Cross-train: Martial Arts and Gaming


While martial arts have a multitude of benefits, arguably the most beneficial aspect of them is the improvement of one’s reflexes. By their very nature, martial arts sharpen reaction time, forcing martial artists to spend more time reacting to incoming blows. Observation and muscle memory are pivoteal to one’s martial prowess, and thinking too much can cause errors that result in taking an unnecessary hit or, worse, defeat.

One’s reflexes can be trained up in both martial arts and gaming, the two hobbies (or professions) providing a synergetic regimen for participants. Just as a martial artist’s reaction to their opponent(s) must be on point, so, too must a gamer’s. Cross-train.


Working hand-in-hand with one’s reflexes, powers of observation are crucial components to a martial artist’s and gamer’s talents. Being aware of the battlefield in order to quickly formulate a reaction can be the difference between winning and losing. Martial artists need to keep an eye on all opponents, and gameers must do the same in order to minimize the chances of being taken by surprise.

Observation requires use of more than just one’s sight. Tuning in one’s sense of sound feeds information to the brain, manipulating one’s tactics and changing their chosen reaction. Moreover, awareness of what’s happening in one’s peripheral vision is a fundamental necessity for martial artists and gamers, providing one with enough information on what to do next after executing their current action. Cross-train.


Observation is taking in a wealth of information in order to formulate a response using the appropriate reflexes. Focus, however, is the intent one puts forth in their training, competition, or any given activity. Focus is not getting distracted by irrelevant, or extraneous, information while also clutching relevant inforemation and putting it to good use.

Martial arts and gaming both provide opportunities to enhance one’s focus, and they go hand-in-hand in increasing the amount of time one can put into their chosen activities without fear of distraction. Martial arts and gaming both require one to pay particular attention to any given situation in order to put their best foot forward. Cross-train.


Martial artists know all about being committed to their chosen style(s) and the amount of dedication necessary to become truly proficient in their training. For the professional gamer, or even the more driven enthusiasts, a similar amount of commitment and dedication are required to climb to the top of the ladder.

Most martial arts, from traditional styles to MMA demand commitment in order for one to perform at their best. Becoming one of the beeest in video games is hardly different other than the semantics of the type of physical exhaustion one incurs.


Martial arts can train one’s body just as much as they can train one’s mind. Video games can do the same, but to a more limited extent when it comes to physical activity. However, for the person who is both a martial artist and a gamer, the former outlet helps provide them with proper exercise while the other continues to sharpen one’s reflexes and mental acuity.

Having a healthy body goes a long way to also having a healthy mind. Allow martial arts to provide the healthy body while video games keep the mind sharp when played at a competitive level (also, read books. Books are good, too).

 Learn by Defeat

As discussed in another piece, losing can be one of the best teachers. Most martial artists know what it’s like to lose, and when they do, that’s the moment they learn how not to react to whatever defeated them. They learn by defeat. Gaming provides this opportunity as well, and together, both avenues make for a healthy understanding of defea.

Taking that understanding to heart, one day, combined with enough training and perseverance, one will see the frequency of their defeats decreasing, replaced by a surge of victories and hard-earned lessones. Both outlets provide opportunities to control one’s emotions as well. A calm mind is a productive one. Be productive. Cross-train.

Be Humble

Something most martial arts teach (the drama provided by UFC promos notwithstanding) is humility. If for no other reason to prevent one’s self from looking foolish, humility is a tool that serves to maintain a calm demeanor. The humbler one is, the more open they will likely be to learning and, thus, improving.

Implement that humility into one’s participation in eSports, and watch as one’s prospects increase over time. More opportunities to play due to not alienating others thereby creates more opportunities to play at high levels, succeed, and make a profession out of something that began as a hobby. So, always remeember to cross-train.


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