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How to Crush Your Martial Resolutions

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The holidays are always a great time to relax a bit on your rigorous training schedule, and give your muscles, and joints a well-needed rest. It’s also a great time to visit, and catch up with family and friends. If your family is anything like mine, the conversation always steers towards the martial arts.  I am asked how a niece, or nephew can excel at the art they are in, and am also asked about my training as well. The most common query pertains to “How to achieve a black belt?”


Persistence is key, and self-discipline is the result

The only way anyone was ever awarded an “honest black belt” was through consistently showing up, and doing so over, and over again. The persistent pursuit of that coveted belt calls for the development of self-discipline. These two things go hand in hand. In order to acquire the persistence needed to achieve your very own black belt, self discipline has no choice but be developed along the way.

Is it really that simple? Yes it is, but do not confuse simplicity with ease. Sometimes doing even the easy things consistently calls upon us to become more today than we were yesterday. A few key things to keep in mind when you consciously move forward with your training goals are as follows:


You must develop a keen sense of focus in order to excel at the martial arts. This becomes apparent to anyone who has attempted to train any martial art for more than a month. Distractions can be everywhere these days. There are so many things that compete for our attention that your ability to avoid distraction is tested many times, every day. Watch for  the next post that deals specifically with focus.

Clearly defined purpose

It is not enough to simply proclaim “My goal is to achieve a black belt” when you are just starting out. If you are just starting you martial journey, the coveted black belt goal must be broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Naturally, the colored belt system serves this purpose, but I am referring to skill and attribute development here. Maybe developing improved cardio will be high on your list. After all, first time students often get frustrated by their inability to spar for more than a few moments in the beginning. An enhanced ability to train longer without fatigue is an amazing benefit. So define what it is that you need most, and train towards that purpose.


Show up for training when something else seems more alluring is not always easy. Having a great group of people to train with will make all the difference. If you spend most of your time training informally by yourself, you must get this association through online groups. Join the Modern Samurai’s facebook page, follow this site, and share your experiences with its members.

“Never, never, never give up.”  -  Winston Churchill

The simple quote above is all the advice you need to make it to black belt. Is it simple? Yes. Is it easy? How many things really worth while in life are easy after all?


Tagged in: Martial arts