It is no secret that physical exercise has multiple benefits. Improving physical strength or losing weight tends to be the most popular reasons, but what about the natural boosts exercise does for the brain? Walking, running, and cycling keep the body moving and keep the body healthy. Yoga is said to improve mood, balance, and flexibility. Weightlifting builds muscles. But what if one sport did all three as well as boosted the brain? Martial arts are unique in that regardless of the specific form. They increase the brain\’s function because of the direct and inter-relational way training is designed to engage the mind and body simultaneously.
Brain Booster #1: Improved Attention Training Through Martial Arts
We live in a world of continuous distractions, and researchers recognize that the availability and immediacy of our devices are shortening people\’s overall attention spans. However, the design of excellent martial arts programs develops more substantial attention spans by requiring students to reach a certain state of mind, resulting in stronger focus. This state of mind and extending the length of time through martial arts training allow students to achieve higher levels and master techniques in a variety of martial arts styles. Martial arts are shown to connect practice and training to improved alertness and longer attention windows for children and adults. The brain-boosting training of martial arts directly improves attention training.
Brain Booster #2: Multi-Tasking and Compassion Training
Martial arts training engages the mind by requiring the wandering mind to adhere to multiple rules and respond appropriately to verbal or visual signals. Although many once thoughts that enrolling children in martial arts training may increase their aggressiveness, it has shown repeatedly to be the opposite. Children between 8-11 years old are faced with following multiple rules while using defensive moves. Martial arts breed self-control, and students who participate in martial arts training with a reputable studio learn how to maintain self-control and respond in a controlled manner even when emotions are high and situations are heated. Research has shown that aggressiveness is reduced in children who train in martial arts and shows signs of reduced physical and verbal aggression in adults as well. Hostility levels are lower, and compassion levels for others are higher. Studies show that many known aggressive students, after continued training, are prone to step in to help another in bullying situations.
Brain Booster #3: Lower Stress Levels Occur Due to Martial Arts Training
Many forms of martial arts, including tai chi, specifically focus on meditation and breathing as part of the techniques and moves. Students must master the mental elements before they can master the physical. However, all martial arts training styles can reduce stress as the mind and body must work together to achieve desired mental and physical goals. Many martial arts students admit they better manage stress when regularly participating in martial arts training. Again, these findings are across the board of ages for adults. Although it is likely that children are also learning to manage their stress better, they may not articulate it this way. But families may experience a calmer approach and response to things that previously triggered anxiety. Martial arts training leaves the mind in better condition, which is well-known to aid the body in warding off illness and disease.
Brain Booster #4: Improved Emotional Well Being
All the connections between mental and body workouts in martial arts training and emotional states also show consistent improvement in students. Regular training in a professional and exceptional studio creates relationships between peers and instructors to students. Since humans are designed for socialization, martial arts offer even the most introverted person a healthy outlet that lowers anxiety levels and reduces feelings of depression. More beneficial emotional states have multiple benefits, including more awareness of others that can lead to healthier relationships and increased self-esteem and confidence.
Beyond all the brain-boosting benefits of martial arts training, it is an incredible lower impact sport that can be practiced and mastered by students of all ages. Although the draw to martial arts is often targeted at younger students, even seniors can enjoy well-designed martial arts programs. If you are in the Carlsbad or Rancho Bernardo areas in San Diego, call today for a free trial class with SwiftKick Martial Arts. SwiftKick is unquestionably the most family-friendly and well-regarded martial arts studio in San Diego. Founder and owner Brian Cowell purposefully designed training for different age groups, focusing on appropriate skills and techniques in a mixed martial arts format. Training at SwiftKick is a personalized experience. Take advantage of the opportunity to boost your brain in attention, multi-tasking, lower stress, and better emotional states. Whether trying martial arts for the first time or returning after a break, getting involved guarantees countless and priceless benefits for students of all ages and athletic abilities.