Many people think of martial arts solely as a physical discipline. However, there is a mental component required in the mastery of karate, taekwondo, Muay Thai and others. One of the primary tenets of all of these disciplines is inner peace. While many students are of the opinion that mastering a martial arts form will increase their chances of winning a fight, the true spirit of self-defense is avoiding these conflicts altogether.
However, should the need to practice your art arise in a real life situation, remaining calm is critical to becoming victorious in battle. This is one of the reasons why many instructors are beginning to incorporate meditation into their student training.
"If you look at the warrior perspective of the samurai, it was to maintain the sense of peacefulness in the eye of the storm," Ed Monaghan, owner of the Ekata Training Center in Valencia, California, told ABC 7-Los Angeles. "We teach them this principle of mindfulness and being fully present and aware in the moment, but at the same time in a non-judgmental sense."
During conflict, it can be difficult to remain calm. In addition to learning the physical aspects of martial arts, training a student to change his or her mindset in certain situations can be challenging. But at Ekata, the work of Ed Monaghan seems to be paying off.
"[Meditation] helps you defend yourself and makes you feel safe," Ronnie Jones, a student at Ekata, told the news outlet.
Overall, the importance of meditation in martial arts is quickly growing in popularity. This is evidenced by a recent seminar on the subject held in Atlanta.
Grandmaster Wu Bin holds successful meditation training session
Kung Fu Magazine called him the "father of modern wushu." Grandmaster Wu Bin has trained many world-renowned martial artists, including Hollywood movie star Jet Li. In February, the legendary wushu trainer held a seminar in Atlanta on the importance of meditation principles in the study of self-defense.
The overarching theme was that people need to release stress and other negative emotions that cause tension and make it difficult to focus and overcome challenges. These points are critical while learning martial arts and achieving mastery.
Those training students in self-defense should make meditation time a key component of their programs as this is something that students will not only appreciate, but benefit from as well.