Thursday, 6 June 2019

The Middle of the Road

We have a small group of students preparing to take black belt gradings this weekend. This made me think about an article I read recently over at Cartersville Martial Arts on character development and a martial arts student’s journey. 

The piece covers some personal perspectives from School Owner and Master Instructor Michael Wilson too. You can read the full article here

I particularly liked the section titled The Middle of the Road. Master Wilson uses this analogy to describe that point when a student is somewhere after the beginner stages of training, but before the advanced stage or having achieved black belt. 

Unsurprisingly, my instinctive thoughts were of the Choi Kwang-Do intermediate syllabus (orange belt to blue belt senior). It’s here where students generally understand the basics concepts of the techniques, drills and become ‘comfortable’ with the syllabus. Broadly speaking, things are ‘familiar’ (although some may misinterpret this as ‘easy’). It may even feel like there is not much happening, and that achieving black belt seems far away in the distance.

For some students there may have been an occasion when they didn’t feel like going to class, or that classes were boring…

(For this reason, it’s also here were instructors may invite students to be ‘stretched in a different dimension’ through leadership training or undertaking roles of responsibility within the school).

If this is you, it sounds like you’re in the middle of the road!

Try looking at it this way:

  • That feeling of things being ‘easy’ is actually your growth in competence
  • That feeling of things being ‘boring’ is actually your growth in confidence

With the above in mind, rather than thinking about what you do know, what do you not know (yet!) Look at what you do know. Who, what or how can you improve this? What can you do to move yourself to the next level of expertise?

Martial art training is a journey, and yes, at times maintaining your motivation can still be a challenge for some, but hopefully a simple reframing of the situation might help. Being in the middle of the road is great opportunity to work on your perseverance and unbreakable spirit. 


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Jason Wright is a 6th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor in the martial art Choi Kwang-Do. Why not start your martial arts journey with a free trial? Visit www.TheMartialArtForLife.com/free-trial

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