Can Martial arts increase your focus and reflexes?

Are there other intrinsic benefits to martial arts besides kicking butt? This study suggests a focused attention span may be another benefit.

In the age of MMA where the emphasis is so much on the athleticism of the various professional competitors, it’s easy to forget that one of the traditional benefits of studying martial arts has been its purported improvement in the student’s focus and attention span.

While this supposition has been largely anecdotal, a study published by Ashleigh Johnstone and Paloma Mari-Beffa in the journal Frontiers of Psychology addresses the possible differences in alertness and response levels between martial artists and non-martial artists. The study found a significant difference in alertness and response between the two groups that seems to increase as the martial artist’s experience levels increased.

It’s important to note that the authors had no way to tell if these differences might also exist with athletes from other fields. But at the least, it suggests that studying martial arts can help to make us more focused and more responsive to unexpected situations.

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Studying in the Bujinkan
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