You work hard, put your time in and eventually, you achieve mastery. At the very least, you improve slowly each day. It’s the mantra of every serious martial artist on a quest for knowledge and self-discovery.
But more than the tangible effort that we put into our craft, martial arts is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one. So much goes into our thoughts and into our psyche during training, that the mental aspect of martial arts simply cannot be overlooked.
Heading into training, it’s important to have the right mindset. This will ensure that whatever experience we undergo, we are able to maximize its full benefits. Having the right mindset during training will optimize our development as martial artists. Furthermore, it exudes an unmistakable positive energy in every training session.
Ask any serious martial artist, and they’ll tell you that our mind is perhaps the most important part of training, and often the most overlooked.
You can put your head down and put your best effort into training, but you’ll reap so much more rewards if you approach training with the right mindset.
It’s time to explore a few points to ponder when training in martial arts. Today, Evolve Daily shares how the right mindset makes you a better martial artist.
1) Focus is key
Mental focus is a very important aspect of martial arts. The ability to clear the mind of external factors and focus solely on your inner self is essential to getting the most out of each training session.
Everybody has their own personal matters to deal with. Whether it’s problems at the workplace, or in school, there is always something taking up our attention. By clearing our minds, pushing aside external matters, we are able to get in touch with our inner psyche. This helps tremendously during training.
Take the time out to actively clear your mind before you begin training. Spend a few minutes meditating, mentally preparing yourself for the task at hand.
Focus intently on your breathing. Get in touch with every limb in your body. Raise your self-awareness. This all ultimately helps with getting the most out of training.
2) Humility will optimize your learning
They say the moment you stop learning, that’s when you stop growing. And it couldn’t be any truer than in martial arts.
Martial arts is, in essence, a journey of learning and discovery. There is so much ground to cover in every martial arts discipline. Although we are all essentially students in the study of our chosen craft, the reality is that there will always be those who are much further along than we are.
Which is why it’s extremely important to always remain humble at all times, willing to learn and absorb lessons at any given moment.
Humility is an incredible trait to have as a martial artist and ensures that we are always willing to continue our quest for knowledge.
3) Learn to embrace failure
The truth of the matter is, that during our time as martial artists we will fail incessantly. This is the reality of our unique undertaking. As you soon discover in your martial arts journey, failure is present at every juncture — whether you are just starting out, or years into your practice.
By learning to embrace failure, accepting it as an integral part of the natural course of martial arts, we realize its true value. Failure isn’t something we should be ashamed of, it is an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and grow as both martial artists and as individuals.
When we have learned to accept the fact that failure is an important part of our development, we learn to see it is a chance to improve ourselves. Having this particular mindset not only helps us as martial artists but also improves us as people.
4) Fundamentals are everything
“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.” This is a famous quote from perhaps the greatest martial artist of our time — the legendary dragon, Bruce Lee.
What Lee refers to in his sage advice is that learning and understanding fundamentals in martial arts are more important than perhaps even the advanced stages of training. By focusing on building a basic foundation to our martial arts skills, we set ourselves up for imminent success.
Martial arts requires an unimaginable amount of repetition in order to learn and develop certain talents and abilities. Fundamentals are the core of learning. While there is a variance to every technique, the only thing constant are fundamentals.
Place great emphasis on learning the basics, and you’ll have an easier path to mastery.
5) Technique over power
One common mistake most beginner martial artists always run into is focusing too much on putting immense power behind every technique. While power is undeniably an important aspect of martial arts, it should never be your primary focus.
Instead, place priority on enhancing technique rather than increasing power.
By understanding that having proper technique takes precedence over everything else, the rest of the traits will follow. Much the same as focusing on fundamentals, emphasizing technique ensures that you are executing correctly. When you’ve mastered the technique, only then would it be wise to focus on increasing intensity.
Remember, each martial arts discipline is a collection of nuanced techniques, perfected by the passage of time and those who have passed down knowledge from generation to generation. Pay great attention to proper technique, and the power will surely follow.
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