Chiwetel Ejiofor Uses Martial Arts To Train His Mind
Before 2013, mainstream media wasn’t that familiar with the name Chiwetel Ejiofor. But after the heartfelt, award-winning film “12 Years A Slave”, the British-born actor is known worldwide. In subsequent interviews after the film, he said that storyline at the beginning of the film, “is seen as a man who is trying to gain his freedom. But as you watch the film, it’s really a battle over his mind and how to keep his sanity amid slavery.”
You May Also Like
LIKE BlackDoctor.org on Facebook! Get Your Daily Medicine…For LIFE!
Just four year earlier, Ejiofor began to toughen up his mental muscle when he began training using Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He admits that he never imagined he’d be learning the ins and outs of Jiu-Jitsu, but the prospect of being immersed in the sport for the movie, RedBelt, was one of the main reasons he was excited about being cast.
Ejiofor’s character, Mike Terry, is a Jiu-Jitsu expert who trains police officers and others to be able to handle themselves in difficult physical situations.
“It was great to be able to work with some of the best practitioners that there are of Jiu-Jitsu, and to learn about it as a philosophy, to learn about it physically and mentally,” said Ejiofor. It’s that mental workout that often goes unnoticed. Below are some of the mental benefits to this ancient art:
IMPROVES STRENGTH THROUGH FLEXIBILITY
Winning the fight isn’t just about strength. Like the old Chinese proverb says, “A tree that is unbending easily falls.” Focusing too much on strength misses the point that you need to apply that strength in all directions, and that’s why you need flexibility.
Beyond the obvious benefit of physical flexibility, mental flexibility is a skill that applies broadly. If straining with all your strength can’t win the match, maybe you need to change the direction of your force. And if the guy that’s trying to twist your arm off your torso is stronger than you, maybe you can let him twist a bit while you come at him from a different angle.
You May Also Like
DEVELOPS SPATIAL REASONING
From the outside Jiu-jitsu might look ungraceful, like two guys hugging each other in the mud. But learning the techniques of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) training, and applying them, is like trying to solve a complicated 3D jigsaw puzzle on the fly.
Jiu-jitsu training generally takes the form of a professor demonstrating a technique and then letting you practice on a sparring partner. No matter how closely you watch the trainer at first, most people find they have some difficulty taking what they see and turning it into an action. Suddenly, you feel clumsy. It’s a hilarious sight to watch a bunch of exhausted sweaty dudes navigating a jumble of limbs and scratching their chins like old men over a chessboard. But it’s tricky, knowing how to mirror something left and right, knowing how turn your arms in a way that maximizes leverage against someone else’s.
IMPROVES CONCENTRATION & FOCUS
BJJ requires the athlete to focus their mental faculties as you anticipate the next move from the opponent. This helps you to recreate your combat mechanism with appropriate attack and defense, the forced concentration effort helps you to sharpen your combat practices.
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Mental Health center for more articles.