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Executive function, life's choices and the martial arts

Learning the skills of a Black Belt helps students develop stronger Executive Function.
Pilsung ATA Martial Arts

A friend and fellow instructor, Master Dave Kovar, recently related a brief story of his meeting up with an old friend on Facebook. In his story Master Kovar gives his readers a great example of how the martial arts helps the student to develop better executive function in how we choose to live our lives.

Recall, executive function is the part of thought processing that is involved in making choices and inhibiting dangerous or destructive behavior. When it comes to our lies and our health we face a lot of choices, some better than others. There are many people in our world today that make choices much like Master Kovar's friend. They would tell you,

"You only go around once in life and I am going to enjoy every part of it. I am not going to deprive myself of anything. I will eat what I want, drink what I want, and go out in style." - Excerpt from Master Kovar's story

In this statement we hear lots of poor choices in health defense. When a student becomes involved in the martial arts they often find themselves driven to become better in all aspects of their lives. The goals of the martial arts, higher rank, tournament trophies and others can change how a person thinks and how they focus their efforts. They begin to plan ahead to ensure proper practice time. They start selecting to eat healthier for higher energy levels. Students begin to change the way they behave, seeking a better path and creating healthier structure in their own lives.

The martial arts can have a profound impact on how a person thinks and behaves, the choices they make and how their lives turn out. It all begins by strengthening their executive function, inspiring them to develop structure and reject poor choices. The types of changes in thinking that develop in a martial artist don't stop with nutritional and practice choices, the structure they develop extends into every part of their lives. They learn and come to understand, for themselves, that truth that is the foundation of strong executive function...

"Being health-conscious doesn't deprive you of anything. On the contrary, it allows you to live your life to the fullest. Take care of yourself. The world needs us at our best." - Master Kovar