Focus is an important mental skill to have, whether it is in your martial arts training, school or life in general. Many people take up a martial art for the mental benefits the training can bring, including focus. Part of the reason it develops focus is that one’s development as a martial artist is very much connected to how well people are able to focus on their training. Developing focus will result in quicker progress and greater retention of what is taught in class.
Ways to Improve Your Martial Arts Mindsets. Focus
Most of our students are able to develop their focus by simply taking classes in Karate, Muay Thai or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; as the learning atmosphere naturally fosters focus. We recognize that others may need to take additional measures to help develop their focus on their own. Below are a few ways you can help cultivate your focus to help you get more out of your martial arts training, as well as other areas of your life:
Being more present in each moment helps you squeeze more out of those moments, and as a result, more out of your life. Mindfulness is the practice of this. The easiest way to practice mindfulness is to start with simple things like eating, doing chores, driving to work, or other activities that have become so habituated that you no longer have to think about them. Take these simple activities, and experience them fully. Listen to your senses. When you eat, appreciate the colour and shape of your food. Enjoy the texture in your mouth. Listen to the sound it makes when you chew. Savour the tastes and smells. Try this with other things too. Then when you go back to your training, try to apply this state of mindfulness. As you begin to make this state of mind a habit, you’ll find yourself experiencing your techniques more completely, such that it takes you less time to absorb them.
This goes hand-in-hand with mindfulness. Mindfulness is a meditative state applied to an activity, and meditation is mindfulness applied to very little at all, in many cases, nothing beyond your breathing and the state of your body. Many people find this more difficult because they often find their mind reacting defensively to it, wanting to stay engaged, simply by giving the person things to think about. And that is okay, but if you want to make the most of time spent meditating, in whatever form you choose, you’re better off gently allowing those thoughts to fall away and allowing your mind to stay loosely focused and open to the experience of simply being. The practice of meditation is widely accepted as having great benefits for the mind and body, and greatly enhances one’s ability to be more mindful in their life experiences and therefore more focused on any task at hand.
Where mindfulness and meditation help develop one’s sense of unconscious focus, note-taking, in whatever form you use it, engages your conscious focus. It can be especially helpful for people with more analytical minds, or those who need to take further measures to help cement their martial arts practice into their subconscious minds. If you learn something new, but haven’t fully absorbed it into your mind and body, it can be very helpful to take notes. You can write descriptions or take a video so you can go over it in more detail, and use it as a refresher when practising.
4. Limiting distractions.
When you’re training at the dojo, you already remove some of the distractions. Our professional martial arts instructors discourage excessive or prolonged talking during classes. This is to keep students in a focused training atmosphere. You can take this further by turning off your phone, and limiting conversation when doing any training outside formal classes.
5. Relaxing and relieving pressure/stress.
Sometimes people get so focused on trying to be focused that they become tense. If they don’t get something right away, they become frustrated, and can even adopt a self-flagellating attitude. This causes a lot of stress, which actually hurts your ability to focus and learn, defeating the whole purpose. Try to stay relaxed and let yourself have fun with your training. Removing the overly results-oriented attitude keeps things light and more enjoyable, which helps you stay more focused on a subconscious level.
When you train, be fully focused on your training. But when you’re doing something else, allow yourself to be fully focused on that. Your subconscious mind is a wonderful thing. When you allow things you’ve learned in your training to simmer in the background as you focus on other things, you’ll be surprised when you go back and have a new epiphany that you hadn’t previously realized in your active training. You don’t have to be constantly focused on your martial arts training to become a better martial artist.
Our Karate, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes will help you develop your focus. Our progressive and structured curriculum is designed to keep you motivated, learning and building those martial arts mindsets. Are you ready to get started? All of our schools are open and ready to help you start your martial arts journey!
Calgary North: 403-612-4050 | Calgary South: 403-809-0245 | Calgary Southwest: 403-809-0245 | Calgary West: 403-990-0482