the practice of combat sports. There are several ways in which training in combat sports can be vital for improving our resilience to stress both in the physical and mental sense. This article will go into detail on some of these reasons and how they make a positive impact on stress management.

Training in any combat sport is generally extremely physically demanding. This practice comes with the usual benefits of intense exercise, but there are also benefits specific to combat sports that will be covered.

Endorphin release

It is no secret that exercise makes us feel great, but some of us don’t know exactly why. Exercise is a well-known way to reduce stress as it has been shown as an effective way to increase the release of endorphins. Endorphin release also boosts the release of the happy feel-good hormone, dopamine.

With more of these specific hormones in our body, we attain a better mood, as our feeling of pleasure and resilience to pain is increased. Exercise also reduces the level of cortisol in our body which is our main stress hormone. These reasons show exactly why exercise is such an effective way to manage stress in our lives, and exercising through combat sports gives us a structured and exciting program to exercise consistently.

My first kickboxing tournament after 5 months of training

Staying present

Practicing a combat sport forces us to turn off our unwanted worries and thoughts that commonly pop in and out of our heads. What to eat for lunch tomorrow? How to complete a task at work? When to clean the house?

Training in combat sports helps us be in the present moment. Fighting requires all of our attention to what is right in front of us. When facing a real threat of physical pain, any distractions will seriously hinder your performance.

Practicing being in the present is a form of mindfulness, and will allow us to express gratitude and decrease anxiety.

Relaxed confidence

Regularly putting ourselves into high-stress, high-risk situations increases are confidence and capability over time. Practicing the perfect technique and putting it to practice is extremely satisfying and inspires confidence in our abilities.

As we gain more experience in combat sports, we learn to become more relaxed in these high-stress situations. This skill to stay relaxed in stressful scenarios is directly transferable to many areas of our lives. Suddenly raising a concern in an important meeting doesn’t seem as scary as surviving a flurry of punches.

Becoming durable mentally and physically over months or years of grueling training is extremely empowering. This confidence can help you achieve goals in other areas of your life, such as a career promotion or starting a new side hustle.


One of the best things about training in combat sports is the community. Ideally, you will be a part of a club with a whole range of different people. Different ages, heights, styles, and levels of experience will help shape your combat sport journey into an enjoyable one.

There is something special about training with other people, and helping each other to gain new skills, experience, and resilience to pain and hardship. Training with others who are better than you can be humbling, and can really teach you a lot about yourself.

Training in a safe and friendly environment is ideal for stress relief. I’d recommend anyone to join a combat sports gym even if you don’t want to compete and just want to do it for health reasons.





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