By Jose R. Villanueva
As originally published on the Listen & Be Heard Weekly1, December 14, 2005.
There are definite mental factors that are vital to training in the Martial Arts and defending oneself. These have to do with a student's intelligence, ability to recall, processing speed, multi-
Intelligence cannot be ignored when it comes to training. One must be able to recall any and all techniques that one has practiced. A practitioner has to be able to apply the technique that is applicable in any self-
Ability to multi-
Mental awareness and presence allows one to know what is going on in present time. If one's attention units are stuck on things in the past, one is not really viewing or confronting one's present time environment. There are details that are missed. How many individuals walk through a mall or grocery store that cannot remember what they just saw? It is much more common than you think, and it does not bode well for the practitioner who is not mentally aware. If one is mentally aware, one's presence is huge. No attacker wants to deal with someone who knows what is going on around him.
Purpose is a primary mental factor because it deals with decisions. A practitioner cannot train without a purpose. It is a decision to "DO." Every "action" and every "effect" requires a decision. Mental strength is basically a strong purpose. This is necessary in one's training to become competent, and it is vital when one is confronted with a self-
Mental factors can never be ignored or underestimated. If a Martial Art school is not training its students to be able to apply all of the mental factors competently, it is an omission that will cause one's students to fold up like "paper tigers" when a stressful situation arises. Practitioners must be able to manage what is going on, and they can do this with mental clarity. The competent application of all the mental factors will allow the practitioner to comfortably face his environment.