Habits can either craft a martial artist to excel their journey to a full potential or have them forfeit to an endless cycle of mundane progress and improvement. This article goes over the mindset necessary to create effective habits for martial arts. These concepts are inspired from the powerful self-growth book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ and transitioned into actionable steps that every martial artist can benefit from.
These habits can be universal across all effective martial arts styles including Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, judo, boxing, muay thai etc.
The way to build effective habits as described by Stephen R. Covey is to become aware of three main principles. Once you’ve identified these principles, you will be able to see how they relate and enhance one another.
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3 Principles for Creating Effective Martial Arts Habits:
What Do You Want From Martial Arts? (Desire)
If you’ve been following the Submission Shark community interviews, you will be able to experience a wide variety of unique aspirations and goals for each martial artist. Not everyone that steps on the mats wants to be a world champion and that’s okay. If you are hungry for more than just a black belt and want to win a championship, that is also okay. We all have our own desires in martial arts.
Martial Artist ~ Hoodie
Take some time to think deeply about what it is exactly you are searching for when on the mats. It can be as simple as spending time with friends to relieve anxiety and stress or becoming a world-renowned BJJ blackbelt. There is no right or wrong answer. Just the answer that feels true to you.
If your desire is to just lose a few pounds while learning a new skill, maybe a specific fitness martial arts class would be better knowledge to suit your desires rather than an advanced competition team. Discovering exactly what it is that you desire can help you find the right people that will share the knowledge necessary for improvements.
What To Do In Specific Martial Arts Scenarios? (Knowledge)
Have you ever rolled with someone in jiu jitsu and been in a strange position with no idea what you need to do to get out? Or maybe you keep getting submitted by a kimura and you just can’t figure out what it is they are doing. In martial arts, there are many scenarios, not knowing what to do if a boxer has a philly shell guard and is deflecting or blocking everything you throw at him/her etc. the list goes on.
Death Choke & Kimura T-Shirts (Tokyo Trip Collection)
Once you know what you desire, it is important to know what to do to accomplish your goals. Seeking specific information on what it is exactly that you need to do can help create a clear roadmap to the path of effective habits as a martial artist.
Find the best professors, coaches and training partners to teach you what to do in scenarios you are having troubles in. Gain the knowledge to properly perform the martial arts moves that will create your desired outcome.
Professor Anaconda Choke ~ T-Shirt (Tokyo Trip Collection)
Do You Know How To Do The Proper Techniques? (Skills)
Knowing what to do and wanting to do it effectively isn’t truly effective until you actually develop the proper skills to confidently execute the moves or habits. This is especially true in a skill such as martial arts.
You can watch all the films you’d like, have the intense ambitions to accomplish them, but if you simply aren’t practicing what you learned, you won’t know how to do it. Build the muscle-memory and you will know how to perform the proper techniques as if it was a part of your nature.
Martial Artist ~ Sweatshirt
Here’s a great example: Let’s say your desire is to fix your posture and relieve tension from tough jiu jitsu or martial arts training and have learned that yoga for BJJ can be an effective way to accomplish this goal. The next step would be learning how to do the proper techniques.
Sebastian Brosche is a BJJ black belt and a dedicated yoga practitioner that has found tremendous benefits after creating the habit of doing yoga regularly. This is a great way to start creating effective habits that can benefit any martial artist. Submission Shark has partnered with his organization to present you with 10 free online yoga for bjj classes. It’s only available for the first 200 people that’s ready to start this effective habit.
Effective Martial Arts Habits for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Above you can see how to create effective habits for martial arts but what If you already have ineffective habits from prior experiences? This can be problematic and even dangerous. Check out this interview with Rob from Mcdojo life where we go over how to recognize ‘martial arts academies’ that may be creating ineffective habits for aspiring martial artists.
It should be known that it is possible to ‘unlearn’ ineffective habits for any style of martial art. Although learning the correct way from the start is always more productive but having the awareness and ability to pass through a paradigm can help open up a mind to new possibilities, including a better technique, movement style or training method.
Chaim Mudde, a BJJ practitioner and breath coach has experienced something similar through his jiu jitsu journey. You can learn more about it in the community section of Submission Shark. He also gives some helpful breathing techniques and common bad habits when it comes to the breath for jiu jitsu and martial arts training.
Creating Effective Habits for A Martial Arts Lifestyle
Martial arts can be tough on both the body and mind. It can really test your spirit. That’s why it is also important to have effective habits off the mats as well. If you have the habit of not caring for your health and wellbeing, your ability to focus and recover may be negatively affected when you return on the mats.
ZEN ~ T-Shirt (Tokyo Trip Collection)
Although there are too many specific jiu-jitsu moves to go over in a BJJ blog, Submission Shark has received some insights from other martial artists, well-educated in their respected fields to share some knowledge on what to do in certain scenarios. A great place to start would be the BJJ for beginners section or learning how to structure your life effectively as an athlete. This article is contributed by Nattie Boss (BJJ Brown Belt).
Submission Shark also offers a free online library of specific martial arts articles where anyone can gather knowledge from. Become inspired by the Submission Shark Community and have the desire to create the effective habits necessary to help you reach your dreams. After you gain the knowledge and find your desires, feel free to practice what you learned. One of the most effective martial arts habits I learned was how to stay in the flow state.
Now that you know how to create effective martial arts habits, feel free to shop at Submission Shark for your martial arts apparel and BJJ gear. Of course, you do not have to make an order but any support helps keep these articles flowing.