Meditation plays an extremely important role in martial arts. However, it’s easily overlooked as the thrill of a fight seems more important to most new students. What they don’t realize is that people who take the time to incorporate some form of introspection and stillness into their training journey enhance their overall training. Many coaches and fighters believe mental toughness to be a fighter’s single most important attribute. They believe that if a fighter has mental control over himself, they can perform to the best of their abilities. Here are a few reasons meditation is an integral part of mixed martial arts.
Being honest with yourself about why you train in your chosen form of martial arts is one of the hardest things anyone can do. It’s possible that the reason which drove you to start training is very different from the reason which continues to push you forward. Meditation will make you question your approach and motives. It will also help you realise your responsibilities which you feel may accompany your growing skills.
- Mentally review techniques
Meditation provides a way of studying the different forms and katas, allowing you to go over important lessons in your mind. You can replay different moves, learning from mistakes you may have missed the first time around. It allows you to isolate your balance, gravity, footwork, timing, state of mind, power and flow along with everything else which makes a kata really insightful.
- Self-control and confidence
Meditation is used by fighters to clear their head of feelings and doubts which can prove to be a weakness during combat and have no place in the dojo. It could be anything from jealousy to rash anger. Every human has these elements and repressing or ignoring them can only create tension.
- Quick healing
The effectiveness of meditation on healing injuries is difficult to correlate. But, it’s been used for many years by martial arts practitioners to more quickly heal their injuries. This is especially common in various Chinese disciplines.
Meditation helps one clear their head and centre their complete focus on their energy. Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth in a slow and steady rhythm while focussing on resolute thoughts of empowerment is one way of doing this. Many athletes are known to use this technique before a big challenge to focus and centre themselves.
- Stillness of thoughts
Many different techniques are used to meditate. One of the simplest to begin with, is by picturing one’s thoughts, swinging back and forth, similar to a pendulum. The chaos of the world and our minds keep us from experiencing complete stillness. Meditation helps slow our thought’s chaotic rhythm and help bring it to a form of stillness. With your thoughts being still, you’re free to take charge rather than being lead.
Every fighter understands the importance that meditation can add to their daily routine. However, we generally tend to give it a lower value than it deserves. It does not require a massive amount of time. Yet, failing to incorporate it into your routine will definitely impact your training quality.