Physical training in martial arts is rigorous, challenging, and rewarding. Having a strong and capable body is the first step towards overall fitness and wellness. But as you train the body, the brain must be challenged as well. Martial arts is a great way to keep the brain engaged while developing your strength and flexibility.
Here are a few ways that brain training and martial arts go hand in hand:
One way that you get mental training from martial arts is through problem-solving. Physical training is a series of problem-solving exercises disguised as technique and form. Each time you are asked to perform or compete, you are being asked to solve a problem. The problem may be an opponent’s technique or size. It may be working to improve your own speed and agility. No matter the circumstances, martial arts trains you to see the challenge in front of you and respond with efficiency and confidence. Problem-solving becomes a natural part of your progression. With practice, the mind becomes as agile as the body.
Another way brain training and martial arts align is through stress management. Stress is a natural part of life. It is often seen as an entirely negative concept, but training and competition are actually forms of positive stress. The desire to do well and win are stressors that can push us to achieve in ways we weren’t able to before. Even the small things in life, such as the minor stress of having your hands full and needing to open the front door, train your brain. Imagine the benefit of learning to deal with the stress of escaping a hold or striking efficiently with your less dominant hand. Stress management is ever-present in martial arts.
As you train and develop physical skills, the brain changes as well. With each new technique or skill acquired, you will notice a subtle change in thought processes and reasoning. The brain’s ability to adapt and maintain a sort of plasticity is critical to longevity as you age. The world will always be progressing and evolving. The only way to maintain a sense of ease and peace of mind is to progress and grow right along with it. Through new ideas, techniques, and teaching, martial arts have been evolving for centuries. It is a proven method for maintaining the relatively new concept of mental plasticity—the mind’s ability to adapt and create new connections.
At Ascendant Martial Arts, we know training the body and the brain develops a complete martial artist. Contact us today at our facility in Regina and get started today.