Nobody said that the martial arts was gonna be easy, or fair, or even possible to succeed in. How many practitioners do you know? How many black belts are among them? Heck, how many black belts do THEY know? It’s a long, grueling training process and not everyone can make it through. The road to victory starts with accepting some hard truths about what you’re training in. Let’s have a look at five big ones.
- You’re not as good as you think you are
It’s easy to think, somewhat abstractly, “There’s always someone better than you.” But the reality is even harsher – after all your experience, all your training, all your thrice-weekly trips to a dojo, you’re still not “good.” For you, the martial arts are probably just a hobby. Start a fight with a professional fighter or champion in your art and you’re going to find out quickly just how big the gulf is between your idea of “good” and a “good” that comes from a lifetime of training, teaching, and mastery.
- You need to be big and strong
Yeah, yeah, “use your opponent’s strength against him,” blah blah. No. What will happen if a fight breaks out between two evenly-trained fighters, where one has more size, strength, and endurance? To get good, you’ll need an even combination of technique, strength, and endurance. You’ll need strength to carry out your technique, and you’ll need endurance to keep fighting for longer.
- You need to get in shape
Is your only form of exercise the actual martial arts classes you take? That’s not enough. You need to be working out outside of that, doing cardio and strength training on top of your martial arts training. Otherwise, sure you have good form, but you’re pooped 3 minutes into your sparring session. You’re not gonna last much longer than that.
- You’re not working hard enough to be elite
Ever heard of the 10,000 Hour Rule? It says that to be an expert in something, you need to practice it for 10,000 hours. How much time do you spend in the dojo? 4 or 5 hours a week? You’re not getting anywhere near 10,000 hours in your lifetime. If you can’t go full-time with martial arts, you’re going to have to accept that you’ll never be as good as the best.
- You have to fight a lot
Katas, forms, partner practice. If you want to be a fighter, none of these matter as much as actually fighting someone. You need to spar for at least half an hour every time you hit the dojo. You need to spar without restricting any techniques, or else you’ll never learn how to use them in a fight.