Can Cannabis Improve Performance in Martial Arts?

Whether it’s coming from Louie Armstrong, Terrence McKenna, or Joe Rogan, people have always claimed that marijuana makes everything better (food, music, going on a hike, etc.). If that is the case, then how about practicing martial arts with cannabis? Well in my experiences, medical marijuana has greatly amplified my martial arts experience over the years and here are a few reasons why I believe so.

Can Indica Teach Relaxation?

My martial arts journey started off in the realm of Wing Chun, a system of Kung Fu originating in Southern China (see Ip-Man if you are wondering more about it). I was a brand new practitioner and I had never attended any classes prior to Wing Chun so my cup was very empty. Immediately, I became engrossed with the art and kept coming back to class. After a few weeks of training, I noticed that my arms were sore all the time, so I brought it up to one of my senior brothers during training. I jokingly told him about how my arms were always sore and he said, “Well they shouldn’t be sore because your arms should always be relaxed. Your muscles shouldn’t be tense when you are practicing.”

Now, to back track a bit, Wing Chun emphasizes a great deal about your body being relaxed whenever you are practicing. So after he made that statement something in my head clicked. “Maybe… if I smoked some good indica, my muscles will relax more and I’ll finally know how it feels to do all of this stuff relaxed.” Surely enough, I showed up to the next class like a space cadet and I noticed a big difference in the way my body felt while I was practicing all of the forms, punches and exercises. I felt way more relaxed during practice, as if I let all of the tension in my body go out the window. The marijuana effect really helped me in that aspect of my learning.

Decrypting Cryptic Wisdom With Marijuana.

After about a few weeks of lactic acid free Wing Chun I was feeling great, my arms were less sore after classes, I stopped having to worry about the pain and I started to feel as if everything was becoming muscle memory. Since I started practicing with ease, I was able to listen to what people were talking about during practice, especially about what the Sifu and senior brothers were saying. For those who don’t know, Eastern Martial arts is very cryptic and can be understood the wrong way if it’s taken too literally.

weed chungThey use a lot of interesting sayings like, “It is like a finger pointing out to the Moon, don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.” or  “Store mental energy with the mind. Move chi with mental energy. Exert strength with chi. Generate power with strength.” (What are they even saying??). After class I would go home and smoke a bowl and ponder on about my day. Prior to taking Wing Chun, I would have just been thinking about what was on the TV or what to eat next, but instead I would just sit, relax and think about all of those weird sayings that kept flying around in class.

Using Sativa to Cultivate an Open Mind.

Many experienced smokers know that smoking a good sativa can really get your mind going, and boy did my mind get going. I started decrypting each saying I heard, looking past it’s mysticism and studying the raw reasoning behind the statements. It really got my mind thinking in a positive manner, instead of the negative paranoia I usually would get from sativa’s. I felt like the flowers were, in a way, helping me think outside of the box and got me to try new things I normally wouldn’t have tried. I felt as if I was let go from the confounds of my own mind and shown something new. It definitely opened up my mind.

Mentality is a huge part of martial arts to me. In my opinion, the best way to approach martial arts is with an open mind and believe me there is a lot of things that you can be very open-minded to when practicing Martial Arts. Whether it’s another student trying to correct your techniques or someone telling you to stand in a horse stance for 20 minutes, you have to be open-minded or else you’ll never agree to any of the things asked of you.

I feel like after my many years of using medical marijuana, I have achieved this open-mindedness. I mean think about it… I know there’s a lot of people out there that smoke a bowl for the soul purpose of cleaning the house; don’t deny it (smoking makes everything better remember?)! Being high while practicing helped me become more accepting of things I normally wouldn’t agree to (with good taste). Gaining this mindset really helped me become more of a sponge, absorbing all of the information I was receiving.

The Importance of Being Active.

There is so much more I can go on about when it comes to marijuana and martial arts, but I’ll leave that for another time. Medical marijuana really affected my martial arts experience. Now I’m not saying marijuana is a life hack that instantly made me a better practitioner. It’s like saying Bob Marley was good at music because he smoked the ganja. Was he good because he smoked? Or was he good because he was just a natural performer who smoked marijuana.

Like the question about the egg and the chicken, it’s a mystery we may never solve… But regardless, it was great to realize that I could combine my use of medical marijuana with one of my favorite hobbies instead of becoming one with the couch. It’s a positive thing; being active while being medicated, and I feel as if there’s a stoner stigma that comes along with marijuana. There has to be more individuals out there to break that stereotype. Remember… It’s never too late to start!