Always Learning New Skills

Sydney Martial Arts

People in the late 20th century tended to believe a few myths about learning and the brain. Popular science and psychology taught that our learning ability plateaued off after a certain age, and that our brains inevitably lose skill and function as we approach old age. But this is largely discredited today. We now know that we can continue to learn throughout life, and that mental exercises can partly, perhaps almost entirely, prevent mental problems as we age.

Constantly learning new skills is a great way to stay mentally alert. Even if the skills are mostly physical in nature we are still using our brain to coordinate our body, and that has great benefits.

The process of achieving something is good for our psychological well-being. Martial arts like karate and taekwondo are especially good for this as they are both mental and physical in nature. And being a long term endeavour there is always more to achieve.

Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of having learnt a new skill is the decrease in some forms of brain activity. This might seem counterintuitive, but the short answer is that over time we learn to perform new skills with less effort. We may even learn to do it without paying attention.

The learning of a new skill actually causes physical changes in the brain. Neurons in our brain will form connections as we learn, and this link is further fortified as the skill is repeated. The act of stimulating one neuron will excite other connected neurons, activating a network of connections when a skill is practiced. Over time our brain will physically grow bigger or more interconnected through continual learning. This is a far cry from the old misconception that our brains inevitably decay over time.

There is frustration in learning, but this is more than compensated for by the benefits. We feel better for the accomplishment and can perform new skills with minimal effort.

Self Defence for Kids Sydney

Children have some advantages in learning. For one thing there are fewer preconceived ideas, so there is less to unlearn. Another advantage is that skill learnt in the youngest years are available for the rest of their life. Perhaps the best Martial Arts for Kids Sydney wide is taekwondo or Karate.


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