If you are into martial arts or would like to get into some kind of fighting sport, you should definitely check out Taekwondo. It is a very old Asian fighting style that relies primarily on striking with the legs as opposed to the hands. It is a sport that exemplifies self-defense, discipline, focus, and good health, and it definitely holds a lot of benefits.
The benefits of Taekwondo are quite numerous, each of which can go a long way in improving both your mental and physical health. Keep reading to find out what all of the benefits of Taekwondo are. We bet that by the time you are done reading this article you will be more than tempted to sign up for the nearest class.
Benefit #1: It Is A Social Activity
One of the things that we really like about Taekwondo is that it is a group activity. This is true both for you and for your children who may be taking a Taekwondo class. Humans are by nature gregarious creatures and that means that we don’t like to be alone, we are herd animals and that is a fact. Being alone, especially for extended periods of time is never fun and it can get quite depressing no doubt.
Taking a Taekwondo class a few times, or even just once per week, is a great way to get out of the house and get a change of scenery. Moreover, a Taekwondo class is a great place to meet new people and make new friends. Having friends is very important because they give us something to fall back in when times are tough, and when it comes to your kids, there is no better time to make friends than when they are young.
Friends are people you can talk to, friends are people to rely on, friends are people that get you into parties and can get you jobs too. The bottom line is that friends are important and a Taekwondo class is a great place to find them.
Benefit #2: Goal Setting & Discipline
Taekwondo is not all about the physical, and as with the case with most martial arts, Taekwondo has much to do with mental discipline as it does with physical discipline. Taekwondo is not an easy thing to learn, and every single set of moves, every strike, and every stance takes a lot of discipline to master.
Learning the various aspects of Taekwondo and perfecting them involves goal setting. You have to set a goal, of say, learning one specific strike, and you have to use self-discipline in order to meet that goal. Taekwondo does a good job at teaching you and your children that nothing in life is easy and that everything, every goal, which you set, requires a whole lot discipline to accomplish.
Money doesn’t fall off of tress, jobs don’t grow out of the ground, and successful relationships don’t just materialize out of thin air. Everything that you do in life takes a whole lot of discipline to accomplish and Taekwondo is a great way to learn how to set and meet goals, as well as having the discipline to meet those goals.
As is the case with Taekwondo, where you might have to practice for countless hours before you master a certain move or strike, once you do master it you can feel great about achieving your goals. This learning of goal setting and self-discipline will go a very long way in your daily life and will help you achieve your life goals with ease.
Benefit #3: The Ability To Defend Yourself
Taekwondo is a great martial art to practice, a martial art that might just come in handy in some rough situations. Of course one of the main purposes of Taekwondo is to teach you various different ways of defending yourself.
Obviously one of the first rules of Taekwondo is to only use it for sport, for sparring, or for self-defense, but never for offensive purposes. Well, sometimes things go south and some people may threaten you. There are bullies and robbers all over this world, and sometimes the only way to deal with them is to physically defend yourself.
Taekwondo is an amazing thing to know in sticky situations and it is by far one of the best forms of martial arts that will allow you to defend yourself. When it comes to a life or death situation, when it is you versus them, Taekwondo will allow you to come away unscathed.
Benefit #4: Increasing Your Self Esteem
Another big benefit that you can get from practicing Taekwondo on a regular basis is that it can go a very long way in increasing your confidence and your self-esteem. First of all, Taekwondo involves learning various different poses, patterns, moves, strikes, and anything else that comes with this martial art.
Every single time you learn a new move and you perfect it, it gives you a confidence booster and it’s as simple as feeling good because you have accomplished something. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to get some praise from the master of the class either.
Taekwondo can also help you improve your self-confidence because it tones your muscles and helps you lose weight, both which happen through the virtue of it being a high-intensity martial art to be practicing. Simply put, when you look better you will also feel better, and there is no better feeling than when you look in the mirror and you see a muscly hunk staring back at you.
Finally, as we mentioned before, a martial art like Taekwondo teaches you how to defend yourself, and knowing that you can hold your own in a tough situation definitely inspires confidence and self-esteem. If you don’t feel very good about yourself, maybe you should try taking some weekly Taekwondo classes as a solution.
