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Mind training program helps service members focus

Military training is known for being physically and mentally demanding, and although physical exercise is an everyday part of the armed forces lifestyle, specifically training the mind is not as routine.

Warrior Mind Training (WMT) is a program sponsored by Camp Pendleton’s Marine Corps Community Services’ Semper Fit division that focuses on strengthening the mind.

According to the WMT Website, the program is a self-funded, volunteer organization that teaches mind training tools and techniques that have been used by the samurai and other elite warriors for thousands of years.

“Similar to the way you would train your body at the gym, we work to help you focus better mentally,” said Monica T. Stygar, instructor, Warrior Mind Training.

The course has been available on base for the past three years, helping troops clear their minds and stay focused by using deep relaxation techniques, music, and group discussions. The instructor also provides participants with coping skills they can practice on their own.

“Specifically training the mind to focus is a new concept for some,” said Stygar. “Many are nervous about giving it a try, but it makes an enormous difference when you put forth effort.”

The program has helped many service members by giving them something to fall back on during tough times, said Stygar.

“The training has really helped me focus on the things I need to,” said Mike J. Rall, a former sailor who attends the class every week.

Classes are held at base’s Paige Field house every Monday at 6:15 p.m., no appointment is necessary.

“(The military) have great weaponry and do intense physical training, but your mind is your greatest weapon,” said Stygar.

For more information on Warrior Mind Training, call Semper Fit’s Health Promotions department at (760) 763-3794.

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