Sifu Rebecca Knapp

Adult Student’s Corner

Kung Fu helps us develop great physical skill, stamina and strength and is also an amazing workout. Although there are many ways Kung Fu can improve one’s well-being, the following are some examples of how it benefits the mind.

Great Stress-reliever

Intense physical activity is great for purging our bodies of stress. There is little more gratifying than beating the crap out of a kick shield as a way to rid yourself of a stressful work week!

As well, Kung Fu teaches people to draw energy in, and concentrate on good breathing techniques, focus and visualization. These techniques can be used in training, but are also helpful in stressful everyday life situations.

Builds Self-Confidence

Students naturally become more confident as they see improvements in their strength, speed, skill, coordination, and conditioning. They also enjoy a sense of affirmation when they learn a new technique, become proficient with a familiar one, or advance to a new sash. Children in particular often start out shy, uncoordinated and lacking confidence and within a short time they become strong and certain of themselves.

It Teaches Discipline

All martial arts place a heavy emphasis on discipline and emphasize the idea that restraint, patience and insight win out over rash, aggressive behaviour.

Also, in pursuit of our goals, we need to progress with quiet and steady self-determination. Patience and hard work pay off as you progress through your Kung Fu journey, and through life.

Elevates Mood and Increases Productivity

The body produces several chemicals during training:

  • Serotonin is the mood-boosting brain chemical – people who are depressed often have low levels of serotonin.
  • Norepinephrine helps you become more alert and focused, and boosts memory retrieval, focus, attention, and the ability to concentrate.
  • BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) fosters long-term brain health by promoting the formation of new connections between nerve cells, or neurons, and helps repair damaged nerve cells.
  • Dopamine is the motivation/reward brain chemical. If you ever feel motivated and ready to tackle the day’s list of projects after training, you can thank dopamine.

Finally, a good Kung Fu workout produces endorphins, which are your body’s own natural anti-depressants—the ultimate “feel-good” chemicals. Endorphins also help to relieve pain, and reduce fear and anxiety.

It Teaches Us to Persevere

Kung Fu is great for teaching perseverance. We need it to traverse the long road between sashes, and if we couldn’t get back up every time we were knocked down, we wouldn’t be able to make it through the rigours of a grading at all. Training in Kung Fu teaches us that persistence and hard work are the building blocks of worthy goals.

Lastly, It Helps Maintain Brain Health as You Age

In Kung Fu, we are constantly learning – we never reach perfection and so there is always work to be done, and improvements to be made to forms, technique, self-defence moves, and sparring skills. As long as we are learning, our brains will continue to grow new brain cells, neurons and connections – critical for aging brains!