All sports have their pros and cons, but without a doubt, they have a lot more to give than they take. I believe combat sports have an advantage over other sports regarding benefits. To show you that it really is so, as today’s talking point, we will take Taekwondo and review the wide range of helpful things it offers you. Taekwondo, raise your physical and mental capabilities to another level and can improve many aspects of your health. Best of all, all the improvements you build in training for better performance will be transferred to life outside of sport. We will divide the benefits into ten physical and ten mental benefits.
Flexibility for Muscle and Joint Health
Impressive and attractive kicks in taekwondo are what mark the sport as such. But for a person to achieve the capability to perform kicking maneuvers as well as possible, it is necessary to be flexible to the highest limit, and this sport teaches you that practice.
It is one of the most-wearing things to master. Still, the peak of flexibility can be achieved with long, disciplined exercises and regular stretching. Stretching in class is beneficial enough, but not final. For additional flex, it is required to make an effort outside the gym to get the most out of the practice.
Speaking from personal experience, after hard training, the last thing a person wants is to stay and stretch further, but if you regularly inform yourself about the benefits that stretching gives to your body, you can find additional motivation there.
Stretching for taekwondo will help your muscles have maximum blood flow, making them maximally functional, and your joints will be much more athletic and healthier when they have a full range of motion. Not only will you get better performance in training, but you will find additional relief in the ability to perform daily activities.
Strengthened Muscles Throughout the Body
Taekwondo is an excellent activity for building the strength of your muscles because the movements of the sport use a large part of the body’s muscles, especially in the lower body. Legs are a complex and large group of muscles and, as such, are the pillar and foundation of us as athletes.
When throwing strong and fast kicks, the hamstrings, quads, and lower back are activated, as well as the function of the abdominal muscles, which are responsible for the rotation of the kicks. Intense jumping on your toes in the martial stance and quick “in and outs” into the danger zone of exchanging blows also strengthen your calves, which play a role in heavy kicks too.
It’s the same with your arms and back muscles, as you need rotational strength in your back, just like you do in your abdomen. The trapezius, latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and erector spinae along your spine are responsible for that function. Throwing hard punches and blocking them will get you strong arm muscles, which makes your entire arm use every ounce of meat in those actions.
Since Taekwondo is a big game of reactions and timing, we as students must understand and master the actions and reactions of each movement. Athletes are familiar with faster muscle response in large and small muscles than an average individual.
A memorized action/reaction is a reflex and crucial to any martial art. Taekwondo helps build and sharpen your reflexes. By frequently repeating movements, our brain remembers their pattern, whether we throw kicks, punches, defend or attack.
So the more we use specific muscles, the more clearly they send information to our brain where the so-called “muscle memory” occurs. That’s why the emphasis is placed on repetitions of the same movements.
And as one thing leads to another, faster reflexes guarantee better timing and decision-making speed. Our central nervous system relies on reflexes to carry out different vital tasks. They assist us in moving our bodies, seeing, and defending us from harm.
Surprisingly, our ability to prevent injury from happening depends heavily on our reflexes and reaction times. However, by performing many movements in taekwondo designed for the reaction you want to develop, you may hone your reflexes, which can be transferred to everyday activities.
Weight Loss Benefits
As a high-intensity cardiovascular activity, Taekwondo has stunning benefits when shedding extra pounds. If you are overweight, regular training will burn many calories. So this sport is an excellent step if your goal is to reduce weight, but if that is your primary goal, you must know that it also requires effort outside the dojo.
It’s up to you to control your appetite after your workout because you shouldn’t let your workout progress be derailed. After all, you’ve eaten a lot of food due to hunger. Three hours a week of performing acrobatics with leg kicks will be enough to regulate your weight if, of course, outside of the training process, you are disciplined enough to make your diet plan and stick to it. Everyone knows the rule that you will lose weight only if you burn more calories than you consume.
Strengthen Your Bones
Taekwondo training strengthens your muscles as well as your bones. Science has proven that martial artists of all disciplines have thicker and stronger bones than other athletes, especially compared to people who do not engage in sports activities.
In addition to consuming calcium for bone health, it is necessary to have a sufficient supply of vitamin D, which also facilitates bone growth. Hitting solid objects with proper form, constantly hitting pads, and “stealing” with a sparring practice partner will not only numb the nerves in your “weapons” but also strengthen your bones.
The process is slow and painful, one method is more brutal than the other, but these are martial arts, and there is no quick way to success. So do it correctly by taking your time and allowing the process to proceed at its own pace.
Better Stamina and Endurance for Better Performance
Performing techniques with full strength and speed and giving extra effort in training will make your life hell, but only for a few hours so you can improve for the next session. Concentrate on proper form and technique to avoid injury.
Of course, this method should not be used every time because you should be as rested as possible for the next training session. Specific exercises, in addition to drilling kicks and punches, such as pumping push-ups or jumping rope and jumping jacks, will build endurance in your muscles and will facilitate better training performances and other life activities, allowing you less fatigue and better recovery time.
