You must be able to control your breathing. Your breath gives you the energy that flows through you. A mistimed breath can throw off your rhythm, which could be a deadly mistake in combat. Breathe out when punching and kicking; it will help amplify your energy output.


Energy is vital. This may be obvious to some, but to others it is put aside and only strength is sought after, Energy is the most important element of martial arts. Energy guides punches, directs kicks, and heightens the senses. If you can control your energy, you can gain more energy and mold it towards your destination.


Speed is a necessity. Without speed, you cannot avoid a hit, or strike quickly. Speed separates the tortoise from the hare. The downfall of the hare was that all he had was his speed. He was overconfident that it would carry him to victory. No, speed does not guarantee a win, it is, however a deciding factor.


Strength is the most recognizable aspect of martial arts. Strength is an important physical trait for martial arts, but not the most important over all. Strength is as much of a state of mind, as it is a state of being.


Without stamina, a few minutes of combat can seem like hours. In many martial arts matches, both participants are drained of their energy. It is the fighter that can stand after the last blow that is declared the winner. Stamina is why many martial artists seem to be always awake.


Passion is what drives a fighter. Without passion fighting is futile. Our lives are pointless without passion. Passion can, however, cause a warrior to lose the physical battle, but be victorious in the mental side of the fight. Passion separates man from anything else, but also unifies it with everything.


Emotion, a certain aspect of passion, is a very important non-physical trait. Emotion, dealing with your opponent can both help and hinder you. If you let your anger rule you, it will show in your arts. If you let a non-violent emotion rule you, it too will show in your fighting. You must not let one sole emotion rule you, you must keep balanced.


Balance is the skill that ties man other's together. Mental, emotional, and physical balance is important. If you are not mentally balanced, you cannot prepare before a fight. If we are not physically balanced, our overconfidence in the stronger skill will be our downfall. If you are emotionally unbalanced, you will be distracted and your victory will be almost unattainable.


Ambition, without it, you wouldn't care if you won or lost. You wouldn't train without it. You wouldn't meditate without it. There would be no motivation in your life. Nothing will matter, even if it isn't martial arts related.


Determination, another trait required to win. Without determination, fighting is pointless. Determination gives you the strength and the energy to continue even when your stamina has run out. This is a non-physical trait that is key for victory. You could have everything else in martial arts, but without determination, nothing will matter. The greatest martial artists had at least one thing in common, Determination.