Everyone has said, heard, or thought this at one point in their life. When I hear this it makes me excited, this is exactly what I want to hear. Yes I know that sounds weird, but let me clarify. This desire to quit is a good thing, everyone has it at some point in their life. The key is not quitting. Part of becoming a Black Belt is learning to NEVER give up. This is called perseverance. This life skill can only be learned through facing adversity and then having someone provide guidance and encouraging you to not give up. In my opinion this is a valuable lesson that many adolescents are lacking. They go through life giving up constantly, they learn this by being allowed to give up as children. It’s human nature to avoid difficult situations, in children this is especially the case.
Children are pleasure seekers, this means that they will look for things that they like and are easy. As an adult it’s our job to know and teach them that not everything is easy. For example Martial Arts teaches Respect, Discipline, Perseverance, Self-Control, Self-Defense, and Courtesy. Adults know how important these skills are, and many times we simply have to tell the child “No, you can’t quit”. This is exactly what happened to me growing up. When I was a child there were many times I wanted to quit, my parents knew that it was good for me so they didn’t let me. At the time I was diagnosed with ADHD and was on, at some point in time, quite a few of the different ADHD medications. By the time I graduated High School they were no longer needed. Martial Arts had taught me how to have the Self-Control that I needed. Did I hate Martial Arts? Sometimes I absolutely did, but as a child did I know what was best for me? Short answer… NO. If my parents had let me quit every time I said it, I would have never learned how to finish a task. I would have never learned how to be Self-Motivated. And I would have never become a World Champion!
Become a Champion in Life!
Posted: August 06, 2019
As I watch many of my students preparing to compete next week in the USCDKA National Championships I have to ask myself, “What does it mean to be a Champion?”. Simply put it means to be a winner, but that doesn’t really answer the question entirely. I find that Champions not just in Martial Arts, but Champions in life are very similar. It doesn’t matter what the activity is; Martial Arts, School, Work, or Sports YOU can become a champion. So now once again what does it mean to be a Champion? Let's Start off with a few of the Qualities of Champions; Focus, Determination, Confidence, and Hard Work, and can accept Defeat.
Champions have amazing focus! Have you ever come across that person that it didn’t matter what was happening outside of their task at hand, it never bothered them? Champions tend to leave their baggage at the door. For example if we are having a bad morning, got a ticket on the way to work, spilled cereal on your shorts before school, etc. do you let that affect the rest of your day? Champion’s absolutely do not! They refocus and decide for themselves that their day will get better.
Champions have determination! They know that the path to get there won’t be easy and many times they don’t care. A champion sees the destination and doesn’t care how hard the Journey will be. When I was younger and flying all over the place competing to become a World Champion, I was exhausted! There were weeks, especially near the end of the season, that I just wanted to give up, but I have a motto that I even brought over to our Reflex Taekwondo school, “Winners Never Quit, and Quitters Never Win”.. One Tournament I was taking my SAT in the morning then lead footing it to Orlando, Fl. to compete that same day! Another I got off the plane from Italy at 3am then was competing in my home city at 9 am. Many times I would be exhausted, battered, and bruised, but still at the Taekwondo School sparring with my instructor. I noticed my peers in high school would freak out and give up anytime something didn’t go their way, or would go to the teachers asking for extensions on assignments since they were sick over the weekend……...and the Teachers did it! Needless to say many of those peers never made it through college.