The more regularly you attend Taekwondo training, you will notice how your muscle endurance and stamina improve with time, thus giving your body less opportunity to injure itself. The more you train, the less winded you will be during training, and the more you will be able to enjoy the process.
Adequate Self Defense Tool
Taekwondo has built its reputation as a sport created for self-defense, and as such, it works very well. It’s a great way to keep the attacker at a distance, and since it uses kicking techniques, it will prevent the aggressor from closing that distance.
Although it is necessary to do everything to avoid conflict, every true athlete will try to take a different path, avoiding violence. There’s always a situation where you’ll find yourself with your back against the wall, so it’s good to know that one high kick solves everything. In addition, it is a functional weapon to deal with multiple attackers if you are well-trained and in solid physical shape.
The only problem you need to avoid is trying not to end up on the ground in a grappling exchange that taekwondo training doesn’t cover, so try not to let the attacker get close enough to you.
One of the most crucial health benefits is preserving, maintaining, and improving your cardiovascular health. A high-intensity sports activity like taekwondo will get your heart pumping. In addition to melting fat, regular training also plays a role in reducing LDL cholesterol in the heart and increasing HDL cholesterol.
An advantage of increasing heart rate is that it oxygenates the blood and encourages calorie burning even after exercise. Your heart gets stronger when you exercise, which enables it to pump blood more effectively than it might otherwise. It will eliminate many life problems you didn’t even know had to do with your heart and reduce the possibility of heart disease.
It is a one hundred percent guarantee that the more your heart works, the better it will feel, and you will feel the same with it. So keep moving and keep your heart pumping is one of the leading recipes for heart health.
Anyone who thinks it’s easy to throw fast and strong kicks has never tried a single combat sport that emphasizes kicks. In addition to improving flexibility, timing, and strength, taekwondo plays a significant role in developing balance due to high kick performance.
In the first training classes, you will experience hardship when throwing slow kicks. You may discover how bad your balance is, but over time you will get in shape and feel how that aspect is improving. Like any other, this slow process requires patience, time, and maximum focus.
Doing strengthening exercises and developing a solid and functional core will further help you in that field. As we get older, our balance gets worse, and that’s why we have risks of falling, and scientific research has shown that regular taekwondo training not only slows down that process but sends it into reverse. This means that your old age will surely thank you for devoting time to practicing balance when you were young.
As in all other sports, agility in Taekwondo is a skill that must be specially trained, and it comes with a combination of speed and balance. It depends on the cognitive and physical factors of the athlete. It is the ability of the body or only certain parts to move as quickly and better as possible in different directions.
It is certainly in your interest to throw the fastest, most accurate, and most effective shot because it will make you a more dangerous opponent with a good reaction and opportunities for a counterattack. Agility also plays a huge role in the psyche because it is responsible for the best and fastest possible decision-making.
With high agility, you will have better knowledge and awareness of the situation around you, better visual scanning, and pattern recognition, which, like all other sports benefits, can facilitate problem-solving and daily activities.
Sense Of Duty
Practicing Taekwondo will develop a sense of duty and care. When you come to the dojo and decide to train regularly, you will be surrounded by people who will be your family as long as the training lasts. The building you are in becomes your shared home, and you must respect your home and family and fulfill certain obligations.
No matter how lonely the path of martial arts is, when training, you will always have someone to spend productive and quality time with. You are on the same road together, and you help each other to become better, similar to teamwork in the army.
This way, you will experience personal growth. Your brain will get a new way of thinking, and your body will develop healthier habits. Be willing to stay to help clean your training space as you would clean your house, don’t leave a mess behind, and have patience and empathy for your colleagues. You will see yourself become more collected and organized outside the dojo through the imposed obligation.
Giving and Receiving Respect
Respect is the first of the two main pillars of Taekwondo and other martial arts. The first and primary lesson for anyone who enters any dojo is “respect, and you will be respected,” those who refuse to learn that, in most scenarios, don’t even stay long in training.
Respect in training can be divided into that towards colleagues as your friends and that towards the coach as your authority. Respect is a basic form of culture you will be taught in training if you weren’t lucky enough to learn it through life.
It will help you in your daily life more than you can imagine because the slogan of mutual respect also applies outside the dojo. You will be more appreciated and likable, and as an elementary component of every human behavior, be sure that it will fulfill you spiritually.
Booster for Self-Esteem and Self-Confidence
One of the charms of regular training is the birth of self-confidence and self-esteem in an individual. The very decision to start practicing sports shows that you are brave. When you are involved in a martial art such as taekwondo, especially if you have been training for a long time, you will notice a positive change in your character.
The fact that you attend the training process constantly, which you follow, no matter how difficult they are, will dose you with productivity that leads to self-esteem. After spending a long time on the mat, you will realize that you are much braver than when you first started and can defend yourself in uncomfortable situations.
