Let me tell you a story. In fact, this story occurs quite often in a martial arts dojo.
It is the story of a person who wants to try martial arts. They have never done a class before. But, they have a purpose for wanting to try. It may be to learn self defence. It may be fitness. It may be discipline for their child or themselves. It may be achieving a Black Belt (a symbol of excellence). It may be because of an event that happened that made them realise the importance of having to protect yourself. Whatever the purpose is, the biggest step that person can take in martial arts is walking into their first class.
In this story, it is important that this person finds the right school to help them on their journey. The “power of a team” is inspiring and necessary to help you on your martial arts journey. Some things to consider:
- What style of martial arts should this person do? There are over 160 martial arts styles, making the choice overwhelming. However, you can choose a system that takes the best parts of all of the traditional styles. Every martial arts style has their good points, so why not choose a style that blends everything together. In a self defence situation, you must be able to deal with the needs of any situation, so having an understanding of all aspects is vital.
- There must be a special bond between instructors and students. This person wants somebody who can relate to what they are going through. Therefore, the instructors must be students themselves, always training and forever improving. This helps the instructors know what our person is going through, as they also experience it. This makes our person feel more comfortable.
- Our person feels that they can learn effective self-defence from most schools. But they want something extra. They want to be part of a special community. They want to attend a dojo that prides itself on “service to others”, where the senior students do not need to be asked to help junior students as they know it is their responsibility. They want to be part of a family. As the Samurai said, “the family that trains together stays together”.
- Our person wants to join a dojo that takes their individual needs into account. They want to know that when they are asked the question, “what is important about doing martial arts for you?”, that the instructors regularly check that they are progressing towards their stated goals. They do not want to be a number, but respected for what they want to achieve.
Cutting a long story short, this person found that special dojo, went on to achieve their Black Belt, and continues to train to this day. The End!
Cool story, right? But we all know stories like this one do not really happen. Will our person need to go overseas to get the best martial arts experience? How can somebody be an instructor and a student at the same time? Why would senior instructors and students go out of their way to help me when they have their own training to do? Why, in a world where everybody looks after themselves, would this dojo always check in on my personal goals and make sure I attain them?
But wait! This story is actually true. This has happened / is currently happening to each and every student at Quantum Martial Arts. Our students come from all walks of life. But they have one thing in common, which is overcoming the fears that get in their way when chasing their martial arts goals.
So why share the story? Not because it is rare, but rather because you can share in this special experience. The way that our students pursue their goals is practical and repeatable. The student does things that anyone can do, but they have the nerve to do things that are hard and scary.
Now, martial arts training is not always plain sailing. Every student has roadblocks. This can include family commitments, career, school, or whatever. Some of these roadblocks may cause the ordinary person to give up.
But one pattern I have noticed in people who do scary things is that once they see the roadblocks in their way, they take purposeful action to break down the roadblocks. They continue to chase their big goals, but are wise enough to focus on the next step. For example, before focusing on Black Belt, learn the techniques to pass your first grading. Focus on the next immediate action that will get you closer to the big goal.
So, what is your next immediate action? If you have not done a class before, book in your free trial lesson. Then, show up to the trial lesson as a commitment to yourself. Arrive with an open mind, as everybody are there to help you. Then give the class 100% commitment. Lose yourself in the moment and enjoy every minute.
If you are already a student, determine what your next personal goal is. It could be the next grading, or the next tournament. Work out how many classes you need to attend to achieve your aim. Speak to your instructors. Then, show up to each class you have committed to and give it your all.
There will always be reasons on why you cannot do things in life. I believe a lot of it comes down to “fear of the unknown”. Once you have identified the scary thing you want to do, don’t obsess over all the reasons you cannot do it. Instead, ask yourself one simple question: What do I need to do next? Then look for the next immediate action you can take. Do that thing. Ask again. Repeat.
Now, I cannot guarantee a Black Belt for everybody who walks into the dojo. However, if you do not take action, I can guarantee you will not achieve any martial arts goals. So, let’s get cracking. I look forward to seeing you in the dojo.
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