4 Ways To Build Your Mental Toughness In Martial Arts

Mental toughness – the one thing that helps the greatest martial artists persevere through their darkest hours, whether in the ring, cage, or on the mats. It is what gives them that extra dose of energy when they can barely stand. It is what helps them face any challenge and solve any problem that might come their way. It is also how they are able to put their emotions aside and remain focused on what’s truly important – the present moment. Besides that, it is something that is built over time, slowly, by making themselves uncomfortable and pushing past all thresholds.

As a martial artist yourself, there’s no doubt that you’re looking to level up. You want to improve yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to become the best martial artist you could be. If you’re wondering how to do so, look no further. Today, Evolve Daily shares 4 Ways To Build Your Mental Toughness In Martial Arts:

 

1) Drill before and after class 

When you get to training, it’s nice to hang out with teammates before class and just talk. Same thing goes for after training – it’s nice to hang out with people who understand you. After all, making friends is part of martial arts. However, choosing to drill instead will certainly help you develop your mental toughness. Even though you’d much rather relax or take it easy before and after a grueling class, drilling is a painful yet strategic option. Not only will doing drills help you improve your techniques, it will also test your dedication further.

 

2) Do more repetitions than necessary

gamal-judo

BJJ Champion Gamal Hassan trains with 4x US Olympic Judoka at the Evolve Fighters Program.

When your instructor asks you to do 10 repetitions of a certain technique, do you follow what he says? Or do you push yourself a few extra more repetitions because there’s more time to do them? If you want to test your mental toughness, doing more repetitions than your instructor asks of you (time permitting, of course) will certainly do it. Some students struggle with completing just 10. If you can do more repetitions, why not do so? It will only help you improve in the long run.

 

3) Spar against your nemesis 

WBA Boxing World Champion and ONE Superstar Yodsanan Sityodtong trains hard at the Evolve MMA Fighters Program.

WBA Boxing World Champion and ONE Superstar Yodsanan Sityodtong trains hard at the Evolve MMA Fighters Program.

Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we all have our nemesis in training. Maybe it’s someone you’ve started training together more or less at the same time and for some reason, techniques that seem to work easily on other partners aren’t working at all with this person. Or perhaps it’s someone that you just can’t beat or someone that keeps on beating you. Whatever your reason for branding this person as your nemesis, you need to let go and start sparring him/her. If you want to level up in training, you must embrace every challenge – without exceptions.

 

4) Use a new technique in sparring

The americana lock is also known as the bent armlock, keylock, top wristlock, figure four armlock in catch wrestling, and ude garami in judo.

The americana lock is also known as the bent armlock, keylock, top wristlock, figure four armlock in catch wrestling, and ude garami in judo.

We all have certain techniques we’re comfortable with. These are the techniques that are a surefire bet to our success in sparring because we’ve done them over and over again and we’re confident in them. What we don’t realize is that by doing so, we’re preventing ourselves from learning more. Staying in our comfort zones is detrimental to our improvement because we aren’t challenging ourselves. Before we know it, we’ve been taken over by our peers. Instead, we should push ourselves to use new techniques, at least once or twice, during sparring. Yes, you might lose, but pick yourself up afterward and work on your mistakes. Doing so will inevitably turn these mistakes into newfound favorite techniques — trust us!

 

The road to success in martial arts is never straightforward or easy. It’s full of challenges that force you to make a choice between quitting and pushing through. These crossroads separate the mentally tough from the mediocre. In order to become the best martial artist we could be, we need to overcome our weaknesses and look at our failures straight in the eye. We need to keep on pushing ourselves to the limit. This is the only way to take our martial arts journey to the next level.

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