Every great fighter is said to have a personality conducive to
fighting. It can be characterized in many different ways: ferocity,
calm, determination, etc. While there is no absolute archetype of the
perfect fighting mind, it is universally agreed that a fighter’s frame
of mind is essential to victory. We will call this ssential part:
Their “Fighting Spirit”.
Your Fighting Spirit is the frame of mind you use in order to get what
you want. They are the thoughts and emotions, which power you when
you have to get something done. It shows up in your everyday life in
different degrees (whenever you are trying to overcome laziness, fear,
lethargy, confusion etc.). It shows itself the most when your
physical safety is in danger and you must fight to preserve it.
Everyone has a Fighting Spirit. You can see this because everyone
wants something … and they will use this internal energy to get it.
Some people are born with powerful fighting spirits. Others are not.
These spirits can evolve and change over time. It is dynamic energy
where its sole purpose is to control its environment. Someone who is
powerful one day can be weak the next, and vice versa.
A Fighting Spirit will react differently to different people’s
combative energy (i.e. you may react differently to someone who is
overly aggressive than to someone who is more passive aggressive).
Which Spirit will win depends wholly on which one is stronger in its
So now we come to the question: How do we develop and train this
integral part of our inner fighter? Everyone is unique, so the perfect
Fighting Spirit for you is the one comprised of the thoughts and
feelings that best help you capture your ultimate goal.
Here are 5 tips to help you develop your own Fighting Spirit:
1) Train Hard.
Usually, the person who wins the fight is the person who trained the
hardest. Countless drills have made techniques second nature, and
extreme conditioning has given the fighter seemingly boundless
physical energy. The fighter knows his skills are sharp and his body
is strong. This combination gives the fighter Confidence. Confidence can be seen in many great fighters Fighting Spirit.
Confidence is the inner knowledge that you can make whatever you want
to happen, happen. Confidence can be called up at anytime simply by
believing in yourself.
But you must realize that confidence and training are equally
important. If you have confidence and no training, then you are
ignorant. If you have the training but no confidence, then you will
still walk onto the mat emotionally weak.
Augment your spirit with confidence based in your training and you
will be a force to be reckoned with.
2) Properly focus your Mind.
In order to develop the thoughts and emotions necessary to win, you
must constantly center your mind on the things you want and what you
need to do to attain them. If the Fighting Spirit is the source of
energy that allows you to take action and win, then it is your
thoughts and emotions that are the building blocks to it.
Imagine someone who has years and years of defeats. They will usually
form a belief system that says they were meant to lose. Whenever they
walk into a competitive situation they think that the outcome will be
a loss, and it usually is so. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Now imagine the opposite, a person who expects to win. He walks is
strong and usually performs well because of it. His Fighting Spirit
is one that expects a win because it knows he can do it.The amazing thing is that you do not have to have all these years of
experience to get that same feeling. The brain does not differentiate
between what is real and what is imagined. If you focus your mind on
how you will win and how it looks like when you win, your brain will
assume that it already happened and begin to form a belief system
based on it. Do this practice everyday and you will build an
emotional core that will power you towards a winning lifestyle.
3) Body Training.
The Mind/Body Connection is the easiest way to develop Fitness and the
You can see how your Mind affects your body simply by observing your
facial expressions, posture and movements. Whenever you are happy,
you will see yourself smile and move in a more relaxed manner. The
opposite will happen when you are upset. But the converse is also
true. How you hold your body will affect how you feel.
Now try this: Put the biggest most genuine smile on your face and hold
it for 1-2 min straight. Observe how you feel. Most people feel silly
at first, but then you begin to remember times when you smiled and
then the feelings associated with that time. You have effectively
summoned the feelings of happiness.
Knowing this, you can train yourself to call up your feelings of
strength and power. Just change your facial expression, posture and
movement to match those of when you felt strong and powerful. When you
do this, you will have engaged the thoughts and feelings necessary.
The more you do this, the easier it becomes to activate those thoughts
and feelings at will.
4) Ask yourself the RIGHT questions.
Asking yourself questions triggers a part in your brain, which
automatically gives an answer. Try this now: Calm yourself and ask
your mind any question. It will automatically respond. You may not
hear it right away, but it’s there. It may give the right answer; the
wrong answer or it’ll just say, “I don’t know”. But the fact is, it
will always respond to you. This is because your brain will always
work for you. It’s built to help you throughout your day.
Questions trigger the part in your brain which automatically comes up
with answers. The brain does not try to give the right or wrong
answer … it simply returns information that matches the original
query. If you ask for reasons why you will lose, it will come up with
reasons why you will. If you ask it not to be afraid, all it hears is “afraid” and it will come up with reasons why you should be afraid.
Imagine that you keep asking yourself these wrong questions for one
whole year. You will build habits and beliefs that will make you
convinced you would lose and also turn you into a fearful person.
Now, imagine that you spent that year asking yourself the right
questions. You asked yourself: What is the best way to train to win?
What things about myself make me confident? Why will I win? All of a
sudden you’ve built habits and beliefs that strengthen your Fighting
5) Master your fears.
Fear is the biggest emotional obstacle to overcome. It is the
opposite of hope. Fear happens when you focus on the outcomes you do
not want to happen. Think of something that you cherish … then
imagine it gone. Think of a time when you were emotionally crushed …
then think of it possibly happening again. They are disturbing
We all have fears. But fear is the root of courage. Courage cannot
exist without having to face a great fear, and courage is another key
quality to a powerful Fighting Spirit.
Once you accept the possibility of the negative outcome, let it pass
from your mind. Continue to focus on the thoughts and feelings that
will help you create your desired outcome. Know that regardless of
outcome, you will have proven yourself courageous. Know that
afterwards you will have made yourself stronger and more capable to
fight any fight in the future.
Following these 5 training tips will not only help you on the mat, but
will help you through life. Ultimately we practice and train
combative disciplines in order to gain inner strength, happiness and
peace. If these are not your goals, then your victories will be empty
and your time wasted. Use these methods to become the best grappler
you can be, and become the highest evolution of your Self.