“Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage and confidence in the doing…”

I ran across this quote this morning and it reminded me of how martial arts training builds your self confidence.

As a martial artist – whether you realize it or not – you build your confidence every time you show up to your classes. Just bowing and stepping into your dojo takes courage and every time you do it, you get stronger.

I don’t know about you, but I still get butterflies every time I am asked to spar with someone. And every time, I take a deep breath and make myself get out there and do it. As soon as the match starts, the butterflies go away and the focus shifts to doing my best.

This is exactly how martial arts training builds your confidence. If you are an adult, you know that the butterflies you feel when you are sparring or about to perform your kata in front of your instructor and classmates are the same you feel when you are asked to give an important presentation, approach your boss for an important assignment or raise, or call on a key client.

By training in the martial arts, you know you can handle anything that comes your way, because you expose yourself to challenging situations and perform at your best. You are building or “conditioning” your confidence, making it stronger with every class. You are training yourself to focus and perform under pressure, no matter what the situation may be that is causing the pressure.

This is also why martial arts competition is a great tool for building confidence in children and adults. Nowhere else can you find something that builds confidence in a safe, fun, family environment and at the same time, pushes you to perform and be your best.

Whether it is through your martial arts classes or participating in martial arts tournaments, every time you push yourself to train, you are building your confidence and a stronger you – on the inside and the outside – with every punch and kick.

Keep up your training and I hope to meet you at your dojo or a tournament one day.

Yours in the arts,

Sensei Huff
Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios

P.S. – If you haven’t registered for the Z-Ultimate Self Defense Studios Summer Grand Championship Tournament, there is still time. Please see your instructor to enroll. If you’d like more details about the tournament and how it works, please go to https://zultimate.com/summertournament.

P.P.S. – I love hearing from Z-Ultimate family members, so please leave us your feedback on this article and any way we can improve your experience as a Z-Ultimate family member.

Please Share Your Comments & Questions

Please give your feedback! Z-Ultimate is happy to help you in any way we can. We love it when students, family members or people interested in us and the martial arts share their thoughts with us, so please leave your comments.

SPECIAL REQUEST: Please keep your comments or questions thoughtful, intelligent and respectful. Z-Ultimate believes, represents and teaches the values of respect, discipline and humility; please keep that in mind when commenting. Thank you.


  1. Virginie Drouot
    May 31, 2011 @ 19:10:26

    I love this article because it’s so true. With the support of my instructors I feel stronger after each class mentally and physically. The dojo is a great place to face challenges and clear your head. I gain tremendous confidence since I started going to the dojo. And the confidence my instructors gave me changed the way I work, the way I live for sure. It’s a unique experience and so intense that all I want to do is share it and bring friends to the dojo! Thank you for this article that describing this “dojo effect” really well. (and also I thought I was the only one having butterflies before sparring!)


  2. Sensei Huff
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 12:58:51

    Yes we do, Marilyn.

    Please go to https://zultimate.com/locations, find a location nearest you and give them a call or drop them and e-mail; they will be happy to go over our programs with you and answer any questions you may have.

    Thank you!


  3. Kelly
    Nov 23, 2016 @ 06:36:34

    My daughter just started Karate this year and after only a couple of months I can already see the confidence growing in her. It’s great and I’m so happy she loves it as much as she does.


  4. Jenny
    Apr 29, 2018 @ 12:41:54

    My daughter started martial arts several months ago and instantly loved it. Her instructors and classmates definitely contributed to her increased self confidence. She seemed to be a natural and has been labeled as the best in her class, by other parents and highly praised for her hard work by her instructors. She finally felt confident enough to go to a tournament. We went to the tournament and she wasn’t even nervous, she displayed strong confidence and performed her routine nearly perfect, the best she had ever performed. Not to be bias but she had the best routine and one steps of anyone. The results came in and she beamed with confidence and was so excited to get a medal or trophy. She didn’t receive any of the 6 awards given. Her face went white and I could tell she was doing everything to hold tears back. I just hugged her and told her it was ok. I decided to speak to a judge to see what she did wrong and the judge couldn’t tell me anything except one front stance was off and her confidence could be improved. I didn’t buy this, the other kids messed up and did the routine so fast and messy i was appalled. The judge said placing wasn’t about if they messed up. So then what is a competition for if you can win even when you don’t know your routine! This did not build my daughters confidence! It left her confused at what she did wrong when others obviously did worse than her. It left her embarrassed and left her wanting to quit altogether by the treatment we received. Is this common for judges to judge so unfairly or was this possibly just a bias small town competition where all local attendees were awarded??? I’d like to know others opinions.


  5. Joy Butler
    Jul 17, 2018 @ 16:31:38

    I am so thankful for what you have shared about the importance of martial arts in building our confidence. Yes, I am interested in learning martial arts and I have that big respect to those who are experts on it. It is because they are so disciplined, strong and confident. I’d love to be just like you guys!


  6. Steve marlin
    Aug 02, 2020 @ 22:56:57

    martial arts boost up the confidence of ours. It also motivate us to protect ourselves.


  7. Rebecca Gardner
    Dec 01, 2020 @ 12:06:09

    It stood out to me when you explained how martial arts built confidence by regularizing exposure to challenging situations. I was catching up with a friend this morning and learned her son has been having trouble with confidence since starting junior high school last August. Maybe I’ll send her your article so she can see if her son might be interested in starting some sort of local martial arts class soon.


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