Column] Does Martial Arts Strengthen the Mind?

Table of Contents

Hello, I am Sugawara, your instructor.
In the previous issue, we discussed the thoughts that went into the design of the training content.
In this issue, I would like to discuss the "strength of mind" gained through practice.


Can martial arts really strengthen the mind?

You have probably seen the ads that say, "Let's strengthen your mind and body through martial arts."
(Actually, I often use this copy when I make ads for my dojo.)


Martial arts will play a role in making your body stronger.

So, does it also strengthen the heart?


My thought is "it makes you stronger but you need the knack" (sorry for the simpering answer).


What is strength of mind to begin with?

Psychotherapist Amy Morin describes the "power of the mental" in her book


Mental strength is the ability to hold the reins of one's emotions and thoughts in any situation and to take positive action according to one's values."


From now on, I will consider whether the mind can be strengthened by martial arts, taking strength of mind = mental power, as she says.


Having "guts" does not make the heart stronger.

The reason why people say that martial arts can strengthen the mind is because they think "guts" = "strength of mind.


But Amy's thoughts show that this "guts" cannot capture all of the strength of the heart.


In particular, "taking positive action according to one's values" cannot be acquired simply by learning martial arts.


Important #1: Create values with the help of martial arts

In the process of martial arts becoming budo, each martial art has developed its own spirituality. Aikido, for example, has a "spirit of harmony," a spirituality of building a better relationship with one's partner without repelling each other.


This can be very useful material for the formation of one's sense of values. The key is how to utilize this material in the formation of values.


And it is even better if you verbalize those values and keep them in mind at all times.


Importance #2: Train your daily behavior according to your values.

Once the values are verbalized, it is important to know how to act in accordance with the values.


It is not easy, but it is easier to make progress if you take a system that does not rely on instantaneous action, such as setting weekly goals for actions that reflect your values.


I will discuss this in another column.



From these,


Martial arts can also strengthen the mind. However, it is necessary to make an effort to accumulate what you have learned as a set of values and train to embody them in your daily life.


This is the summary.