What is the Connection Between Martial Arts and Mindfulness


What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is likely a word that you’re hearing more and more these days. But what exactly is it? With a foundation in the meditative practices of Buddhism, mindfulness can be defined as the act of spiritual awareness, reflection, and contemplation. Now, you may be wondering what does this have to do with martial arts? As it turns out, mindfulness and martial arts are connected in powerful and practical ways.

Here at Silver Lining Taekwon-Do, not only do we teach Taekwon-Do classes, but we also try to cultivate mindfulness in learners of all ages and skill levels. Here is an overview of how you can use the martial arts to cultivate mindfulness at any age.

Based on the practices of Buddhism, mindfulness is being present in whatever you are doing. It’s a specific type of awareness that is focused, non-judgmental, and lucid, characterized by energy and pure comprehension. Examples of mindfulness include:

  • Paying attention to driving without listening to music or talking
  • Taking a walk and noticing how your body moves
  • Taking a martial arts class and giving it your entire focus and being present in the moment

The practice of mindfulness allows for calmness and mental strength simultaneously.

What are the Benefits of Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is an amazing skill to have because it allows you to be in complete control of your thoughts, your actions, and your intentions. There is even a growing body of evidence of the societal benefits of mindfulness in an emerging academic discipline called contemplative neuroscience. Put simply, mindfulness has been shown to help people deal with stress, anxiety, pain, and illness.

How Does Mindfulness Relate to Martial Arts?

Martial arts are especially suited to the practice of training ourselves in mindfulness. The first reason for this is that martial arts, in their truest sense, are absolutely in the here and now. Whether you’re teaching Taekwon-Do for kids or learning it as an adult, you likely know that learning to control your breathing is an essential part of martial arts. According to mindfulness doctor Tamara Russell, “Your breath is always in the here and now. You can’t pay attention to a past breath. So if you pay attention to your breath, you must be in the present.” In martial arts such as Taekwon-Do, you are always focused on the present.

The second connection that mindfulness has with martial arts has to do with the fact that a focus on developing self-discipline and ethics is built into the martial arts. If you can learn to control your breathing and how it relates to surrounding sensations, then focusing on your moves and your opponent’s moves becomes simpler.

Middleton, WI Martial Arts Classes

At Silver Lining Taekwon-Do, our instructors treat you with respect and kindness, while using the theories of mindfulness and practices of Taekwon-Do to build self-confidence, character, and discipline. Mindfulness and martial arts are connected no matter your age, and our instructors not only will improve your strength and fitness, but also help you gain confidence outside the gym.

Contact our trainers at (608) 836-5660.