Bruce Lee once said, "The possession of anything begins with the mind."


From ancient philosophers like Sun Tzu to modern MMA coaches such as Greg Jackson, most experts agree that battles are won or lost in your mind. Mental warfare is half of your fight game, yet many martial artists give it little or no consideration. It’s my mission to teach this vital area of combat. Here is part one from my two-part series on mental warfare.

Developing the Right Mindset

Thoughts produce feelings, which produce physical behaviors. Contrary to popular belief, you can indeed choose how you feel at any given moment. Being able to control your emotions is one of the most powerful skills in the world because how you think and feel directly affect your performance, whether in the ring, in a street fight, in your training and even in your daily life.

For more real-world tips, tricks and tactics, check out Scott Bolan’s Mental Warfare Secrets.

Here are two simple yet powerful training exercises you can do to increase your mental control. Exercise No. 1: Slow and deepen your breathing when faced with any situation that normally causes you stress and tension. This will help you be more powerful, relaxed and resourceful in stressful situations. Exercise No. 2: Turn off the chatterbox of your mind so you can expand your peripheral vision and anticipate your opponent’s moves. This works in other aspects of your life, as well. To develop this skill, practice quieting your mind for just five minutes a day, five days a week. Sit comfortably in a quiet room with no distractions. Picture your favorite color and simply breathe. Do not think of anything. Do not try to push thoughts away because doing so is still being captivated by the thought. Instead, simply let the thoughts fly by like birds. Notice them and let them go. At first, this will seem difficult because thoughts will automatically arise out of habit. Yet the more you detach yourself from these thoughts, the more control you’ll have over your own mind and the more powerful you will become. Check back Wednesday for part two of The Secret to Mental Warfare. (Author and trainer Scott Bolan's best-selling courses include "Mental Warfare Secrets," "Martial Mastery and "Warrior Energetics." For more information go to scottbolan.com.)

Black Belt Magazine has a storied history that dates back all the way to 1961, making 2021 the 60th Anniversary of the world's leading magazine of martial arts. To celebrate six decades of legendary martial arts coverage, take a trip down memory lane by scrolling through some of the most influential covers ever published. From the creators of martial art styles, to karate tournament heroes, to superstars on the silver screen, and everything in between, the iconic covers of Black Belt Magazine act as a time capsule for so many important moments and figures in martial arts history. Keep reading to view the full list of these classic issues.

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