THE FULL STORY
Mindful Martial Arts is an effective Martial Arts and Self Defense system that focuses on mindfulness through the process of training. It was born out of a decade of intense training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling, Kickboxing and ultimately MMA combined with a personal healing process.
Through experiences training and competing in these arts, Shawn Desjardins learned the positives and negatives of Martial Arts training and some of the gaps that exist within the pedagogy.
By including self defense at the core of the practice, a gap is being filled in that so many Martial Arts gyms these days are sport focused. One of the original and in my opinion most important functions of Martial Arts is self-defence. There's a tremendous degree of confidence and personal safety that can develop from an effective self defense practice.
It can also teach us courage to not be afraid to stand up to injustice towards ourselves and others. Martial Arts can build so much confidence, resilience and character in those who dedicate themselves to the arts. However, if instructors and Gyms/Dojos don't pay close attention to where people are at in their capacities and have a working understanding of trauma, giving people challenges above their capacities actually degrades participants and leaves them with less confidence, self worth and capacity in the long run. Without a working knowledge of how to effectively teach and integrate skills and lessons, many gyms waste energy with one-size fits all systems.
I liken this to opening the hood of a car, opening the oil cap, and spraying oil all over the front of the car, hoping some of it goes in the engine. Mindful Martial Arts practice helps participants gain self awareness and discern their motivations and intentions.
Through this it helps the integration of aggression and anger that people may of repressed and transforms them into boundary setting, assertiveness, and other conscious and positive qualities. In doing so allow for conscious choice in these parts of ourselves that were once reactive and unconscious. Drawing from Sensorimotor psychotherapy, communication strategies and numerous Martial Arts, Mindful Martial Arts tailors challenges directly for you. And ensures that you are growing, expanding, and increasing your potential in a safe and systematic way. Meaning your not pushed beyond what's fruitful, you always have a Voice and a Choice to express what you are and aren't OK with. It's meant for you! This is the beauty of Martial Arts, in its capacity to bring us more peace, confidence and ultimately a more enjoyable life!