It is not just our bodies that may be threatened. Our minds come under attack every day. Our training makes it possible for us to detect those threats – and to take skillful action to avoid, reduce or eliminate them. These threats are as real and as deadly as the physical ones we face.
Presented with the often venomous, vulgar, trivial brutality of current conditions – karate training can be a path of health, strength, purpose and elevation.
A turbulent mind degrades our awareness of our surroundings. If we can’t detect threats early – when we have time and distance on our side – we will lose our advantage in decision making. If we miss the signs we miss the opportunity to choose whether to evade, de-escalate or engage the threat – depending on the demands of the moment. With a turbulent, pre-occupied condition of mind we are more likely to be stuck in a reactive mode.
A disturbed mind seeks an outlet for the release of negative emotion. Conflicts and traps become more attractive when people are angry, anxious or afraid.
In training we develop a calm, clear mind. That does not mean we are passive. It does not mean we are reactive. It means we are present in the moment and aware of what is going on. As we build the physical skills to deal with a physical attack, we also develop the mental agility to stay ahead of the threat horizon, make good decisions, and act with skill.
We also develop a deep sense of purpose and commitment. The sense of purpose we have in training, day in day out, year after year, focused on increasing our skills, developing confidence, health and well-being, taking responsibility for building the life we want, and contributing to the lives of the people around us, is fundamental to stabilizing our mind. That stability serves us under pressure. It also serves us in times of calm, when we may get distracted, complacent or worse.
The response of a trained person to stress is something no untrained person can match – no matter how talented or well-meaning they may be. When strong people are presented with poison – in the environment, culture, media, or in person – we can recognize it and respond appropriately – whether that means avoiding, engaging or eliminating it.
Our traditional karate training of the mind and body helps us avoid threats both mental and physical, and devote our tiem and energy to positive action.
Post Copyright © 2020 by Jeffrey M. Brooks, author of “The Good Fight” available on Amazon
Photo by Thao le Hoang