Hapkido and Mental Endurance by KJN Jae Jeannotte
Mental Endurance is a key aspect of our Hapkido training and the martial arts lifestyle.
As practitioners of Hapkido, we develop a special kind of mental endurance. This mental endurance helps us continue to act as our self-discipline when things become difficult. It is one of the principles that we live by. Mental endurance is the manifestation of the character trait perseverance.
“Mental endurance or mental toughness” is frequently used colloquially to refer to any set of positive attributes that helps a person to cope with difficult situations. Coaches and sport commentators freely use the term mental toughness to describe the mental state of athletes who persevere through difficult sport circumstances to succeed. In Hapkido we use this term in the same way. However, it is often simply applied as a default explanation for any victory, which is highly problematic as an attribution.
In the character development aspects of Hapkido, we refer to this as perseverance. We consider perseverance the steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially despite difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
In Hapkido and other traditional Korean martial arts there is a reference to an even higher level of mental endurance which they call “Indomitable Spirit”. If you say that someone has an indomitable spirit, you admire them because they never give up or admit that they have been defeated. Developing an Indomitable Spirit will help us reach our goals in Hapkido, but it will also help us in all areas of our lives. All of us face challenges in our jobs, in our families and personal struggles. If we develop an Indomitable Spirit, we can face these challenges and overcome our own failures and weaknesses.
Mental endurance, no matter which terms you use to describe it, will lead you to success in every area of human endeavor. As a Hapkido teacher I hope to teach my students these traits through my example and hope that I live my life in a way that inspires them to develop their own mental endurance to its peak level.
About the author: KJN Jae Jeannotte is a lifelong martial artist who has served as an officer in some capacity in several of the top Hapkido organizations in the world. He is the Founder of JaeMuKwan Hapkido which is recognized by several of the leading Korean organizations. KJN Jeannotte is also the Chairman of the USA Hapkido Union Board of Advisors.
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