What do you think of when you think of self-defense training? Do you feel your mood becoming more serious? Do visions of flying kicks and ninja stars dance in your head? Do you imagine a montage of clips depicting years’ worth of training, all culminating to reveal a picture of yourself, poised like a superhero while holding a bat, a sword, or a gun?
Or do you feel the weight of yet another appointment to be made and kept, another energy-draining attempt at self-discipline, and another expense that should wait until you can better afford it?
Between the two of these responses lies a healthy balance of proactive planning and discipline that could ultimately save your life.
Like any path that leads us to our most important goals, the journey often begins with baby steps. Too much too soon usually leaves us feeling too burned out. While the year is still young, I’d like to ask you start your journey to effectively defending yourself and your loved ones by practicing just one thing: strengthening your mind.
If you can’t control your thoughts, you stand very little chance of controlling much else in your life.
How do you control your thoughts and strengthen your mind?
To help control your thoughts:
1. STOP the negative, destructive thinking. We can stop much of our own behavior by telling ourselves in no uncertain terms to STOP. A firm and commanding tone can stop us in our own tracks.
2. REPLACE the negative thoughts with positive or constructive thoughts. Think of something to be grateful for. Can’t think of anything? You’re breathing, aren’t you? Start there.
3. TAKE ACTION. Go for a walk. Call up a friend, especially if you think that talking about the negativity will help to purge it. Meditate. Write and purge. If the negative thought is a worry, ask yourself honestly, “What’s the worst that can happen?” and then figure out what can be done about it, if anything, and DO IT.
To help strengthen your mind for self-defense:
1. Practice controlling it with the tips above.
2. Tell yourself every day:
“It could happen today. It could happen to me. I’ll know what to do, and I’ll DO IT.”
3. Wherever you are, train your mind to SEE EVERYTHING. Let your mind go through a quick what-if scenario, and then relax in the knowledge that, should the worst-case come to fruition, you know what to do, and you’ll do it.
4. Take a self-defense class. Even if you only take one, make sure to commit the lessons to memory. In times of duress, this knowledge, paired with the muscle-memory will provide knee-jerk responses to your body.
You’ll find yourself becoming more relaxed as you grow more confident in your ability to control your mind and your body, but never become so relaxed or confident that you think you can stop training daily!
The way we think directly affects the energy in our lives and that energy determines what we attract. Our thoughts control our actions, our actions determine our success.