We have all seen it in movies. It allows you a step closer to being Clarke Kent, but is it real? Is martial arts something worth your time, or should you stick to the newly bought flat screen TV in your living room?
When SDRI dug deeper into the benefits behind martial arts, we found out that martial arts could elevate your life in a massive way. Just on mental benefits alone, here are some of the many edges we discovered:
According to a research done by School of Psychology, Bangor University, United Kingdom in February 2018, martial artists when compared with non-martial artists (who still lead an active lifestyle), shown an improved attention span, vigilance and alertness.
The cherry on the icing was when they also discovered that the effects of improved alertness is a long-lasting benefit rather than a burst of improvement after the training. Such cognitive benefits that martial arts provide, increases with the number of years spent on the art.
In a separate study in 2016 as noted from Journal of Sport and Health Science, martial artists also displayed better ability to divide attention between two tasks and quicker reaction time.
Many martial artists actively use their peripheral vision to their advantage, be it situational awareness or during a sparring match. Having a heightened sense of awareness could give you additional time to react. An example would be an early detection that someone suspicious has been following you for quite some time.
You might also experience a heightened sense of spatial awareness when someone gets too close to you in public or during a confrontation. Because of their training, martial artists get a good grasp of the distance required for a punch or kick to reach another person, and this awareness is applicable to both offensive and defensive techniques. They can sense if a person is getting too near or if their strikes are within range of hitting the target effectively.
In our self defence classes, SDRI always advocate keeping a safe distance away from danger if at all possible, otherwise, knowing how and when to react to a close-distance threat has everything got to do with this spatial awareness.
Mental Resilience to Stress
Martial arts training can be arduous and repetitive at times. The tenacity built up over a sustained period can directly benefit a person’s personal life. Living in a fast-paced society can be very stressful and job expectations only continue to stack up. There could be stress from family or even financial stress, and when everything adds up, it could be overwhelming if left unchecked.
Martial arts train a person to operate under stress, such as facing a knife threat or multiple opponents at the same time. Even during normal sparring, martial artists know that they cannot fumble and must maintain a clear, level-headed, down-to-earth mind. A lack of focus could hinder the person’s ability to react to the incoming threat and result in a painful lesson.
In a self defence scenario, it will be extremely valuable if you can quickly detect whether the assailant is concealing any form of weapon. Martial artists develop observation skills through sparring, constantly looking out for the slightest hint on what the opponent intends to do next.
To the extreme end of the spectrum, highly skilled martial artists can even detect one’s breathing on whether is it fast or slow, deep or shallow. This insight is pivotal when he combines that observation with knowing exactly when to strike, and how to strike. A single punch could have the target winded out if struck at the right time. Again, the lack of anticipation could be fatal.
There are so many benefits a person can derive from martial arts and we would love to hear from you on whether these benefits can help elevate your life in a massive way. We would also love to hear from you if martial arts have already impacted you in a positive manner. Feel free to drop comments below and share this with someone who could benefit from a little more control in their life.