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Shudokan Black Belt Academy

Focus & Concentration

Posted: February 01, 2021

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

We have all been in situations in which we were simply unable to pay attention. We “TRY”, but the mind just wanders off. Some of us start having vivid daydreams, while others diligently think about all the things they need to do. We engage in all kinds of exciting thoughts, but we do not do what we are actually supposed to do: Paying attention. We cannot help but lose focus, often without even realizing it, which makes it incredibly difficult to focus on the task at hand. No one likes to admit it, but we all lose focus more often than we would like to. Even the most ambitious among us know how incredibly difficult it is to maintain a high level of concentration, especially when tired or bored. The ability to focus can make or break your success in life. In fact, scientists consider the ability to establish mental focus as an important predictor of a person’s future success.

THIS IS WHY

At the Shudokan Black Belt Academy, we place so much importance on focus and concentration. It is our purpose to give our students the tools to live successful lives, to achieve their goals and to realise their dreams. These things are no longer taught in schools’ colleges and universities. Students are not encouraged to “WORK HARD” The student does not need to pay attention because, if needs be, a safety net will be thrown underneath them, and more assistance will be at hand. Soon the student learns that it is not necessary to focus and work hard. Instead, the focus is on results based on the work the tutor invests and the way the students apply themselves, success becomes a joint effort. In life however, if you want to be successful you need to be ready to put the work in yourself. Do not expect other people to bail you out.

No one likes to admit it, but we all lose focus more often than we would like to. 

We often see parents buying into the idea that it is not necessary to provide firm guidance, and we regularly hear “My child is bored and wants to do something else”. The lesson here is you do not have to work hard or persevere. Well… if we want our children to rise above mediocrity yes, they do have to persevere and work hard, and to focus on the task at hand. People and children especially will often take the route of least resistance, make the easy choice not the right choice, therefore firm guidance is often required.

If you focus long enough on mastering a certain skill, you will one day be able to excel in this area. Then the habit of focusing you have developed is transferable to other areas of your life. However, if you are not focused, and switch from one random activity to another, it is unlikely that you will ever master what you’re doing. Instead, Will Durant encourages us to persist with whatever we are doing until we excel in it.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”

Will Durant

Improving mental focus, takes time patience and repetition. This is the drum that is constantly beating at the Shudokan Black Belt Academy. Look with your eyes, listen with your ears, pay attention and FOCUS. Then when you practice technique, train hard, your partner should see that laser like focus in your eyes and will be elevated by your energy. This in turn will elevate you. My teacher Soke Stratton would often say “The eyes are the mirrors of the soul”.

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”

Bruce Lee

The laser like focus that Bruce Lee refers to can be seen it the eyes of your partner if they train correctly. You can actually feel their focus, this is what we encourage our students to strive for. Lack lustre unfocused training is like a disease, it spreads and infects those around you. This we do not encourage. According to Bruce Lee, mental focus can make the difference between being average and extraordinary. He highlights the tremendous benefits of being able to reach the highest level of focus and concentration. But he also points out that if we can perfect our concentration skills, we can be so much more than just average.

THE ENEMY OF FOCUSED EFFORT IS NEGATIVITY

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”

Aristotle Onassis

With every single moment of our existence, we get to CHOOSE if we want to focus on the positive or negative aspects of our lives. The human mind is not able to entertain a positive and negative thought at the same time. This is why it is of the greatest importance to be able to maintain a positive outlook on life. Focus not on your mistakes or failures, but concentrate on your past successes and draw strength from these experiences.

Look with your eyes, listen with your ears, pay attention and FOCUS.

We are currently all experiencing challenging times, which can seriously impact our attitude. When confronted with difficulty, we often see nothing but the negative aspects of what is happening to us. We struggle greatly and wish that it had never happened. Especially during our darkest hours, it can be difficult to see the light. It is important not to lose faith and to give up during these challenging times. Instead, it is vital that we use all the power we have to endure, and then move forward. This will be easier if we have honed our ability to focus. If focused concentration has become a habit. It is this habit that we aim to develop at the Shudokan Black Belt Academy.

I will leave you one more quote to ponder on, again this is something we all do, I am now in the habit of questioning myself when if feel I may be falling foul of this. The question I ask myself is this, “Is this an excuse or a reason”.

Excuses are the tools of the weak and incompetent. They build bridges to nowhere and tunnels to nothingness... Those who excel in them seldom do in anything else, therefore, there are no excuses.”

Frank Ocean

Osu,

Sensei Ken