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– “Come on, Sami! GET UP! ONE MORE!!! DON’T QUIT!” – says Sami’s Karate Sensei as Sami lies on the ground hyperventilating.
– “You can’t do it. You’ll never make it. Give up already. You are not as good as the others anyway. You are just a white belt noob. Who do you think you’re kidding, man?” – uninvited, Sami’s brain replies.
– “STFU! YES I CAN! WATCH ME! GET OUT OF MY WAY, BRAIN!” – Sami’s body feels like it’s going to give out soon and yet somehow manages to pull through and do the exercise/stretch/punch/kick through SHEER WILLPOWER.
Damn son. I didn’t know my brain could limit me and at the same time push me towards my goals. Powerful epiphany. Take some time to think about it.
You can use your brain in any way you want to. You can choose to let it limit you and make excuses or you can change your limiting beliefs, push through and tell friggin Obstacle Mountain to get out of the damn way, so you can achieve your goals.
A typical Karate session goes like this: me being exhausted, sweaty, hyperventilating and about to give up; to me doing it and surprising myself with how I was able to!
The benefits of Karate go far beyond the time you spend in the dojo. This is something I realized after a month of attending Karate classes. An hour of training does not just make you a better fighter and increase your flexibility, agility and strength; it makes you a stronger and more confident human being, i.e:
Karate (and other martial arts) make you a better person.
A bold claim to make, isn’t it?
Let me explain why.
Martial arts is more than just learning a few kicks, punches and throws. Martial arts is about bringing out the strength, power and confidence that lay dormant inside each and every one of us, and have been eager to come out and show you (and the world) how amazing and powerful you really are. Karate teaches pacifism. Not aggression.
Seems like a paradox, in it?!
Karate is a combat sport afterall. If executed with enough force, a karate punch or a kick could actually kill your opponent. So, karate gives you the ability to kill. However, with the ability to kill comes the responsibility to protect others (even those who try to hurt you).
If an attacker were to approach you with a knife or a gun, karate doesn’t teach you to hurt them, but to disarm them and disengage them from combat by knocking the murder weapon out of their hands and demobilizing them through a body lock, kick or punch so that you minimize harm to not only yourself but to them as well.
Which leads me to the first thing that I learned from Karate:
You might acquire superhuman strength, but that doesn’t make you powerful.
What determines a person’s strength is not their power, but their self-control and their ability to respond with the right amount of force (which could mean no force at all) in any given situation.
In the case of physical assault, sometimes a physical response is necessary to protect yourself. A good punch or knockout kick in the face is usually enough to disarm an attacker. Karate can teach you how to do that very well! 😀
However, sometimes by avoiding a confrontation and not responding to taunts/slander you have already won the fight, i.e. you used less force than the person who tried to taunt you. Let them wear themselves out with all the BS they are throwing your way and saying about you. Remember that when they point a finger at you, they have four fingers pointing back at them. Everything they say and do will go back to them, call it karma, God, destiny whatever. Usually what they are saying about you is actually what they think about themselves. More on this in Episode 7 – People’s Opinions. Zimbabwean Dollar 2.0!
Self-control is true power.
2) A NEVER-GIVE-UP-NEVER-SURRENDER ATTITUDE
When my body refuses to do an extra kick or crunch and I do it anyway, that carries forth into other areas of my life: my job, relationships, sports, studies, etc. When I feel like I have lost, I want to give up and all the odds are against me, I do what I need do regardless of how I prepared I am or whether I feel like it. Which is not always the most pleasant experience to say the least.
But, this is the cost that you need to pay to become the person that you want to be. A bit of discomfort is definitely worth living a bigger, better and brighter existence!
3) Everything you do is for you and you only.
What do I mean by this? The effort you put in the dojo is not for your Sensei. The amount of hours you study is not for your professor. The quality of the work you produce is not for your boss, it’s for you! All of it is for you!
The karate session will end. Your studies will end. Your job contract will run out. What happens after these things? You develop your skills and work ethic through these experiences. You are not doing it for any of these people. You are doing it for YOU, so that you become a more wholesome and stronger human being.
What you do in the dojo, at school, at work, in your home is not for sensei’s sake, your professor’s sake, your boss’ sake, nor is it for your family’s sake. IT’S FOR YOU! So don’t try to cheat other people by putting in less effort, because all you are doing is cheating yourself.
I learned this and so much more from my 30 days of Karate classes. Listen to the podcast above to learn more!
I interviewed Karate Master Iain Abernethy, author of Mental Strength: Condition Your Mind, Achieve Your Goals on my podcast a few months ago. You can listen to the episode here!
Btw! You can get the audiobook version for free using this link: www.audibletrial.com/Samotivation !!
Thank you for reading!
With Love and Respect,