Martial Arts Teaches Focus

In Focus, National by SDSS

CT-State-Tournament-2016-June-26Martial Arts training gives your child the focus to help them in the classroom and everyday life.  All real accomplishment in the Martial Arts requires tremendous discipline and focus.  SDSS students learn in groups and semi-private lessons.  This provides the physical training and the individual attention that will help them learn this essential life skill.  

Focus In Our Digitized World

We live in an increasingly digitized, highly distracted world. On average, people send over 7000 tweets and 738 Instagram photos posts per second. Just imagine how often  Twitter and Instagram interrupt daily tasks.  Next, imagine how many more people are getting distracted by the notifications they are receiving about Facebook posts and other social media.  It seems that we can’t be in one place more than a few seconds without being beeped and buzzed by a message from someone and somewhere else.

In his book, The Shaolin Way, Grandmaster DeMasco explains that the Shaolin monks spend their days studying focus. The monks live without any modern conveniences, yet even they need to spend almost all of their time learning to be “present.”   If a Shaolin monk can get distracted without the allure of digital devices, then it is even easier for us to lose focus.  Martial Arts training helps bridge that gap.  

Multitasking Means Poor Academic Performance

MA-Needham-January-23-18Smartphones and social media distract today’s students more than ever.  Some people like to call it “multitasking,” but it is just distracted learning.  A study led by Larry Rosen at the University of California observed 263 students in middle school, high school, and college while they did school work for 15 minutes. Researchers sat at the back of the room and observed the student while they worked on homework, read a textbook, or studied for an exam. On average, after two minutes the students were distracted by texts or social media. When the 15 minutes concluded, most of the students had only focused on their school work for 65% of the time. Rosen’s study confirms what parents and teachers see at home and in the classroom: digital distractions that decrease productivity.

Distracted learning leads to poor academic performance. Your child’s brain is not able to “encode” the information accurately when they are distracted. This means their brain is unable to transfer the new knowledge from short-term to long-term memory adequately. This means they will not be able to apply their learning to different contexts which can lead to poor grades and test scores.

Martial Arts Removes Distractions

Martial arts training eliminates distractions.  Students have fun and achieve great things without television, and video games, and the digital life. With help from their instructors, they learn to focus solely on their training and to tune out other distractions. Students must concentrate to acquire new moves and techniques. The repetition helps students focus for longer and longer periods of time.  

WiltonKidsRockItOutMany students participate in competitions, where the ability to focus becomes even more important. During a competition, students have to not only focus on their own movements but on the actions of their opponent. The pressure of competition fosters the ability to find one’s center, ignore distractions, and respond in the moment to the unexpected.  

Focus is like a beautiful Shaolin form.

Black-Tiger-Seminar-January-2016-GM-CoverGrandmaster explains it like this:

“Focus is like a beautiful Shaolin form, which follows a pattern of dancelike movements mimicking the fighting techniques of an animal… each movement within the form has meaning, and not even a single planting of foot or flick of a wrist is wasted. Each step has a life of its own, just like every step you take in life.”

The Shaolin Way, p.21

Focus and Achievement

When your child learns to focus, they give school their full attention.  This improves academic performance.  The brain encodes the information better and recalls it in different contexts to relate it to new data.  Standardized tests drive schools.  By learning focus through martial arts, you will see an improvement in your child’s grades and standardized test results.

Focus as a Life Skill

All top performers have an edge, and that edge is focus.  Goals in the classroom and on the field become even bigger goals in college and career.  All great performers, whether Olympians or CEOs or world leaders, have an extraordinary ability to focus and perform in big moments.  

Help your child learn to be more focused.  Sign up for a free trial lesson today.