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Martial Arts and Motivation


Martial arts and motivation are closely linked together. Not only in martial arts, but in any sports, or for that matter in any human enterprise, be it sports, commerce, arts, or science, motivation plays a significant role.

Brief overview of Motivation

A precise definition of motivation is not yet agreed upon; nonetheless, largely it is understood as an internal force or a state of a person that propels the person to undertake actions towards some desired goal, or a target, or an outcome.

Motivation may be divided in two stages or phases, where the first phase consists of a goal-setting stage, where some desired goal is established. While the second phase consists of a goal-striving stage, where a person strives to achieve that desired goal.

There may be one or more motivational states, and they are generally characterized by their direction, intensity, and persistence. The direction is the path leading towards the desired goal; intensity is the amount of effort invested in a given time, and persistence is the continuation of the actions until the desired goal is achieved. All three characteristics – direction, intensity, persistence – are considered equally important towards the achievement of the desired goal.

There are many theories of motivation that are broadly divided in content and process theories. They feature different types of motivations like intrinsic and extrinsic, conscious and unconscious, rational and irrational, biological and cognitive, short-term and long-term, egoistic and altruistic, and many more.

EPM video “Motivation Theories Explained in 10 Minutes”:

How motivation helps martial artists

Motivation helps martial artists in numerous ways. Few ways are described below.

Motivation helps follow the direction

Motivation helps martial artists to change into better martial artists. To incorporate change, passionate action alone is not sufficient, since a strategy is also required.

MOTIVATION + video “Take Action If You Want Changes – President Obama Motivational Speech”:

Traditional martial arts have a step-by-step approach, so that the strategy or direction is already laid out, and a student simply needs to follow it with passion.

Taekwondo Villa Carlos Paz video “Taekwondo ITF. Gral. Choi Hong Hi.”:

Motivation eliminates excuses

Demotivation leads to excuses, which in turn hinders the progress of the martial artist. Motivation eliminates excuses and the martial artist continues with intensive training.

Ben Lionel Scott video “NO EXCUSES – Best Motivational Video”:

Motivation leads beyond failure

The martial artist understands that it is normal to fail, and one must go beyond failure to achieve success. Motivation helps the martial artist to attain greater heights of success by leading beyond failure.

Chispa Motivation video “THE MINDSET OF A CHAMPION – Arnold Schwarzenegger (Motivational Video)”:

Motivation removes all options

Motivation helps by showing that there is only one path without any options. When there are no options, only one way remains and that way is to keep going forward. Falling forward instead of backwards makes the martial artist to keep going on the path.

AlexKaltsMotivation video “WATCH THIS EVERYDAY AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE – Denzel Washington Motivational Speech 2023”:

SPECTRAL SPEED video “ONG BAK (Eminem – Till Collapse)”:

Motivation overcomes all obstacles

Every path has some obstacles and these obstacles need to be overcome. Motivation helps to cross these obstacles, proceed further on the path, and become the best.

Chispa Motivation video “AGAINST ALL ODDS – Elon Musk (Motivational Video)”:

MAT K – Martial Arts video “Become The Best Of Yourself I All Style Martial Arts Motivation”:

Motivation makes one believe in oneself

Motivation leads to practice, which leads to self-confidence, and which in turn leads to believing in oneself. When a martial artist believes in oneself, then the impossible becomes possible.

Mateusz M video “The Greatest – Muhammad Ali Inspirational Video”:

Motivation enables learning to fight

Training is a constant fight for perfection, and motivation helps to learn how to train and how to fight.


Motivation helps to undertake intense training

Intense training is possible with motivation and it helps to achieve higher goals.

MAT K – Martial Arts video “Best Martial Arts Training Motivation”:

Motivation enables participation in competitions

Taekwondo, Karate, Judo, Fencing and Boxing are recognized as Olympic Sports. Motivation can propel practitioners of these arts to participate in competitions like Olympic Games and gain international recognition for themselves and their countries.

Olympics video “Jordan’s Abughaush wins Men’s 68kg Taekwondo gold”:

KarateVias video “THIS IS KARATE! Olympic 2020 Promo”:

Olympics video “Judo’s elite 🔥 | Men’s -73kg Final | Tokyo 2020 Replays”:

How to remain motivated

Martial artists may be demotivated, especially if they suffer some injury and cannot train for some time. Even without an injury, sometimes martial artists need motivation to simply continue. In such situations, the following may be helpful.

Practice deep breathing

Take abdominal deep breaths for about five minutes. The entire body will be oxygenated, and the mind will be much clearer.

Johns Hopkins Rheumatology video “Reducing Stress Through Deep Breathing (1 of 3)”:

Drink enough water

Water is a natural booster and helps to bring clarity, besides keeping the body hydrated.

Medical Centric video “The Benefits Of Drinking Water”:

Get enough sleep

The body recuperates in sleep and therefore it is important to get quality sleep. Avoiding digital screens like computer, TV, mobile phones before going to bed, can improve the quality of sleep.

Mayo Clinic video “8 Benefits of Getting Quality Sleep”:

Break a large goal into smaller ones

Do not try to attempt some complete technique initially. Just practice one movement, for example say a stance, until it is reasonably perfect. Then move on to another movement, like a punch, and so on. Thereafter, perform all the movements and try to perform the complete technique.

UMD ADHD Progam video “Breaking Down Assignments and Tasks”:

Manage time more effectively

Time management is essential for improved productivity. Setting aside time for martial arts practice every day can improve motivation along with the level of skill.

Motivation Radio video “How to Master The Art Of TIME Management | Successful People Skills | Motivational Radio 2023”:

Keep track of the progress

What can be measured, can also be progressed. Knowing how much progress is made enables to set new goals and move forward.

Alux.com video “10 Ways To Measure PROGRESS”:

Take responsibility

Once responsibility for one’s behavior is taken, then motivation is internalized. This is also known as an internal locus of control. However, some things can be controlled, while some things cannot be controlled. Attempt to control what can be controlled and leave what cannot be controlled.

Improvement Pill video “How To Stay Motivated – The Locus Rule”:

Seek support

Talk to family and friends about the goals and they will help in whatever way they can.

brainstreams video “Mitch’s Story: Benefits of Having Family and Friends Support”:


Motivation helps martial artists to come out of their comfort zones, so that they may go on practicing and keep moving forward towards greater skill, greater perfection and greater glory.

Tale Motivators video “You Are Born To Fly High || Short Motivational Story”:


Need high-quality martial arts gear at reasonable prices?

Pacific Sports (a subsidiary of Pacific International Taekwondo) offers a range of high-quality, functional and affordable Taekwondo, Karate, Jiu Jitsu uniforms, as well as Martial Art and Kickboxing equipment, Kick Boxing Shorts, MMA Rash Guards, MMA Gloves, TKD paddles, Shin Guards, Kick Shield, Instep Pad Guards, Focus Pads, Focus Mitts, TKD shoes and Gel Hand Wraps.

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