SMAA Tells Martial Artists to Embrace the Beginner's Mind

By: Shudokan Martial Arts Association
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - July 10, 2024 - PRLog -- Are you ready to start learning a new martial art?

Why is it important to approach martial arts with a beginner's mind?

"Empty Your Cup" is a martial arts aphorism that virtually every student has heard. It refers to the idea that students should put aside their own thoughts and opinions and diligently try to do exactly as their instructor asks them to do. Whether one studies aikido, karate-do, jujutsu, or kendo, the requirement is the same: diligently and enthusiastically perform the techniques of your martial art, over and over, trying to match all the checkpoints provided by your teacher. The idea is that you should adopt a beginner's attitude, rather than an expert's, even if you are very accomplished. If you do so, you will find that your understanding and ability improve at a remarkable pace.

Previous training in a martial art can impede your ability to perform the checkpoints of your new art. In fact, it's more than your mind that keeps you from doing your new art correctly; if you've studied another martial art, the chances are good that you learned things in a different way. The old movements are programmed into your nervous system and can take time to unlearn. By staying relaxed, focusing on the relationship between the technique and the principle that makes it work, and trying to work slowly and systematically, you can dramatically decrease the time it takes to unlearn the old and learn the new.

Outside the dojo, the attributes of a good martial artist—confidence, open-mindedness, positive attitude, and awareness—are tools for success. In life, as in the dojo, we keep what we embrace and lose what we reject. A human being with a big heart has room for many wonderful things!

Read the full article on the SMAA website:

Earn Your Martial Arts Certification at SMAA

Our dojo offers five unique divisions of authentic Japanese martial arts: aikido, iaido, judo, jujutsu, and karate-do. If you're looking to earn a martial arts certification in any of these, SMAA is for you! To get started, call 734-720-0330 or submit a contact form here:

About Shudokan Martial Arts Association: SMAA was founded in January 1994 by a group of martial artists concerned with promoting and safeguarding Nihon budo and koryu bujutsu—the traditional martial arts and ways of Japan. SMAA is a non-profit that aims keep the spirit of traditional budo alive in the West. Anyone can become a member, even if you aren't a martial artist, and SMAA members are from multiple countries across the globe. For more information, visit

Shudokan Martial Arts Association
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