We’re all aware that regular, consistent exercise — such as karate training — improves our physical fitness. But martial arts lessons provide us with even more than a good workout. Regular, consistent karate training helps boost 5 critical mental strengths.
1) Greater emotional well-being
Our emotional well-being and our physical health are strongly linked. A recent study compared karate training to a basic exercise routine, and to cognitive training. Participants in karate training showed a greater level of self-esteem as well as lower levels of depression than the others. Our base-line emotional well-being is stronger through practicing karate.
2) Stronger “working memory”
Researchers working in Italy have discovered that participating in karate improves our working memory. This is our ability to keep critical information immediately in mind as we work through a problem. Having a strong working memory is critical for our ability to reason, plan, and solve problems.
3) Enhanced stress management
Many traditional martial arts emphasize practicing carefully controlled body movements and breathing as part of training. These are often called kata or forms. These are used extensively in tai chi, samurai sword, and karate. Research shows this enhances our ability to manage stress successfully. We also feel lower overall levels of stress.
4) Improved mental focus
Recent research has shown a strong link between karate practice and improved alertness. This is a form of what is called “Attention State Training”. As we practice karate, we’re cultivating a specific state of mind that strengthens our mental focus. We’re better able to heed what is going on, and act swiftly in response.
5) Assertive & constructive instead of hostile & aggressive
As well as self-defense skills, traditional karate training focuses on developing our emotional and physical self-control. We learn ways to resolve our conflicts constructively, without letting them turn into quarrels or fights. We also strongly stress treating others with courtesy and respect. Studies have revealed that karate practitioners are less hostile toward others. They show lower levels of both physical and verbal aggression. Moreover, they’re more willing to step in and help others at need.
Karate offers us far more than physical defense skills. The martial arts have been practiced for many generations for both personal protection and personal development. Modern researchers are continuing to explore the many ways traditional martial arts training helps to strengthen us mentally as well as physically.
We invite you to join us to explore these benefits for yourself and your family. We can get you started with your 3 Lesson Introductory Course. Please contact our school and we will make an appointment for your own private lesson to get started!
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