Martial Arts can Increase your Attention Span

Beyond the stereotypes of this type of sport and the fears of practicing them, martial arts have many benefits. One of these benefits is an increased attention span for those who practice them.
Martial Arts can Increase your Attention Span

Last update: 20 April, 2019

Judo, karate or taekwondo are activities where discipline, constancy, and practice are deemed necessary. That’s why it’s easy to understand why martial arts increase the attention span for the children and adults who practice it.

Martial arts and its benefits for increasing attention span

Those who practice martial arts can enjoy many benefits, among them a superior attention span and a greater sense of alertness. Also, people who practice this tend to have better reflexes and decision-making skills.

When we mention a “greater sense of alertness”, don’t think of this as a negative thing. On the contrary, it means these people have developed the skills to anticipate that danger or a stimulus is approaching. It also helps to focus on the activity being performed and to choose the best solutions in less time.

martial arts and attention span

Basically, we can say that those who practice any type of martial art can react faster to changes, which could lead them to avoid an accident. This skill is developed in classes, where the students are taught to anticipate their opponent’s movements and to make fast decisions as a counteract.

You probably remember the movie Karate Kid, when Mr. Miyagi (before teaching karate to Daniel), makes him wax and polish with circular movements? The next lesson for Daniel was to paint a fence making side to side movements.

In the beginning, Daniel doesn’t understand and believes his teacher is playing a prank on him. He’s learning the techniques without realizing it. That’s how he eventually managed to dodge his master’s blows without a problem.

Judo, karate, and other martial arts are considered to be a perfect combination of physical exercise and mindfulness.

We can’t forget to mention that when you practice any of these disciplines your focus, perseverance and responsibility will be rewarded. Also, we must point out the spiritual and mental aspects of this activity. Besides training your body, you also work on your brain by movement repetition and through learning the techniques.

martial arts and attention span

Other benefits of martial arts besides increasing attention span

If using martial arts to increase your attention span is not enough for you to make the decision to start practicing this discipline, below, we’re also listing the other benefits of this practice:

Self-defense in martial arts

Martial arts aren’t taught so you can fight whenever you have a problem with someone. But, it will give you the tools to know how to defend yourself if needed .

Although it seems contradictory, martial arts help you achieve a more peaceful and calm life, far from conflicts.

Ideal weight

Martial arts are physical activities, bringing everything that physical activity entails. Training taekwondo, judo or karate helps you lose weight, tone your muscles and enjoy excellent health (of course, if you also follow a balanced diet and healthy habits).

Strength and flexibility

Among the benefits of martial arts, there’s increased flexibility of the legs and arms. This is achieved by the different exercises taught in class.

The classes might not include any type of weight lifting, but those who practice martial arts have more strength to do daily tasks.

Coordination and endurance

Martial arts are a full workout and a high quality aerobic exercise. For that reason, those who practice it enjoy greater endurance, both pulmonary and cardiac, when they are running, cycling, going up the stairs or performing any other activity.

On the other hand, following the precise technical movements of this discipline requires coordination and balance. Two other skills you’ll improve on if you practice martial arts, which will also have a positive impact on your daily routine.

Discipline and commitment in martial arts will also increase attention span

For children, martial arts are the best way to learn to respect the orders given by adults. Also, to learn to behave properly and have a disciplined life. On top of that, committing to sports rules also leads them to be more organized at home and at school.

martial arts benefits for kids

Finally, we cannot leave aside the fact that martial arts, besides, increasing your attention span, are a perfect way to overcome your problems and reach your goals. As you already know, your main enemy in the ring or anywhere else in your life is no other than yourself.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • sara garcia isodoro, francisco miguel tobal, pilar martin escudero & victor omar castellanos sanchez. (2015). Las artes marciales , su origen y actualidad : Una visión enfocada en el Judo , Karate y Wushu. Orientando; Temas de Asia Oriental , Sociedad y Economia.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.