Most people know what a great benefit that learning a martial art like Kenpo Karate is for kids and teens. In an ever growing world of bullies, we know how karate can help kids build self esteem, learn how to get along in a group so that they are not singled out, and how it gives them tools to deal emotionally and physically when they are in danger. However, what most don't know is how Kenpo Karate greatly benefits adults as well.
Advantage 1.) Self-Defense
The Department of Justice reports on violent crimes identifies patterns in targets - who are most often female, or older adults. To my mind, that means those who have money, but are probably no longer as active. Recently, there were reports of walkers being held at gunpoint in our quiet and quaint South Pasadena for their belongings - iphones, ipads, wallets, etc. As the economy is struggling, how do you keep yourself from being a target? By learning a Martial Art known for being street smart.
All martial arts are fun and challenging as an exercise and help keep your mind off the physical exertion you’re experiencing, but the added benefit is that you’re also building self-defense skills as well.
We will help you improve your coordination, balance, endurance, flexibility, and even your strength. Kenpo Karate teaches you how to defend yourself physically as well as how to avoid physical confrontations in the first place. And it's perfect for adults, in that it focuses on self defense without a lot of falling, or high kicks to the head, which from recent reports detailing the violent head traumas inherent in MMA, that are long lasting and devastating.
And if you’re going to spend the time exercising, why not learn a skill at the same time? And if you’re learning a useful skill, why not learn a skill that can save your life – or the life of someone you love?”
Advantage 2.) Increased Energy and Greater Productivity A while back, Virgin Atlantic billionaire Richard Branson invited a group of people to his Necker Island hideaway to discuss plans for a charitable foundation. At the meeting, a guest, Tim Ferriss, asked Branson: “How do you increase your productivity?” Branson sat back while he pondered the question for a moment, then said, “Work Out”. He said exercise keeps the brain functioning well, the endorphins going and by exercising, he can achieve twice as much in a day by spending some time on fitness. He said working out gives him a whopping four hours of extra productivity every day.
"Hour after hour on the treadmill gets boring fast, and it's not going to help you in a barfight..."
If one of the world’s busiest, wealthiest and most powerful people can find time to exercise, can’t you? Of course you can. And what is the greatest exercise around? You guessed it: martial arts. Martial arts helps burn fat and calories, builds strength, strips away stress and gives you a little friendly competition in your life. But the one thing that separates Arnott Kenpo from most other forms of exercise is that it keeps exercise interesting.
Think about it: lifting weights and burning hour after hour on the treadmill gets boring pretty fast and it's not going to help you in a barfight. Since Kenpo Karate has an ever-increasing series of challenges (belts, tournaments, seminars), it keeps things dynamic. You learn new skills and techniques all the time. All the while, you don’t even realize you’re exercising! And better yet, it utilizes the entire body (stabilizer muscles and your core) as well as building overall balance and coordination. That’s why people who choose Arnott Kenpo Karate of Pasadena for exercise tend to stick with it longer than most other types of exercise. Also don’t forget martial arts is a group activity: you have “positive peer pressure” to stick with it and a group to help give you that little push to stick to your exercise goals. I can’t think of a better way to boost your daily productivity, overall energy level and fitness than our self defense martial arts program.
Advantage 3.) Increased Brain Power: Focus, Concentration, Mental Sharpness
The human brain evolved under conditions of almost constant motion. Researchers studied two elderly populations - one that had led a sedentary lifestyle, and the other, an active lifestyle. They found a profound influence on the cognitive scores on the active lifestyle group. Exercise had a strong positive effect executive function, spatial tasks, reaction times and quantitative skills.
So researchers asked: If the sedentary populations become active, will their cognitive scores go up? Yes, it turns out, if the exercise is aerobic. In four months, executive functions vastly improve; longer, and memory scores improve as well.
Exercise improves cognitive function for two reasons:
- Exercise increases oxygen flow into the brain, which reduces brain-bound free radicals. One of the most interesting findings of the past few decades is that an increase in oxygen is always accompanied by an uptick in mental sharpness.
- Exercise acts directly on the molecular machinery of the brain itself. It increases neurons’ creation, survival, and resistance to damage and stress. It basically keeps your brain younger!
