Pay to be Uncomfortable

Who does that?  Answer: many.  Discomfort, I mean, removing our minds and bodies from their comfort  zones so as to be able to handle the inevitable adversaries when they occur.  People are starting to realise this more and more and that is why they are spending so much money to removes themselves from the norms to get that mental and physical stimulation this ‘discomfort’ provides.  You only have to look at how many people pay top dollar for Bootcamp and Crossfit just to experience extreme discomfort.  Those who want to stay well away from this are quite welcomed and they don’t have to do anything but the statistics are heavily leaning the other way, more so, with Generations Y & Z.

Over the many years martial arts training has been providing that stimulation.   Sometimes it is difficult for people to distinguish between discomfort and injury giving them the wrong idea.  It is an education process for everybody and it may take some time to understand the benefits of it all.  As technology advances life gets more ‘comfortable’ (although busier) and we spend more of our time in a chair or car, and use the lift instead of the stairs.  This is not the best thing for the body.  We have to regularly jolt it to provide the stimulation for a chemical balance within the body. 

In Karate we experience discomfort during sparring but this pain is only relative to what you are used to.  It is much the same in Brazlian Jiu Jitsu – being crushed or choked.  Some people misconstrue discomfort for inury and they might 'freak out' and that is why they need to acclimatise themselves with this discomfort. 

I remember the whole subject of martial arts, in much earlier years, was about how effective they would be in the street but conversations have changed, over the years, to discussion about the phsyical and mental challenging aspects.  I was saying the other day that I don't feel like I've had a good session if I don't have  a good wrestle (BJJ).  I want to go home with that feeling of experiencing that discomfort and challenge just like boxers and the likes with sparring.

I guess then it must be true what they say – NO PAIN, NO GAIN.

Don’t be a ‘Wuss’

A little bit of pain, a little bit of stress and a little bit of disappointment in one’s life is not going to hurt anyone, especially kids.  In the martial arts it’s all part of the education process and that’s an important part of growing up if we want kids to become resilient to a bit of pain or emotion.  A concern factor is the younger generations.  See what happens if you take the iphone off them.  How are they supposed to overcome fear if this is all it takes to freak them out?

Whilst there are so many new laws that protect children, there are many parents, with all good  intentions, who overprotect children to the point where these kids will hardly experience disappointment is or even know how to deal with it.  This is demonstrated by parents who overreact when they see their children take a fall or even a hard hit during their training.  Imagine how these kids may feel seeing their parents react that way; it shows lack of confidence in their children. This is where the martial arts can take up the slack by giving the youngsters the opportunity to experience challenges, disappointment and learning not to give up, but the parents have to acknowledge that.

Every kid and grown-up needs to become resilient in some way if they want to be able to handle the pressures of life.  What better way to learn this by brushing off a hard hit or handling 150kg on their chest (jiu jitsu).  It’s not about not letting it happen, it’s about how you handle it when it does happen.

Once upon a time, people took up martial arts to protect themselves by beating up the other guy before he beats them.  Today, it’s a lot more complicated; we need to beat bullying, harassment, stress and health issues, and learn to fit in society with the right people.  PEOPLE OF AUSTRALIA, DON’T BECOME WUSSES.

Are You Through Playing Games?

Young students and junior grades can be forgiven if they get bored and want a little excitement to boost their enthusiasm during training.  Hence, the little ‘bells and whistles’ instructors have to use to keep the momentum going.  However, there comes a time when these toys should be put aside and students no  longer have the need for the instructor to entertain them.

The brown belt (or 2 years into training) is usually when the student starts getting serious.  It is the stage when the student has outgrown their desire for toys and games and takes on a different attitude towards their training.  Can you imagine how an adult would feel if you give them a toy to play with?  It would be treating them like a child.  I am sure any student with a mature attitude does not want that and prefers to be treated seriously. 

The cycle of life is raising and nurturing children until they are mature enough to look after themselves.  Students are raised and nurtured in the much same way by martial arts instructors who will always be there to guide them.  Anybody wearing a brown belt should start thinking about what will it take to make them better, not what will it take to make things better.  Game over!