Benefit #5: Cardiovascular Health
While Taekwondo is not purely a cardiovascular training art, it does involve certain aspects which train your cardio. Taekwondo is much like any other martial art where you do many different kinds of training which contribute to a healthy body, something which is necessary in order to become a master at any fighting style.
It takes a lot of cardiovascular endurance to be able to get through an hour-long Taekwondo class and you train for that in various ways. Running laps, doing circuit training, and jumping rope are all things which a practitioner of Taekwondo does in order to get into the proper physical shape.
Moreover, while an hour-long Taekwondo class is not the same as going for an hour-long run, the constant physical motion will get your heart pumping at an increased rate. Of course, training your heart through cardiovascular exercise is essential for several different reasons.
First of all, a stronger heart means that it can pump blood and oxygen to your muscles with increased efficiency, something that is important for increasing your physical output. The more blood and oxygen your muscles receive the longer and harder they can work without getting tired.
Furthermore, a strong heart is also very important because it leads to a reduction in heart disease, arterial disease, heart attacks and strokes, it helps keep cholesterol in check, it helps keep blood sugar levels in moderation, it helps keep your blood pressure at a respectable level, and it keeps your resting heart rate lower too. In essence, Taekwondo makes your heart stronger and that means that you will live longer.
Benefit #6: Bettering Your Focus
The next big mental benefit that comes along with practicing Taekwondo is that it can go a very long way in helping you to better your focus. It takes a whole lot of time and constant repetition to master absolutely anything and everything in Taekwondo and that requires a whole lot of focus.
Whether you are mastering a grappling move, practicing various strikes and kicks, or if you are trying to break a board, you need to spend a lot of time focusing on one specific task at hand in order to perfect whatever you are trying to master. Focus is not just something that falls out of trees, and just like any other skill that we have, it needs to be practiced and learned.
Taekwondo can definitely teach you to focus on a given task at hand, and that is something which can translate to your everyday life. It takes focus to drive a car, to work at your job, and even to participate in a boring conversation, focus which you can learn through Taekwondo.
Benefit #7: Increase Your Flexibility
Another upside to practicing Taekwondo is that it works to increase your flexibility. This is because before and after you do a Taekwondo class, your instructor will have you go through a series of stretches.
Stretching is of course beneficial because it loosens and limbers your muscles, getting them ready for strenuous activity and greatly reducing the chances of suffering from an injury such as a pulled muscle. Obviously, the more you stretch the longer, more limber, and more flexible your muscles get, thus ultimately increasing the range of motion and also increasing how far you can push your limbs before something goes wrong.
Of course, having better flexibility is also beneficial because it helps to do things like reduce back pain, reduce the chances of injury, increase your ability to balance, and a whole lot more. Being more flexible can even be quite a big attribute in terms of your ability to perform in the bedroom!
Benefit #8: Making You Feel Happier & Better
Yet another big benefit that you can get from practicing Taekwondo on a regular basis is that it makes you feel happier. One of the main ways in which Taekwondo can make you feel happier is because of the nature of any type of exercise. Exercising causes your brain to produce an excess of neurochemicals, the most important of which is serotonin.
Serotonin is a chemical produced by your brain which produces feelings of happiness, joy, elation, and calmness. This is a chemical which makes you feel happier than you usually would. This is something that can help you fight things like depression and anxiety, things which are caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain and an overall imbalance of neurochemicals.
Taekwondo can help to balance those chemicals and that will make you feel happy. Moreover, the simple fact that Taekwondo is a social activity will make you feel happier thanks to the fact that you get to socialize with people and make new friends.
Not to mention that you will be happier with yourself thanks to the fact that you are learning a new discipline and learning to defend yourself as well. Taekwondo is a fantastic martial art that can work to improve not only your physical health but also your mental wellbeing. If you feel anxious or depressed all of the time, Taekwondo can definitely be a solution to your problem.
Benefit #9: Strengthening Your Muscles
The next awesome benefit that you get from doing Taekwondo is that it is a great way to strengthen your muscles. Training for Taekwondo involves a lot of different weight and strength training. All of the punching, grappling, and sparring that you do in order to train for Taekwondo goes a very long way in strengthening and toning your muscles.
After all, it takes quite a bit of strength to take down an opponent that is larger than you are and it takes even more strength to punch through one of those boards, strength that you need to acquire through constant training and sacrifice. Training for Taekwondo also involves doing things like sit ups, push ups, chin ups, and a whole lot of other exercises, all of which will make your muscles bigger and stronger.
