Determination is vital to achieving your important goals. I love my martial arts. However, I am not naturally talented at it. I just work long and hard to achieve what I have achieved. For gradings, I start the “extra sessions” sometimes years in advance. For international tournaments, I start training about 9 months out, building the specific strategic skills needed.

World Champion

Determination is not just working longer and harder than everybody else. Determination is also being willing to do the extra work to “control the controllables”. In international tournaments, I may not be the most skilled contestant there. However, I always felt I was the fittest and more durable contestant.

In the last World Championships, I was “taken down” (e.g. judo throw or wrestling tackle) in the first round of each of my bouts. While I consider myself a well-rounded martial artist, I much prefer to keep the fight standing to use my striking advantage. “Takedowns” count very heavily against you and puts you far behind in the scoring. However, I was extremely determined, as I had worked so hard and so long for this World Championship. When you do this, it gives you the confidence that anything is possible, and I certainly had this confidence. Fortunately for me, I was able to get the bouts back on my terms, and ended up “reversing their takedown attempts” to win by submission in each bout.

This made the World Championship win more satisfying, as I did not even win the bouts in the way I normally like to compete (i.e. standing and strking). If I was not 100% determined, I may not have got the result.

Not Boasting…Just Determined

Am I saying the above to boast? Noooo way. I am actually a very shy, introverted person. Most people do not even realise this, as you need to have a certain energy in the dojo. But it is very much true. In fact, it has only been martial arts that has allowed me to come out of my shell and express myself better. That, and the wonderful community we have who show what a fun, winning attitude is all about. You cannot help but feel good when surrounded with positive, empowering people.

I am only mentioning the above to show that when you are completely focused, know you have put in the hard work, have the courage to chase your dreams and risk failure, and are absolutely determined that nothing will get in your way, you can achieve anything you want to achieve. For me, I wanted to be the world’s best at something I love for just one small moment in my life. Determination helped get me there.

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