Many of our readers come to us for news on Mixed Martial Arts and the Science behind that and other combat sports. However as much as we can analyze and explain the mechanics of a successful attack or a delineate a strategic path towards victory we must also consider that the first step in achieving a goal is mental preparation.
Conditioning the body is absolutely important yet before we can ever reach those goals we must ensure we are mentally prepared. However, this in and of itself is a bit of a paradox. The physical condition of our body will impact the ability for us to perform at our peak mental capacity. Thus how do we prepare to do something that requires one thing which is dependent on the result of the other? This is where the true battle lies.
In the ring or anywhere in life the struggle between what we perceive, feel, think etc. and that which our body can tolerate often determines the potential for a victory over any given challenge. This becomes far less about science and much more about creativity, emotional strength and logical fortitude. What the hell does that all mean? Well in summary that even science cannot explain the human will to survive and thrive. This basic need we have to meet our challenges and not only confront them but overcome them.
I myself am no stranger to this. Unbeknownst to perhaps many of our readers I have had a a number of health challenges. Very serious and potentially debilitating health challenges that affect me physically and mentally. The struggle for me has been daily throughout my life, and yet something drives me forward. Something has kept me from giving in, no matter how tired or discouraged I might be from time to time. I’ve bounced back, followed regimens provided by physicians, received encouragement from friends and family and then been blessed with improvements in science, medicine and technology that have allowed me to thrive where at one time I might have died long ago.
While my example may be extreme compared to the challenges that some others may have faced… the fact is we all have to maintain a balance between mind, body and even spirit. Yes spirit seems like a term that would have no place in science, but let’s at least postulate for a moment that the spirit is an essence of existence, a part of us that we have yet to quantify using the language of science.
So I bet you’re wondering, “how do I do that?” That is a very good question and the answer is unique to all of us. I can tell you the first step is “maintaining awareness”. You must, when you can, take the time to observe and try to understand the condition of your body and your mind. The combination of the two may result in a perception of your spirit. This key element will setup everything that follows for the successful management of challenges, stresses, physical, mental and even financial obstacles. The sense of your spirit will tell you whether you’re ready to fight or whether you need attend to some physical or mental matter that will prevent you from achieving victory over your battle.
Some individuals find meditation can bring about greater awareness, while others are simply innately aware, however it is important to also take into account the observations and opinions of “trusted” sources. Doctors, trainers, coaches, friends and family. They can see things in us that we sometimes cannot clearly distinguish. I cannot advise you to simply follow everyone’s advice but certainly take it into account and compare it to your own thoughts, feelings and perceptions of your physical and mental state.
This awareness has prepared me for many challenges and has given me the knowledge necessary to prepare for a fight. This is the first and most important step. In a series of articles that we will be writing we will cover the various elements of the mind, body and spirit (of course with an emphasis on scientific and rational analysis) that allow one to achieve victory over even the most challenging circumstances.
In the mean time, I personally would be most interested to hear from you all. What are your stories. what have you had to overcome in training, in the ring or in life and how did you do it?