Most of you have probably heard the term “Mind over Matter”, but does it really mean anything to you personally? As a martial artist, it should mean everything. A lot of times we have no control over our circumstances, but the one thing we have control over is how we perceive ourselves in those situations. Do we see ourselves as champions, overcomers, and warriors? Or do we see ourselves as being defeated before we begin? In any circumstance, whether it be school, work, martial arts, competition, or even a personal protection situation, the way we see ourselves determines the outcome.
Think of this, for example. You’ve had a long day. You’ve been up since 6 AM and have been busy all day since. By the time you have to get ready to go to martial arts, you’re exhausted. If you focus on the fact that you are tired, and that is the only thought on your mind as you prepare for class, you will find your mind going places you never wanted it to. During warm up, you will start asking yourself if you are even going to make it through the class. You start counting down the minutes until class is over. Pretty soon, you can’t even focus on doing your best in class. Do you see how easily your mind can allow you to accept failure? Once you start, it’s a dangerous road. Your body will quit long before it needs to. It is up to your mind to push it your body to its full potential.
Another example takes place in sparring. Lets say your opponent is much bigger than you. Before you even begin the fight, you start wondering how you are ever going to beat them. Pretty soon, you can’t even think about your training or what you are supposed to do, all you can think about is the size of the obstacle in your way. And when your mindset isn’t that of a warrior, it shows in your mannerisms. The way that you walk, the way you talk, the way you fight, it is all very obvious! This is why it is so crucial to keep your mind sharp and in control. If your opponent looked as if they were defeated, it wouldn’t be too hard to finish them off, right? They look at it the same way! Act like a champion, and you will become one. Act defeated and you will have to learn to accept defeat.
See you on the mat,