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The 6 Most Important Things Martial Arts Taught Me About Life

The Greatest Battles Are Fought Within

The Greatest Battles Are Fought Within

Even in actual fights, the greatest obstacle we face is our own fear, our own breath, or our own tension.

Battles will be won when we’re willing to face ourselves.

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The 6 Most Important Things Martial Arts Taught Me About Life

The 6 Most Important Things Martial Arts Taught Me About Life

https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/the-6-most-important-things-martial-arts-taught-me-about-life

breakingmuscle.com

6

Key Ideas

Breathing Is Everything

How you breathe will dictate everything from the type of athlete you are, to how you sleep, to how your body feels and looks.

At the core of breathing is connecting with our core. Our breath does not originate in our lungs or in our chests, but from deep within.

Slow It Down

Being proficient at anything at full speed takes the willingness and patience to first go slowly, literally and figuratively.

 Any professional athlete will tell you that the ritualistic nature of slowing down your craft is the key to success in that craft. You have to walk before you can run.

Words Only Have the Power We Give Them

Words inspire, words inform, and words can destroy - if we let them.

The martial arts will teach you not to react to other’s problems, but to pay attention to your own. Learn not to react to words that are meant for harm.

Awareness Is Everything

The ability to be present in a given circumstance means the difference between success and failure and potentially life and death. 

Nothing brings you to the present moment quite like a fight, whether it’s a practice fight or a real one. The difference from a practice like meditation where you slow down and find awareness, is that the martial arts not only slows down, it speeds way up.

The Greatest Battles Are Fought Within

Even in actual fights, the greatest obstacle we face is our own fear, our own breath, or our own tension.

Battles will be won when we’re willing to face ourselves.

The Journey Is What Matters

In our culture, we tend to focus on outcomes. Winning versus losing.

In the martial arts, process is growth, regardless of outcome. As we grow old we need not stop growing. 

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There’s more to Bruce Lee than martial arts

He was also a philosophy badass.

From a very young age, Bruce Lee was obsessed with learning how to make the most out of his life - by the age of 30, he possessed thousands of tit...

Self-discovery
Martial arts was not merely a competitive sport for Bruce Lee, but in essence a means of self-discovery and self-expression.

By learning to fight, he was able to better understand who he was — he could force himself out of his comfort zone, test his limits, and confront his fears. 

Be like water

Bruce Lee saw life as being in constant change.

Unless we learn to adapt to it, we’re bound to experience tremendous resistance that will entrap us in a constant state of suffering.

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Bruce Lee as a philosopher

He studied poetry and philosophy in school. He focused his studies on Asian and Western philosophy, incorporating elements of Jiddu, Buddhism, Taoism, and Krishnamurti. 

This helped h...

Bruce Lee's impressive life
  • He wasn't a master of any standard form of martial arts. He was closest in mastering Wing Chun.
  • He invented his own style of martial arts. He based his style on the teaching of Man and what he learned of Wing Chun. He called his style Jeet Kune Do "the style of no style"
  • He starred in 20 films in Hong Kong before the age of 18.
  • He popularized the "1 Inch Punch" as seen in Kill Bill Vol. 2
  • He was a prolific poet and philosopher. He studied poetry and philosophy in school and was even published several times.
  • He was so fast, his moves were often too fast for a camera to catch.
  • He only made 5 feature films in the US, his last released posthumously.
The Benefits Of Tai Chi
  • Improved lower and upper-body strength. Practiced regularly, it’s comparable to resistance training and brisk walking.
  • Boosts flexibility and strength of upper and lower-...
Getting Started With Tai Chi
  • Find a tai chi branch that matches your needs. 
  • Check with your doctor before starting if you have a physical limitations or take medications that affect your balance.
  • Watch and take a class
  • If you'd rather learn at home, you can get tai chi books or videos.
  • Talk to the instructor. Experienced teachers who accommodate individual peculiarities are ideal.
  • Dress comfortably with nonrestrictive loose-fitting clothes.
  • You can practice barefoot or in lightweight and flexible shoes.
  • Most tai chi programs last at least 12 weeks, with instruction once or twice a week and practice at home. By then, you should know if you enjoy tai chi.
Your mind gives up way before your body does
Your mind gives up way before your body does

We've all been there when where you are on the verge of throwing in the towel – perhaps just 5 minutes before class ends or in the middle of the most intense part of training. 

