As a martial artist, we tend to focus on developing our martial, physical skills and often overlook the “brain” and how we can and should be strengthening and developing it as a muscle. There are so many task and exercises that will help further your physical training when your brain is more plastic like (plasticity) and able handle large amounts of information and problem solving exercises. What follows is just 3 basic exercises that you can start doing to help your brain stay strong!
- Non-dominant Hand. Throughout the day try to use your non-dominant hand to do tasks. Simple tasks like shaving, brushing your teeth, utensil use, etc. For me I want to be able to utilize my non-dominant hand in my martial practice so I shoot, spar, and strike to improve my ability to be ambidextrous.
- Upside down. One way to force the brain to go above and beyond it’s normal use is to do things in an upside down manner. What I mean here is read a note or a page from a book, look at a painting, wear your watch upside down. I know for a fact that I have gained information by having the ability to read a paper on someone’s desk upside down when we were in a meeting once. It is tough but start practicing now and it will get easier. Hell, I even hang upside down off a bar or heavy bag and practice target striking and even some attack and defense skills
- Yes, something we should already be doing in our practice is meditation. Train your brain to slow down and focus. There are great benefits from meditating each day, but it does take discipline and focus to remain on task. Scan through the posts here and you will see several of them dealing and teaching about meditation
Now, this is just the tip of the iceberg and doesn’t even begin to cover how I utilize these exercises in actual martial practice and development, so stay tuned for more over the coming months!!
Airyu – Living the Ninja Lifestyle