Marge Sambol, a black belt in jiu-jitsu, explores the benefits of martial arts for women in this 10-part series.

Success is contagious.

It’s just that simple. All the above benefits of martial arts training could be boiled down to this one point. Martial arts gives you an improved sense of self-confidence that can’t help but spread to all areas of your life.

When you feel good about yourself because you succeeded in learning a spinning hook kick, you leave the dojo smiling with a positive attitude. You attract good people to you. You’re willing to take a risk like put your name forward for that promotion. You know you look great because you lost 10 pounds so you’re willing to buy that dress you’ve always wanted. And the benefits just keep piling up.

Joining martial arts is a great first step to feeling better about yourself and improving your self-confidence.