How Being a Reader Better Prepared Me as a Martial Artist

You may not think reading and martial arts are connected, but there are some ways in which being a reader prepared me for martial arts. Read on to find out!

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A martial arts uniform and black belt next to a stack of colorful books.

At first glance, you might think that martial arts and reading might not seem very connected, but that isn’t entirely true. Before I became a martial artist, I was an avid reader. There were many habits and skills that I gained from reading that later carried me into my journey with martial arts. Read on to find out more about how these two connected in my life.


As a reader, I had spent hours, days, weeks, and sometimes even months dedicating my time to reading books. I would spend many hours in the same spot, reading the words on a page. Therefore, when I started martial arts, it wasn’t all that difficult for me to dedicate my time to something. I had spent several days with my nose buried in books, dedicated to finishing that particular series or chapter, so dedicating time to learn and reach a goal in martial arts wasn’t all that hard (especially when it took me six and a half years to get my black belt).

Bookstr writer Alexandra Mellott in a martial arts competition.

While they’re two different activities, the dedication itself wasn’t something I struggled with due to reading. If you can set a goal to read a whole book in a few days, dedicating time toward a martial arts goal isn’t all that different. I would argue that this applies to many things and sports as well. We readers are very dedicated to our hobbies!


Martial arts gear: duffle bag, gloves, water bottle, and different colored belts.

As readers, we’re known for spending A LOT of money on books and book-related things, so when I went into martial arts, I was already used to spending money on my hobbies. Just like reading, martial arts is an expensive pastime. I’ve spent countless dollars on both books and martial arts equipment, like gloves, uniforms, weapons, and belts.

Getting Hurt

Two women in karate uniforms and belts fighting, with one woman punching the other in the face.

I’ve been emotionally wrecked so many times by books that being physically wrecked in practice, honestly, isn’t that bad. Sure, I’ve been kicked in the stomach once or twice and couldn’t breathe, but it didn’t hurt nearly as much as (Spoiler Alert) Rue dying in The Hunger Games. I’m not sure I’ll ever get over her death. While my physical injuries have healed, there are simply some book moments that I’ll never come back from.

Were you expecting any of these aspects to connect? What kind of book moments will you never get over?

For an article on how to balance reading between school and hobbies, click here.