When practicing any form of BodyMind Training such as martial arts, yoga, dance or high level sports we can use this training as an opportunity to reach the mind. To focus only on the physical aspects of any art is, in essence, a superficial approach and therefore most of the deeper benefits of the practice is lost. Similarly, sitting on a cushion in a peaceful environment meditating may prove calming and relaxing, but without being able to apply it in our everyday lives, where things are generally not so peaceful around us, what good does that do us?
However, when these two aspects are put together and the body is used as a focal point, to train and discipline the mind, we find that we have a complete and balanced practice. The concept of engaging both body and mind is potent in its ability to transform the serious practitioner. It provides the means for achieving a higher state of consciousness, and, in this state, you find yourself becoming more self aware and more easily able to identify thoughts and behaviors that do not serve you or others well.
Because of the focus required to learn and perform complex movements as one does in the martial arts, it is an excellent way to train both the body and the mind. The reality is, however, that when most people begin taking classes in martial arts they generally do it because they want to learn self defense or to get into shape. While these are certainly good reasons, true martial arts training can offer the practitioner so much more.
A dojang, or dojo, actually means, “place of enlightenment,” and, therefore, is a place for self discovery; a place to work on yourself. Within those four walls one finds a perfect microcosm of the world. In a controlled environment, we are faced with all sorts of physical and emotional challenges, made difficult by design. As our character is tested, our true selves are revealed. Over time with the proper guidance of an experienced teacher, we realize that the one thing we can control is our own thoughts, our own internal environment and with this realization one begins the journey to self mastery.
BodyMind Training often proves to be the “missing ingredient” for those who find it difficult to make and sustain positive changes in their lives through other methods alone. By the very nature of the practice, where one must make a consistent effort over time in order to progress constant reinforcement is available.
Those who are studying or who would like to study in the martial arts and the philosophy behind it are encouraged to seek out a school that embraces this concept of BodyMind Training: “Training the Body, To Discipline the Mind” so that they may discover for themselves the gift of the practice of true martial arts.
For those living in the NJ or NY area who wish train with Chief Instructor, Shifu Raymond Ahles or to learn more BodyMind Training in the martial arts, please visit: