Martial Arts Failures

One Man's 30 year journey from Martial Arts failure to success

Hello world!

A first of its kind blog. A home for Martial arts “Bums”, those who never felt like they fit in at any particular school for very long, couldn’t really connect with the people in the Martial Arts community or just knock-a-rounds who just cant seem to find their place in the Martial Arts world. But be warned, this is a place where frustrating memories are sometimes torn open and re-examined because this is a place that is both a path going forward and a reflection of the past going back, as well as to center ourself right here and now and have it all be OK.

Whether your thing is  traditional Aikido, Karate or Hsing-I, to the  jungle arts like Silat, Kali, Escrima, to pure “street” combative arts like Systema, Krav Maga, Jeet-Kun-Do,etc., you are welcome here. As long as you understand what you are taking is indeed actually an ART! (This failure to differentiate an art from just a self-defense system is one of the major mistakes most of us make in our first years of training. Is your art, either…neither…or both!? Also if you are new to Martial Arts or any kind of combat fighting or realistic street self defense, you might learn from my 30 years of mistakes and others here. But no snide comments please. This is about forming a group of spiritual soldiers to walk the rest of our journey in camaraderie with no judgement.  Both Men and women are invited. I am over 50 years old myself, so I hope to find more mature people here both in age and in mind. You are welcome to comment here but remember God gave us 2 ears and only 1 mouth. Introduce yourself as soon as you get here, tell us a bit about your background and what you currently train in, and kick back and enjoy. The ultimate goal here for me is to get myself in the proper rhythmic groove,,zone and place, to bring back the joy and the dreams I had in my 30’s about all I could feel and accomplish.Welcome all! And if no one shows up, I will use this space as my personal diary until they do. This is here for the long haul.

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2 thoughts on “Hello world!

  1. I am hoping that this blog is going to be a watershed event. A moment in time where for the first time the touchy subject of why the vast majority of people who study martial arts fail at it, do not stick with it or just lose interest in it quickly. There is an epidemic of failure in the Martial Arts schools in America. It has been that way since I took my first Shotokan karate lesson almost 30 years ago. What those of us who have left the Martial Arts always hear at the next school we try out is “Some students refuse to give up.” “Some students always blame the teacher rather than take responsibility for his own actions.” If a person wants to succeed in Martial Arts he will.” Persistence overcomes everything.” Sometimes you even hear “The teacher only gives the real stuff to his inner door students.” Hmmmmm….. I think after 30 years of trying both Internal, external, hybrid, traditional, street arts, Chinese, Japanese, “Jungle Arts”, and more, my opinion should carry some weight.

    Especially since my natural proclativity is to observe rather than do. To analyze rather than just push through a problem, I have developed the insight of watching many, many wanna be Martial Artists come and go. And I see patterns in the ones that go. Therefore my opinion on the above comments used to describe the frustration, and trust me, 8 times out of 10 when a student leaves a school, he has been through some very, very frustrating experiences at that school. Sometimes though, not apparent to the eye. So my answer to the above quotations which often make many of us feel lazy, incapable or just not good martial material is………. THAT IS B.S.!!! It may be true for “naturals” and people gifted to succeed in any physical endeavor like a Dan Inosanto or Paul Vunak, but for 85% of us, I do not think it holds true.

    I hope this blog will allow me to chronicle my journey of constant failure for almost 30 years to now being on the right track. Imagine what I could have done with my life in other areas if I knew the right art and teacher wasn’t coming along for 30 years. Imagine what you could have done! Imagine what we could do together now by sharing not our great moments of making black belt or kicking someones butt, but by sharing the failures and frustrations that taught us probably 10 times more than our successes in the arts. Personally, my ideal teacher would not be someone who had one teacher his whole life, stuck with one art and style and became the best in the world at it. Why? Because that teacher has no experience in exploration, in failing at other arts until the right fit was found. In other words he will probably will not know how you feel when you get frustrated, when you stop making progress and when you start the downward spiral of dropping out!

