Mindfulness Lessons from the Martial Arts

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Mindfulness Lessons from the Martial Arts


The main reason behind it is that they think they are too aggressive and violent. People who practice any type of martial arts are considered to be hostile, prone to start a fight and edgy, but the truth is something completely opposite. The ones who start practicing martial arts usually want to find their inner peace and to learn how to defend themselves. Martial artists do achieve their goals, they are mindful and completely opposite of aggressive, because martial arts bring many benefits to the table.

Being Present

All martial arts are about being present and paying close attention to what is happening around you. You have to be focused on the present, nourish the connection between your mind and body and incorporate that into your training. Mindfulness also moderates stress in martial arts students and allows them to perform at their optimum potential. Many athletes actually take up one or two martial arts, just so they would learn how to be present and fully aware, which actually helps them perform better at their sports.

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Respect

Every martial art has a master that teaches the students and it is a tradition to pay respect to your master. They are the ones in charge, they give advice and teach you everything they know and you must not show disrespect. Besides respect towards your master, you learn to respect your opponents, sparring partners and other students. No matter what martial arts you are training, you have to show that you respect everyone, whether with a gentle touch of the gloves before the match or a bow to your opponent and the judges, this tradition must be respected. However, these small acts of value cannot be performed without mindfulness, since each present act leads to being a better person.

Relaxation

Kick boxing, jiu-jitsu, kung fu, etc. – all the martial arts require plenty of training and physical effort in order to properly learn how to defend yourself and achieve inner peace. However, this is not the only thing that they require and teach you, but martial arts are a great means of relaxation; especially if paired with meditative exercises. Every great martial artist knows exactly when they need to relax, make contact or go and that is only achieved with practice. In order to learn the basics of martial arts, you first need to know how to relax and take a deep breath. That is why many great masters, such as the masters from Kung Fu To’a Studio incorporate yoga and meditation in their Persian martial arts. Additionally, relaxation leads to mindfulness and if you are fully aware of yourself and everyone else, it is easier to achieve better results and be your best self.

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Discipline

Together with mindfulness and respect comes discipline. In order to master even a basic technique, you have to listen to your master and be present all the time. This is one of the first steps towards learning how to be disciplined and that is why many parents decide to enroll their children into martial arts studios. Martial arts help children focus better and to be less impulsive, which leads to better behavior at home, on the street or at school. In addition to that, martial arts are beneficial for kids that have learning disabilities. Because they struggle with staying in control, they are less present and they cannot make any decisions, and martial arts teach them to stay in the moment, adapt behavior according to context and be more respectful to their parents and people around them. Training teaches them to break the patterns of automatic responding, thus they won’t be screaming back at you and they are going to stop and think things through instead.

Not a single martial art deserves a bad reputation it often has. Instead, people should look past the surface and they will realize how beneficial all martial arts are. They teach us discipline and respect, and above all, we learn how to be present all the time and achieve inner peace.


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