Overcoming Challenges through Martial Arts
Embrace the Challenges
I wanted to take a moment and share about a really important part of the martial arts journey. So often I see students enroll because they’re looking for a fun activity, and they end up missing the greater purpose and heart of what martial arts has to offer. When challenges arise, they fall away because they don’t realize how martial arts can help overcome personal obstacles and limitations that go far beyond the dojo.
At some point along the journey, martial arts training will reveal challenges and areas of weakness in ourselves. Frustrations, discipline, lack of motivation, fear, ego, these are all parts of ourselves we want to improve and martial arts training will bring these parts to the surface over time. Martial arts isn’t a process that remains comfortable. Some students run into challenges early, others later on in their journey. Challenges arise because in the process of growing, there’s always a little bit, if not a lot, of pain and discomfort. But it’s so worth it!
Here are some common challenges to be aware of:
- Anxiety: This is something that will affect every aspect of your life. It won’t go away unless you stand up to it and face your fears. If there is an aspect of your training that’s making you anxious, you have an opportunity to practice courage and learn how to overcome and manage anxiety.
- Frustrations: Are you feeling frustrated because you’re not seeing the results you want yet or maybe you think you should be at a higher skill level than you are? This is where the lesson of humility can come in because this can actually be a pride and ego issue. You’ve overestimated your own ability and perhaps underestimated the amount of time and effort it takes to get to your ideal level. Sometimes you may not be aware of this ego until you run into it in training. This is where you have the opportunity to learn to see yourself with sober judgment and learn what it takes to master a skill. This is also a great lesson in perseverance.
- Consistency and Discipline: Do you know it’s important to stay consistent in your training but struggle to motivate yourself to get to class? Perhaps this is a lesson for you in delayed gratification and an opportunity to further develop your discipline. Hard work and consistency pays off in the long run, though it may mean foregoing enjoyment in the moment. This practice teaches you how to set yourself up for success in the future. It helps you develop self discipline which allows you to be internally motivated.
- Mindset: Did you start out excited but now you’re losing interest? This could be a number of things, but is most always a matter of mindset. You’re excited in the beginning because the activity is new, but when the new wears off you become easily bored. The activity hasn’t changed, the way you think about it has. This is an opportunity to learn how to set goals and keep the bigger picture in mind. Rather than telling yourself you’re bored with a practice, think about how that practice is moving you closer to the larger goal. This is an important lesson to learn how to truly master a skill.
Each student is unique and there are many challenges that may arise at some point or another. The most successful students are those who learn to embrace these challenges and see them as opportunities for growth, rather than signals to quit. It isn’t easy, but in learning how to embrace your challenges you not only grow in your martial arts training, you grow as an individual and this strength carries over into everything you do!
If at any point you or your child experience challenges in training be sure to communicate with your instructors! You don’t have to figure it out on your own and we are here to support you and help you achieve your goals!
Register to try out a free class here!