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The Top 7 Mental Benefits of Kung Fu Training

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If you look for a list of popular martial arts, chances are you’ll find kung fu holding a place in the top ten, if not higher. What is it about this art that draws so many people to train? 

For many, the main reason is the incredible physical skills and the great exercise one gets through training. A person can burn calories, gain muscle, and learn to defend themselves. However, kung fu doesn't solely address the body. It gets into the spirit; into the mind.

People of all ages can take advantage of the mental benefits offered by kung fu. Although there are many ways this can improve one's well-being, the following are seven of the best examples of how kung fu strengthens the mind.


Kung Fu Can…


Relieve Stress

Many in the conventional medical community have accepted that utilizing kung fu correctly can relieve stress. There are common techniques that teach about curbing the "fight or flight" response. As such, it cools down the usual stress-related symptoms associated with it.

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Kung fu teaches practitioners to draw energy in, focusing on good breathing techniques and visualization. These techniques can be used in training, but are also helpful in everyday situations, such as a frustrating work meeting, when you’re stuck in traffic, or during an argument with a spouse. In addition, intense physical activity alone is always good at purging stress.


Build Self-Confidence

Training in kung fu is a good way to build solid self-esteem and confidence. Students enjoy a sense of affirmation when accomplishing a new technique or gaining a new belt. Another huge confidence boost comes when a practitioner sees improvements in his or her fighting skills, coordination, and physique. This is especially apparent in child who are learning kung fu.


Teach Discipline

All martial arts place a heavy emphasis on discipline. In kung fu, the idea that patience and insight win out over rash, aggressive behavior is especially emphasized. Instructors begin to instill this discipline right away, and practitioners develop more of their own self-discipline through training.

 Man breaking board kung fu

It's taught that in order to achieve worthy goals, a person needs to be calm and practice self-control. No one is handed a belt or learns a new skill the first time they try. Understanding that patience and hard work pay off can not only help a practitioner within kung fu training, but is something a person takes with them in their daily lives.


Alleviate Depression

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a cure for depression. However, there are means of treating and managing it. Kung fu training can help people feel good about themselves, prompt them to lead a healthier lifestyle and help them gain new lifelong skills. Training with a group of like-minded individuals who all encourage and respect one another also does wonders for mental health.

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Kung fu training further aids in managing depression and boosting one's mood through the physical barriers practitioners are expected to meet and break. A lively class can raise endorphin levels, improving one's emotional state.


Improve Concentration

Improving your concentration comes naturally with kung fu training. A wandering mind makes for poor techniques – something your peers and instructor will help you correct. There are many forms of kung fu that feature meditation, which helps focus the mind and release any and all distractions. One's body and mind come together fully in a relaxed state.

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Teach Respect

Respect, in particular toward elders and teachers, has long been a part of Chinese culture. It's no wonder it bled into kung fu teachings. In training, one builds self-confidence. This confidence for one's abilities and how well one can overcome hardships and obstacles can improve a person's sense of self-worth. This is part of the foundation for discovering self-respect.


Once a person has self-respect, it's easier for them to show it to others. With kung fu training, one develops a bond not just with their instructor, but with their fellow practitioners. People acknowledge each other's skills, age, and rank. Showing this type of respect in kung fu easily translates to the outside world.


Show the Value of Perseverance

The only way to continue on, head held high, through any hardships in life, is by having strong perseverance. By training in kung fu, individuals gain an understanding that taking an alternate path when a roadblock comes up is perfectly fine – but turning back gets you nowhere. Kung fu encourages people to do their best, and for them to try again if they fail.

 Men training kung fu

To say hard work is involved is an understatement. The harder one works, the more they accomplish, and the more they can draw on their perseverance to get them through a tough spot.


Kung fu training allows a person to come in touch with their entire body, mind, and spirit. For anyone still debating about this training, understand that there is no shortage of mental feats kung fu will help them achieve.



Thinking of starting your own kung fu training? Get tips on preparing for your first class here! Plus, check out thesefun facts about kung fu!

If you're ready to jump into training, get your kung fu gear -- like pants,  uniform jacket, or even a sword -- now!



Jason Maine is the founder of FullContactWay, a blog dedicated to providing outstanding martial arts advice and information. Jason helps his readers with martial arts training by sharing personal tips and thorough research. You can find him on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter, and via email at jason@fullcontactway.com.

 Jason Maine of FullContactWay blog.

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