While participating in any sport can be physically beneficial, there are specific psychological benefits of fencing that can’t be found in sports that involve predictable behaviours or outcomes. Of the many psychological benefits to be found, this article explores cognitive benefits in middle age.
Middle Age Cognitive Processing
During middle age, the cognitive processes tend to slow down. During the younger years, the brain is acutely busy learning new skills, process, and decision-making elements. But by the time people get a bit older, many of those learned behaviors are part of a common system that is used on a regular basis. The brain does not recognize a need to hone these elements because they have already proven successful. Acute focus may not be as necessary because there simple isn’t an opportunity for it.
Psychological Benefits of Fencing with Cognitive Skills
Fencing requires the use of open-motor skills, skills that are developed in response to unpredictable settings. The Washington Post discusses a study that was done to explore how use of these open-motor skills might impact cognitive processing in people who have reached middle age. What they found was fascinating. When opponents of different ages are matched, they are actually an equal match regardless of age. Although the younger person may have faster reflexes, the older person has enough cognitive development to allow for better decision making and focus. Though the two opponents excel in different areas, no one opponent is considered handicapped because of the balance between reflexes and cognitive skills.
In the future, it is entirely possible that sports like fencing are used to combat cognitive issues. The psychological benefits of fencing when it comes to cognitive functions require more research. However, this is a great example of how beneficial sports like fencing can be to people of all ages, in more ways than the usual “teamwork development” ways.