Cognitive and Behavioral Benefits of Martial Arts


Four Key Benefits for Children

Martial arts is not just a fun physical activity, there are actual cognitive and behavioral benefits of practicing and performing martial arts. It is no surprise that the scientific community has caught on to this and have conducted various studies of children who participate.

Researchers have compared children who participate in martial arts to children who have not and their findings are staggering. However, our instructors at IMAA have been seeing this “data” in our students for years. 

  • Improvement in attention
  • Improvement with memory
  • Gross and fine motor development
  • Increased emotional well-being

Improved Attention and Focus

There is scientific research that shows children will be able to improve their mental capabilities with the martial arts. Researchers at Bangor University found that martial arts students saw improvement in attention, focus and alertness. According to this research, martial arts can significantly improve both brain and body.

Improved Memory

Italian researchers found that taking part in the martial arts can improve a child’s working memory. They tested people’s ability to recall a series of numbers that increasingly became more difficult. The martial arts group performed better than the control group in this test. The physical activity in the martial arts helps the body and the mind.

Improved Motor Development

Children who participate in martial arts show improved speed, more explosive leg strength and improved coordination over a control group with children that did not participate in martial arts. According to this study published in the Muscle, Ligaments and Tendons Journal, practicing martial arts enhances reaction time and motor time, information processing speed, and working memory.

Improved Emotional Well Being

Martial arts training can be very valuable to emotional well-being. Studies have shown that training for 3-6 months can help in lowering depression and anxiety levels in kids. Part of this can be attributed to the instruction of focus and breathing. Learning about these skills can be fruitful as they help a student lower stress levels so they can better focus on matters at hand. The immediate payoff is improved performance in the dojo. The long-term benefits can be far-reaching. Lower overall stress levels can lead to better overall performance and behavior.

There is a meditative aspect related to martial arts training, so kids feel happier and active. Self-esteem is also enhanced in children involved in some martial arts training, whether karate, tai chi, or others.

Want to Read More About Martial Arts?

Take a look at some of our other articles about martial arts and IMAA’s course offerings.

Try A Class!

At Innovative Martial Arts Academy, we’re all about FAMILY and FUN. Our Martial Arts training offers men, women, and children the opportunity to challenge their bodies and minds without the threat of injury and intimidation. Take on the best training in disciplines like Kenpo Karate, Kali, and Aikido and build your skills one day at a time with help of our dedicated instructors. We are proud to serve families across Wake Forest, Wakefield, and the surrounding area with a rewarding experience that can set you or your child up for success in all aspects of life. If you’re interested in learning about our martial arts program, contact us at 919.562.4663, or visit our website.  

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Our Reviews

William D.
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This place is great! Charles and his team have fantastic programs for kids. When we started our 3.5 year old son, I didn’t know what to expect. He quickly adapted to the classes and now loves going. Our 2 year old son loves watching and will start as well as soon as he turns 3. Innovative Martial arts also hosted their birthday parties. The kids had a blast doing different activities throughout the birthday party. Can’t say enough good things about this place, and what they teach!
Tara H.
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Innovative Martial Arts Academy (IMAA) is the best place to take martial arts. Charles Falk, the owner, and his staff do a great job teaching martial arts to the students and teaching each student to be confident and disciplined. My son has been with IMAA for eight years - he has earned one black belt and is working on his second.
Niko F.
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Not only are the staff amazing, but there is a mix of fun and learning in the curriculum. My 5 year old daughter absolutely loves this school. She has learned respect and many other aspects making her more focused and well behaved. I definitely recommend this school for you or your child.
Janice P.
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Great school with wonderful teachers. My daughter has a great time learning and everyone is friendly. There is even an adult class that allowed me to try to see if I liked it and everyone was very patient with me. I am thankful to have my daughter be a part of the Innovative Martial Arts Academy in Wake Forest and know she is benefiting from it in more than one way. It amazes me how fast she is learning and how hard she is trying. They have her trying to develop at her fullest with her mind, body, and spirit. I would recommend this school to anyone interested in martial arts.
Kristi F.
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Wonderful place for not only skill development but also personal development. Owner and instructors genuinely get to know students and families and care about them. The lessons learned will provide character growth as well as martial art skills. The owner is also a long time student of many different martial arts, he didn't just buy a franchise, and tries very hard to live what he teaches the students. Proud to have been in this dojo family for 6+ years and proud of the friendships we have made there!

Our Reviews