Tae Kwon Do martial arts or otherwise called fighting arts is a practice and tradition of combat. All kind of martial arts has the same objective of physically defeating another person or defending oneself from physical harm or threat. Some martial arts are associated with beliefs while others follow a code of honor. It is considered as an art and a science.
Tae Kwon Do is not only for men but also for women. Women are born weaker in physical strength compared to men. The need of women to learn Tae Kwon Do is increasing now a day because of high issues of rape and harassment.
Women need to protect themselves from any of these situations that can put their lives in danger. If you want to successfully learn Tae Kwon Do and the proper techniques of self defense, you have to give time and dedication for it. Repetitive training is needed to build up strength and technique. It also needs time for meditation as well as mental training. Having a positive mind of beating an opponent is half winning the fight.
Aside from this benefit of protecting yourself, Tae Kwon Do can improve awareness of the mind and body. The mental strength will be improved as you master the art of focusing. You will be able to focus more on your daily task and improve your level of alertness even with small details of what is happening around you. Concentration is very important in Tae Kwon Do training. To be an effective martial arts student you must be able to picture out your success as you go along with the training.
Learning Tae Kwon Do can improve one’s physical and mental health. Feeling stronger mentally will give you the sense of security to be able to manage any dangerous situations that might occur. It will build up your self confidence to handle any physical threatening circumstances. Throughout the training you will learn the movements and impacts on your body as well as the opponent or attacker. Knowing when to strike or hit and how to do it properly will give you the strength with your full body potential defending yourself.
The woman’s health package
Tae Kwon Do Martial arts not only builds self confidence in women but gives great all around health benefits. Tae Kwon Do is complete health workout for the body and mind.Top of Form Tae Kwon Do can increase your health in ways you may have never imagined. Tae Kwon Do has been around for thousands of years. It offers women three secret skills; : harmony of soul, : powerful health effect and : of course self-defense. So what exactly are these benefits?
Tae Kwon Do translated by Korean means “way of an arm and a leg”. Even though Tae Kwon Do may be complex, it is great for health and wonderful for self defense.
Tae Kwon Do is basically like having the entire gym at your disposal. It builds up muscles but also removes cellulite. Your cardiovascular system becomes strong enough you could qualify as an astronaut. It is ideal for women because it builds up the pelvis muscles making genealogical problems vanish.
Tae Kwon Do can play an important role in women’s self defense and are a great way to help build confidence, strength and skills to combat any potential attacker. There are many different types of classes for women in Reitenbach Institute Tae Kwon Do martial arts and when practicing Tae Kwon Do, women will find that their strength improves significantly after only a few months of practicing the art.
In general, an attacker will test a woman before he actually assaults her. By making inappropriate comments or behavior, a perpetrator will try to find out how assertive and strong a woman is. If she responds in an assertive way, most perpetrators will eventually run away. Tae Kwon Do can help you reach this level of assertiveness.
Tae Kwon Do for women will also help improve mental strength as they will be taught to focus on one single thing. Concentration is a very important part of Tae Kwon Do training and being able to form a mental picture of your success is beneficial to your effectiveness as a martial arts student.
By learning Tae Kwon Do women will be able to focus on one goal, physically and mentally. You will feel stronger mentally because you build up a sense of security and a knowledge deep down that you will be able to manage and deal with a potentially dangerous situation.
Women will learn about movements and their impact on their bodies and on the opponent’s body. Knowing when to strike and how to do it will enable to them to use their body to its full potential if they have to defend themselves. Women can empower themselves and build up a strong body as well as self esteem.
Tae Kwon Do as Preventive Medicine!
Tae Kwon Do training at peak performance levels is the best way to prevent disease, as well as to stimulate positive changes in the body’s natural healing systems.
Our current lifestyle of Lazy-boy chairs, remote controls and S.U.V.s does not challenge us to move, yet our biological need for physical movement is still the same as when time began.
Tae Kwon Do training can strongly influence the function of most of the human organ systems and much of the chemistry of our brains and bodies. The changes brought about by Tae Kwon Do training are dose responsive, but maybe not in the way you believe.
In fact, twice as much is twice as good only up to optimal levels. Beyond that actually tempts an over training response in the body and a decline in physical and mental health.
Tae Kwon Do training, as well as other exercise forms, dosage combines distance (or time), intensity and frequency — how far, how fast, how often. An additional factor may be technique, which determines the muscle groups and total muscle mass used in the exercise.
For example, kicks work your leg muscles but also increase aerobic capacity. Taking into consideration the type and dosage of Tae Kwon Do training, it affects the body and its systems in numerous positive ways.
