Excelence in the Martial Arts

A good friend of mine send me an article from a blog titled “The difference between commitment and technique”.  I read this short article and was impressed by its message.  I also was fascinated as in a very succinct manner Mr. Godin Presented an issue which it seems is more common that I thought.

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As Mr. Godin wrote:  “We spend way too much time teaching people technique. Teaching people to be good at flute, or C++ or soccer.   It’s a waste because the fact is, most people can learn to be good at something, if they only choose to be, if they choose to make the leap and put in the effort and deal with the failure and the frustration

and the grind.”

So one of the first thing that came to mind is that there is no such a thing as a good instructor without a good student.  However there can be good students without good teachers.  Yet I don’t agree with that simple interpretation as my own experience has taught me that, frustrating as they are, non-committed students are simply a work in progress.  For example, and sad to say, in my years as a teacher I have seen more students without that drive that we could interpret as commitment.  This students didn’t get to be black belts and all of them quit at some time or another.  Some of them I have not seen again but those few that I have, always thank me for my efforts and quite frequently mention how grateful they are for all they learned at our school. Also, pretty much all of them state that they wish they would have stayed at the school and obtain their black belt with me.

But the point Mr. Godin was trying to make is summarized by him as: “We’d be a lot more successful if organized schooling was all about creating an atmosphere where we can sell commitment (and where people will buy it). A com

mitted student with access to resources is almost unstoppable.”

This I agree with 100% and I will continue to try my best to create this environment and obtain the resources so all my students have the opportunity to excel.  However, excellence in the martial arts is not limited to feats of physical prowess but in the learning of techniques which you can apply to our daily routine.  In other words, those that “quit” and didn’t get their black belts were just another kind of success story which in their own way make me proud as they finally realized their lessons of commitment, hard work and balance.