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Mentality before technique...



1. the centre of interest or activity.

"this generation has made the environment a focus of attention"

2. the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition.

"his face is rather out of focus"


1.adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.

"try to focus on a stationary object"

2. pay particular attention to.

"the study will focus on a number of areas in Wales"



1. the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.

"a lack of proper parental and school discipline"

2. a branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education.

"sociology is a fairly new discipline"


1. train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.

"many parents have been afraid to discipline their children"



1. a settled way of thinking or feeling about something.

"he was questioned on his attitude to South Africa"

2. position of the body indicating a particular mental state.

"the boy was standing in an attitude of despair"

From the perspective of the martial arts the dictionary definitions (above) of these three specific words don’t really cover their entire relevance or meaning. It’s generally accepted that the correct mind-set, provided whatever terminology or jargon we choose, is essential for success. This is true for all aspects of life and is clearly evident in the practice of martial arts.

The correct mind-set is the key determinator in the successful practice and application of any given technique, combination or set form/kata/pattern in martial arts. The difference in regards to practice is clear to see, the sharp, fluid and crisp execution of techniques by a practitioner who possess the correct mental state is almost the polar opposite to a practitioner who does not. Moreover, the application (and anticipated outcome) of a technique performed with the correct intention and mentality could well be the difference between successful and effective personal defence and the otherwise wholly regrettable consequence of ineffective application.

The terminology provided to this mental state is often overly complicated or desperately shrouded in pseudo-mysticism through the application far Eastern language. More modern studies of highly successful individuals have shown that there are definite and identifiable commonalities in general mentality and behaviours. This general mentality is essentially the same as that provided and required by martial arts training and can be generally broken down into the three specific areas previously mentioned: FOCUS, DISCIPLINE and ATTITUDE.


In the martial arts the term focus is generally used to describe an internal centralisation of attention. Focus could then be seen as the act of providing that attention to a singular end and maintaining this concentration. Although the physical action may vary, the underlying mental principle does not change. In this regard focus can be regarded as the mind-set that truly places you in that moment. In that moment of existence, there is only you and the action you are engaged in.

However possessing a focused mindset does not mean you must become detached from the external environment, in fact true focus means to become more aware of how we fit to this environment. A focused mind is one that accepts the external factors of our environments, but does not become distracted by these. Focus then is not necessarily concentration of attention on one singular aspect to the exclusion of all else, but more it is a balanced acceptance of all aspects.


Discipline can otherwise be defined as consistency in all things. The modern way is often to accept that there must an easier way, a quick fix solution and one that essentially will make the demands on us less. Discipline is then having the mental strength and fortitude to accept that the way may be challenging, yet it is indeed the way and it is to be followed. This doesn’t mean blind devotion, or unquestioning service, rather it is a mentality which retains a 100% sel