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Is meditation an important part of martial arts training?

I have been reading some info on martial arts philosophy and the history of the arts and it seems that to truly get the full benefit and become truly skilled that one must meditate on a regular basis. I’m not sure how that ties into my physical practice. Any insight to those who actually use meditation as part of their practice?


  1. Mental toughness and preparation are very important to any martial arts discipline, if meditation helps you achieve mental fortitude than yes it is very important.
    Personally, I don’t meditate due to time constraints (poor reason, I know), but I would like to start.

  2. As Bas Rutten said on Inside MMA a little while ago, fighting is 95% mental. You have to be confident and focused. If you watch the movie “Choke” with Rickson Gracie there is a segment on meditation.

  3. Meditaion can help with all martial arts. It helps u focus and clears ur mind of random thoghts. It is an essential part of Internal martial arts and iron body training.

  4. It depends on what you mean by meditation. When I started martial arts years ago, my teacher had us meditate by focusing on our breathing and trying to clear our mind of all thoughts. That did nothing for me, and I seriously doubt it would improve anyone’s athletic performance. There is a huge mental aspect to any sport though, so mental training is important, but I think things like visualization and positive self-talk help far more than sitting in the dark and trying to zone out.

  5. The mental aspects of fighting are as important as the physical aspects. The brain controls everything and how you approach certain aspects of fighting and your understanding of them as well as how well you are able to sometimes overcome involuntary, reflexive actions for instance can be important. Visualization is one aspect of this that has always been stressed in martial arts and many of your professional sports teams have now been using this technique to improve their level of execution and play for twenty years.
    For an experienced fighter fighting is as much or more mental and just carrying out and executing what they have been training to do and practicing in the gym. Along with this their ability to see and recognize what adjustments have to be made and quickly making them is equally important. For inexperienced fighters fighting is more physical and they tend to rely only on their physical and athletic skills since they don’t have a wealth of experience to draw from and use. Their inability to see and recognize things and make adjustments when and as needed forces them to rely on their physical skills only. A well trained fighter though with experience will use both his physical skills and abilities while at the same time using his mental skills. Such a fighter can fight at a much higer level and is much more difficult to beat. They move much less, not wasitng energy, don’t over-react and can fight at a much closer distance and their ability to anticipate as well as dictate what is going on all are being used with their physical skills and abilities while an inexperienced fighter is left with only his physical skills.
    Also if you beat a person mentally they are twice as easy to defeat physically. Sometimes an inexperienced fighter can still be tough but if he does not know it and if I use all my tools, knowledge and experience then I have a huge advantage with my mental and physcial toughness and experience. You will many times hear an inexperienced fighter say afterwords “why didn’t I do this or that” after losing a fight. A disciplined, trained, experienced fighter does not ask such things. I would often times take a 3×5 card and write down four or five things that I wanted to do in a fight and read that and refer to it when training before the fight. I never left the ring after a fight asking that or questions like “why didn’t I do this or that”. All my students and fighters use this I might add and it is an important tool in helping give them a mental edge when fighting or competing. Tieing the mental aspects to the physical aspects is important in increasing and rasing a persons level of skill and ability in fighting and many other sports besides.


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