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.
Champions are Confident. They don’t just Believe they will win, they KNOW it! How do you feel when you go in for that Test in school or Job interview and you just know, “I am the best choice, there are none better, or I am guaranteed to pass this test”? This confidence does a few things; First, in the case of a test, makes you more comfortable and less likely to second guess yourself. Second, in the case of a Job interview, since you are more confident you will stumble over your words less, and will look people in the eye, overall you will make an awesome impression.
Champions are willing to work Hard! This could mean putting in more hours at the office, studying more in school, taking all AP or honors classes, or practicing for your sport every single day outside of just the practice times. Hard work brings with it results! The harder you work the better the results. In the case of school if you are studying 20 minutes a day and getting B’s, what would happen if you upped that to 40 minutes, 60 minutes, etc.? Would your grade improve? Absolutely!
Champions are also able to accept defeat. This could be the most important of all of the qualities. This does not mean that they are ok with losing, it means they understand that sometimes you will not win. They don’t blame others for their loss, champions own it! Regardless of how you do you earned what you got, be proud of what you accomplished. Yes you may have failed the test, or didn’t get the promotion at work, but you worked hard and earned the results. Champions see this as a way to grow and learn, rather than scream and cry. Champions know that losing is the same as learning.
All of the qualities of a Champion also are the same qualities to become a Black Belt! My goal is for all of my Reflex Taekwondo Family to be Champions. Not just Champions in Martial Arts, but Champions in Life!