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Meditation in Martial Arts

by JJB Admin

A year ago

This article was written by jiu jitsu black belt Sheena Bidwell, an instructor at Flo-Life BJJ in Lakewood, Colorado.

Using meditation for your martial art will make your game and soul flourish. These practices will enrich your life whether you are a novice or professional. This is how we transform our lives, thought by thought, then action by action. Meditation provides such a gift of release and dreaming to help you in your training and throughout your day. Include some or all of the examples below and experience the benefits of heightened consciousness. Namaste and blessings of grace, gentleness and strength.

Real-life examples

Waiting in line (a really long, slow line) – I love this little game! Instead of activating an annoyance, shift your focus to your favorite move. Mentally talk yourself through the positions until you reach your accomplished submission. Before you speak – Are you listening to comment, or are you listening to hear what the person has to say? Before you create sound, take a breath of silence. Cleaning – turn this into an art form as unique as you creates your very own sacred space. This can be a squeaky clean kitchen to pack your BJJ bag neatly. Affirmations – Changing the conversation in your head will change the feelings in your body, so no matter what the experience of life is giving you, it will be the best that you can possibly make of it. Being in awe of your awareness allows you divine opportunities at every moment.

Before Class

Give yourself a smile and pat on the back for taking good care of yourself. The better you do in life, the more people you are then able to help. Set an intention and concentrate on that. Give that vision your full energy. Think of your happiest classes. What gi were you wearing? What moves were you doing? Who were you partners with? Get that positive vibe going even before you step on the mats by setting yourself up with good times ahead. Set a goal to give back in some way. How can you encourage a fellow human being on their jiu-jitsu journey?

During Class

Be present in the moment. Apply the discipline of no phones allowed. Be considerate of your instructor by not texting or posting on social media during class. Let them serve their purpose of sharing special wisdom. Ground yourself by feeling the mats on your feet. Try tactical breathing from the diaphragm. Get a deeper connection by looking people in the eyes. Practice gratitude by thanking your partners. Expand your comfort zone by offering yourself up as a partner.

During Sparring

Stay ahead of your partners’ movement by riding the wave of their momentum. If you are stuck in a bad scary place consciously understand the counterintuitive action of relaxing. Picture yourself watching instead of being stuck in it. From that perspective, try to breathe and solve the puzzle. Take it second by second and detach from the rest.

After Class

Reflect on the three main physical aspects to incorporate into your game. Explore your curiosity and enjoy the concepts that are exciting to you! How boring would it be if we all did the exact same moves all the time? Let your creative side flourish and build your ideal jiu-jitsu for your body. What emotional gains did you experience? Obviously, there is a lot deeper to martial arts than just the mere physical application of chokes and arm bars. Go beyond the surface and see how this is making you grow. How did you exercise your mental attributes? Work your brain to help your muscles by journaling.

Morning Meditation

Grab a piece of paper and make a gratitude list along with your plans. Your day is like a blank canvas. Start early while your energy is fresh, and choose joy. Remember that no matter what you’re wearing kindness is always in style. Build your day as a healthy jiu-jitsu athlete by acquiring a lifestyle conducive to daily training.

Daily Meditation

Devote time during your schedule for detachment. Unplug from society and switch on your inner world of guidance. Be thankful for your morning regardless of what it brought. Make a mental list of the top 5 things you love about being a martial artist. Cultivate that spirit as you head into your night.

Night meditation

You did it; you made it through another day! Since we all have challenges, that is an accomplishment no matter who you are. Embrace this time to let it go and release yourself from the day's happenings. Journal any future jiu-jitsu goals and make a few positive affirmations to set you up for sweet dreams.

If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy our instructional video 'Yoga for Grapplers' by 4th-degree Roger Gracie Jiu Jitsu Black belt and fitness expert Nicolas Gregoriades.


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