Calm

(With due credit to Quantum Martial Arts for this week's content.) Being calm is "a mental and emotional peace of mind, free from worry, stimulation or disruption". It sounds like nirvana, doesn't it? In reality, remaining calm is really hard. It is too easy to respond to situations, no matter how big or small, with your first reaction. Your first reaction is not always the best response. You need to work as hard on calmness as you do with your martial arts. If tension rises inside of you, do the opposite of what you are doing to put you in that tense state. Walk away from a stressful situation. Take a few deep breaths and focus on something happy. Force yourself to smile, as it is hard to b

The will to fight to the very end

As we enter the last days leading up to the last grading of the year, let's remind ourselves what Black Belt stands for: the indomitable spirit that drives us to push through every barrier, to keep getting up every time we get taken down, the willingness to have one more go, do one more round, the resilience to give our very best to the very end. We wish our very best to everyone grading in Marsfield and Balmain over the next few weeks. A special thought for Alex who has started final preparations for his Junior Black Belt grading at Northstar Martial Arts on Sun 3 Dec.

Self-centredness

Awareness of ourselves and of others around us is one of the first things we learn in the Northstar Ju Jitsu system that is taught at Arrow. The ready stance – where our body and our mind come back to being 'still and neutral, ready to respond' – is a fantastic way to train ourselves to bring our focus back into the present moment and the needs of the situation in front of us. One of the most rewarding aspects of training in this system is the ability that we develop to not only step away from the selfish, self-serving need to have the last word, have the upper hand, or scream the loudest in a argument, and instead be able to quickly recognise when we are indeed being confronted by someone a

Courtesy

(Thank you to Darren Higgs at Quantum Martial Arts, partner dojo from the Northstar Ju Jitsu system, for this week's mat chat topic.) A big part of being an evolved martial artist is to show courtesy to others. Courtesy is respecting and acknowledging other people's space and being mindful when we enter it. We have to constantly remind ourselves that every other living being has a right to exist free of judgement and free of being bullied. You cannot train for self-defence against bullies on one hand, yet bully others at the same time. You must treat others the way you would like to be treated. It is inherent in human nature to always put our own interests first, and we often need to be remi

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