Focus has two meanings in the martial arts: paying attention and precise control
When students are sparring in class, the instructor watches them and instructs them to help their hands up, move laterally, use combinations, watch their control, and to focus. What is meant by focus in this application? The focus used here is mental control. Focus is taking actions that assure your control of the moment. To understand focus better, it may be broken down in specific actions as defined by the individual letters of the word F-O-C-U-S.
- F. Stands for forget. It means to forget everything negative that has occurred. Forget the bad judge's call, the pain from a hard kick, the cheering from another ring, the heat, fatigue, everything not beneficial to winning.
- O. Stands for organization. Recognize the immediate circumstances in the match and organize your thoughts on that moment. To organize for the moment you must know the score, the time left in the match, what techniques your opponent is scoring with, what techniques have scored for you, what techniques the judges are calling, and your energy level. Organize your thoughts, plan your attack, and take action.
- C. Stands for concentrate. Concentrate on the action that must be taken to win at that precise moment. Do not think about later, only concentrate on the current attack, be it an individual attack or a combination.
- U. Stands for unwind. During a break in action, unwind. You brain has been operating at full bore during a clash. Your mind and body are revved up, adrenaline is flowing, breathing is heavy, and sometimes everything seems to be racing out of control. Take a deep calming breath, assess the situation, and take control of the moment.
- S. Stands for step. After you have forgot, organized, concentrated, and unwound, take the next step or action that will assure your victory over the moment.
When your instructor yells FOCUS!, it means to pull yourself together, forget everything negative, organize your thoughts, concentrate, calm down, and take precise action.