Do you remember when you made the decision to begin your Martial Arts study? You were super excited, eager to learn and you were looking forward to reaching your true potential as a Martial Artist! Learning Discipline, Self-Defense and Confidence were things that motivated you to show up to class at least twice a week, and many times you showed up 3-5 times a week, nursing exhaustion and injuries. And not only were you learning...you were also making new friends and becoming part of an intimate family setting with others who shared your passion.
Then something happened. You'd been in your art for some time (maybe years) and you started finding it "easy" to skip classes. You started feeling "too tired" for class and began finding any reason to "talk yourself" out of training. Guess what? That's normal. And in my many years of training multiple arts, I have had my fair share of the "Martial Arts Slumps" and at one point I starting thinking that it was "maybe time to take a break from Martial Arts" knowing full well that if I had stopped, I probably wouldn't have gone back. Ever. Trust me...I've been there and after 4 surgeries and a pretty severely separated shoulder that should have been operated on, I was a master at coming up with some really good reasons to just stay home. Not to mention that I'm aging, my flexibility isn't nearly what it used to be and I work a lot of hours in a highly demanding job...that couch sure looks good sometimes!
But then I remembered why I started training the Martial Arts in the first place. Stress reduction, physical exercise and confidence building were among the things that drew me to the Martial Arts and I began to really understand that pushing through the "Martial Arts Slumps" was part of the process of raising my own sense of confidence. I also began to realize that in addition to my own learning in class, my attendance helps my fellow students with their Martial Arts development. We learn together, we grow together and we support each other on the floor when we all show up to class! And parents...when your kid starts complaining about going to class and wants to drop out, would you let them drop out of school? Martial Arts study isn't like recreational sports or summer programs. Martial Arts study in its very definition states that its a journey that builds life skills applicable to dealing with life challenges off the mats. Consistency is key to developing awesome habits that directly translate to helping kids (and adults) learn to face life's difficulties.
So when you feel like skipping class for any of those "really good reasons" to stay home...remember why you stepped through those doors for your very first class. Remember what motivated you. Remember how excited you were to grow and develop your kicks, punches and grappling skills . Remember what goals you had...and reconnect with them so that you can make training a healthy habit again. AND WE MISS YOU WHEN YOU AREN'T THERE!
See you on the Tatami!!!