How do you keep the flame alive?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Manny, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    How do you keep the flame alive in TKD? This morning talking with my brother about my feelings lately I told him I'am boring about TKD, it's sad but yes, don't know if it's because of the things I've been tru the last weeks about the financial things and bussiness or because mi studnets are only two and most of the time only one shows up to class, in the other hand sometimes I felt there is nothing new in the dojang or my master, I am not improving nothing and I am not learning something new that keeps me interested.

    My brother advise me to take a little rest and do other things instead TKD, I told him I want to do something new like aikido or maybe return to my kenpo classes, don't know maybe a new atmosphere, a change or make new martial arts friends.

    Also I don't know how to talk this with my master, I don't want to be unpolite or disrispectfull with him, I really apreciate him and don't want to leave but need a rest and do something else, something to keeps me inside dojang is my two students, both are budies of mine.

    Manny
     
  2. sopraisso

    sopraisso Blue Belt

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    My friend, you're the only who can tell if it's really a good idea to talk to your master, but it sounds like a nice beginning, really.

    Anyway, I think the most important things to "keep the flame alive", maybe, are: 1) to set personnal goals; and 2) to have company in the journey.

    In the first case, maybe if you decided to become more proficient in some aspect of taekwondo, for example, maybe you would seek that goal and become more motivated. I've been doing this since I started. What's peculiar in my case is that I just don't see an ending with the goals, because mastering any of taekwondo's aspects is thing for a lifetime, or even more. :)

    The second thing is it's always easier to follow through a road when we have someone to go along. Maybe you should talk to your students about your issue, and they would become more than your usual students, but true companions. You could then tell them about what you wish to achieve in taekwondo for yourself (for example, to master the aspects of self-defense, or the proficience of forms). Then you'd both work together to reach the objective.

    Anyway, I think without some kind of objective it's really hard to go on. Moreover, it's necessary to keep on learning. If we're no longer learning, something has to be changed. Maybe you'll have to look for new stuff, and maybe even in other martial arts. Taekwondo and martial art in general are an endless learning journey, so if you search you'll surely find something new and interesting.

    Finally, I do believe taekwondo is something useful to keep us healthy, physically and mentally. And all the meaning behind it make it a better option than only-sportive activities. This is a reason why not to stop. If after all you still think you have to take a break, there's no shame on that, and you'll probably find meaning in the absent time, and when it's the right time, you can go back, it doesn't need to be a definitive decision.

    I hope my words help somehow, and I hope you have the best days, dear Manny.
    Best regards.

    Sérgio.
     
  3. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    In my opinion, you can get suggestions from other people, and your instructor can attempt to do all sorts of things to try and keep you interested, but in the end, it is a question that you have to answer by yourself, for yourself.
     
  4. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    There are only so many kicks, punches, throws, and locks that one can do before it become repetition. But that is only the physical part of the martial arts. There is so much more to martial arts than the physical. There is the bonding (that you seem to be missing or lacking due to small numbers). To kick and punch with others build something. You sweat together, you hurt together, you laugh together and so on. There is the nurturing. The grooming of students and seeing them get better at the art. To see them grow as people. To help them and guide them. To see them make mistakes then learn from them. To see them begin to teach what they are learning and so on. There is the good times with others. There are the bad times with others. There are the stories that get seen and told to others and so on. You seem to be missing or lacking all of this. It is not TKD that is boring you but lack of social contact with other that do what you do, my friend. If another art offers you this because it has more people to socialize with then go for it. We are social creatures and we need other people. Even bad or unfavorable people as well as the good or the ones we like. All of that together makes anything we do worth doing. That is why we are on this forum. So find a place with people Manny and you will find your fun again.
     
  5. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    Interesting points of view from all of you, someone else that want to share?

    Manny
     
  6. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    I disagree that we need bad or unfavorable people.
     
  7. ATC

    ATC Senior Master

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    Even the bad or unfavorable give us something to talk about, and make for some fun converstations with other at some point. They stimulate our emotions and break up the mondane. We do need that.
     
  8. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    maybe. but not at the national or international level. look at what the bad and unfavorable people did to USAT for example.
     
  9. Thesemindz

    Thesemindz Senior Master

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    It comes and goes Manny. Sometimes you need to focus on your family, or your job. Just because you have to take time off for other things doesn't mean you "stop" doing karate. It's still right there waiting for you. Master Funakoshi said "Karate is like boiling water. Without heat, it returns to its tepid state." But it doesn't go away bro. There will be a time when you are excited to go in to the school again. When you feel it in your veins, like you have before. You've got a lot on your plate right now, and it's ok if going to the karate school isn't your top priority. If its not fun, then take a break. You're going to be doing karate for the rest of your life, it's ok to take some classes off here and there. It doesn't make you a bad student, or a bad karateman. It might mean you're just a good father, or a good husband. If karate is starting to feel like a chore, then maybe it's time to take some time off. The fire will come back.


