Ep. 25: Dr. Bryce Carter — How to Build Strength and Resilience in Martial Arts

My guest this week is Dr. Bryce Carter, who has a fascinating background as both a highly trained practitioner and instructor of martial arts and a practicing clinical psychologist. On the surface these two areas might seem to have little overlap, but in fact they’re highly complementary, as I learned from our discussion.

Bryce and I explored the many benefits of training in the martial arts, such as karate, tae kwon do, and jiu jitsu. Some of the topics we discussed included:

  • How martial arts can build self-confidence
  • White Crane Silat (similar to kung fu)
  • Cultivating spiritual development
  • Mindfulness in action
  • Eastern spiritual principles in the martial arts
  • Developing patience
  • Aging and acceptance of physical changes
  • Balancing progress with acceptance of limitations
  • Embracing paradoxes
  • The relationship between instructor and student
  • Effects of martial arts on relationships
  • Learning how you respond under stress, and building resilience
  • Developing the ability to stay calm and focused during conflict
  • Unification of the mind and body
  • Instilling discipline and self-control
  • What makes for an effective fighter
  • Dealing with anxiety
  • Brazilian jiu jitsu
  • Identifying where our struggle or impasse really lies
  • How to deal with unhelpful thoughts
  • The state of effortless flow
  • Flow experiences as a psychotherapist
  • Overlap between psychotherapy practice and martial arts training
  • Similarities between CBT and martial arts principles
  • Choosing among the various martial arts disciplines
  • Self-defense courses
  • The vibe to look for when choosing a martial arts studio
  • Benefits of martial arts as our bodies age
  • Being willing to receive whatever is appearing before us

Bryce described a women’s self-defense course called Model Mugging; check out their website for training information and locations. Here’s more info on Krav Maga, which Bryce mentioned.

Bryce Carter, PhD, began his martial art training as a teenager after being on the losing end of a few too many childhood altercations.  He achieved the rank of black belt in Yun Mu Kwan Karate in New York under master Min Pai. Bryce then traveled to Indonesia to begin his 30-year long study of the martial art of White Crane Silat. He trained under the late Grandmaster Subur Rahardja at the training center in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia.  Upon his return to the US, Bryce taught Silat in branches in New York, Dallas, and San Francisco.

In 2001 Bryce became the head trainer of White Crane Silat for all North American branches and he has led workshops in France, Germany, Spain, Bali, as well as throughout the US.  Many of his students have gone on to become teachers as well. In addition to Silat, Bryce has studied a variety of martial arts including Russian Systema and Wing Tsun, and is currently a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Bryce is also a licensed clinical psychologist and currently works as a Behavioral Specialist and psychotherapist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and in private practice in Philadelphia.

If you’re interested in taking a class with Bryce, he teaches adult and children’s classes at Main Line United Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Ardmore, PA, and children’s classes at his home studio in Havertown, PA.

You can find Bryce on the web at Mindful Move; email him at brycea[email protected] (please note the “a” in the middle).

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