Keep Looking

As an Instructor I need to remind students that no matter how many times they have seen something demostrated, they should be looking at it with much more intensity.  I personally have never failed to pick up anything new by watching the same technique over and over again.  It might be only minute detail but that is enough to gratify me for the rest of the day.  This little difference is called development and that is what makes you better at what you do.

 To demonstrate this point to students, I talk about a technique having 100 little steps from A to B; a beginner will possibly see 2 or 3 moves.  The more experienced will see, say, 5 or 6, and so on it goes as we move up the experience ladder.  I ask students what they should be doing is try and find something they have not noticed before in the equation – rumour says it can be accomplished by listening, looking and doing.  If we achieve this mindset through our martial arts, just think about about how well this translates with school or our work.

Development stops when the student ceases to want to learn more.  This usually happens when they feel they know it well enough and no longer have to look or listen.  It’s like a 100 metre sprinter who doesn’t feel the need to listen to their coach anymore because they know how to sprint.  Training is about observation, doing, trying, analysing and repeating.  Many times I might do something in a certain way because it feels right but subconsciously I might not be totally aware of all the little steps from A to B.  It is when I breakdown it down and explain the moves from what I just did.

Never Give Up!

If anybody in the martial arts was to tell you ‘give it up’, you should be asking yourself whether you have lost confidence or is it because they’ve lost their confidence in you?  Students should know a good martial arts instructor will generally not give up on any of their students; in fact, they get more satisfaction working with students who need that extra little help or motivation.

When a young martial arts student may be thinking of throwing the towel in, parents would be doing more harm than good by readily supporting this negative attitude because the only message here is 'it is ok to quit'.   Young people, today, may easily get distracted and are more likely to drop things at a moment's notice only because it is an easy option.  What parent would support their child if that child was thinking of quitting school? 

It is our job, as a parent, to encourage young persons to never quit something they start.  Quitting the martial arts means they are quitting on building confidence, quitting on strengthening their minds and bodies, quitting building character ie they are giving up on themselves.

Martial arts training is about achieving goals and to understand life is about persistence no matter how hard things may seem to be.  MARTIAL ARTS today is now part of growing up.  Giving up is a poor excuse, not a valid reason.