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Mindfulness – a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
The definition is thrown up by Google Translate and describes perfectly the state what we would like to achieve during our kung-fu training. We can even leave the word “therapeutic” in our consideration because regular practise does have such an effect on our selves.
One thing I like in the definition is the clause of “calmly acknowledging and accepting…” To be annoyed is a natural reaction when we cannot execute something properly even after a long time of effort. Also, when we are stopped in or regular training by some external circumstance (work, obligation, illness or injury) we tend to be annoyed believing that we miss out something.
In the first case, it is worth to consider that anything distracting from concentrating on what we are doing (practicing) is contra-productive. So, it is better to try to maintain this mindful state even if we are not able to perform perfectly at that moment – calmly accept your feelings, acknowledge what is happening and … just keep practicing.
Students tend to forget that training is the preparation for fight – every moment of the training is aimed for that. During a fight almost everything will be distracting. If you let yourself to be distracted by your own discontent in a peaceful situation like your training, then what you expect from yourself in a fight?
In the second case, let’s think of our practice as a lifetime journey. Mindfulness again means calmly acknowledging and accepting the situation. If you try to maintain mindfulness in these hard times – you practice kung-fu (make a tough mind – as our Sifu says).
You should try to put the mindful state of the training into your everyday life. Don’t think that you just miss out your training – you just continue it on another field of life.
It is easy to say, hard to do – but that’s why we practice. Stay cool, calm and collected!

by Attila Baráth

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