9 Strong Mental Habits All Martial Artists Have

Every martial artist knows what it’s like to be tested mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Whether it’s a tough day at training, losing a tournament or not making it to the competition team – all these moments come to define who you are as a martial artist.

How you survived these challenges, how you became better at martial arts, it’s all part of your martial arts journey.

Although it is never easy, the ability to push through the toughest times in your martial arts journey is only a possibility depending on one’s mental strength, developed over years of training and hard work.

ONE Superstar Jake Butler not only gave up a successful career on Wall Street to fight MMA but found himself devastated after his first loss. Instead of giving up, Jake was relentless in pursuing his dreams. He then went on to defeat that very opponent who had handed him his loss.

The way Jake continued to train and work on his weaknesses truly shows the power of mental strength because of martial arts. Perhaps Jake’s story is a lesson we all can learn from and adapt in our own martial arts journey.

Today, Evolve Daily shares 9 Strong Mental Habits All Martial Artists Have:


1) The ability to be persistent.

Jake Butler _walkout

ONE Superstar Jake Butler recently defeated BJJ Black Belt Christiano Kaminishi via unanimous decision at ONE: Odyssey Of Champions.

Quitting is never an option for a martial artist. No matter how tired you are, how painful it is – there’s nothing that should stand in the way of reaching your goals. If you feel yourself giving up, remember: how bad do you want it? Will I regret this decision later on? If you can’t answer those questions, don’t give up. You’re almost where you want to be.


2) The ability to be open to change.

almiro BJJ

BJJ World Championship Silver Medalist Almiro Barros shares his vast knowledge of techniques at a BJJ Blue Class.

The more mentally tough a person is, the more willing they are to adapt. In martial arts, learning new techniques and refining the ones you know is essential to stay ahead. Those who are stubborn and who hesitate to learn new things will be very easily left behind by their peers.


3) The ability to stay in control.

side control BJJ

Escaping from side control is one of the biggest challenges in BJJ.

Martial artists who are mentally tough are always in control of their emotions. They know that there are just some things that they can’t change so they don’t waste their time worrying about it. Instead, they focus on what they can change.


4) The ability to take on risks.

Dejdamrong GNP

At 37 years of age, multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amunaysirichoke became the first ONE Strawweight World Champion.

Instead of living a life full of “what-ifs”, mentally tough martial artists know that they have to take risks. Nothing amazing was ever achieved without some kind of risk. They know this and are willing to take the chance of failing because they know they don’t want to ever live a life of regret.


5) The ability to move on.

kids class evolve mma

The Children’s Program at Evolve MMA builds life skills for your child through martial arts.

Many people love to dwell on the past and think about what they could have done differently. Instead of focusing on the past, why not redirect your attention to the future? Acknowledge that you’ve made mistakes in the past, that you’ve learned from it, accepted it, and are ready for whatever the future holds.


6) The ability to learn from their mistakes.

upper cut student

A student works on his uppercut during boxing class.

You messed up. You admit you’re wrong. You can say you’re sorry and just move on but proving you’ve learned from your mistakes is a different story. Unfortunately, the only way to do this is to make better decisions and show that you’ve truly moved on.


7) The ability to be confident.

mark striegl fighters program

ONE Superstar Mark Striegl attempts to gain control in the scramble.

The confidence you develop from martial arts is undeniable. However, how you portray it in both training and your daily life could be two different things. When you’re mentally tough, your confidence just shines through in everything you do. In turn, this inspires and motivates your peers to work hard too.


8) The ability to say no.

no sign

Those who are mentally tough know when it’s alright to say no. They know they aren’t invincible and they have the self-esteem to admit when they’re tired or stressed. However, when they do say no, they do it with conviction. This is because they know that saying no half-heartedly could send the wrong message and possibly ruin their reputation.


9) The ability to be patient.


Multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion and ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke is one of Evolve MMA’s most dedicated Muay Thai instructors.

The longer you practice martial arts, the more you realize that patience is really a virtue. There’s no such thing as immediate results, you know that everything takes time. Countless repetitions, hours and hours of training, drilling and sparring – you don’t stop until you get it right. Martial artists know that real change takes time and the only way for it to happen is if they devote 110% of their mind, body and soul into achieving their goals.


So tell us, which of these habits will you incorporate into your martial arts training today?

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