Typical Types of Tae Kwon Do Training
Tae Kwon Do training movements are generally classified as aerobic (kicking or forms training), strength or stretching. Two more categories can also be added: Tae Kwon Do exercises of skill and exercises for fun.
Of the five categories, only the Tae Kwon Do cardiovascular or aerobic group changes metabolism and chemistry in enough ways to bring about a wide range of health gains in the Tae Kwon Do practitioner.
The definition of aerobic exercise is straightforward: sustained, rhythmic use of large muscle groups in a weight-bearing manner at sufficient frequency, distance and intensity. Other than Tae Kwon Do, the qualifiers include running, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, skating, aerobic walking and a few others.
Frequency is three to four times a week. Distance, most easily measured in time, is 40 to 50 minutes. As to intensity, the workout must feel like a workout — 13 to 14 on the Borg scale of perceived exertion. If you are just starting a training program, begin with a shorter time and lower intensity, gradually working up to target levels.
Positive Body Changes
After about three weeks of true Tae Kwon Do training, a wide range of physiological changes take place. Practitioners will exhibit improvements in blood sugar, blood pressures, blood lipids, brain neurotransmitter balance, blood supply to muscles, and capacity of somatic muscles and the liver to store carbohydrate in the form of glycogen, calcium metabolism and other basic parameters. The changes are not mutually exclusive; interactions among systems and their functions are the rule.
These changes translate into better functioning of the body and brain, and overall risk reduction for such diseases as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, chronic respiratory disease, osteoporosis, obesity, anxiety states, mild to moderate mental depression, chronic fatigue, and breast and colon cancers. An increase in breathing exercises and forms training helped people recover from type 2 diabetes and become no longer insulin dependent because of it.
The Brain and Nervous System
Tae Kwon Do training brings about remarkable changes in brain chemistry. The concentrations of various neurotransmitters that are responsible for facilitation or inhibition of nerve impulse transmission in the central nervous system — acetylcholine, norepinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, gamma amino butyric acid (GABA), glutamic acid, endorphins and others — are changed so that a new balance is attained.
The clinical signs and symptoms that ensue are easier to record than the actual neurotransmitter levels, and many studies are in agreement on the emotional, behavioral and physiological changes that accompany martial arts training.
A few recent investigations, however, have pinned down the neurochemical changes, as well. Eighty-nine year old Grand Master Yong Woo Lee, founder of JungDoKwan Taekwondo credits his years of martial arts training for his good health and mental sharpness at his age.
Among the early changes seen when individuals engage in a martial arts training program are mood elevation, heightened energy levels, enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem, lower anxiety levels, resistance to depression and improved coping ability.
Changes in blood pressure and heart rate, which are, to a large extent, mediated by the central nervous system, occur soon afterward. Heart rate is slowed, and hypertensive blood pressure (systolic and diastolic) is reduced toward normal.
These physiological changes are a function of the rebalancing of the sympathetic (fight and flight) and parasympathetic (rest and repair) halves of the autonomic nervous system. Studies by the Inchon Sports College of Korea have found increased parasympathetic tone in martial arts trained subjects, and ascribe the slowing of heart rate and reduction in blood pressure to this increased tone.
Others have recorded lower plasma catecholamine levels associated with lower blood pressure following martial arts training. Resting heart rate is largely controlled by the parasympathetic fibers of the tenth cranial nerve (vagus) to the heart’s pacemaker (SA node). But blood pressure is much more complex, and more body chemistry, especially hormonal chemistry, is involved. The bottom line is that martial arts training reduces hypertensive blood pressure, and that the response is distance/intensity-graded.
Returning to the neurotransmitter connections with training, higher levels of serotonin and dopamine have been recorded following intense martial arts training. These would account for the mood elevation and antidepressant effects equal to those of regular aerobic exercise.
Keep in mind that changes in GABA, endorphins and other neurotransmitters may well contribute to these psychological effects. There have been improvements in the physical capabilities of Parkinson’s disease patients following six to eight weeks of martial arts training. (Dopamine levels are commonly low in people with Parkinson’s disease.)
In one patient, a 69-year-old Korean female, Soo Yong Kim of Shi-Hung City, anti-Parkinson medication was discontinued after martial arts training greatly improved her aerobic capacity.
Also related to dopamine changes, some cigarette smokers can quit with few, if any, signs and symptoms of withdrawal. Ordinarily, nicotine addiction is difficult to break because high dopamine levels drop precipitously upon smoking cessation. Rigorous Tae Kwon Do martial arts training can greatly elevate dopamine levels, and cases of smokers who quit easily may be taken as initial evidence that optimal levels of martial arts training can prevent a drop in dopamine with smoking cessation.
