Mind And Body Connection

What is this mind and body connection we hear about in the martial arts? Depending on the instructor you have, you may hear the term often. In some circles, they throw “spirit” in there, and it becomes “mind, body and spirit,” but it’s the same concept. So, what does it mean? What are they referring to and how does it relate to martial arts?

If I have to explain what the body is, maybe you need to turn off your internet and go back to school. Your body encompasses everything that you are, INCLUDING the mind. In some respects, the body can be considered the vehicle of the mind. The real question is, what the difference between the mind and your brain may be. Is there a difference? Of course there is, and I’m going to explain it to you…

Your brain is physical (d-uh, right?). It’s the organ contained in the skull and is the most complex organ in your body. The common human brain contains over 70 billion neurons (when you total up all parts of the respective brain) and those neurons communicate through synapses that helps to control the body as a whole. Your brain is physical, tangible and part of your body. The mind is a tad bit different…

The mind is the invisible part of who you are; your thoughts, feelings, emotions and personality. Everyone has a brain. But your mind? That’s yours and yours alone. It defines who you are and how you behave in everyday life and in all the things you do. Without your mind, you wouldn’t be the person you are today. And THAT’S the difference. How does this relate to the martial arts?

In karate, we perform drills ad nauseam, the idea being that repeated drills will help “drill” the technique into us. And it’s extremely effective. It’s called “muscle memory” and it’s quite good at helping us to train to the point where, if someone attacks we can respond accordingly without hesitation. But the mind still needs to have an active role in there, despite muscle memory.

Mind and body are both part of the same whole, and it’s important that you train with that totality in mind. Your mind will tell you how to feel so that your body can react. Proper training and martial arts cannot be studied without both. So pay close attention to both. This is the only way to truly accomplish any goal, martial arts or otherwise. ☯

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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