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Skill-In Training: Mantra Training

by The M.A.D. Dad 3 months ago in advice
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What If Everyone Had His or Her Own Theme Music

In the movies, the protagonist always faces a challenge. The underlying reason for the movie or "theme" is presented in some climatic sequence. Building to that event, the hero of the movie prepares and often does so with some uplifting song or motivating memory or dialogue/monologue that he or she revisits in a recap that the audience gets to see on the screen.

In martial arts, we talk a lot about the connection between the mind and the body. Some styles further diversify the factors that make us whole into mind, heart and body. In martial arts training, we try and unify these forces under a common goal. Like the theme song in the movies, we need as individuals a point of focus to rally against a challenge.

Mantra training is the tool that we tend to use in training. There are other similar strategies or names-positive visualization being a popular term currently. Simply put, it is a technique in which an individual focuses on repeating a statement either in thought or word to positively reaffirm a goal or event.

An example of mantra training might be repeating "I am going to make a perfect score on my math test." A lot of mantras focus on result. Some can be vague like "I am going to grow stronger or be more intelligent." In truth, it is probably a good idea to start with a more vague mantra and refine it more specifically as a better understanding of the task or struggle is gained.

An encouragement and recommendation that I make to students, and I will pass this along to the reader. I suggest that a mantra always focus on the effort to be changed instead of the result. The reason for this is that it puts an emphasis on the elements that an individual can control- the effort. As previously discussed in other posts, sometimes the result is independent of any other variable that can be anticipated or controlled.

So, let's put it into practice. An example might be physical health. Starting out, an individual can repeat to him or herself, " My health will improve." If a person wants to make it more uplifting and in the present tense to reflect effort, he or she can say, "My physical is improving ( or even improving now)." After a time of using this statement, the mantra may be more specifically refined to "My physical health will improve with me losing weight due to running every other day." As an individual refines the goal, emphasis is placed on control over the action. And, the individual can be continuously modified to a new challenge.

That is half of mantra training, Looking at our movie comparison, at a point, the hero reflects and appreciates how far they have progressed. Mantra training should involve a positive self reflection statement. "I have gotten in better shape by training 3-5 weekly or consistently." "I am successful because of the hard work that I have performed." These statements remind us of the progress and our part in the work to get to this moment.

An interesting point to consider with mantra training, we actually do this all of the time whether we consciously are aware of it or not. Each of us have a voice that makes a comment about how an event or action was performed. Unfortunately, most of the time, our inner voice is a detractor. How many times has your inner critic stated, "I messed up or did poorly with ......." For most, this happens more commonly than a positive statement. With the positive use of mantra training, you should not be surprised to hear more positive statements from your inner voice.

And, if this does not come naturally, don't fret. Think back to the classic hero in the movies, each was not great at handling something at the beginning of the movie. Like them, you can rise to the challenge. Be well! Be the champion that your voice can cheer on to victory!

The M.A.D. Dad


About the author

The M.A.D. Dad

I call myself the M.A.D. Dad. M.A.D. stands for Martial Arts Direction. I want to help others battle the forces that threaten our peace with lessons that I have been blessed to discover through my experiences in both Martial Arts and Life.

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