What Should I Commit To?

In a simple world, you should commit to your family above all. Next you should commit to your job that supports your family, or your schooling that will get you that job. What little time you have left to commit after that is set aside for everything else that you want to do. All the "important" things, all the "fun" things, all the :social" things, and all the "healthy" things. If you are serious about martial arts training, you realize that you can have fun, do important things, meet new friends, make new "family," learn history, learn physiology, learn parts of another language, and learn how to take care of your health all in once place - the training hall. Therefore, in that simple world, your priority list becomes:

  1. Family
  2. Job/Schooling
  3. Training

However, we don't live in a simple world, do we? Our lives are filled with activity, responsibility, and stress! Your priorities become much less clear than the example above. What should you commit to? It's hard for anyone else to tell you, it's something you need to find out for yourself. Where you put your martial arts training in that list of priorities determines how serious you train and how often.

What If ... Happens?

Life happens. Everyone that's been around for a couple decades understands this. When life happens, you sometimes have to change up your priorities. What happens if you have to stop training for some reason? Do you every really "stop" training, or do you just stop going to class? If you desire it enough, you can find time to train - even if it is only a few hours a week.

Sometimes things that happen make you become disinterested in training. Just because you are no longer going to classes or even thinking about your blocks, punches, and kicks does not mean you top using what you learned in your martial arts training. Many of the lessons you learn stick with you for the duration of your life. Therefore, while you are interested in and are actively training, be sure that you understand what you are learning and how to apply it to every day activities!

What Am I Committing To In Training?

The simple answer? Yourself & your training. You are committing to gaining the positive influence of the martial arts to apply to your every day life. Your commitment is to make your martial arts training a life habit. I'm not talking about kicking and punching, but the other aspects of your training.

When I am asked "How often do you use what you learn in class?" my answer is "Every day, all the time." Most times the reply to that is, "REALLY?!" Other times, I will get a blank stare, and every so often, I get a smile. You see, what I use from my training in my every day life are things like confidence, respect, loyalty, problem solving, the ability to ask questions, how to walk and breathe properly, balance, coordination, how to fail, how to succeed, how to deal with stress, how to relieve pain using pressure points. The list goes on and on. The commitment that I made to my training, even at a young age, ingrained in me the values and lessons to help shape my life. Because of my training, I was able to take those chances that others wouldn't in fear of failure. I had the confidence to do it, and the times that I had failed, well I learned how to deal with that from training as well!

Final Thoughts

  1. Take your training seriously. In your training, you are being given tools to help you be successful in life activities. If you do not learn how to use those tools, they will eventually rust away.
  2. Don't forget to have fun! If something is boring, you are less likely to retain the information you have been given. Martial artists often have a very different idea of "fun" than other people. Most of the time it's because they found a way to make rigorous training enjoyable!
  3. Ask questions when you are unsure. This is a very important part of learning anything. Know why you are doing something you are being taught, not just how to do it.
  4. When you finally realize that all these things you training have become part of your life - even if it's many years after you "stopped" training - thank your instructors. Not only will it make them feel good, you will feel good too!