Our martial arts practice helps us strengthen our mental acuity as well as our physical fitness.
Researchers at Bangor University studied people who regularly practice martial arts. They extensively tested and measured alertness, orienting, and executive types of attention.
Alertness is our ability to sustain focused awareness. Orienting is purposefully shifting our attention from one thing to another. Executive is choosing the correct response when we’re given conflicting information.
The researchers concluded that:
- Martial artists sustain a higher level of vigilance — acute awareness of what goes on around us from moment to moment.
- Martial artists develop greater overall cognitive control — the ability to direct our thoughts and govern our emotions.
- The longer we practice martial arts, the more powerfully and durably we develop these mental strengths.
You can find a detailed account here: Martial Arts Attention Span & Alertness
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