Looking at the Big Picture.
In my time coaching Martial Arts I have had many people walk through our doors and join our academy; for different reasons as well as no reason.
Many times, I've had people join up without having a clear reason as to why until months later when they have been with us for a while. Others have joined for secret reasons that they would not disclose straight away, be it a lack of confidence, trouble with anxiety, depression, etc.
As a coach, I always try and help my students the best way that I can. I use a holistic approach, that not just focuses on the physical aspect of martial arts but also on the mental well being. It is very rewarding to see a person with low confidence, who would look at the ground while talking to others be cracking jokes in front of everyone after a few months of training.
However, I tend to see students also lose track of the big picture and the real reason why they started their martial arts journey. These students usually allow themselves to be seduced by the arts or start to follow other peoples journeys or goals. When this happens they stop being true to themselves and neglect the real reason why they started and put their own development on hold.
Martial Arts should be looked at as a vehicle for personal development and not just a physical activity. There is much more than learning a triangle choke or the proper roundhouse kick. Goals can change as they years progress. However, not losing sight of the big picture should be paramount as this can cause a loss of motivation as well as give up entirely.
As a kid, I grew up heavily influenced by certain sci-fi movies and cartoons that often featured a sage or teacher. Characters such as Yoda and Splinter brought out the best in their students. Now as an adult and as a coach, I try to emulate their methods. I may not have their mutations or superpowers, but I strive to provide my students with the care, focus and attention as a group and at the individual level.
So here’s my recommendation; remember why you started your journey, continue to move forward towards your goals and remember that a long road must be taken one step at a time.