Deanna Kyrimis is a healthcare executive in Seattle, WA., who just happens to hold a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo under the training of Masters Michael and Lisa Tippett (8th and 6th-degree black belts, respectively). A black belt in any martial arts arena is a highly celebrated accomplishment because it takes extreme training, discipline, and practice. But then, Deanna Kyrimis has always been a results-oriented executive with forward-thinking solutions, dedication, and the ability to excel in diverse environments.
While going through the entire ranking system of Taekwondo, Ms. Kyrimis has developed many secondary skills and has also mastered mental and emotional challenges that we, as humans, will all face at some point in our lives. Suppose you’re considering a martial arts program like Taekwondo to improve physical fitness. In that case, you should know that this particular craft is best known for improving discipline and self-control because each movement should be powerful, fluid, graceful, and deliberate.
5 Benefits of Taekwondo
1. IMPROVES YOUR POWERS OF CONCENTRATION
The power of focusing your attention on one task or movement at a time is almost a lost art. As a busy executive, Deanna Kyrimis knows that multitasking is how most things get done in any office. But, a famous swami once said:
“The powers of the mind are like the rays of the sun. When they are concentrated, they illumine.”
When you’re prone to distractions, it leaves you open to making errors. And, the greater the problem or the more complex the activity, if you don’t have excellent powers of concentration, it’s likely you won’t even remember the new material, or you will end up doing multiple things poorly.
2. INCREASES SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SELF-AWARENESS
Mindfulness has always been a part of ancient philosophies such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and the deliberate practice of mindfulness. Simply put, mindfulness is an acute awareness of what’s happening at any given moment. It inherently leads to greater self-awareness. Being self-aware and self-confident takes you out of the victim mode and into a space where making good decisions and following through are primary.
Making a decision and following through on each stance, each step and each strike of Taekwondo puts these esoteric ideas into practice and makes them naturally flow into your spirit, personality, and behaviors.
3. ENHANCED COGNITIVE ABILITIES
Let’s face it! The digital world will continue to take humans out of the age of manual effort and more into cognitive abilities. Even a corporate accountant doesn’t necessarily need to know the formulas for computing complex sales and revenue numbers – a computer can do that. But, she must understand what those numbers mean to corporate goals and future financial strategies.
Expect a higher level of cognition when you practice Taekwondo – this includes intelligence, creative thinking, mental perseverance, and decision-making.
4. IMPROVED MUSCLE TONE AND FLEXIBILITY
No martial arts will improve muscle mass, but you can expect a drastic muscle tone improvement. Slack arm muscles, soft abdomens, and legs without definition all magically disappear with each new year of Taekwondo training. Maintaining good muscle tone is one way to defy aging. But, it also contributes to better posture, making a person seem more able and confident in any situation.
And it is proven that among older persons, increased flexibility can eliminate many common injuries caused by reaching, turning, or bending. Stiff joints and a low range of motion disappear when you practice this ancient martial art.
5. LEARN SELF-DEFENSE SKILLS
Women and men, children and adults alike, can better defend themselves or a loved one when they have spent years practicing martial arts. Hopefully, this real world will never be used outside of a dojang, but the confidence everyone feels in being more than a victim can have its own benefits.
The ability to kick, duck, and punch well may be all you need in a potentially threatening situation. Deanna Kyrimis stresses that proper and tested self-defense actions should be taught in a class specifically for this purpose. But, if you’re mentally quick, have a good awareness of yourself and your surroundings, and are in good physical condition, these are good starting points in being able to defend yourself or your family adequately.
The discipline and focus taught by practicing Taekwondo are the same attributes it takes to succeed in life. After all, we are what we think!
The foundation of many Middle Eastern practices, Chinese philosophies, and metaphysical beliefs of Western civilizations is the ability to turn off mindless mental chatter, refocus stray thoughts, and reinforce good thinking patterns. Simply developing a keen awareness of the here and now can be life-changing!