Martial arts can improve your attention span and alertness long term – new study

Interesting but very small sample size on which to base any strong conclusions.


It certainly depends on which martial art you take up. Many schools have more than one style of fighting these days with rare and few exceptions. Certainly one of the many reasons I want to get back into martial arts is because of the alertness, attention span, and the feeling of calm hyper-vigilance. It’s a good adrenaline rush but it has to be kept in balance and that is something I never mastered. My reflexes used to be great too. One of the many reasons I was probably so good at basketball as a child.

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Martial arts are practiced not only for self-defense purposes, but also in order to train one’s discipline, focus and patience. The physical benefits are not to be taken lightly either, although those can also be attained by doing other sports (swimming, soccer etc).


From what I remember of statistics, in order for a sample size to be statistically significant, all it needs is 30 samples. This test consisted of 48 adults. I would say it is statistically significant.

I used to do martial arts when I was twelve. Okinawan style karate or something like that, mostly practical thrusting motions with fists, feet, and joints, no sweeping kicks or anything like that (just the blocks were sweeping).

I had to do knuckle pushups. That was difficult, but the pain in my knuckles kept my mind off the exhaustion from pushups.

I haven’t practiced martial arts since then. It was great at the time, though.

I used to do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which was awesome to do after a stressful job I had. But now I just want to do Tai Chi particular Zhan Zhaung.

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They have meet ups for that on

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Other one-on-one contact sports such as boxing & fencing have offensive & defensive maneuvers which are similar to martial arts. Discipline, training & practice can be applied anything a person is dedicated to learn or do.

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Yoga is also good for attention span and alertness long term. In addition to being good for strength, flexibility and endurance.

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