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would mental training really help me to improve my martial arts skills?

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  • would mental training really help me to improve my martial arts skills?

    or is it just a buch of bull (i'm not saying it is) cause i've heard both so please clear me up on the subject

  • #2
    What do you mean?

    Do you mean mental training to help you deal with the fight or flight response that comes with confrontation? Dealing with being cut by a weapon? Being attacked by several people? etc...

    If the answer is yes then definately... you can never be too prepared, it can happen at any time....

    Please elaborate


    • #3
      well all of those really i want to take myself as far as i can go both mentally and phisically even though i'm 14 lol


      • #4

        Only 14 eh? Don't let age deter you from learning. I had noticed on your profile that your style "has no name yet" and that you would like to learn JKD from books or videos.

        Unfortunately, my friend, you could (I did say could) come across hardship without a proper school or instructor - especially in the early years (yes I did say years) of training.

        Alot of my students are teenagers and although they are full of zeal and enthusiasm unfortunately from time to time interest fades when returning to basics... but only from the basics everything else comes.

        A bit of advice - JKD, from what I understand of it comes from Wing Chun Kung Fu and several other arts that Bruce studied, but Sensei Lee intended his methods to be applied to any martial art, to enrich it and not superceed it.

        Try to get involved in a contact martial art, if possible before attempting to apply JKD. I have had a lad start in my dojo who has been studying JKD for about a year but unfortunately since he has had no contact or sparring experience he had struggled... he is definately improving now.

        I suggest Kung Fu, Karate, Jiu Jutsu, Kick Boxing or even boxing - just something to improve your fight of flight response (something that can't be learnt by yourself)... this alone will contribute to the mental condition you need.

        Until then, go easy and train well



        • #5
          Yes. Mental training is essential to reach your full potential. But all things in order..... Proper instruction in the physical techniques is even more essential. One day you will get to the stage where you can progress through your own instruction. But it will be a while.

          Here are some uses for various "mental" (I prefer the term psychologial) training.

          1. I use this for motivation to both get in the gym to begin with, as well as really push myself when I am there. It goes like this.

          Give yourself an imaginary scenario. For me it is someone who may be trying to hurt my wife and kids. There could be 3 or 4 guys, all big, hard and armed with various weapons. Am I going to let my family down by not doing the training that enables me to rescue them? Like bollocks. During the session itself I use it to push myself. Here I will mentally be in the actual fight. This goes for exercising or bag work. Not a good idea in sparring as you may hurt someone. When I'm tiring I go harder and harder. I push it very hard. Alot of people (especially those who train for hours and hours every day) holdback in training. They count training quantity instead of quality. I go like my families lives depend on it. With practice the emotions become very real. You train very very hard, though it is fair to say that you feel a bit daft at first. Persevere with it.

          You don't have to use my imaginary scenario. A major Judo player in the 70s (Anton Geesink, or something like that) used to pretend he was a super hero. That kept him going in training and fighting.

          2. Imaginary help. In weight training, for example, i sometimes imagine that there is someone above the bar, pulling it up. I don't know why, but it really seems to help getting the rep completed. In running (which I don't do anymore) I occasionally used the vision technique that there was someone behind me, pushing me gently in the back to keep me going. Again it helped. I think part of it is because your mind is concentrating so much on producing the vision technique that it concentrates less on the pain.

          3. Adrenaline training. This is a little different. I have never really practiced it myself, but others I know swear by it. You need other people to do it with. You recreate frightening scenarios, really shouting and screaming at each other. What you are trying to do is get the adrenaline going, just like it would in a real fight. Many well trained people crap their pants in a real fight and end up freezing instead of fighting. Training like this can avoid that.

          I've been in so many real fights that I don't think I will benefit too much from this. But, even now, if someone is trying to give me an evil stare the adrenaline kicks in, and it isn't pleasant. You need to know how to overcome the desire to curl up in a ball and beg for mercy. Their are millions of men who are tough when not under threat. A great many of them fold way too early when the chips are down. Don't underestimate the power of fear. It can kill you or save you, depending on how you handle it.

          4. Mental rehearsal. Pick a technique, and go through it in your head. Imagine yourself performing it. Don't just imagine seeing it. Feel it, smell the opponent. Hear him too etc. Again, with practice, you can make this very real. It helps you move automatically when doing the technique for real. You quite literally do your thinking before you have to do your fighting.

          5. Emptying the mind. This is nothing mystical. It is merely an aid to relaxation and concentration. Pick an image. Sit in a quiet room and imagine that image. Slow your breathing right down and try to think of nothing else. Your mind will wander onto other things. No matter. When it does, gently remind yourself of your image and try again. You get better and better as the weeks pass. When its time to concentrate on something for real you have develped a skill of focussing your mind on one thing, rather than the usual bedlam that is in our heads. Also the relaxation value is of great value. When going through medicals for te cops I occasionally do this when they take my pulse. It can drop to around 40 beats per minute, and they reckon I'm super fit. I'm not. I can just control it by this technique.

          My own image is either a beautiful sunset or, more often, the yin yang symbol, and I place it in my centre of gravity.