A Quora Question posed to me: Should I keep training in martial arts if I’ve concluded that I’ll always be mediocre in it?
If you see yourself as always being mediocre, that’s how you’ll always be.Why not see yourself as improving?
I recently helped a student during Krav Maga, and she turned to me and said: “I can’t do that combination, I’m not coordinated like you.”I bit my laugh to laugh.
When I walked in that cold January day in 2018, I was a complete wreck. I couldn’t run for three minutes. I have sensory seizures, which were under far less control. I have mental coordination problems. I suffer from depression and PTSD. I am not someone who excels athletically, the way I do academically. Everything I have, I worked for. What came easily to most? I had to work for.
Like Rock Lee of Naruto fame, I wasn’t born a ninja genius but I was a genius of hard work. A student who isn’t naturally talented but works their butt off may not triumph over the naturally athletic.
Nature is cruel. We will always have a disadvantage, but we can excel.
So I trained. I sacrificed so much. I say it with pride, I bought every single step. I gave up hobbies. I cut a lot of expenses to save for seminars and private lessons.
I trained when I was the slowest and last of every single activity.
I trained when I could not keep up with the class.
I trained when PTSD knocked me out.
I trained when I was so sore, I couldn’t even sit down.
I trained when I was ill and could only observe class, and take notes.
I trained every chance I could. I re-arranged my schedule to make Krav Maga my top priority outside work.
I went to lessons on the same topic, over and over again. I took notes and I looked up youtube videos and I did private coaching. I made the ideas of Krav Maga a driving force in my life.
When I achieved one year of training, I had attended the most classes of any other student, the most by a lot. Almost 400 in a single year, a year which included bronchitis several times and surgery.
I didn’t care if I was the worst in the class. Any improvement was enough. Any success was better than what I was before I tried.
You should keep training in martial arts, and you should hope to spend every lesson getting 1% better than you are before. It adds up.
Sixteen months of heavy practice and I’m much better. I’m still mediocre compared to most, but I’m better than I was. And now, people see me as someone to learn from.