Meditation and Martial Arts go hand in hand. During martial arts training and practice, it is absolutely vital that you keep your breathing as steady and as calm as possible. In fight or flight situations, most people are debilitated by panic which is exacerbated by poor breathing techniques. Not only does poor breathing affect you physically but you also slowly reduce the oxygen intake to your brain which in turn reduces your thinking capacity.
For years now, Meditation and Martial Arts have been taught side by side as part of the same training. This is mainly because martial arts involve mastering and training your mind. One of the best ways to take full control of your mind is to meditate. When you practice effective meditation, you learn how to remain calm, focused and fully aware of your surroundings. These are indispensable aspects of the Martial Art.
In most forms of meditation, the student is taught how to focus their mental energy. In Martial Arts, you are taught how to be physically and mentally astute in order to effectively defend yourself against an attack. During a fight or flight situation, you do not have the time to think about how to focus all your energy towards one goal, it has to come naturally. This needs training and practice.
Physical awareness in Martial Arts allows you to know when to strike, block and how to manoeuvre against your opponent. With the right level of focus, you will know when to defend yourself, strike back at your enemy and learn how to best defeat them. If you are not calm, not only will you tense up, thus burning more energy than necessary, but you will also be unable to think clearly and thus unable to implement an effective defence or attack strategy. You need to learn how best to utilize your strength and to use your opponents strength against them. Being one with your ‘chi’ is vital for a martial arts practitioner. To achieve mastery, you should be in full control of both your physical body and your energy (chi). This is what meditation does for you.
At Northern Beaches Hapkido, we teach you meditation skills in various forms. It may be a relaxed passive meditation such as visualisation, breathing and relaxation techniques, or an active movement based meditation such as Pung Ryu Do, a Korean form similar to the principles of Tai Chi. All of these help promote effortless movement, generation of internal force and calmness of mind whilst applying self defence techniques.
Northern Beaches Hapkido in Brookvale incorporate these meditative techniques into their Hapkido training so feel free to come down and give it a try.