3 Ways Martial Arts Will Optimise Executive Functioning

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Backstage of Mixed Martial Arts Competition IMPI World Series Asia 6

Living in a city can be exhausting. Often people juggle jobs, a social life, families and sometimes all three. This balancing act is no easy feat but what if we told you that putting a couple hours aside a day to practice Martial Arts can make you feel great? You’ll still be juggling all of life’s living but at least you’ll feel good doing it.  

Every day, we solve a series of problems. What shirt should I wear? What should I have for lunch? Who do I need to call? What do I need to do?

We spend most of our days indoors dedicated to tasks we need to do (not necessarily what we want to do) and by the end of the day, with a few things left unfinished, you might grab a drink but you eventually go home – drained. For some this isn’t even the end of the night.

Science shows that engaging in a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise a day is enough to reap mental and physical benefits. (Br J Sports Med. 1998 Jun; 32(2): 111–120). Finding time for personal development with no interferences feels good enough already but here’s just a few ways that practicing Martial Arts can fire up your focus at work.

Medalla VS Ng as they navigate the ground at IMPI World Series Asia 6

  1. You Will be better at Problem-Solving Skills Under Pressure
    We find solutions on a daily basis, some lighter to reach than others but we all have our limits.  Martial Arts is a great way to challenge ones limits and exercise ones ability to adapt physically as well as mentally.Martial Arts, particularly in Asia such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi emphasise the importance of breathing in order to remain composed in combat. Practicing the ability to react better to physical challenges rolls into practicing the ability to be calm, adapt and persist makes a rough day, a little lighter on the shoulders. (Richard and Rehberg, 1986; Trulson, 1986)
  2. You will be more Productive
    How will I be more productive when I’m already so tired from the day? Now that I’m doing more, won’t that make me more tired? Not really. Benefits can already be seen with a 20 minute walk (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/young-entrepreneur-council/how-two-15-minute-walks-d_b_7978520.html). Martial Arts is next level.Martial Arts is an amazing self-regulator and it does so in a way that is so engaging you don’t even realise all the roll over traits that you develop. In Jiu-jitsu, the act of tapping out, restarting and going at it again despite failure, instills a confidence and self efficacy in practitioners that rolls over into the decisions of daily tasks and challenges. Having an improved self esteem and belief in oneself means that we are more aware of our capabilities and ready to push those boundaries in other aspect of life as well (Richard and Rehberg, 1986; Trulson, 1986).
  3. You Will Become Better at Communication
    With so many day to day tasks done via the use of technology, our interpersonal skills sometimes fall behind our ability to write an e-mail. What would normally be a couple lines in an email can be a lot more challenging when the person is right in front of you. Even though in competition, Martial Artist compete one-on-one. Being part of a gym means you train as a team being exposed to an environment where you NEED to make mistakes allows you to become familiar with unideal circumstances which all teach you that you have to commit and believe in the techniques.

    Providing feedback to a fellow teammate and receiving constructive criticisms is a great way to practice honest dialogue. This translates into ones ability to communicate terms and conditions in the workplace.  Being able to speak assertively (Konzak and Boudreau, 1984) whilst still being mindful and respectful of others (Duthie, 1978) are highly valued traits in a business environment.

    So there you have it. Contact us for Corporate Enquiries!