Short answer is “Yes!!” Many collegiate & professional athletes cross-train in martial arts, especially in their off season. Martial arts, in general, is great to work balance, coordination, focus, and fitness, among many other traits. I’ve even been lucky enough to work with one college football team in their off season to develop their stretching and range of motion. When the regular season picked back up, I was told the team continued with the stretching program that was taught them. By the end of that season, the team was recognizing their stretching routine for helping them have a season with the lowest number of injuries reported. I’ll tell you it wasn’t easy, though. Some of those guys, as strong as they were, just would not relax their muscles into the stretches when we first started. They were used to walking around with tense knots of muscles. Martial arts stretching and training helped them perform at a peak level for that coming season, and can help any athletes improve their own skills for any other sport, too.
Martial arts, when taught properly, works right and left sides, upper and lower body. You’ll have drills that challenge your lateral, circular, and rotational movement. Whether during Warm-Up or forms you’ll find something in class that builds strength and increases flexibility. Sparring or other drills work to build endurance and increase your reflexes and timing. Putting these moves on a target (stationary or moving) also helps to build hand/eye or foot/eye coordination.
If you’ve got a student interested in other sports and are wondering how we can help them excel, bring them by to try out a lesson or two. We may even be able to suggest specific exercises or drills to practice at home.