Martial art students work hard to reach a state of perfection and internal calm. They work to harness the power of their minds to stay intense, but not frantic in their actions. Although the brain is a complex organ, it cannot concentrate on two things at the same time. Having negative thoughts during training, such as worrying about work or personal problems, distracts from the training. Music helps eliminate negative thoughts, offering flow, control, and focus. It helps you manage pain and fatigue by becoming a positive diversion.
The eight nerve from the ear has two direct tracks to the brain: one that involves hearing and the other that goes straight to the vestibular system, that part of the cerebellum that manages balance and some motor functions. The same types of messages from the cerebellum that enable us to concentrate also encourage maximum performance. Therefore, the right kind of music sends good messages to the cerebellum.
Humans are hard-wired to process music on a motor level and on an emotional level. Certain music resonates within certain networks of the brain, and when those networks overlap, it affects complex motor sequences. Music may trigger certain emotional responses, which is why athletes seek certain types of music.
The brain is not just one central organ; it is a complex of interconnecting systems that brain waves control. For example, delta waves are associated with deep sleep, theta waves are associated with drowsiness, and beta waves are associated with alertness and anxiousness. To be relaxed but totally focused while training we need to cultivate the alpha waves.
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