Continuing in the realm of psychological effects, a number of cognitive improvements have been documented in older adults who train rigorously. These include quicker mental reaction time and improved fluid intelligence quotients.
Incredibly, Jae Son Myung (101 years old) of Inchon, Korea credits his sharp mental focus and quick reaction ability to his 90 years of training. It has been proposed that such changes may be the result of improved acetylcholine levels. Acetylcholine is a universal nerve transmission chemical in both the brain and somatic nerves. If acetylcholine is responsible, martial arts exercise should also benefit Alzheimer’s disease, which exhibits chronic acetylcholine depletion.
At the base of the brain is the small pineal gland, which releases melatonin, a hormone that influences such widely diverse functions as sleep/wake cycles and immune system integrity. The production of melatonin, related chemically to serotonin, is upset when people travel across several time zones. A marked reduction in jet lag can be achieved when a Tae Kwon Do martial artist’s training schedule is optimal for frequency, distance and intensity.
Thyroid and Parathyroid Glands
The next stop in the body is the neck, where the thyroid and parathyroid glands are located. The thyroid controls metabolic rate, and the parathyroid are involved in calcium metabolism.
Metabolic rate is influenced by any exercise form with an aerobic component such as Tae Kwon Do foot-work drills, and calcium metabolism by both cardiovascular and strength training exercises.
1. Lungs. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) results from years of exposure to particulate and chemical pollutants in the air. The result is breathlessness (dyspnea) with mild to moderate physical exertion, and reduced functional respiratory volume. There is less elasticity of the air sacs and of the entire chest wall. Rigorous Tae Kwon Do martial arts training such as falling and tumbling drills results in less dyspnea and increased respiratory capacity.
Another chronic respiratory disease is asthma, but asthma, with its three components of allergy, inflammation and anxiety, is more complex. Asthma is characterized by constriction of the bronchioles, the smallest tubular passages before the air sacs, and expiratory wheezing. Asthmatic distress has been widely noted in exercises of shorter duration and higher intensity.
Former asthma sufferer Master Mi Yi says that her poor health and breathing problems as a child is what convinced her parents to let her attend martial arts classes. “They didn’t think it was lady-like” says Master Yi. “But I told them that being sick all the time wasn’t lady-like either, so they allowed me to go to Tae Kwon Do and Kumdo classes with my brother.”
Occasional asthmatic individuals on medication have participated in Tae Kwon Do forms and training programs I have instructed. I have observed the medical progress of eight such individuals as they reached and maintained improved cardiovascular levels of exercise. Without exception, they reported reduced incidence and severity of symptoms, and less need for bronchodilator medication.
2. Heart and blood vessels. The working muscle of the heart, the myocardium, is structurally and functionally different than the voluntary muscles used for movement. Heart muscle looks different under a microscope, uses a different mix of biochemical energy cycles and responds to exercise differently. One thing that the myocardial and somatic muscles have in common in response to Kardio Kickbox exercise is an increased blood supply. Even in coronary heart disease, where one (or more) of the coronary arteries is partly blocked by lipid deposits, the Tae Kwon Do Kardio Kickbox class, in combination with a low-fat diet, results in increased opening of the blocked vessel(s).
Without going into what is known about the complex biological mechanisms involved, here are some heart benefits of optimal levels of Tae Kwon Do martial arts training: regularity of heart beat at a slower rate; improvement of blood lipid factors (decreased total cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins and triglycerides, and increased high-density lipoproteins); diminished atherosclerosis of coronary and carotid arteries; increased stroke volume; greater total blood volume with decreased viscosity; decreased platelet aggregability; and increased blood flow to cardiac and somatic musculature on physical effort.
3. Gastrointestinal tract. For the gastrointestinal tract, exercise shortens transit time for food as it enters the stomach and then passes through the colon and rectum. The reduced incidence of colon cancer is doubtless a consequence of decreased transit time, combined with increased immune system competence.
4. Liver. The liver, in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen, serves several functions, including participation in the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. Foods digested in the small intestine — carbohydrates, fats and proteins — are absorbed by a network of veins and carried to the liver.
When the liver receives a fresh supply of carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars, it has a few choices. It can (and generally does) release some glucose into circulation, it can store some as glycogen and/or it can convert a generous amount to fat for storage. The capacity for the storage of liver glycogen is greatly increased in martial arts practitioners.
