Mind Body Spirit: The Mind
Since ancient times, martial arts have never been solely about combat. While they may teach the practitioner techniques in order to defend themselves against attackers, there has always been a deeper relationship with nurturing the mind and spirit. For this reason, meditation has always been a salient part of defining martial arts. When a person dives deep into the practice, they are taught to empty out their mind, aiming to achieve a sense of clarity and sensitivity to their surroundings.
Through martial arts, a person learns to refine their level of focus. There is a level of intensity that comes from sitting back, listening to one’s inner voice, and learning how to cancel out the incessant noise of everything else. By pushing one’s stamina and stretching the joints as far as they can, there will be moments when the mind wanes. It is in these moments that martial arts teach practitioners how to discern the true self that actually is from the disillusionments of what they think they are.
Both the mind and body go hand in hand, as a fighter that has learned to stabilize his mind will always defeat one that has not placed much attention on cultivating his own. Ask any experienced fighter out there, and he or she will likely tell you how much of an impact psychological preparation has on the physical outcome of combat.
The difference between those who train the mind and those who don’t is tremendous, as it is as obvious as facing off against someone who enters a bout with a string of confidence versus someone who begins to doubt at the first moment of hesitation.