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?

My Answer:

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.

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.

Writer, lawyer, Kravist, friend

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