Integrating regular exercise into your weekly routine is beneficial for maintaining a clear head during session, and for keeping you in top physical shape. Many sports place an equal focus on mind as well as body, such as martial arts.
Jiehoon (Jie) Lah is currently studying for his Master of Chiropractic and has been enrolled in the uni’s martial arts program for three-and-a-half years. He’s the current holder of a 2nd stripe Blue Belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a blue T-shirt for muay Thai [the highest level in the program offered at MQ].”
Jie talks us through the key benefits of incorporating martial arts – and sports in general – into your routine:
Reduction in stress and improved concentration
“Martial arts is the best stress relief, especially during exam periods, and the fact that it’s on campus has made it super convenient,” says Jie. Having a clear mind also means that you’re better prepped to think more clearly and concentrate deeply for greater lengths of time.
Building up endurance and patience to learn new sporting skills actually helps you to better manage everyday chores/other not-so-exciting tasks, as you have more energy to tick them off. “I’ve been training for three-and-a-half years and I still feel like there’s a lot to learn,” says Jie. “The first year or so was so difficult and it definitely taught me to be patient and consistent. It’s not about trying to be the best, it’s about putting in the time and the work to master skills.”
Building personal relationships
Sport brings a social connection, be it with your teammates or trainers. “I’ve definitely met great people through martial arts; I have made great friends through it. The one thing I’ve learnt most is that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover – lessons that carry you out into the real world, reminding you to respect other people and keep your ego in check,” says Jie.
How can an improvement in flexibility help you in your studies? Good flexibility promotes good posture, which is important if you’re in a long lecture or getting stuck into a marathon study session at the Library. “Martial arts seems like the total opposite of what I do, but through the sport I’ve learnt the importance of balance and flexibility, which is something that I can help my patients with,” Jie says. “Martial arts has also given me good techniques to help me perfect the way I like to train people.”
A positive attitude
Mastering a sport improves one’s self-confidence, which, says Jie, can help improve your overall life outlook. “Martial arts is a very difficult sport to get into and once you’ve done the hard beginnings and everything seems a little bit easier, it brings out a healthy self-confidence, which helps you to make better decisions and maintain a positive attitude.”
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