Martial Arts Failures

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

Archive for the month “August, 2012”


I have now missed 2 weeks of training due to becoming sidetracked and also lethargic from way too many negative or stressful thoughts that leave me little desire to get in my car and go to train when class time comes.

I specifically arranged my life so I could work and do most things at my convenience, and look at what still happens. Let us explore why. Most of my working life from around 33 onward, I said to myself, “If only I could take 2 years off from working and just train, I could do this and that and blah, blah.blah. And for years I kept that goal in mind. Now that I can pretty much do it, I am weighted down with horrific personal “stuff” that is like tossing glue into the gears of my brain. My mother passed away,  I lost my relationship with all of my dearest friends since childhood, my sister whom I counted on for us to be there for each other when this happened has turned into a person I am not proud to call my sister. We havent talked for 3 months. (What I never realized was we never talked for 47 years since she was alive.), and I lost the only job I ever felt at home in, because of someones spite.

“That’s the past. Go out there and be the peaceful warrior you’ve always wanted to be, go and have some fun out of life. Stop sitting home feeling sorry for yourself. You can just spend all day training no,finally. Yeaaaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!!! Lets do It!!!!!!” That is what I have been telling myself for a long time now. So why have I missed 2 weeks? Is it because I am still single and come home to an empty silent condo every night, is it the loss of my mother and sister? Is it the fact that I am now age 53 and am I just slowing down?

All of these guesses may be correct. But, here is the problem. I don’t think about much else besides Martial Arts, I beat myself up when I do not attend class, so what is wrong?  I cannot win either way. If I make a decision to go to class no matter what, I start getting depressed and keep checking my watch. If I tell myself to take another 6 months off from martial arts and try a new class or art, I find that stressful as well. I also realize that at my age, every day counts. Every single day! What is a Warrior to do but to train?

Besides, I have found a teacher that can flow unlike anyone else I have ever seen. Do I want to look back with regret and disgust as I have with 2 or 3 other teachers and say…”Why didnt I stick to this class?!!! I cannot live thru that again. So………….It appears the only thing I can do is to re-frame the experience of training. Yes I am a 53-year-old trying to keep up with 22 year olds. But you have the experience over most of them. And your age gives you other things as well. So I will be there tomorrow. Yes I will!



If you could have done one thing different from the beginning in your Martial Arts training


Throughout the years, many different schools, many different teachers, private lessons, regular classes, seminars, a trip with a fellow student home, certain things said to me, stayed with me for life. And  a great weight I have carried is there are so few who could appreciate what the weight of  a profound comment , that “ahhhh haaaa” moment, when you appreciate what is said, but do not know what to do with it…at the time,anyway. So please allow me to bore you with some of the comments that I have stored on my mental hard drive the oldest one is actually 35 years old. Wow, am I getting up there! In fact, let me start off with that exact quote, from the teacher from the first Karate/martial arts school I ever visited. I was 18 years old, stationed in Baton Rouge, LA.  I was a body builder, not a martial artist…yet. But being there were no gyms for many miles from my ship, but there was a karate school maybe 20 minutes away I decided to go check out what an actual class looked like. So after calling the school and “asking permission” to observe a class, after it was over, the teacher started taking just to me as he waved good bye to all the out going students. And he said: Did you see how well that particular fellow you were watching could punch? He is only with me one year. But the teacher  said, I ask my students to practice their punching at least 50 times a day on each side no matter what. He then said something that hit me over the head. He said:





1-” Fifty punches doesnt really sound like very much, does it. But if you do that daily for a year, thats 18,250 punches! You tend to become pretty good at something after you have done it 18,000 times, dont you?”

Bam! Baseball bat right over my head. I shook his hand and said I would let him know. On my way home I said to myself, “Naaaaa, 50 times a day is just a few minutes. Waste of time. Let me do it 250 times on each side so I can do 500 punches a day and that would equal 182,000 punches per year. Now that’s punching!” So I did 500punches the first day, by day 2 I was sore as a lame horse, and by day 3 I became totally frustrated and bored with Karate, quit practicing and never went back. This is what often happens when you start an “art” as a teenager who does not know his own limits or have a true concept of time. Years later I realized I wished I did those 18,250 punches. Want me to get really sick. Times that by 35 which is how many years I would have been doing that. I don’t even want to know the number, I would throw up. I was then, and for 25 years since, thinking in terms of a long time being 6 months. What can I get out of something in 6 months was always the question to most everything I did in Martial Arts. It isn’t a bad question, just an incomplete one. Do we all agree?

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