The Inner Life of The Martial Artist

Every person has an internal life. Thoughts, feelings, beliefs, imagination, and etc take place in the mind. Our experiences and personality shape our inner life which in turn frames both our perception and response. Depending on stage of life, levels of stress, beliefs and resiliency one’s internal life can be rich and full or fairly shallow.

This is good news for everyone.

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The Greatest Irony of Martial Arts (and Life): Failure, pain and loss as accurate measures of success.

This week in the dojo, both nights were what I call hard training.  I was thrown harder than normal (for me) to the mats, my limbs were twisted into painful pretzels, I acquired a few bruises, bumps, went through a round of sparring with five separate attacks I had to avoid or fend off.  I got hit in the face.  I was put in chokehold.  Another person had my face and body smashed into the mats.  By Thursday morning I was pretty sore and tired (My chiropractor had a field day with all of the loud CRACKS! my body was making).

Continue reading “The Greatest Irony of Martial Arts (and Life): Failure, pain and loss as accurate measures of success.”

Taking the Road Less Traveled (Part 2): Fear, Panic, Anxiety, and the Calming Effect of the Martial Arts

I remember sitting on my knees on the mats to the far left, Mark Sensei was beside me asking me what was stopping me from successfully executing ukemi (safely falling).  I had been at it for weeks by that point.  Fear stiffened my body, either preventing a decent roll, or stopping me altogether.  I had to keep going no matter what, but man oh man, was it difficult to push myself into this art.

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I go to the mats.

I’ve never seen the movie The Godfather.  But like many in my generation (X to be exact), the movie is referenced by so many other movies, literature, and TV shows, I might as well have seen it.  The Godfather being sourced frequently through other media is like getting the Cliff Notes version accidentally.  Honestly, I don’t think I can stomach this movie’s particular version of Murder and Mayhem so I’ve avoided it.  That won’t stop me from referencing The Godfather via another pleasanter movie genre, the rom-com.

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