There’s more to martial arts than learning effective fighting techniques you can use to defend yourself or getting an enjoyable, fun workout. Learning martial arts is also about building up the right mindset, a mindset that virtually guarantees you’ll be successful in any endeavor you undertake.
Martial arts quotes to inspire you
Many of the greatest martial artists in history have been the people who took the time to understand the philosophy behind their martial art of choice. Here are some of the most inspiring quotes we found that give you a clear idea of the mindset you should have to become a complete martial artist:
1) “Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.” – Bruce Lee
It would only be right to start our list of inspirational quotes with the most famous martial artist of the 20th century. Bruce Lee was never a fan of the unnecessary loyalty many traditional martial artists had for their art.
Some would refuse to learn techniques from other combat styles based on a false belief that their martial art was superior to others.
Bruce Lee had a different approach to his training, and he trained with fighters from a wide range of fighting styles, from boxing to Judo. It made him one of the best martial artists of his day and the most entertaining to watch.
His philosophy was simple: Learn, practice, and perfect any techniques that work for you. Don’t get stuck thinking you only have to learn one style. For example, a boxer can still benefit from training wrestling. Sure, they can’t slam their opponents during boxing bouts, but they can soften them up in the clinch. Wrestlers spend way more time in the clinch than boxers, and little things like using the proper hooks and head control can be added to a boxer’s game.
2) “Whatever luck I had, I made. I was never a natural athlete, but I paid my dues in sweat and concentration and took the time necessary to learn karate and become world champion.” – Chuck Norris
Signing up for martial arts classes will not make you a competent fighter. Neither will simply showing up for classes, even if you attend regularly. To make the most out of your training, you need to be committed to your training.
That might mean running a few miles on your own, starting a new stretching program, or adding a weightlifting program into your routine.
It might also mean writing down things you learn in class so you can go over them in your free time or attending seminars when accomplished fighters visit your area.
It’s the combination of all these things that creates the fighters who end up separating themselves from the pack. Anyone can become a great martial artist; you just have to put in the work.
3) “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” – Muhammad Ali
Ever wonder why fighters like Floyd Mayweather can effortlessly evade strikes? It’s called muscle memory. It is the result of drilling techniques repeatedly until you naturally start using these techniques without making a conscious decision.
Jab coming towards your face? Your neck automatically leans back as your brain recognizes the incoming attack.
The same goes for offensive techniques. Practice them enough, and you’ll start using these moves without having to think about them whenever the opportunity arises.
We’ve all seen wrestlers automatically shoot for a takedown when they get rocked in MMA. That’s muscle memory right there. Their brain might be barely conscious, but their muscle memory still works fine. Kevin Lee’s 2018 fight against Edson Barboza is an excellent example of this at play. Barboza forced Lee to do the “Stanky leg” dance when he connected with a devastating shot, but Lee instinctively took him down, denying Barboza the opportunity to follow up with more strikes. Lee ended up winning the fight via decision.
4) “A black belt only covers two inches of your ass. You have to cover the rest.” – Royce Gracie
It’s easy to become complacent as you progress through the ranks as a martial artist. You start to become confident in your abilities, then you start slacking off with your training and diet. Over time, you lose the sharpness you once had, or your fitness level diminishes.
A black belt who is out of shape and hasn’t trained in years is not the same as a black belt who actively trains. Being a black belt is about living the warrior lifestyle. It means taking care of your mind and body, so you are always ready for whatever life throws at you.
You don’t get to tell a mugger to come back in a few months when you are in better physical or mental shape.
5) “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee
Here’s another gem from Lee. It’s a simple quote that couldn’t be truer. Most martial arts have countless techniques, and it’s easy to get carried away trying to perfect them all.
That is not the right approach to learning martial arts since some techniques that work for you might not work for others. For example, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters with long limbs tend to have an easier time securing triangle chokes from different angles. Conversely, people with short legs often find it almost impossible to pull off the technique.
Find techniques that work for you and your body type, then drill them to perfection. You don’t need to know countless moves. Start with perfecting a few techniques and gradually build your arsenal.
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