As a blue belt in Kuk Sool Won™, I nearly gave up. I had been training for a few months and wasn’t enjoying it as much as when I first started. I was gently encouraged to keep going for a little bit longer and I am glad that I did. By red belt I had turned a corner and never looked back. I have though, had to persevere through injuries, the stress of work and life commitments, all of which have, at times, made my training more challenging. Despite the challenges I have faced, I am now testing for second degree black belt and can’t imagine my life without martial arts. Perseverance is paying off for me.
Many students give up within the first few months of starting a martial art. They may get frustrated with themselves because they don’t feel that they are good enough or progressing as quickly as they would like. They may get injured and have difficulty accepting the need to adapt their training to allow for their injuries and physical limitations. Many students get busy and struggle to commit the time needed to train. They miss a few classes and instead of sticking with their training, they find it easier to give up. Other students get to black belt, a commitment requiring several years of training, only to quit within a few months, having reached their goal.
Martial arts training is difficult. Reaching black belt and beyond requires an on going commitment and determination to years of regular training. It is often easier to give up than to continue training. However, if we stick with it through all of the difficulties we will face, martial arts training provides a fantastic opportunity to learn about and develop perseverance and determination in the face of obstacles. This will help us not only with our martial art, but also the many difficulties and challenges life throws at us.
Next time you think about quitting your martial arts training, reflect on the many benefits you will gain if you persevere. Giving up might be easier, but persevering may well provide you with many more longer term benefits that extend well beyond your training.
JKN Jane Hurst
First degree black belt and school owner
Kuk Sool Won™ of Onewhero
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Caroline is a 5th degree black belt and Jane is a 2nd degree black belt in the traditional Korean martial art of Kuk Sool Won™ . They run 2 Kuk Sool Won™ martial arts schools in New Zealand.