The picture really says it all when it comes to learning and practicing a martial art today. Too many good martial artists get wrapped up in rank and titles and forget the reasons they got started in the first place.
“Your no here to work at something you don’t want to do, or be something you don’t want to be.”
No matter if you started martial arts to learn self-defense, get in shape, or make yourself better prepared for success in life, your goals are still ahead of you. Remember, they are “your goals”, you chose them and you chose to walk the path of a martial artist. There will always be “setbacks” and times when progress seems slow. The best advice I can give in these instances is to think back to why you started, to remember what your overall goal was for beginning your journey. This is what you wanted, what you said you wanted to be, what you made the commitment, to yourself, to work to achieve. This is still your journey, your chosen path, and it will lead you to your ultimate goal if you live it fully, taking both good times and hard times as part of the learning and growing process.
“You’re here to experience your full potential and realize that you can be anything you want to be…”
Martial arts training and practice is just one way, one path, to reaching your full potential. The discipline and self-control needed to persevere through the tough times can serve you well in the rest of your life. Learning to deal with disappointment and celebrate victories with equal strength can teach you the vital skills required to achieve any other goal in your life. Each time you learn something in your training, be it a new technique, a new way of looking at movement or balance, or any other aspect of your art you are also taking a step towards your other goals. The key here is not to “rush” the process. There is much to learn from the “way” of the martial arts. Don’t miss all the opportunities for growth by being in a hurry for the next belt or title.
“all while being at your utmost joy while you’re doing it.”
Here lies the real secret to the martial arts. Be at peace with where you are and who you are and you will get far more out of your journey. Martial arts should bring you joy, not stress. Practice and train for the sake of your training. Enjoy the movement, relax. The moment you allow yourself to relax and enjoy the process of learning and growing you will begin to see the success you seek.
To get the most out of your martial arts be focused on what really matters. Focus on learning all of the lessons being offered and how to relax and find joy in life. Don’t let yourself be caught up in the “trappings” of the arts, instead enjoy the real “teachings” of your chosen art!