Updated: Feb 2
Staying Motivated in Fitness & Martial Arts.
The yin-yang is often a prominent fixture in martial arts, and for good reason. It is the perfect symbol of balance and harmony. In the iconic symbol, the black and white melding together demonstrating without words that balance exists between every pair of opposites. Martial arts holds no exception. Martial arts requires physical strength and dexterity as much as it needs mental fortitude. In other words, the balance between the mind and the body. You need to be strong physically and mentally to succeed.
“There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbour within” -Morihei Ueshiba
Mental strength can be more difficult to measure than physical strength. When we train our bodies to the point of physical exhaustion, we can see the need to recover. And once we recover we can return to training stronger than we were before. On the other hand, mental fortitude is more difficult to see and it is harder to know when your motivation is waning. When our minds need recovery, it can quickly lead us to burnout and learning slows or even stops.
However, knowing how to properly pace yourself is the best way to avoid falling into the burnout trap. Take a look at these tips to keep your drive in learning martial arts strong.
Tips to keep your drive in learning martial arts strong:
Have variety - the surest way to boredom is doing the same thing over and over again. This also holds true in learning martial arts. Even though training inside a dojo seems incredibly fun and exciting at first, it will tend to get old if you stick to one monotonous routine. So, learn how to switch it up. One of the best ways to inject variety into your training is to vary your strength training exercises.
Have a plan - know where you are going and how far you have come. Showing up to train every day without a goal can quickly become discouraging. Having a plan will help you measure your progress and see how far you have come and how much farther you need to go.
Motivate yourself - Whenever you feel like you are losing interest, remind yourself why you decided to learn martial arts in the first place. Keep that vision clear and go back to it every time your passion seems to be waning down.
Set realistic goals - don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to achieve so much in a short amount of time. Keep in mind that learning martial takes time, patience, and dedication.
Have a mentor - learning under the leadership of a seasoned artist can be one of the best ways to stay motivated. Under their supervision, you will have someone to hold you accountable and set a clear path to improvement for you. Having a mentor will help push you to be better and go farther than you would on your own.
Regardless if you are a beginner or an expert, martial arts is a passion that initiates a lifelong habit. Follow these tips, stay motivated, and always keep learning. Remember why you started to learn martial arts in the first place and never lose sight of that goal.
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