    -Rob
     
  10. Thesemindz

    Thesemindz Senior Master

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    As for not improving or not learning, you know that's not true. If you're training, you're improving. If you're trying, you're learning. If it feels like you aren't learning or improving then it's because your heart's not in it. You could try a new training group or a new style, but ultimately the training will be the same. Repetition, repetition, repetition. If that isn't getting your motor running, then changing the setting probably won't do much for you.


    -Rob
     
  11. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    Hi Manny

    When I think I might be getting bored with TKD, I go home and sit in front of the computer, and I start writing. I write all of the reasons that I originally started TKD. Then I write all of the reasons why I still do TKD. Then I write all of the things I still want to learn. The last 2 lists are different every time.

    I then ask myself what TKD can still offer me, in the context of these lists. Usually, the answer is clear, and the direction I need to take is also clear.

    Talk to your intructor. Most instructors recognise that students go through cold spells, and most instructors know the progress points where this typically happens. I understand 2nd Dan is a biggie, for example. This is why some organisations introduce weapons training, teaching, or specialisms at this grade. I quite recently came off the back of an 8 month break from TKD, mainly due to similar feelings to those you're having. The return has been physically hard, I wish I'd carried on.

    Good luck, and keep talking

    Gnarlie
     
  12. lifespantkd

    lifespantkd Blue Belt

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    Manny, I really don't know you at all. But, I do know from some of your posts that you've been facing some very difficult times. Sometimes we lose interest in something we once loved because we are feeling emotionally low, in general. When that is the case, maintaining regular physical exercise is very important because it burns off harmful stress hormones and creates hormones that improve our mood. Sometimes when we're low, it helps to just keep doing a physical activity that we once loved, knowing that our feelings are ultimately temporary. Just by keeping going, we increase the chance that our interest will return while we continue to do something that improves both our physical and emotional well being. Engaging in social activities is also important for improving and maintaining a positive emotional state. Life is too challenging for any of us to go it alone. For many people, Taekwondo meets their physical and social needs, among many other needs. But, obviously, it depends on the situation at a school. And, certainly, Taekwondo is not the only martial art that can meet our physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual needs.

    I agree with others that finding ways to keep learning something new can really help with motivation. Taekwondo has much to offer--though sometimes we really have to search for it. Some schools and/or teachers may not know what we, as students, need them to know at a particular place in our development. Or maybe they just don't yet realize that we are ready for something more. That's why having a respectful conversation with our instructor can help.

    I'm also wondering if you've ever faced a similar situation before? How did you handle it? What helped?

    Best wishes on your journey,

    Cynthia
     
  13. mastercole

    mastercole Master Black Belt

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    Excellent advise Cynthia! I was going to say something, but you said it and much more.
     
  14. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    This happens to everyone.
    Trust Me.
    The best thing I can suggest, is find something in it that You Enjoy, or used to Enjoy, and Enjoy it again. Be it bloodlustful Sparring, or the will to Teach, or perhaps You like a particular Form?
    I think I read somewhere that this is akin to the Martial Arts Plateau Effect, where You feel like Youve stopped progressing. The Flame is alive as long as You want it to be. Do You want it to be? If the Answer is Yes, then it never went out.
     
  15. Thesemindz

    Thesemindz Senior Master

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    I wrote an article for my students on the blog that I maintain about the training plateau.

    On the Swept Plateau


    -Rob
     
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  16. jedtx88

    jedtx88 Yellow Belt

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    I like to kick pugilists. It seems to stoke the flame.
     
  17. StudentCarl

    StudentCarl 3rd Black Belt

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    When I feel like I'm off the path I take some time alone to clear my head and let my thoughts and feelings become clear. Often the real issue is not quite what it first appeared to be.

    When I need some spark I seek the children's classes. Matching their enthusiasm and keeping them focused is a very re-energizing experience for me--I can't help but feel their excitement at learning even the basics. It also reminds me that we're all relative children on the path of life, though we think we're all grown up.

    As a martial artist, what hooks me is the challenge of learning to do well something that is difficult at first. It needs to be something I have some use for, and something that takes time to learn to do well. Beating challenges gives me a sense of growth that makes me want more.

    I think you will find your path forward when you take time for you away from your stresses.

    Good luck my friend.
    Carl
     
  18. Manny

    Manny Senior Master

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    Thank you Rob, yes sometimes I got bored but sometimes I got fascinate, what I have to do is focus is something an achievement maybe and working on it, right now I want to teach self defense so maybe tonight will be that way.

    Manny
     
  19. SPX

    SPX Black Belt

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    Manny, why do you only have two students? It seems that since TKD is so popular that it would be fairly easy to expand your student base.
     
  20. Thesemindz

    Thesemindz Senior Master

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    I just got out of teaching a beginner class Manny. Teaching others helps me to find meaning in what I do. Do you know what you have planned for tonight? What aspects of self defense will you be focusing on?


    -Rob123
     

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