Developing mental strength

To the general onlooker martial arts may appear to look like a purely physical activity, but martial arts is much more than that, and goes way beyond the physical. Karate and the martial arts in general require an unbelievable amount of mental strength.

If you find a genuine karate school you won’t find lots of ten-year-old blackbelts running around, and you won’t find lots of adult black belts running around the Dojo either, if you are studying karate with a genuine qualified instructor with integrity, you will have to really earn every belt you take.

The truth of the matter is for every 100 people who take up martial arts only 5% will genuinely earn their blackbelt, this is not due to the physical side of the art, it’s down to the mental strength required to stay on the path of success. Mental stamina is a massive part of karate, to be successful in life there’s an old saying, hard work and grind will beat talent every time and its 100% true.

When I started on my martial arts journey at the age of 13 years old, I was surrounded by people who were stronger than me, more supple than me, could kick higher than me and generally more talented than me. Out of a class of 30 two of us attained blackbelt not because we were good, but because we wouldn’t give up. Not giving up on your dreams and ambitions is one of the essential ingredients for a successful and happy life.

Real Karate training is fantastic training tool for life. When children become teenagers and eventually leave the education system and go out into the world talent will only get them so far, the rest will come down to hard work, grind and a never give up mindset.

Studying martial arts also requires perfection and attention to detail and focus. Developing concentration and a good attention span, is not just essential in martial arts but in every walk of life, if you can’t concentrate and focus your thoughts, you tend to drift. A successful happy life requires laser sharp focus and mental stamina that goes beyond those around you.

Real strength comes from within

No matter how strong you are or how fast you are, if your mind is weak, you will fail and I’m not just talking from a fighting point of view I’m talking about everything in your life.

As a martial artist and a competent fighter in real situations from my 15 years working security on the doors, every situation I depended on my strength of mind. I needed courage and the ability to face up to any situation without any thought of running away, not only that I also had to have integrity and a moral compass. Let me explain if someone was being bullied or physically attacked, I had to take action based on what was the right thing to do, many times I could have avoided getting involved but I didn’t I had to face up to the aggressor even if he was larger and looked stronger than me. This takes mental strength and the only way to train to gain mental strength is to step outside your comfort zone. I’m not suggesting you work as a bouncer, just do things that require you to be uncomfortable and question your abilities, it could be something as simple as taking a qualification in something that interests you. Most people don’t step outside their comfort zones because they fear failure. Twenty years ago, I probably would never have believed I would have written a number of books, but I decided to step out of my safe place and risk being criticized and not selling a single copy.

So next time you want to do something that you really want to do just do it, take no notice of the people who say you can’t do it or its too hard. What they really mean is its too hard for them.

mental strength