Do you remember the first time you got into a fight when you joined a Martial Arts training or class? How did that work for you? Hands were sweating cold and heart would want to jump out of your chest and leave you as you face a bigger guy ready to put his clenched fist on your face?
Have you experienced talking to yourself to get some form of encouragement to survive the next few minutes of unexpected kicks and blows that you may receive during the fight? Or maybe you so intensely prepared both physically and mentally that your surroundings started to grow silent and dark, and all you can see is your opponent - like a huge bullseye, ready to receive your practiced moves for victory.
Either way, no matter how prepared you are in a fight, there will always be a portion of yourself fearful for the outcome and uncertainty of what is about to happen next.
Upon realizing these thoughts, we can say that apart from the adversity that comes from the inside, there is one important battle that every Martial Artist should face and overcome, the “fight from within”.
It means that you have to defeat your negative thoughts for you to have a calm and confident mindset in going to training or fight. You need to possess a positive mind.
Of course, you've heard this over and over again but it’s quite difficult to apply. And oh, there will always be one winner in a fight (obviously) so victory belongs to the one who is the most hungry to get the W, stronger not just physically but mentally as well.
It may be a simple thing, but did it ever occur to you why we have to condition our mind positively? Is it our human default to go with our negative thoughts and gather strength to be positive on a daily basis? Why are there so much literature and information out there that motivates us to be positive in every aspect of life?
According to an article written by Sussane Madsen in Liquid Planner, studies shows that “75% of our daily thoughts and beliefs are negative. We might not feel good enough, clever enough, old enough, young enough or experienced enough – all of which affect our ability to apply ourselves effectively to achieving our goals.”
Imagine! You need to make an effort in subduing the 75% of these negative thoughts to achieve calmness and focus in the midst of stress and adversity before or during combat.
Whether you are preparing for a hardcore training or a fight, these mindsets can make you overpower not just your opponent but the enemy from within, which is negativity.
In getting into a fight, you have to make sure that you are prepared both physically and mentally to endure and come out strong after the training. Motivation and proper intent in training must be clear and positive. Any negative ambition can result in distraction and a lack of focus.
Being too personal or wanting to get even can help boost your strength to go for the win, however, this reason can diminish the fight inside your mind and agitate your focus in executing the fight plan, since your consciousness will dwell on how to hurt the opponent rather than perform what was practiced during training.
It may also help those who don't have a scheduled fight to prepare as if a fight is coming. This mindset can ensure quality in your training and you can challenge yourself physically to do more than train and prepare for an eventual fight.
Whether you are in training or preparing for an actual fight, it’s good to possess a fighter's mindset to embrace a positive attitude.
Respect for the Opponent
There are a lot of benefits to embracing the value of respect in martial arts. This trait can help a fighter a long way in the community because it promotes humility, community, and sportsmanship.
Aggression can be triggered because physical combat is part of Martial Arts. It is very difficult to control when anger is your motivation. Instead, it consumes you.
Respect for the opponent can demonstrate how a fighter can control himself in times of uncontrollable situations, which in return can give a huge advantage in physical combat.
Fighters who have good sportsmanship qualities are well respected in the sport because it shows that one has a profound understanding of the diversity of disciplines and a fighter’s personal journey in martial arts.
Instead of highlighting oneself, it’s a selfless virtue that can bring out the best in a person, holistically speaking. Respectful fighters are well-balanced fighters that draw strength from a positive mind.
Include the “Fight for Negativity” in the Fight Plan
So, how does a negative mind works? An article at www.liveabout.com written by Robert Rousseau tells us something about a fighter’s psychology. He shared one observation of Stephen Ladd says, "[Fighters'] conscious and subconscious minds aren’t in complete agreement. The fighter wants to be the best more than anything in the world, but at the subconscious level, he is filled with doubt or fear, or any number of negative emotions. This sets up a self-sabotage scenario. By getting the subconscious and conscious minds on the same team--your team, the whole fight game becomes a lot easier."
This is true no matter how you tell yourself to only harbor positive thoughts but fail to settle the subconscious mind where most of the negative stuff comes from. In the end, it’s up to you and your team on how you can develop this part of your mentality.
Having a positive outlook in martial arts is essential for you to thrive in the sport. Whatever it is that is being applied in training can be seen in every aspect of life as well. What hooks those who are into martial arts is the pursuit of being a better version of themselves, surpassing the limitations that one’s mind created.
So, if you are thinking about engaging in martial arts, don’t hesitate and start now! And for those who are seasoned in the discipline, start passing your mental achievement to the younger generation.