In addition to this passive increase in mental sharpness, our martial arts program teaches focus and concentration through step-by-step movements, personal attention, positive reinforcement, adherence to etiquette and rules (structure), group reinforcement and a sense of belonging. For these reasons, we build on the already increased benefits of exercise to enhance focus and concentration better than exercise alone.
Advantage 4.) Stress relief and… happiness?
Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress. We all have stressors in our day to day life. Getting rid of bad stress in your body through our karate program is an excellent way to stay healthy and improve your fitness, not only physically, but also mentally. Maybe you have a bad day and snap at somebody that you didn’t mean to. Arnott Kenpo Karate classes and community can take a lot of that negative energy out of your body and get rid of it.
Exercise helps you get your mind off your problems and clears your head.
But can it make you happy? Your brain recognizes working out as a moment of stress. As your heart pressure increases, the brain enters flight or fight then releases a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor). This BDNF has a protective and also reparative element to your memory neurons and acts as a reset switch. That’s why we often feel so at ease and things are clear after exercising and yes, eventually happy, whether or not we worked out that day.
At the same time, endorphins, another chemical to fight stress, is released in your brain. Your endorphins main purpose is these endorphins tend to minimize the discomfort of exercise, block the feeling of pain and are even associated with a feeling of euphoria. ￼
So, BDNF and endorphins are the reasons exercise leaves us feeling so good. The scary part is that they have a very similar and addictive behavior like morphine, heroine or nicotine. The only difference? It’s actually good for us!
So after taking our karate and self defense classes, we can work out some negative emotions, flood the brain with feel good chemicals, and leave feeling much better than when we entered the door.
Advantage 5.) Self Confidence
Think confidence is just for kids? Think again. Studies find a strong correlation between adults with self-confidence and career advancement, success in relationships and productivity.
And here, too, our martial arts program helps. As you make progress through the belts, you become more confident in your ability to defend yourself. And this confidence comes through in the meetings and conferences as well as the street.
Our martial arts program also helps you build confidence by encouraging you to succeed. This is one of the great benefits of martial arts at any age. When you’re self-assured, you approach more challenges with a can-do attitude, and as we all know, confidence goes a long way in breeding success.
But above all, I can’t begin to tell you how much confidence it gives you to know that you can handle yourself in any situation.
Advantage 6.) Counteract the changes that begin in our 30's
Beginning in the mid 30s, VO2 max, decreases at approximately 10% per decade, or around 1% per year, in most people other than highly trained athletes. VO2 max is dependent on heart rate, which decreases by about 5 to 10 beats per minute per decade. This reduction in aerobic capacity is one of the reasons for a decline in endurance performance with age. Working muscles don't get as much blood and oxygen so the pace slows down
Connective tissue becomes less elastic, lubricating fluids decline, and wear and tear builds up on the joints. Doing a mix of high- and low-impact exercises such as Kenpo Karate — works different muscle groups and can reduce the risk of injuries from overuse. Studies suggest that a lifelong exercise habit helps keep joints intact. Activity can help improve blood flow and may also activate stem cells that help the body repair itself.
Advantage 7.) It Brings Families Closer
More often than not, one parent is driving one child to gymnastics, and the other parent is driving to baseball. Parents are sitting in the lobby, visiting with the other parents and just trying to kill time while the kids are doing their activities. Yes, it’s great that parents act as the cheering section, but there can be more, much more.
You see, it’s really easy to sit on the side and say “Why isn’t Michael kicking higher, blocking stronger, focusing better?” Or, “I can’t believe you had trouble executing your combinations in sparring today.” You see, it can look easier than it really is from the lobby!
One of our parents said, “I would watch my 2 girls work out, then realize the pride they had in "teaching" me what they had learned. As concepts got more challenging, I was told that it would benefit them for me to learn as well- and well why not? Then I enrolled, and now we help each other. It's true when they say some thing come easier to others - sometimes it comes easier for me, and sometimes my daughters!”
Another parent, Mayuko Fukino, watched from the sidelines before she decided to join in. Her comment, “I wanted to have something to share with my son”. Now, Mayuko and her son have earned several awards and trophies at many Southern California Karate Tournaments.
The examples go on and on. But the main benefit for parents and kids training together is very simple. Arnott Kenpo Karate helps close the generation gap in families. Imagine working on the same curriculum (the material is introduced and taught differently for adults and kids) but you have a common basis for setting goals, training, advancing in rank, tournament competition and supporting one another.