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Moderne Coaching-Methoden aus der Kampfkunst

Stress management: How to break through mental barriers

Mastering challanges

The dojo is buzzing with energy as Kerstin steps forward and eyes the wooden board.

Kerstin is physically and mentally prepared – she now firmly believes that after our coaching workshop, she can break the board. Her task before delivering the actual strike is to first mentally rehearse the action. Thus, the mind envisions the perfect strike, the sound of the splitting board, and the joy of success.


This mental rehearsal strengthens self-confidence, sharpens focus and aligns body and mind.


Kerstin takes a deep breath and steps forward, eyes fixed on the board.

With a sharp kiai – a shout that releases stored energy and concentrates the mind – Kerstin’s hand swiftly and precisely targets the center of the board.
The board gives way with a loud crack and splits. As the pieces fall to the ground, the tension dissolves: she smiles, satisfied and relieved. She raises her hands to the sky in jubilation. These gestures are familiar from top sports, especially now during the European Championships, when the ball hits the goal!


A spontaneous expression of joy, the pinnacle of mental strength, unwavering concentration, and an unyielding belief in oneself.

For Kerstin, breaking the board was like breaking through the mental barriers at the end of our coaching.


Mental resilience in stressful everyday life

In the stressful environment of the corporate world, leaders like Kerstin are expected to deliver peak performance, manage high workloads, and maintain emotional control even in conflict situations.

Our mental resilience is challenged not only in threatening situations. We live in a society that constantly demands performance. This pressure often leads to chronic stress, as shown by the Gallup “State of the Global Workplace” report 2024: ( According to Gallup, only 34% of employees feel well in their lives; a large proportion experience high daily stress and emotional exhaustion.


This general discomfort extends far beyond the workplace and affects daily life in many ways.


Changes, expectations, troubling thoughts and fears about the future generate negative stress and impact our mental and emotional health.
Whether it’s adolescents facing final exams or executives, our workshops repeatedly show that no one is spared from negative stress: delivering peak performance, working under time pressure, and maintaining emotional control in conflict situations is easier said than done.

Mental strength, however, can be developed when we see body and mind as one: aligning body and mind is the essence of martial arts. Some elements of training can be well integrated into everyday life:


– Physical exercises
– Repetition of certain techniques
– Visualization and
– Controlled breathing


The Budo Approach


The success of our coaching depends on the fact that participants experience through movement what endurance, resilience, balance, and stress management mean.

While the body becomes stronger and fitter through effort, the brain also benefits from positive stress towards:


– Thinking clear
– Being more resilient
– Increasing performance


☯️ It’s about finding the right balance so that stress is motivating and not overwhelming.


The foundation of mental strength in martial arts


1. Clearing the mind: Regular movement routines help clear the mind, improve concentration and promote a sense of inner calm. This calm is crucial when faced with the pressure of breaking boards or engaging in a fight. The martial artist learns to stay centered regardless of external distractions.


2. Visualization exercises: By repeatedly visualizing specific self-defense techniques, for example, the martial artist programs their mind for success. This technique strengthens the neural pathways associated with movement, making actual execution more precise and secure.


3. Controlled breathing: Techniques like deep diaphragmatic breathing help regulate the body’s stress response. These breathing exercises help lower heart rate, calm the nerves, and gather energy.


Leaders like Kerstin, similar to martial artists, face high-pressure situations that require clarity, concentration and resilience.


By integrating our Budo techniques into her daily routine, Kerstin was able to improve her performance and decision-making ability.

Fears are natural reactions that everyone experiences. Kerstin booked a Budo coaching to identify and confront her own fears. With our support, she realised what was blocking her – now she knows which strategies to use to respond more appropriately in certain situations and which thoughts and emotions help her stay calm and determined.

Like a muscle that we strengthen, the mind grows stronger with every training. After about two to six weeks of practice, everyday challenging situations feel different.

With regular training, you increase your ability to:


– Keep a clear head in stressful situations
– Consciously steer one’s thoughts without being overwhelmed by emotions
– Increase mental resilience
– Persevere under difficult conditions
– Manage one’s energy effectively


Try it out:


1. Mindfulness and Concentration


Start the day with 10 minutes of silence to clear the mind and set intentions. This improves concentration and productivity throughout the day. Also, take a few minutes to focus inward before engaging in a challenging conversation or making an important decision.

👉 Focus on what is within your control: When you focus your time, energy, and resources on things you can influence, it will positively impact your well-being and performance.


2. Visualization and Goal Setting


Practice and visualize successful outcomes of important meetings or projects in your mind. Visualizing success can boost confidence, clarify goals, and provide a mental framework for achieving objectives. This leads to clear communication and confident body language.

👉 Relying too much on mental training without developing practical skills is useless. Use mental training as a supplement to continuous professional development and skill-building.


3. Breathing and Stress Management


Use deep breathing techniques before presentations or in stressful situations. Incorporating breathing exercises can help calm the mind and body before stressful situations. When you feel calm and in control, you will perform better under pressure and recover more quickly from setbacks, maintaining a positive, proactive attitude.

👉 Pay attention to your thoughts and self-talk, and immediately interrupt negative thought loops. Reevaluate your situation to replace entrenched negative thinking patterns with positive, performance-enhancing ones.


“Do not allow negative thoughts to enter your mind, for they are the weeds that strangle confidence.” – Bruce Lee


4. Movement, Movement, and more Movement


Movement is essential for supporting mental well-being, increasing energy levels, and boosting overall resilience. If you want to realize your vision, you need to leave your comfort zone and continuously develop your skills. If you challenge yourself, you will be surprised to discover a strength within you that you never knew existed.

👉 Consistency

With a busy schedule, it can be difficult to find time for yourself. Integrate short exercises like the following into your daily routine to calm your nervous system:


💡 Visualization

For just three to five minutes a day, visualize a specific situation and practice how you can master it with different thought patterns and actions than before.
1. Imagine standing upright, shoulders back, gaze firm and determined.
2. Your posture shows confidence and signals to your brain that you are in control. In this way, you mentally rehearse for the real situation.
3. As you repeat, rehearse, and “experience” the situation in your mind, you develop alternative patterns of action and reaction.


💡 Shaking

1. Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Begin to shake your body lightly, letting your arms swing relaxed.
3. Lightly lift your heels and let your legs and feet bounce, sending a gentle vibration through your body.
4. Do this for about 1-2 minutes, breathing deeply and evenly.
5. Feel the aftereffects.



The breath is a tool we always have at our disposal. When we breathe consciously, we nourish our body and mind and generate the energy needed for all life processes.

1. Breathe deeply through your nose and feel your abdomen expand forward.
2. Let the breath flow out through your mouth or nose, and feel your abdomen contract. To enhance the relaxation effect, exhale longer than you inhale.

Just five minutes of conscious breathing a day is enough to break the cycle of anxiety and stress. This helps stabilize the nervous system and heartbeat, bringing calm to the mind, joy to the emotions, and energy to the body – immediately and naturally.


Having a hard time on your own? 
We can help, get in touch to schedule a 1:1 coaching or join one of our group programs!
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