January 02, 2023 3 min read

Are you seeking to lower your stress levels and keep them under control? Knowing you need to take action to reduce your stress is a significant first step. Now it is time to choose something that works and is sustainable. Exercise has long been a top strategy for stress reduction, but did you know practicing martial arts offers the best stress relief? In fact, Kung Fu and Tai Chi are among the best martial arts for stress relief. Read on to learn why.

Training uses excess energy and feels good

Exercising triggers endorphins – the happy hormone that regulates your mood. Add to that improved oxygen flow and the release of pent-up energy in the process, and you have a winning combination. Feeling happier makes it easier to manage the stress that may come your way.

Physical health improved

Breathing is a fabulous stress management tool. There is an app for that – in fact, there are many apps for that. But, learning to control your breath and use it to your advantage is built into martial arts training. As martial artists learn various stances and strikes, they are taught to exhale at various points in the movement. This controlled breathing is vital in training and will naturally transfer to other parts of life – including stress management during moments of tension.

Physical health improved

Being healthy, feeling healthy, and knowing you are healthy all reduce stress through physical wellness. When your body is in peak condition, it can respond better to outside stressors. The mental benefits of knowing your body is fit and can handle whatever life throws your way improve overall reaction to stress too.


Negative emotions, frustrations, and anxieties can build up over time. Releasing those emotions in a safe, controlled way provides instant stress relief. In martial arts training, kicking, punching, and striking allow the cathartic release of those emotions that can keep your stress levels high. Once released, you can begin to let go of those emotions.

Improves mental health

Reducing depression and anxiety is a welcome off-label benefit of practicing martial arts. By improving mental health, overall stress levels can come down. Improved mental health makes dealing with new stressors easier.

Release muscle tension due to stress

What came first, the chicken or the egg? Muscle tension is a nasty side effect of stress. But, once you’re tense, that tension feeds the stress. This cyclical stress response can be tough to break. The many stretching exercises that are inherent in martial arts training can reduce these muscle tensions to break the stress-tension cycle.

Improve Focus

During the practice of martial arts, every movement is exact. Successfully performing every move requires deep focus and blocking of distracting thoughts. Like the muscles in your body, practicing this deep focus makes focusing easier. Better focus on your family, your job, and every other part of life can greatly reduce stress caused by the general chaos of life.

Self Esteem

Martial arts practitioners are on a journey to earning a black sash. From day one until well beyond the day that black sash is tied around their waist, martial artists set and achieve hundreds or thousands of goals. Every goal achieved is another bump up of self-esteem. It is human nature to gain confidence as we achieve and exceed goals in body and life. While you don’t always get positive feedback in all aspects of life, you’ll get to claim every victory and every challenge overcome in martial arts.


Martial arts is FUN! There are many great methods for stress reduction, but not all are sustainable life changes. Joining a martial arts school like US Kuo Shu Academy will give you a family-like environment where everyone supports each other and has fun. In fact, we are quite sure your time in the studio will become something you look forward to each and every time.

Reducing stress is vital to your health. When stress is better managed, immunity is boosted, mental and physical health are improved, and you can achieve better mind/body balance. Getting started with stress relief through martial arts is easy. Give our team a call today to schedule a free introduction.