Beating Stress with Martial Arts
Mr. Robert L. Jones
Are you a busy executive or mom trying to do everything?
Are you getting so stressed out that it seems like you're
not accomplishing anything? If so, you can use martial arts
to combat that stress! Many of the skills and techniques used
in martial arts training are the same skills and techniques
you can use to rid your body of stress.
So, you might be wondering how a skill that is commonly depicted
as a fighting tool can actually reduce stress… Some of these
common images of martial arts aren't completely accurate.
The cartoons, video games and movies showing martial arts
as a fighting tool are only showing you one small facet of
the art. The skills necessary for training martial arts can
teach you how to balance your mind and body and give you the
confidence you need to face the stressful events in your life.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
One of the techniques used to create this balance is using
breathing and meditation techniques to help you connect and
control your mind and body. There are different types of meditation:
sitting, standing, kneeling and moving. Find the position
that works best for you. Here's how to start.
1. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
2. Breathe deeply. To make sure you're breathing deeply enough,
put your hand on your stomach. If your stomach isn't pushing
out as you breath in, you're not breathing deeply enough.
Try to pull the air all the way to your navel before you let
3. When you breathe out, keep your tongue on the roof of your
mouth. This keeps helps minimize your saliva and swallowing.
In the Chinese way of thinking, breathing like this is completing
a path: The mouth is a gate and the tongue on the roof of
the mouth allows your vital energy called "Qi" or "Chi" (both
pronounced "chee") to circulate throughout your body. Chi
is what helps your mind and body connect.
After you've gotten the physical aspects of breathing down,
you can start counting your breaths - this is a form of meditation
that many experts teach during stress management courses.
Start short and work your way up.
1. Begin with a count of 4 as you breathe in and a count of
6 as you breathe out.
2. As you go along, extend the in and out until you can get
a count of 6 as you breathe in and up to 24-30 as you breathe
out. Just remember that you want a short, deep breath in and
a slow, long breath out.
WHY DOES IT WORK?
This mind and body connection through breathing works because
stress is a mental state that manifests itself as a physical
symptom in your body. This physical symptom then acts as a
trigger to tell you to do something about it. As you become
more aware of your body, you'll be able to notice the "trigger"
before it becomes something unbearable such as a severe neck
problem or a migraine headache. Once you notice your trigger,
you can stop and do something about it such as practicing
a breathing technique. For example, I used to get stress-induced
migraines that would leave me out of commission for a whole
day. Now, I've come to realize that it actually starts in
my lower back as a small thing. If I let it go, it works its
way up to my head. Now, when I noticed this trigger in my
back, I stop and do my breathing. It allows the issue to surface
so I can deal with it and I don't have to deal with a migraine.
We all have those moments from time to time when we experience
stress (some more frequently than others). The overall benefits
of training martial arts for the mind and body (including
self-awareness, self confidence, focus, concentration and
physical conditioning) all lead to reducing that stress. You
owe it to yourself to start relieving the stress in your life
with the skills taught through martial arts. The best place
to find these skills is at a fine martial arts school. Why
not give it a try? You have nothing to lose and everything
to gain. To make it even easier, I'll help you get started.
Just contact me and I'll send you my free report on how to
pick a martial arts school.
The Academy of Kempo Martial Arts
P.S. My 3 studios are located in Lynnwood, Kent, and Bellevue,
Washington. If you live near one of those locations, please
Robert Jones runs three successful martial arts schools
located in Bellevue, Lynnwood, and Kent, Washington. He has
been helping families make positive changes in their lives
through martial arts for over 20 years. He has also written
two guides on how to pick a martial arts school. One for adults
and one for parents wanting to pick the right school for their
children. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at the Academy of Kempo Martial Arts. 800-508-6141.
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