Taekwondo is especially good for your leg muscles because it is a type of martial art that puts a ton of focus on kicking, kicks which all require strong leg muscles. To make a long story short, it takes a lot of muscle power to master Taekwondo, muscle power that you will gain through years of training. Having stronger muscles is of course not just good for practicing martial arts, but for various things in your everyday life as well.
Benefit #10: Relieving Stress
Something else that Taekwondo can definitely help you with is to relieve stress. This does partially have to do with the fact that it helps to produce serotonin, something that is known to relieve stress, but it is more than just that.
It does also have to do with the fact that regular exercise helps your brain to produce a type of chemical known as endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids are chemicals which naturally occur in the brain and are also one of the active agents in marijuana. These chemicals produce sensations of calmness, relaxation, and can actually help to reduce the perception of pain as well. This is another way in which Taekwondo helps you relieve stress and tension, but that still isn’t the whole story.
Learning to strike involves a lot of training, by which we mean you spend a lot of time punching and kicking a punching bag, a wooden training dummy, or even sparring with real people. Stress is often caused by anger, and a great way to get rid of anger is by punching and kicking a defenseless bag hanging off of the ceiling. If you are always stressed out and feel like the world is out to get you, maybe it would be a good idea to do some preemptive striking and take the fight to the world.
Benefit #11: Bone Building
Taekwondo also has the advantage of being a bone building exercise. This is a martial art that involves a lot of kicking, jumping, pushing with your arms and legs, punching, and landing on your body as you spar with your opponents. All of these actions do technically count as weight bearing exercise. Weight bearing exercises by nature are crucial for helping you build stronger and better bones.
You see, every time you put an increased amount of weight on your bones, or you cause them to receive impact, such as when you do a kick, it causes your osteoblasts to lay down bone matter. Technically speaking, your bones grow in much the same way as your muscles grow, and the more you train them with weight bearing exercises, the stronger they get.
Your osteoblasts lay down new bone matter with every weight bearing exercise, something which makes them thicker, denser, and stronger. There is also the fact that every time you do a kick or a punch, you may slightly damage your bones, just like causing micro tears in your muscles. This small amount of damage then heals up with scar tissue and new bone mass in order to become bigger and better than ever.
Having stronger bones is of course useful in a high-tier martial arts competition, but it also comes in handy in cases of slips and falls. Having stronger bones means that there is less chance of them breaking when you fall, plus it also helps to prevent degenerative bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Benefit #12: Losing Weight
If you want to get into shape, burn calories, and burn away that pot belly, practicing Taekwondo on a regular basis will definitely help. Now, we don’t have an exact calculation as to how many calories you can burn in 1 class, but the number is up there for sure.
Just think about it, Taekwondo involves repeating stances and fighting patterns, striking the air, training with people in the form of sparring, kicking a bag, doing various cardiovascular and bodyweight exercises and much more. Of course burning through that Big Mac you ate for lunch is one advantage, but once your body runs out of food to turn into energy, it will start burning through your fat reserves, thus helping you lose weight.
There is also the fact that performing regular physical exercise also increases your metabolic rate on a fairly long term basis, thus making your body burn more calories even after you have finished exercising, something which is crucial in terms of weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.
Benefit #13: Learning Respect For Authority
This may not be all that important for you as someone who has gotten past the age of 18 because at this point you should hopefully have already developed some well-rounded respect for authority, but the same is not the case for your children. Taekwondo is a great way to teach your kids respect for authority.
This is because Taekwondo involves taking very clear and precise instructions from a black belt or the master of the dojo. Failing to follow directions or even going as far as to talk back to the master will result in stiff penalties and may even get you kicked out of the class. Martial arts, especially Asian ones such as Taekwondo are all about respecting the elders and learning from the leaders. Not listening or respecting the leader of a martial arts dojo is not tolerated in the least. Therefore Taekwondo is a fantastic way to teach your kids some respect.
Taekwondo truly is a wonderful martial art to practice and a big reason for that is because it is a great form of exercise. This is a fighting sport that can make you better focused, teach you discipline and respect, make you stronger, more flexible, and more heart healthy too, plus a whole lot more. If you haven’t already signed up for your nearest local Taekwondo class, you should seriously give it a go to reap all the benefits of Taekwondo!