As...

You are never truly right or wrong

Like almost everything else in life, there are different variations to certain techniques, which ultimately lead to the same outcome. 

Understand that everyone has his or her own way of achieving a similar goal or outcome.

You’re not as much of a badass

... as you might initially think.

You will also find yourself in situations where you basically get overcome by others – even when you initially felt like you had the upper hand.

No one is truly invincible, so it helps to always be humble and learn from everyone you train with.

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Leave no holes in your game

To qualify to compete in an MMA fight, you need to be “complete.” In the fighting world, that means that no matter where the fight goes, standing up or if the action goes to the gro...

Get used to discomfort

A business, like a fight, will push you beyond your comfort zone. You will eventually venture into unfamiliar territory.

Understand that it’s possible nothing will go your way, and you’ll have to take a vicious beating. But prepare for a fight and swing to win anyway.

Set up your squad

Although MMA fighters are in a cage by themselves, a team of highly specialized professionals -- from massage therapists to sparring partners -- is essential for them to succeed in the ring.

In business, you need a team similar to an MMA outfit -- one comprised of people who can see things you can’t and make you strong where you are weak.

Bruce Lee: The Symbol
Bruce Lee: The Symbol

In the 32 years he inhabited this planet, Bruce Lee created a legacy that is unparalleled in modern times.

His work, philosophy and lifestyle have influenced everything from video games to...

Be Water

While trying to diffuse his anger, Bruce Lee once started punching in the sea and had a profound realization.

Water, he understood, is of a neutral nature, having no form or shape of its own. He realized that to be invincible, he had to be as formless as water.

Giving Form To the Formless

The continued fascination with Bruce Lee and the never-ending need to capitalize on the man and the myth is the opposite of what he really intended.

His insights of being like water showcase his philosophy of having no philosophy at all. The formless structure that has to be assumed to live one’s life is destroyed the very moment anyone is influenced or tries to emulate Bruce Lee.

The real master has no tools

He/She has a endless power to improvise with what is to hand.

The more fields of knowledge he/she covers, the greater his/her resources for improvisation.

Alexis de Tocqueville
Alexis de Tocqueville

"Nothing tends to materialise man, and to deprive his work of the faintest trace of mind, more than extreme division of labour."

Invention fights specialization

To come up with new ideas, you need to know things outside your field.

The further afield your knowledge extends, the greater potential you have for innovation.

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Greater Focus
Greater Focus

Be in the Now, realizing that the only available and real moment is the present moment is the best way to live. Apart from the Now, the rest is just unrealized fiction and bad memories no ...

A Long Walk For Focus

Walking is the best way to focus on the now, and is a blessing for the whole day if done in the morning. Life is already too short, and a nice walk prolongs time and gives it space.

Walking provides us with fresh air, exercise and peacefulness.

The Trick Of Deciding

The ‘decision hack’ to increase productivity is to not have too many distractions and options to choose from.

If we have a lot of actions and decisions to make in a long to-do list, every item suffers. The trick is to say yes to a few high priority items and say no to the rest.

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Uncomfortable situations

Besides the well-known health advantages, in a world where comfort is king, arduous physical activity provides a rare opportunity to practice embracing uncomfortable situations.

Exercise is a keystone habit

 A change in one life area that brings about positive effects in other area. Exercise it’s not just vanity. What you do in the gym makes you a better, higher-performing person outside of it. When you develop physical fitness, you’re developing life fitness, too.

Preventing Reactions
  • Am I reacting? Simply asking yourself that question can ground you and give you a quick mental break to perhaps choose differently.
  • You react when you think you don’...
How To Respond Rather Than React
  • When you think about how this specific situation fits into your overall goals and objectives it will be easier to respond.
  • The best decisions are informed by a proper balance of facts and emotions.
  • Mentally move into the future and look back to determine your best response to the current situation.
Acting In Emergency Situations

While responding seems like the prudent choice, in a crisis or emergency situation it may seem that you would logically need to react or operate in a split-second decision mode.

The reality is the best crisis managers are trained and practice a variety of scenarios precisely so they can respond rather than react. The difference is in preparation and thought.

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