I used to hate my body. For years I used exercise as a means to either look a certain way, or to punish myself for not fitting some magazine-worthy ideal.

Starting karate changed all of that.

Training in a space where everyone wore the same uniform and where body composition wasn’t a topic of conversation at all was so incredibly liberating for me. It freed me from a hyperfixation on my appearance and rekindled my passion for fitness for its own sake.

Martial arts are far more about what we can do with our bodies than with how we look. We learn that we can do amazing things with our bodies in martial arts—from performing a beautiful kata to sparring aggressively and intensely—no matter our shape and size.

Martial arts celebrate the human body and remind us that movement should be pleasurable. And in martial arts, our training truly is a pleasure. I am so grateful to martial arts for rekindling that joy for me.

I talk about all of this in my fifth podcast episode. You can listen to it here, as well as wherever you prefer to listen to your favourite podcasts. You can find links to all the major directories on this page here.

Episode 5

Show Notes for Episode 5

Something I adore about karate is that we never ever have discussions about how our bodies look underneath our uniforms. We don’t sit around the dojo and talk about how to get rid of cellulite or love handles. Our focus in martial arts is far more on the incredible things we can do with our bodies, rather than on whether we look good naked. Join me in a discussion of the toxic side of fitness culture on social media, and on how it can negatively impact our body image. And on how karate and other martial arts rise above this superficial view, and instead celebrate the human body for the amazing and beautiful thing that it actually is.

Thank you for joining me on my martial arts journey, and in the exploration of all the ways we can perform better in life and martial arts.

You can also find me on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/thekarateshrimp

Check out my online courses here: https://thekarateshrimp.podia.com/

If you’re interested in starting your own podcast, I highly recommend Buzzsprout. The platform is incredibly easy to use. If you sign up for a paid plan through my link you’ll get a $20 credit, and you’ll help support my show! Here’s that sign-up link: https://www.buzzsprout.com/?referrer_id=2039494

Thank you for listening! Together let’s build a community of strong, healthy, awesome martial artists.

If you prefer the video version of this episode, you can watch it here:

For privacy reasons YouTube needs your permission to be loaded. For more details, please see our Privacy Policy.
I Accept

How has your training in martial arts affected your confidence level and body image? Feel free to share your experiences in the Comments section below.

Recommended Resources

You’re reading Positive Body Image in Martial Arts by Sabrina Bliem, originally posted on The Karate Shrimp. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Karate Shrimp on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!