Martial Arts Styles and Your Mental Health Benefits
Author – Bryan Scanlan
Feeling stressed out? Looking for a release or a way to change behavior? If yoga and talk therapy are not doing the trick, the various disciplines of martial arts styles offer a fantastic alternative. It’s widely known that everyday stress and anxiety contributes to poor overall mental health. Children and adults find themselves in stressful situations on a daily basis. By engaging in the practice of any of the various martial arts styles, you will find yourself improving mental health and adapting new behaviors. Whether it be the ancient Korean martial art style of Taekwondo, or the traditional Chinese Martial art style of Kung Fu, the mental and physical health benefits are numerous.
Martial Arts Enhances Mental Health
Originating as a form of self -defense and attack methods, it is now known that any of the martial arts styles can alter brain chemistry, which in turn alters mood and energy level. Of course the practice of all martial art styles is a total body workout and can help one shed fat and build muscle, however Taewondo and Kung Fu also improves focus, effort, discipline, mood and self-confidence. Taekowndo means “foot”, “fist” and “movement” while the traditional Kung Fu used the fist. When someone is angry or upset they often feel as they want to kick and punch. Holding those emotions inside allows negative energy to build inside. Martial Arts allows aggression to be taken out in a respectful way inside the classroom. It emphasizes a strong mental focus. Joining a Chinese or Korean form of martial arts will teach you to redirect angry behavior and release stress resulting in an improved mood, energy level and degree of mental awareness (Healthy Place).
Martial Arts Teaches Life Coping Skills
Martial arts teach breathing techniques to settle emotions, a useful skill in controlling behavior. Taekwondo emphasizes commitment, goal setting, memorization and effort and respect. Committing to the discipline and working your way up the belt colors employs vital life skills. You compete against yourself and your motivation and determination to achieve determines the progression. There is no time limit. The only difference between a person with a white belt and a person with a black belt is that the person with the black belt didn’t give up. Participating in a Chinese or Korean martial art style teaches how to redirect angry behavior and release stress resulting in an improved state of mental health. Mental focus, respect and commitment are essential life skills that can be learned at an early age or developed and refined as an adult (Inspiyer).
Martial Arts Reaches Out to All Ages
Taekwondo and Chinese martial arts are open to all ages. Children may begin to practice the discipline as early as age 4 or 5. In todays hectic and fast paced world children that begin early in martial arts have a head start in disciplining themselves to set goals and make commitments. Martial arts are a way to learn to combat bullying. Self-defense tactics along with building elf-esteem and self-confidence are life skills that can be emphasized at an early age. In Taekwondo and Kung Fu you compete against yourself to move up the belt levels –a good alternative for children who find competitive sports difficult or unenjoyable. Marital arts disciplines teach coping and life skills to adults just as they do for children. An adult participating in a Chinese or Korean discipline will relieve stress and gain physical strength. Adults in any walk of life from the workplace to a stay at home parent will sharpen mental skills, improve leadership techniques, self-control, energy, relationship building and gain in personal development.
MARTIAL ARTS FOR A LIFETIME
It’s widely known that everyday stress and anxiety contributes to poor overall mental health. Children and adults find themselves in stressful situations on a daily basis. By engaging in the practice of the ancient Korean martial art style of Taekwondo, or the traditional Chinese discipline of Kung Fu, the mental and physical health benefits will be numerous. You will find yourself improving mental health and adapting new behaviors.
Hockman’s ATA is a dedicated Martial Arts school within Columbia, Missouri that focuses on Songahm Taekwondo and Krav Maga, the official self-defense system of many law enforcement agencies. Whether it be Karate for Kids, or our adult classes, we are dedicated to self-defense, fitness and mental as well as physical discipline. Visit us at our East School, West School or South School, click here to find out more.