Those unpleasant situations do not necessarily have to be sudden problems on the street, but also other obstacles in life that will be easier to tame because sports activities will fuel your mind.
The second of the two main pillars of martial arts is discipline. Generally, involving in any sport builds discipline in the human character. Still, as we have already written in this article, martial arts are on another level.
Taekwondo will teach you to work hard and work towards becoming the best version of yourself. The more you build a wall of discipline, the more you open up space for healthier and better habits and will easily discard the bad ones.
You will see a significant change if you have absolutely dedicated yourself to progress in sports. Over time, you will begin to set goals and boundaries that you want to reach, and your discipline will help you get anywhere. You will have better control of your emotions, will feel more mentally stable, and be better motivated to progress both in training and life.
One of the most beautiful feelings you can give yourself is when you finish a quality workout. No matter how tired you arrive and how tough Taekwondo training is, it will leave you feeling like you can move mountains.
It has been scientifically proven that when you train, your body releases chemicals called endorphins, which are responsible for your smile and good mood after training. We are lucky that those chemicals work so that this feeling will follow you throughout the day and will make you want to get back on the mat as soon as possible.
You can use your good mood to do other things in life better, and the good news is that you can pick up more endorphins at the next training session. In addition, there is also adrenaline and testosterone that will give you an extra boost, and there is no doubt that you will not get addicted to it.
If you’ve ever been to a training session, you know how much constant focus and concentration you need in those two hours. You must be fully present and aware to allow yourself absolute control over your mind and body.
Constantly repeating the same movements can be frustrating, but that’s the key. It is necessary to learn proper breathing, calmness, and concentration for the training to have the best possible effect and later progress. Of course, it is fairly common to wander off sometimes.
Focus is the weapon, same as agility, speed, and strength, and if you use it well, you can expect progress. Therefore it also needs training for improvement. After more regularly attending practice, you will feel that you need much less energy to concentrate, and sharp focus will become your daily routine in all fields, which will follow you everywhere.
Releases Stress and Excess Energy
In the time we live in, stress has become a daily occurrence at a high level for both youth and adults. Everyone needs a routine in their life that will regularly get all the problems out of them. This is why Taekwondo is one of the better exhaust valves.
Only the self-confidence you gain with time in training will enable you to better fight stress and manage it. A few hours of practice will improve your mood, and stress will have no place in your body and mind. After you get rid of excess energy and reduce the stress level in the body, the rest of the energy will be used more rationally without anxiety and depression.
Your body and mind will thank you, and by getting rid of unwanted and exhausting emotions, you will see that you are doing the functions in your life much better, which will lead to overall better health both in your head and in your body.
Improving Social Skills
Now we return to the fact that the training team is a second family, the dojo is a second house, and the coach is the main and responsible one. At taekwondo training, you will connect with people with the same interest.
After showing respect and discipline, you will feel welcome every time you step into the dojo. No matter how unsocial you are in real life, the training time will fill you with the feeling that you belong somewhere and promises family comfort.
It will teach you to behave better and more culturally towards other people, and it will teach you to listen and respect them. Look at the training hours as a getaway from everything else, a domain where all practitioners are one.
You will develop a sense of equality and humility in a sea of different personalities, genders, and ages. The happy hormones you secrete during training will certainly further help you develop better communication with other human beings.
Increases Pain Tolerance
Just as we do body conditioning for less sensitive nerves, thicker bones, and stronger muscles to improve the effect of our weapons, the same preparation is required by the psyche. Taekwondo will help you increase your mental strength and psychological tolerance for pain, especially if you are a hard-core practitioner.
They say that a person gets used to everything while being alive. Precisely because of this, our minds will overcome pain with time. Especially in contact sports like this, there are a lot of open strikes in sparring, hitting heavy bags and pads, and other methods for painful mental preparation.
Your mind will eventually show you that it is nothing invincible and scary, and you will feel more relaxed over time as you take the hits until you reach the point where you barely pay attention to the pain. The process is long, painful, and thorny, but the feeling is priceless and rewarding in the end.
Lowers the Ego
The last and one of my favorite benefits is dispelling the ego. Taekwondo is a great way to get the ego under control due to the rough nature of the sport. The ego is a great martial arts tool that needs to be kept at a certain level to get its advantages, and any experienced trainer will tell you to leave it outside the gym when you arrive.
It will hinder your progress if you don’t replace it with self-confidence. Although wrong thinking, sometimes it is hard for a person to receive criticism and admit ignorance, it is not easy to get a beating from a person physically tinier than you, but it is part of the process, and Taekwondo will teach you exactly that.
No one likes to train with egomaniacs and “I know it all” people, especially coaches. Still, they have their own methods to educate you decently and intelligently and squeeze the ego out of you. When you learn to control it in the dojo, you can apply it to life outside of it, and you will see how enjoyable is the process of becoming a better self.
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