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Visualization Training

In recent years many professional athletes and teams have discovered the power of visualization training. This is a tool I used quite a bit myself when my career at the time had me travelling to an average of two to three cities a week. Needless to say, my time in the dojo was very limited. Believe it or not, I made some of my best training breakthroughs doing this visualization practice while in flight from one place to another. This is an excellent practice to develop for any aspiring student, but particularly useful if you are a long distance student without regular access to a qualified teacher.

Developing your practice is very simple. Sit comfortably and spend a few moments focusing on your breathing either by zeroing in on the sensation of air moving through your nostrils, or the feeling of your belly rising and falling as you breathe. Then after a few moments just allow your body to keep breathing naturally for you. You can begin by visualizing yourself in your dream dojo. This is always fun. You can make it look any way you would like it to look, and be anywhere you would like it to be. Be creative and have fun with it. There are no limits. It is your imaginary dojo. You will find that the more you visit it the more details you will fill in and the more natural it will feel.

My recommendation for long distance students would be this. After watching a lesson on NSD, visualize yourself doing techniques exactly as the teacher demonstrated them. You might even have your computer in front of you and focus on a specific technique or part of a lesson. Play the clip you are focusing on and then immediately close your eyes and see yourself doing it perfectly. Repeat this process a number of times. Suspend your sense of self-doubt, forget so-called reality, and just enjoy seeing yourself move in a masterful way.

You don’t need to necessarily be in a meditation posture. You can do this in your favorite easy chair, on your sofa, or, as I often did, on a flight. Of course, if you get too comfortable you may fall asleep, which is not necessarily a bad thing either. The basic principle has been scientifically studied and verified. I would invite you to experiment with this practice and you will most likely be pleasantly surprised at how much it improves your skills and speeds up your development.

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