MOUNTAIN HOME AFB, Idaho. --
Senior Airman Tyler Flood, 366th Communications Squadron, uses martial arts in order to improve his wellbeing and mental discipline.
Flood has been training in martial arts for 10 years, and even more so in his past three years in the Air Force as a communications specialist.
He knows many styles including Jeet Kune Do, Boxing, Wing Chun, and he has a black belt in Taekwondo.
Flood shared about how often he practices his martial arts, and how essential the training is to him in his career field.
“I usually train six days out of the week for about an hour,” Flood said. “It really keeps me focused. Martial arts help me stay sharp, mentally strong and builds discipline.”
Flood talked about how he may encounter many tasks throughout the day, and being able to accomplish those tasks requires a steady train of thought.
“That’s where the discipline comes in,” he said. “I’ll finish tasks without losing focus. And if I get multiple tasks I’ll be able to accomplish those to the best of my ability.”
Flood said focusing on his form in martial arts even when he’s tired helps him cultivate the mindset of accomplishing tasks with excellence, and this mindset transfers over into everything he does within his career field.
Flood talked about the aspect of progression through repetition and how this translates into how he approaches his job.
“I’m focused on doing the techniques correctly over and over, and bettering myself that way,” he said. “It’s the repetition that does it. So in martial arts, gaining proficiency through that repetition is the same mindset that I bring to my career field.”
Not only is training martial arts a way to cultivate the mindset of progression, but Flood also describes it a way to relieve the stresses that come from daily work.
“I could be having the worst day possible,” Flood said. “So when I go in to train, hit the bag, and practice my techniques I usually always feel better because I work the stress out of my system.”
Flood talked about the benefits his training has to staying fit, conditioned and motivated.
“What’s good about martial arts is, in addition to any other training you do, it helps to strengthen your body as a whole,” Flood said. “You learn that you can always do more, even when you get tired out you surprise yourself and learn that you can keep going. Pain is in the mind.”
Flood said kicking the bag strengthens his shins, and using his boxing techniques strengthens his upper body.
He also said he does plenty of stretching before his work outs which he said helps him stay limber and flexible during his training.
He considers boxing to be the most physically tasking and encompassing style as it not helps to strengthen the upper body and requires constant foot work.
“If I could focus on one style I’d have to say boxing,” Flood said. “Out of the other styles I know it’s probably the most beneficial. It’s all about precision and focus.”
Flood stated that training martial arts is a method by which he can increase his physical skill and relieve stress, as well as a lifestyle that improves his mental focus, preparedness, discipline, and sense of physical wellbeing.
Through devoting himself to implementing the principles he’s learned from martial arts training, Flood continues to pursue the lifestyle of professionalism every Airman can aspire to.
“It is a lifestyle I won’t ever give up”, he said.