Does Martial Arts Build Muscle? 2023 Tips to Gain Muscle

Martial arts are a great way to stay fit, build strength, and learn self-discipline. They can also be valuable training tools if you want to learn how to fight or defend yourself.

If you’ve ever seen a martial arts movie, then you’re probably familiar with the countless katas – quick sequences of choreographed movements that often showcase the practitioner’s exceptional hand-to-hand combat skills. But does martial arts build muscle?

The truth is, martial arts can help you build muscle and lose fat. This article covers everything you need to know about building muscle with martial arts.

What Are Martial Arts?

Martial arts are a type of discipline that focuses on physical activities such as martial art training, gymnastics, calisthenics, martial arts competitions, and self-defense. Martial arts incorporate a wide range of disciplines, including combat sports, self-defense, law enforcement, and mental training.

Martial arts can either be practiced for competition or as a way of improving fitness and discipline. In addition, there are also some martial arts that are not combat-based, but rather are based more on disciplines, such as yoga and tai chi. Some martial arts, however, are both competitive and non-competitive, such as kendo and aikido.

What Are the Types of Martial Arts?

There are many types of martial arts, so it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you. While martial arts are a great way to lose fat and stay fit, they’re also very individualistic. No two people will have the same results from practicing the same type of martial arts.

However, the most common types of martial arts are:

Kickboxing: A full-contact martial art in which athletes compete in competition and train for the same goal: to knock their opponent out with a single kick. Kickboxing is often practiced in a boxing gym and may be combined with other martial arts or self-defense tactics.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA): Also called cage fighting or martial arts MMA is a style of fighting that, in contrast to kickboxing, is usually done in a controlled environment and only by trained, skilled fighters. MMA is a common combat sport that features a variety of martial arts and grappling techniques.

Jiu-Jitsu: A Brazilian martial art that emphasizes grappling, including Mundo JJ grappling, submission grappling, and grappling techniques for mixed martial arts.

Karate: A Japanese martial art that emphasizes punching, kicking, and self-defense.

Kung Fu: A Chinese martial art that emphasizes kicks, punches, and acupressure.

Karatedo: A Japanese martial art that incorporates calisthenics and strength training.

Muay Thai: A Thai martial art that emphasizes kicks and elbow strikes.

Tae Kwon Do: A Korean martial art that involves kicking, punching, and grappling.

Aikido: A Japanese martial art that incorporates grappling and throwing techniques.

Judo: A Japanese martial art that incorporates throws, pins, and takedowns.

What Are the Benefits of Martial Arts?

Practicing martial arts can help you lose weight, build muscle, increase endurance, gain strength, help with bone health, and more. Martial arts can improve your balance and coordination. This can help you stay injury-free by reducing the risk of falling and hurting yourself.

Moreover, practicing martial arts can help you improve your focus, flexibility, and mental health. All of these can help you prevent injury in daily life, stay active as you age, and feel better about yourself.

How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle with Martial Arts?

Building muscle is a complicated process that requires both healthy eating habits and regular exercise. For example, even if you regularly do martial arts, you can’t expect to see large improvements in muscle building because you’re not eating the right foods or working out consistently enough.

In fact, you won’t see any muscle growth until you reach the lower two or three percent of your muscle’s potential. This could take weeks, months, or even years depending on your genetics and overall health. So, you may see some muscle growth while you’re practicing martial arts, but it won’t be nearly as impressive as what you’ll see at the gym.

Does Martial Arts Build Muscle?

The short answer to this question is yes, martial arts can help you build muscle. However, training in martial art only helps you build muscle if you train regularly. So, how much muscle-building benefit you see will depend on how often you train in martial arts.

If you practice martial arts regularly, you can build muscle at a faster rate than if you only do it once a week or less. The challenge is that most martial arts don’t require that you work out at the same time you practice.

Most martial arts can be done on a weekly or even daily basis, so you won’t see the same benefits from training in them as you would from training in a more intense sport.

Does Martial Arts Get You In Shape?

Yes, practicing martial arts can get you in shape if you follow a program. Martial arts can help you build muscle, lose fat, and develop cardiovascular fitness. That said, you must remember that martial arts are not a substitute for aerobic exercise or a balanced diet.

You cannot replace the practice of cardiovascular activity with martial arts. You must still practice cardiovascular activity, such as walking, running, swimming, or cycling.

Why Martial Artists Are Not Muscular?

You may have noticed that many popular martial arts celebrities are not very muscular. This is because martial arts don’t develop the kind of strength and muscle mass that serious athletes do through years of lifting.

Instead, martial artists rely on strength, agility, speed, and endurance. Developing those qualities through martial arts is great for self-defense, but it does not provide an adequate amount of strength and muscle to compete with real-world athletes. Furthermore, most martial arts do not emphasize heavy lifting.

Is Martial Arts Better Than Gym?

No, martial arts do not make you as strong as lifting weights at the gym, but they are a great way to stay fit and have fun. Martial arts can help you develop strength, coordination, and flexibility, which are all valuable attributes in everyday life. Plus, they’re great for self-defense and building confidence.


In summary, martial arts are incredible ways to stay fit, build strength, and learn self-defense. They can also be valuable training tools if you want to learn how to fight or defend yourself.

Now, you can learn more about this topic and find out whether martial arts are right for you. Martial arts can help you build muscle, lose fat, and develop cardiovascular fitness. However, you must remember that they are not a substitute for aerobic activity or a balanced diet.

Read Also:

Does Muay Thai Build Muscle

Does Jiu Jitsu Build Muscle

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