martial arts philosophy

Hearing my coach shout from the side of the mat, "Two hands on! Get two hands on!" during my first Judo tournament, made me suddenly realize what he meant. Aside from the obvious plea of getting my mitts onto the Judo gi of my opponent, he was telling me: Be first. Suddenly, the realization that this was what he had been trying to drill into my brain during all those months of practice came flooding forth. Ah, now I get it. I wanted to turn around and let him know that I understood what he meant, but my opponent's industrious attempts at being first, himself, made me think the better of it.

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With a world as vast as ours is, it is no surprise that there is a large amount of opinions and information regarding the martial arts we train. Sifting through the conflicting ideas to find the truth can be difficult, however it is an important step for anybody wishing to steer their training in a good direction.

Luckily, you aren't alone in your pursuit for the truth in martial arts.

We previously listed seven common misunderstandings martial art students have, now here are seven more!

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Think about how words spoken or heard can influence the way we train in the dojo. Those same words can influence the way we move our bodies.

This may seem far-fetched. Most of us don't believe in magic spells, in the ability of mere words to affect the physical world. Nobody has died because someone pointed a finger at them and shouted "bang!" That said, there are ways that words can affect not just our perceptions but also the way we exist. The karate dojo is but one place where this can happen.

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Time for a pop quiz in philosophy!

Have you ever questioned why--in systems that teach us wounding, arresting, and potentially even killing techniques--we often place a focus on philosophical ideas such as understanding the self and exorcising our ego?

I mean, has navel gazing ever actually stopped an angry drunkard's fist from claiming your face as its new residence?

No.

But believe it or not...introspection and deep thought does help martial artists in many other ways, some of which actually can influence the fight.

Let's delve into why so many black belts are married to philosophical study and find out what mental switch we can make to begin truly progressing in our training!

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