The Willingness to Change


Studying the Martial Arts has many great benefits. The obvious one is that Martial Arts teaches you self-defense skills so you can protect yourself if you are ever attacked, but there are a lot more lessons to be learned. In this blog, I’m going to talk about ‘Change’.

If you want to advance in Karate, you not only have to learn the techniques, defenses, and forms, but you also need to get better at them over time. When you think of a black belt, you probably visualize someone who can utilize their Martial Arts skills with very high precision and accuracy, and someone who is also extremely knowledgeable in the art as a whole. Getting to that level does not happen overnight. It requires a lot of time, patience, perseverance, and the willingness to change.

The question you may be asking is, “Change what?” The answer is, “Whatever is needed to improve.” A lot of people think that in order to get good at something, you just have to do it a lot. Now, I’m not going to disagree with that thought process, but the real question is, are you doing it the right way to begin with? Repetition will make you comfortable at a skill, but if you learned that skill the wrong way, you are going to become really good at doing something incorrectly. If that’s the case, it would probably be easier to start over from the beginning, and learn that particular skill all over again.

But, what about skills you have learned correctly? Why would you need to change anything? The short answer is, because there is always something to improve. It could be something as simple as doing it faster, but even that requires making the effort to change the speed in which you execute that technique.

The hard part for a lot of people is that they don’t like change. They get comfortable in their ways, and become quite content. I always think about that stereotypical grouchy old man who hates everything because “it’s not the way it used to be.” In karate, if you aren’t willing to make changes in your techniques and even your attitude about them, you are going to get stuck, while all of those who are making changes progress and move up the ranks.

If you want to advance, you need to improve. If you want to improve, you need to remember what I tell my students,

“Improvement requires change”



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