The Mind-Body Connection
Practitioners of martial arts strive to achieve the mind-body connection. This connection involves how our thoughts, our feelings, our beliefs, and our attitude can positively or negatively impact our biological functioning. To put it simply, our minds can affect how healthy our bodies are.
By the same token, how we treat our physical body - what we eat, how much we sleep and how much we exercise - can impact our mental state in both a positive and a negative way.
Our thoughts and emotions play a large role in our overall health and well-being, our outlook and our view of the world.
For centuries, martial artists have cultivated this connection, seeking to meld the mind, body and spirit into one in order to develop physical, mental and emotional power. This is power that comes from both an internal and an external balance. It is something that does not come over night, but must be cultivated and worked towards each and every day. In the words of Lau Zou, 'Before mastering anything, we must first master ourselves'.
In martial arts, developing the mind-body connection begins with physical training. As a student hones their physical body and develops their technique, their energy increases. With the increase in internal energy, a student becomes more alert and aware. Not just of themselves, but of the people and environment around them. They become acutely aware of the effect both have on them. This transition in thinking makes the drive to be a better person from the inside out paramount. Once this higher thinking is recognized, one can begin to learn how to master one's self and build a solid mind-body connection