Can Martial arts increase your focus and reflexes?
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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Training with an Injury
As anyone who has trained with me recently knows, I have been the lucky recipient of three knee surgeries in the past year and have been unable to practice taijutsu during that time. I have only recently begun to attend classes again and this article is about some of the things that I have learned from training (or not training) with an injury.
DVT: My Personal Battle
February 12, 2006 . . . A day I had been anticipating since about ’96, from when I first started following the Bujinkan in high-school. It was the day I would finally study with Hatsumi-sensei. I can’t even put into words the way I felt, since I stayed up the whole night on the 12th. Little did I know that this very trip would begin a very subtle unrecognized fight for my own life…
The forcible opening of Japan caused some backlash, to say the least.