What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is defined as:
‘a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations”. (google) Mindfulness Techniques are employed to cure depression, anxiety, stress, and even physical ailments.
Mindful Martial Arts
The practice of martial arts for centuries was not for the purpose of combat, but to increase qualities that are now referred to as ‘mindfulness’. Awareness, focus, and a state of calm observation. Exercises known as ‘forms’ or ‘katas’ are sequences of movements that increase fitness, concentration, awareness, and memory, with the goal of achieving a state of peaceful observation. Meditation is practiced before and after each lesson, to improve these qualities.
Centuries of Mindfulness
Since 1968, our students have studied USSD’s unique system of Kempo-style martial arts from the finest instructors in the United States. But the practice of Kempo is much older, originating from the Shaolin Monastery in China, dating back over 1500 years! United Studios of Self Defense maintains a close relationship with the Shaolin to this day, including travelling to the Temple for testing and instruction. Shaolin Kempo is Mindfulness Training.
When there is no ‘Mindfulness’
Most would agree that we frequently exist in a ‘partially distracted state’, the opposite of Mindfulness. In this state we see the most personal harm and tragedy. “I wasn’t paying attention” is the number one reason we suffer harm or cause it, by accident or inaction. “I didn’t know what to do” is the mind surrendering to fear, and results in bad decisions. Mindfulness training is vital to overcoming fear and distraction.
Mindfulness now, more than ever
At United Studios of Self Defense, students grow in body, mind, and spirit over time. As students rise in rank, they build an identity of achievement and success. Building confidence, fear no longer closes the door to a mindful state. They are full of promise and potential, capable and in tune with their surroundings. Emotions are controlled, not suppressed, and finally the student understands themselves well enough to improve overall character while enjoying the benefits of their journey.