Thoughts on Training – and the journey from white belt to black belt

I remember starting out in Martial Arts, and how tentative I was.  Being in class with all the other people – I kept thinking, How do I make those moves? My arms and legs don’t move that way!

You think to yourself I’m not sure I can do that, but I’ll give it a try!

Everyone in class is so intimidating, they are confident and strong.  Then slowly you find that your kicks are more comfortable, the forms flow easier.  You start to think I CAN do this!  Then you get your yellow belt.  You start being able to keep up, but the strength and power are not there, you are still intimidated by the higher belts. 

You keep at it saying all the while, I’m not sure I can do this, but I will give it a try.

You finally gain confidence and get into a comfortable rhythm, then comes the test and the next belt-the new forms, more strength and power, and again you think, I’m not sure I can do that, but I’ll give it a try.   The path becomes more physical, and you keep on.

The forms get more complex and while the physical challenge is still there, you sense a shift- the challenge becomes more mental, - putting the concepts together (refining the forms, making them more precise, crisp), you realize you are a high belt.  Mental, to continue to push the physical, even when you may not feel like it.

 And instead of the thought being I’m not sure I can do this- but I’ll give it a try- you find yourself thinking I CAN do this!  That is the mental part conquering all, preparing you for the big jump to your black belt.

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Comment by Victoria Harris on March 21, 2014 at 10:59am

Yupper Gail.  "I think I can, I think I can, I think ....."   Like that train book.  Something about "The Little Engine That Could".    It is amazing how [my] thoughts can influence my actions.  In martial arts ... as in my entire life.  As a student w you on the mat, I am so honored and fortunate to be training w you.  I learn from you - about persistence, grace, power and compassion.  I am so glad that we both decided we could .....   KSN Harris

Comment by MeLisa Turcott Strongheart on February 28, 2014 at 2:59pm

I really like this description -- kind of a guide for the development of a martial artist.  thanks for posting it Gail.

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