January 02, 2023 2 min read

You might be familiar with the popular benefits of martial arts which often include fitness, strength, and self-defense. What you and many other people may not know is that martial arts offer more than these benefits. It is equally known for giving the brain a boost.

The brain-boosting benefits of martial arts extend to all ages as long as you practice it. We’ve outlined some of them below.

1. Reduced aggression

Aggressive behavior in people can come from a wide range of root causes such as family structure, mental health, physical health, individual traits, life experiences, and more. Boys are known to show higher levels of physical aggression than girls.

A study carried out on 8 to 11-year-old kids who practiced martial arts with a focus defending themselves and respecting others. Researchers found that the training reduced aggressive behavior in boys. Through martial arts training, the boys also learned to maintain self-control during conflicts and were more likely to help someone who was being bullied than before they took the program.

This reduced aggression was also seen in teenagers who practiced martial arts as well.

2. Improved memory

In studies comparing a control group with people who practiced karate, researchers discovered that the practice played a role in improving memory. The Italian researchers used a test that involved recollection of numbers in their exact order. The group that practiced karate performed better than the control group.

This brain-boosting benefit is similar to how you train your body using daily exercises. Martial arts train the mind, and people of all ages enjoy better memory.

3. Stress management

Managing stress can be tough, especially as you grow older. Promoting proper stress management is another significant benefit of martial arts that extends across various ages. Studies on older adults aged between 67 and 93 who practiced martial arts show that these adults enjoyed lower levels of depression and higher self-esteem.

The endorphins released in the brain after a martial arts training help to manage stress. Also, physical movements performed during the training help to work on and relieve muscle tension. With less tension in the body comes reduced feelings of anxiety, depression, and more.

4. Better focus

Despite how simple it might sound to be able to focus as needed in given situations, most people find it difficult. Martial arts is known to give long-lasting benefits of improved focus for those who practice it. During martial arts training, students and practitioners learn to establish and/or redirect their focus for a more attentive mind.

As a result of this capability, martial arts is often described as a form of AST. AST is Attention State Training and it defines a method of improving attention by getting into a specific state of mind. Other similar examples of AST include practicing yoga and meditation.

Other brain-boosting benefits for all ages with martial arts include better sleep. Following consistent martial arts practice, you can enjoy quality sleep that leaves you refreshed.

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