Rhee Tae Kwon Do and Mental Health

Rhee Tae Kwon Do and Mental Health
We are all aware of the physical benefits of Rhee Tae Kwon Do, but one topic that is seldom discussed is the impact of Rhee Tae Kwon Do on mental health and wellbeing.

  • Physical Exercise and Mental Well Being

When you attend a Rhee Tae Kwon Do training session, no matter how hard the training session is, you always leave the Dojang feeling better than when you first arrived! This is because exercise releases many mood regulating chemicals into your body, like endorphins, that lift your mood and make you feel good. As you progress in your Rhee Tae Kwon Do journey, your physical improvement and positive self-perception will also result in a boost of self-confidence. Rhee Tae Kwon Do a great way to focus and channel your energy towards a noble pursuit, that continues to challenge your limits as you grow and improve.

  • Stress Reduction and Multi-Tasking

Rhee Tae Kwon Do can help reduce stress and anxiety by encouraging you to constantly practice situational awareness and mindfulness. It helps train your mind to stay focused and attentive to its surroundings while remaining calm and alert. If we consider free sparring, you are focusing on your breathing, you are focusing on your distancing, spacing, control of your techniques, attacking and blocking, while you are reading your partner's moves, anticipating their attacks, blocking, side stepping, counter attacking, all the while you are listening to your instructor's feedback and instructions, paying attention to your surroundings so that you don't run into anyone around you or the wall behind you, while thinking about your next move, technique or sparring strategy and you just noticed that you will be sparring your best friend next! You do all this at once and without much thought! No wonder Martial Artists can handle multi-tasking and stressful situations more readily than many others!

  • Personal Development

How many times have you come to the Dojang with a goal or a target to accomplish? It could be as simple as "Today, I will improve my side kick", or it might be a short-term goal like "I will practice my pattern to perfection to be ready for the next grading", or a long term goal such as "I will get my black belt in 12 months".

No matter what your goal is, development comes from making and achieving these goals and being able to work through any physical or mental roadblocks ahead of you. Rhee Tae Kwon Do encourages every practitioner to find their hidden potential and accomplish goals that they never thought that they would be able to accomplish. Every training session it forces you to identify your areas of weakness and provides you with the tools to overcome them. This blueprint of personal development doesn't just work in the Dojang, but we are able to replicate it in our everyday lives and the confidence we gained in the Dojang is the same confidence that we tap into to make positive and important changes to our lives.

  • Increased Self-Esteem

Just as the mind grows stronger and more resilient through challenges, our self-esteem also grows through overcoming challenges and being able to reach new levels of accomplishment and achievement. Rhee Tae Kwon Do is all about overcoming setbacks and breaking through perceived walls and not giving up, no matter how hard things get. Rhee Tae Kwon Do provides the building blocks to improve our self-esteem and making our minds think outside of the square.

  • Emotional Resilience

Through regular practice of Rhee Tae Kwon Do, your self-control improves and so does the control over your mind and your emotions. I can name countless students that initially found training to be mentally and emotionally draining, but through perseverance and working with their Dojang Instructor and having a support network with other students and practitioners, they were able to overcome those self-set barriers. We all will experience growth in emotional maturity and resilience through training, resulting in reduced negative feelings, such as anger, fear or aggression and as a result provides a strong platform for self-knowledge, emotional stability and mental assertiveness.

While Rhee Tae Kwon Do can be a powerful tool for regulating your emotions and shifting your mental state, through empowerment and self-validation, what you get it out of it all depends on how much effort you put into it. This is where personal commitment, dedication and drive make a difference.

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