5. Pancreas. Just across from the liver is the pancreas, which functions as a digestive organ supplying enzymes to the small intestine, and as an endocrine organ with its specialized islet cells, which produce the hormones insulin and glucagon. Insulin can activate receptors in all cells of the body to metabolize glucose; glucagon, conversely, acts to release glucose from glycogen storage. Tae Kwon Do martial arts training increases sensitivity in insulin receptors throughout the body.
6. Adrenal glands. A little lower in the abdomen are the paired adrenal glands, one atop each kidney. The adrenals are the source of two classes of hormones, the gluco- and mineralo-corticoids. The former, or cortisol group, can be released in response to stress — physical, chemical, bacterial, viral, radiation and intensive exercise. Long-term stress may result in chronic, high levels of cortisol, followed by depletion, resulting in lowered resistance to infection.
Adequate, but not excessive, aerobic exercise training keeps resistance levels high, and hastens recovery from injury or illness. The adrenals and the kidneys have a strong hand in blood pressure regulation, and martial arts exercises, such as the Tae Kwon Do Breathing drills are known to reduce hypertensive blood pressure.
7. Mid-body muscles. Conditioning exercises such as Tae Kwon Do kicking drills improve the tone of three muscle groups: the pelvic-support muscles, the lower-back muscles and the gluteal muscles that splint the neck of the femur. Three disparate conditions, incontinence (especially in older women), chronic low-back pain and the risk of “hip” fracture, are thus improved.
8. Calcium metabolism. Exercise also improves the body as a whole. Calcium metabolism, a complex balance of many influences, is improved by martial arts strength and cardio training. In women young enough to have adequate estrogen levels, both types of exercise increase bone mineral density. In post-menopausal women, such exercise will inhibit the bone density decline that commonly occurs with passing years.
9. Connective tissue. Another whole-body effect is on connective tissue, since Tae Kwon Do martial arts training creates more physiologically active fibroblasts and a more youthful balance of collagen and elastin fibers.
10. Body fat. Still another whole-body influence of rigorous Tae Kwon Do martial arts exercise such as Tae Kwon Do forms training is the strong effect on body fat percentage. Optimal levels of Kardio Tae Kwon Do training have consistently resulted in a lowering of fat-to-lean ratios.
Many people think of whether they are too fat in terms of weight, but the effect of Kardio Tae Kwon Do style exercise is on fat storage, rather than on weight, per se. Individuals who are relatively lean before starting an exercise program often report losing inches (thighs, waist, hips, waist, chest, upper arms) without change in weight.
Kardio Tae Kwon Do exercise does not bring about its fat-loss effect merely by caloric expenditure. It also involves multiple biochemical changes, including changes in lipoprotein lipase, brain cholecystokinin, glucocorticosteroids, leptin, c-reactive protein and other peptides, as well as an increase in resting metabolic rate.
11. Immune system. Another generalized effect of martial arts forms training such as the maximum physical fitness form of Tae Kwon Do is on the immune system. This type of exercise affects both the cellular and humoral processes of this complex defense system. Different changes occur during a workout, after a workout and long term, if forms exercise is practiced on a regular basis. New balances are achieved among the various immune mechanisms and chemicals.
The immune system reacts differently depending on whether the exercise is at optimal aerobic levels, exhaustive distance and intensity, or at over training levels. The overall effect of exercise on the many components of the immune system can be judged by the clinical picture.
That bottom line is that ideal levels of aerobic exercise translates into greater resistance to infection (bacterial and viral) and to lower risk for breast cancer and colon cancer. An indirect path to these benefits is the increased ability to tolerate stressors. Over training — generally acknowledged as more than 90 minutes at a hard pace for one exercise bout, or 35 miles (or equivalent) per week at workout pace — can result in an opposite effect. Over training, like chronic stress, results in a reduction in immune system competence.
Tae Kwon Do as Medicine
Tae Kwon Do training affects the great majority of the body’s tissues, organs and systems to bring about homeostatic stability and normal function. Training at optimal levels of frequency, distance (time) and intensity can markedly reduce the risk of developing many of the chronic diseases commonly seen. As such, the public health implications of establishing widespread Tae Kwon Do programs are important for society as a whole.
Come on in for the complementary session. You will enjoy it and you are as young as you feel! Contact us at 650-992-3939 for more information on our kid(s) programs.
Master Sydney Reitenbach
7th Degree Black Belt (Kukkiwon)
If you are interested in learning more about Tae Kwon Do for Women Program please review our Total Body Power program overview links or contact me. Thank you.