It could be argued that all forms of martial arts help improve balance but because of the emphasis on kicking techniques, it appears as if Taekwondo offers the greatest array of benefits. According to Taekwondo rationale, the leg is the longest weapon in the human anatomy as well as being the most powerful so it is possible to strike continuously without retaliation.
However, learning the correct technique is essential because trying to execute flying kicks without training is going to lead to several embarrassing and painful situations. Imagine being able to fly through the air with a roundhouse kick and land perfectly on the floor in a position to repel any counterattack. This is precisely what the best Taekwondo practitioners can achieve.
What is Balance?
An easy way to answer this is to say that balance is a reflex action that helps to prevent us from falling and injuring ourselves. More parts of the body are used in balance than in any other act. Three of the five basic senses, a number of nerves, the brain and majority of muscles are all called into action in a whole body reflex that is developed when we are young children.
If we wish to improve balance, all the muscles involved in the act must be strengthened, we must teach the brain to use these muscles in an efficient manner and it is also necessary to improve the sensitivity of muscles to different pressures.
Taekwondo & Balance
One of the most advanced methods of improving balance is the act of side kicking. It just happens that side kicking is one of the staples of Taekwondo. It is best to begin by practicing your kicks in slow motion while focusing on aligning your body as you kick. The next step is to kick pads or a heavy bag. Learning how to execute a powerful kick while standing perfectly still on the other leg takes time and discipline and also involves tremendous core strength. Taekwondo is excellent for developing core and stability strength as it has an array of effective exercises. The whole package leads to an impressive level of balance.
A recent study performed in the Netherlands tested the impact of Taekwondo on volunteers aged 40-71. They went to a Taekwondo class for just one hour a week for a year. The researchers found that the new Taekwondo students displayed a massive improvement in various balance parameters including motor orientation ability, single leg stance and one leg hop test. This is significant because our balance deteriorates as we get older and increases the possibility of falling and getting injured. Just 60 minutes of Taekwondo training was enough to reverse this trend which speaks volumes about the benefits of this particular martial art.