Conditioning Your Body and Mind

As Budoka, we all take pride in the myriad arts we study and the hours spent in reflection or physical skills practice or even randori. What many Martial Artists AREN’T doing enough of, is conditioning the body outside of dojo. Nor are they conditioning the mind outside of Mokuso for maybe 5 minutes before and after training.

In order for us to be healthy and vibrant Budoka from when we are a white belt/sash up to Sensei/Sifu and beyond, we must continually keep our health, both mentally and physically, in the crosshairs. As we all age the miles add on and the wear and tear of hard training takes it toll. Moreso depending on what style you train and how hard you go in and out of the dojo.

I have seen to many people go from 80s/90s Steven Segal to modern day. Easily 100 lbs heavier, just as cocky, and mentally, probably as strained. How can you respect someone who claims to know what it excellent budo, if they lack the self respect to take care of their body, their physical defense and weapon, as well as the mental weapon?

I am not saying you shouldn’t eat that pizza or drink that beer. What I am saying, is everything in moderation, including your training, and suggest adding in longer sessions of Zazen, Meisokokyu, Mokuso, or any other type of mindfulness or prayer. This will keep the mind calm and sharp, allowing the thousands of reps you have done to be rapidly sent to muscles that are strong in a fit/lean ( ok just not 700 lbs) body. This is how you will remain the protector of yourself and family. This is how you will physically remain a threat to those who would try to do you harm. This is how you will keep FEAR in check when you need to call upon your training, confident in your minds ability to react and your physical form being able to apply all that you have labored for.

Its not simple, life gets in the way, and for many due to the events of the world in the recent few years and months, this may not be what they want to hear right now. But I can make you all this one promise: Train your body and your mind, and you will see both improve. You will also see your happiness increase, or at the very least, your anxiety, depression, and possible ADHD, subside.

Remember – this does not have to be complicated. KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Go back to basics. Kamae, Akemi, Ukemi, Uke Natasha, all of it.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick, 10,000 times.” -Bruce Lee

Stay Safe and Stay Strong.

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