Everyone knows that martial arts are great for health, self-defense, discipline, and the like, but the number one thing that martial arts gave to me was perseverance.
Life isn’t always easy, times get tough, situations arise that challenge our resolve, our character, and our very mettle. We lose loved ones, struggle at jobs, accidents happen and things just truly come out from the left field to test us and force us to genuinely look at who and what we truly are.
In the martial arts, training grows increasingly difficult, classes get harder, bumps, bruises, sprains, small cuts, and minor injuries are not uncommon. Training hard can make us throw up, drain us of energy, can take a lot of time etcetera. Learning new techniques can sometimes be very difficult and take some longer, with failed tests and the lot.
In martial arts, much like in life, we may face a host of challenges and adversity that causes us to draw from the wellspring of strength within. Facing these challenges in the dojo, kwoon or dojang builds up that inner strength, that ability to persevere through the rockiest of times in school and in life. This is how things learned in the martial arts school, directly have an effect on life outside of it.
I have lived in some of the worse areas of the United States of America and it’s the will to persevere and push forward that kept me alive and got me out. That one lesson has probably saved my life a half-dozen times alone and is why I have been involved with the martial arts for thirty years now. If only the ability to persevere translated from dojo to life, martial arts would be worth it!
Sure there’s a ton of reasons why martial arts are amazing, but the one thing that is the most powerful and transformative is pushing on, persevering. This causes one to grow, overcome obstacles and limitations, get better at everything in life, and to meet daily challenges head-on.
If there is one thing I hope to impart to the students I teach… that is the one lesson I hope they take….