What Is Truth?

Training the mind

A collection of articles on enhancing mental performance including mental strength, focus and stress management. Providing support to fighters on their journey with their chosen martial art and assisting them in maximizing their self-improvement efforts.


Leave your ego at the door VS. Keep your ego besides


‘Leave your ego at the door’ has, somehow, become the unofficial slogan of BJJ. But the fact is, that ego maintains the boundary between us and the outer world, in this case, the opponent that is. Without ego or with a weak ego, we’re very exploitable in conflict situation. During training, we use our body to help our sparring partner to grow and to practice allowing them to cause us bruises and...

The practicalities of developing mental resilience / toughness


Due to its common association with the military forces, we need to clarify that mental toughness has different reference in civilian life than it has in a military context. As in military context, it means withstanding the physical and mental hardship that arises from a situation. In civilian life, however, that approach cannot possibly bring success, since the goal is a high quality life which...

Staying sane – how to stay mentally healthy in the urban jungle


The price of abundance Society is a very noisy place. The nickname ‘urban jungle’ is not accidental; cities are as loud and crowed as the wild. There is no difference in how challenging it is to survive either. The battle has simply moved from the physical realm to the mental one. As while in the wild, one battles with the elements of nature and the scarcity of food and goods, in urban settings...

Building success – conditioning yourself to win


The meaning of success, in a broader sense, is the raised quality of one’s life, which in itself symbolises growth and contentedness. The success of one-time events, like winning a championship are part of this journey as they continue on into one’s daily life: they bring respect, admiration, and a better social position that increases the quality of life. The winning of a championship in...

Is a day without physical training really wasted? – about the power of resting


A good number of coaches I’ve worked with repeated this message: anytime you skip training you give your opponents a chance to become better than you. That day is wasted because you didn’t get any further in your path and you are no better than yesterday. I have a very different view on this. The truth of the matter is, it is not only your physical condition that you bring with you when...

When steady competition success doesn’t come – how deep does the issue run?


Very often, it’s only when tournament results repeatedly bring disappointment in spite of rigorous training, that mental blocks start to reveal themselves. At this stage, it’s not necessarily clear what the nature of the block is. The only thing that is certain is that it’s not related to the fighter’s technical knowledge or physical condition, nor their dedication to the sport. This is all...

Why do people learn martial arts, what do they gain from it?


This is a very frequent question I get outside of the club. What do I gain from putting all that effort in, especially if I don’t plan to actually use the physical skills I gain? Which is true, I don’t plan to fight anyone outside the dojo, and if I’m in a situation that requires my fighting skills, I will always run first, if possible. This also makes people wonder why I bother to...

Strength; it’s not what you think it is – the role of mental and physical strength


The mat is a very specific realm where strength seems to be an obvious quality. Strength is visible, it’s advantageous, and it helps you to win. Overall, it’s, indeed, what we expect it to be: synonymous with physical strength. It can be an eye-opening experience, however, to see champions struggle to deal with everyday life where physical strength has less use. Witnessing how they get...

Toxic support – Coaching patterns that do more harm than help


Good intention alone is rarely enough to guide students through the crowd to reach the championship. Differences between body types as well as personality types require expert knowledge on how to tailor support and class structure to help trainees get the most out of instruction. Not all clubs, however, have a firm grasp on what constitutes suitable support. In many cases, any study on coaching...

What is mental toughness (and what is not) and how to develop it


Mental toughness is often misconstrued as withstanding hardship and abuse for as long as possible. It comes from the military, where in a combat situation one is put under massive pressure for a limited period and needs to weather that pressure – no matter the cost. In the context of coping with life in general, this definition of mental toughness is not applicable. It’s simply not...

What Is Truth?