What makes a person want to start training in the Martial Arts? What makes a person stay in the Martial Arts? Many will say self defense. Others will say fitness. Some will say it was their children’s involvement that drew them to and kept them in the Arts. What if we strip away all these superficial reasons? I believe those of us who started in and stayed in the Martial Arts met a need we had. Meeting this need kept us sticking with it. When we lift the layers away, basic emotions are the core of every Martial Artist’s desire to train.
Fear is an emotion and great motivator. Many people have fear in their lives. Fear is brought into life for a whole variety of reasons. Maybe being bullied when they were young created fear. Maybe some other life changing event introduced fear into a person’s being. Where the fear came from doesn’t matter. What is important is: this drove them to start training. You start training and then start believing you have the ability to defend yourself. The fear dissipates. The dissipating fear keeps you training. Some people are looking to belong. We start training and find we belong to this group and belonging will most certainly keep a person coming back. Others feel inadequate. Training will make a person feel more adequate as they are rewarded for progress with advancement through the ranks and belts. The list of emotions that bring and keep a person training could be endless. Most times it is not just one emotion or need but several.
Discovering the true motivational emotion that keeps you training will help you continue that motivation. Throwing away the superficial, will bring a person to enlightenment. When training becomes difficult and when you begin to doubt there is any reason to train, bring yourself back to the moment you first put on that white belt. The open mind a white belt has and that emotion will reenergize your training. When there is doubt and obstacles, knowing what brought you to where you are in your Martial Arts journey will lift you up. Discover what the Arts have done to change your life for the better and that will keep you training. When you continue to train you will keep reaping the benefits that originally brought you to and kept you in the Martial Arts.