Flexibility is More Than Physical, it’s Mental, Too.


At only 5’ 7”, I can’t do a full side split, but I can kick someone who is 6’ 4” in the head. 

You would think this is because I’m incredibly flexible. But, the truth is, I never considered myself to be. 

In a previous blog post, we talked about the reasons that people give for not getting into martial arts. I could add one more reason to that list: people often believe that they aren’t flexible enough to begin training.  I believe those people have seen too many action movies.  

Flexibility is a great thing, but it’s not necessary to train and receive all of the benefits of martial arts

Don’t get me wrong, flexibility is important. But, it is only important because it is better for your overall health, and not because it will help you defend yourself better. 

In a self-defense scenario, people often fantasize about doing a  jumping, spinning heel kick to some guy’s head. But really, all of your self-defense kicking is below the waist (knees, joints, legs, groin; all of the areas that are easily effectively attacked and disable attackers quickly.) 

So, you don’t have to be flexible in order to defend yourself. You don’t even have to be flexible to win tournaments. In fact, you don’t have to be flexible to start training martial arts at all. 

People also don’t realize that flexibility is not just physical, it is mental as well. When your mind is stressed, your body is much less flexible. Likewise, when your body is tense, then your brain is sending energy to try and relax your body. Your body and your mind want to find a relaxing or centering point, so that you can be comfortable. 

And, we help you do that. We do it through the kinds of exercises we do, and the kinds of stretching that we do. 15 minutes before every class, there is an optional stretching and warm up period. Students are welcome to stay after class to stretch after they train as well. We also encourage they do so on their own.

When you’re doing your stretching, and you’re doing some deep-breathing, you’re getting oxygen into your lungs and into your blood. The oxygen from your blood goes into your tendons, ligaments, and muscles, and you just become a healthier person overall. 

So, is flexibility necessary to land a spinning heel kick to some guy’s head? 


But, will it make you feel better? 




Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!


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