Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim on the Benefits of Martial Arts

Even though modern technology allows people to do things faster than ever before, writing letters with just the touch of a button and traveling across the country in a matter of hours instead of days, it’s no secret that modern people continue to feel just as stressed out and pressed for time as their ancestors once did. As a result, many people continue to look for the “perfect” way to perform daily activities, such as cooking, cleaning and exercising. If they can find an ideal method that doesn’t waste time, the reasoning goes, they can spend more time resting. When it comes to exercise, Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim suggests that martial arts might be truly perfect.

Martial arts have long been associated with mental control, says Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim. Classes encourage students to remain aware of their bodies as they move through space, and students are also asked to keep tight control over their thoughts and emotions, which further allows them to stay focused and in control. Studies suggest that martial arts classes can help students to exert this same level of mental control in other areas of life. For example, a study in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology found that students who took martial arts classes were better able to control their conduct in standard classrooms, when compared to students who did not have martial arts exposure. The self-discipline of martial arts could be helpful in improving mental health.

Martial arts classes also involve a significant amount of physical control and balance. Holding the postures and moving slowly takes an immense amount of control and strong core muscles, and people who develop these skills might be able to resist subsequent falls. For example, a study in the journal NeuroRehabilitation suggests that Tai Chi can help older people to improve their balance, although how the practice works is slightly unclear. It’s a study result Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim has replicated in her own classes, as her students all seem much stronger and more stable on their feet when they’ve taken martial arts classes.

A form of exercise that combines both physical and mental benefits can be hard to find, but Grandmaster Dr. Tae Yun Kim suggests that martial arts can do both. She encourages all people to try out this perfect form of exercise.

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