Anyone who has trained in the martial arts even for a relatively short period of time will be aware of the effect that training has on developing hardiness, not just physical hardiness, but mental hardiness too.

Hardiness is a form of toughness. Being ‘tough’ is usually associated with the physical ability to withstand pain without showing signs of pain or distress. For example, ignoring strong contact when sparring… or being pushed hard during a strenuous training session …or it may be self inflicted by putting yourself through a gruelling exercise program. But hardiness is not only about taking physical discomfort, the important thing is to be mentally tough too.

Some people may appear tough on the surface by the things they do and say but you cannot be a truly tough person unless you have a tough mind in the first place. In this instance a tough mind means having ‘strength of mind’ ….willpower, resolve, determination.

Strong physical training is a method of putting the body under pressure in order to strengthen the mind. Anyone can become tougher if they want to, it’s simply a matter of practice and perseverance.

Hardiness is defined as: ‘Sufficiently robust to withstand fatigue, hardship, or adverse physical conditions’. Good martial art training should deliver exactly that….although as we all know “You only get out, what you put in”.

So how do you use your martial art training to become tougher and hardier; and an even better question is… is it worth the effort? Absolutely it’s worth it! Strengthening your mind and body will allow you to work through challenges, brush off setbacks and rise above disappointments to reach your goal.

Building stamina takes mental strength – telling yourself “Just ten more’ sit-ups – push-ups – kicks – punches on a regular basis works wonders for your physical stamina and mental fortitude as does sparring against three more partners when you feel you’re ready to drop, and when you do it and it ends, you feel proud of yourself and stronger.

Over time that consistent attitude of ‘never give up’ transfers to all aspects of your life. You will be a tougher and hardier person and it sure makes you feel good about yourself.

Finally… Don’t let physical size fool you! Some of the toughest people in our organisation are the smallest… what counts is the strength inside the person.