    On the other hand, I do not want a teacher who is 40 years old and has “mastered” 6 different styles either because it means either he is gifted by God, or….lying. I cant take a chance which one it is. So, my ideal teacher is one who has tried several or even many arts, maybe even still does to this day, but has mastered ONE art. This is a man who when I go to him with a problem, will be the most likely of the 3 groups of teachers to empathize, to have gone through what I’ve gone through, or at least have seen others who have. This said, finding the right teacher is either the first or second most important thing. And truthfully, even after 15 or 20 years, I have wound up befuddled many, many times when I would find a caring ,kind and knowledgeable teacher, maybe even taught me privately at no extra charge…and still I drifted away and quit. Sound familiar? Most of us wouldn’t know the right teacher for us if he fell on us. I will prove it later on.

    But suffice it to say that it could take one 30 or more years to find the right teacher, but when you do…Oh………My………God! Your belly rumbles, you cant sleep at night, you are either so excited for the next class, or…….scared to death!!!(More about this later on too.) So let us begin this journey together sharing what made us keep quitting, made us so frustrated and angry with ourselves, left us with little or no skill after years of training and basically why the Martial Arts, that we love so much, caused us so much misery in our lives! This is a long and winding road. I invite you all to come along for the journey, and this journey is definitely “One long Eternal Walk”. So for the same of order and harmony, I may disable the posting feature if we get too many people getting off track. And if no one but me is here for 2 or 3 years, you will all luck out to read “the book” for free. Many of us lie to ourselves and say “I dont have time to really get good like my teacher or those “other” students who have no responsibility. I’m a Husband and Father.” But then when you hit 35 or 40 and you cant get to sleep without an Ambien or some type of pill, and you wonder why you never feel really relaxed anymore,(because your subconscious knows you cant feel good about yourself if you aren’t training the Warrior part of yourself), the truth hits you as it hit me….YOUVE BEEN LYING TO YOURSELF ALL THESE YEARS. YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT MARTIAL ARTS IN YOUR LIFE!

    Keep checking back, I may post 3x a day when in the mood, or twice a month when not. But this board will change a lot of our lives and allow us to share what is often a very lonely journey. I hope to meet some new friends and “ship mates” here and welcome those from all over the world. You are no longer alone!

  2. Martialartfailures on said:

    Finally, I realize ones training definitely, especially in the beginning months with your new teacher, depend on both your physical health and energy, along with how you gel with the teacher. I have finally found the teacher. I always wanted an art where your condition was secondary and attitude was first and technique a distant second. After all, if conditioning is going to be first, just become a boxer. It is a great art and easy to learn, and in the street I would really like to see a ground fighter get a boxer on the floor, and if he did, what would his face look like when he did? So boxing is great if you want to advance by constantly improving your conditioning. I don’t, and I cant. Not anymore past 50 years old. So what made me realize I found the right place was, the teacher was willing to bend over backwards to let me make up classes, to answer questions in incredible detail. In other words, to show he cares if I come back or not. Very, very few teachers can do that, with all their toughness and fights they have won, showing their soft or Yin side is to them, worse than getting beat up. Interesting, huh?

    however, I am also taking vitamin B-12 shots 2-3x a week as well as some controversial supplements because my energy is not anywhere up to par. I am hoping in the next 2-3 weeks I am able to attend all the classes each week instead of one. I do realize that it is so wonderful to know ones self after 50+ years as I now know that my training should have been the number one priority in my life after I hung up my body building aspirations instead of saying each decade, “As soon as I have the money to train and not work.” Then I should have trained and not worked!!! No! I am not saying to wind up like so many boxing and martial has beens , just hanging around someone elses gym making a few bucks here and there doing odd jobs and asst training. Thats a depressing schene from a ROCKY movie. But, there are other choices besides North or South. Hello me, its nice to meet you.Anyone else relate to this? Please…let us know, and introduce yourself.

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