We all know that exercise generally has many benefits, like improving fitness and strength. But did you know that different types of exercise has different benefits.
Researchers have already shown that jogging can improve life expectancy, for example, while yoga makes people happier. However, karate goes beyond improving physical and mental health – it can boost your brain’s cognition too.
1. Improved attention
Researchers say that there are two ways to improve attention, through attention training (AT), and attention state training (AST). AT is based on practising a specific skill and getting better at that skill, but not others. AST on the other hand is about getting into a specific state of mind that allows a stronger focus. This can be done by using exercise, meditation, or yoga, among other things.
It has been suggested that Karate is a form of AST, and links have been seen between practice and improved alertness.
2. Reduced aggression
In an American study, children aged 8-11 were given traditional martial arts training that focused on respecting other people and defending themselves as part of an anti-bullying programme. The children were also taught how to maintain a level of self-control in heated situations.
The researchers found that the martial arts training reduced the level of aggressive and found that they were more likely to step in and help someone who was being bullied than before they took part in the training.
3. Enhanced emotional well-being
Several scientists are now looking into links between emotional well-being and physical health, it’s vital to note that martial arts has been show to improve a persons well bring too.
A study had people take part in karate training, cognitive training, or non-martial arts physical training for three to six months. The older adults in the karate training showed lower levels of depression after the training period than both other groups, perhaps due to its meditative aspect. It was also reported that these adults showed a greater level of self-esteem after the training too.
4. Improved memory
After comparing a sedentary control group to a group of people doing karate, Italian researchers found that taking part in karate can improve a person’s working memory. They used a test that involved recalling and repeating a series of numbers, both in the correct order and backwards, which increased in difficulty until the participant was unable to continue. The karate group were much better at this task than the control group, meaning they could recall longer series of numbers.
As this research shows there is far more to training in karate than its traditional known roles. Though it has been practised for self-defence and spiritual development for many hundreds of years, only relatively recently have researchers had the methods to assess the true extent of how this practice affects the brain.
Very Interesting eh????
What a week we had at the academy last week.
Week 2 of kickboxing grading assessments, week one of karate grading assessments (the effort and energy in all lessons was fantastic), the first 2 fun filled days of Summer Camp (the fire brigade visit was brilliant), week one of fitness circuit sessions and the start of our 30 day core challenge!!!!!!!!