Growing as a Martial Artist???


Master Black Belt
Apr 1, 2002
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Rochester area, NY
Hiya all.

I need your opinion on something. Here goes:

I'll start the story from when I got my green belt .... Of course I was excited. Then I got to high green belt (blue stripe). The responsibility of being class senior comes with it ...... eeekkkkkk. I was so scared to be class senior. I told my instructor that I wanted to go to day class (which is all ranks), because I hated night class for several reasons, but not the real reason. The real reason was that I didn't want to be class senior. Being class senior, you have to lead the class in the student oath, and I get "stage fright" (I learned that when I used to play live in a band). But I went against my "demons" and went through with it. My voice cracked and I fumbled my words, but I did it. My instructor KNEW I didn't want to do it somehow, but he said I did well.

The strange thing was, that night I was a totally different person in class (and classes there after). It's hard to explain. I was more sharp. I had to set an example for the lower ranks, so I was actually "trying" to improve stuff. Not that I didn't before, but this time was different. I guess my instructor noticed also, because he asked me to assist him in teaching forms (he broke the class up by rank and I got the green belts). I was so shocked. This is the first time he ever asked me. I was honored. So I tried really hard to be a good teacher.

This makes me feel really bad about being so "close-minded" (I'm admitting it now LOL) when I first joined this school. I could kick myself for it LOL. Is this a sign of me maturing as a martial artist? Am I being more open-minded? Opinions?
It is called conquering your own inner fear. Congratulations. You have opened a new horizon and will journay far from this point on. It is not limited to just MA.

You now have the self confidence to assume the leadership position whenever and whatever situations in life require you to do so.

Don't forget the TKD tenets though. Always keep your self confidence to yourself and never forget to be respectful. My own failure to watch my mouth tend to cast my self confidence in the bad shadow of being perceived as arrogant and pretentious. Something I regret tremenduously. Take this as a free 2 cents advice from someone who is still smarting from his own mistakes in life. :asian:
Thanks Kenneth :) I will keep that in mind.

One thing I don't want to do is develope an "ego trip". I did take it as conquering an inner fear. Yes that part is true :) Like I said, I get stage fright, but everytime I get up there and do it, it will be easier and easier. Just like I did with sparring (I didn't spar because I had a fear of getting hit, now I take a hit and go after who hit me even if I still get my butt whooped :D )
I forgot to mention that when I started MA, I had very little (if any) self confidence or self esteem, so this is a major stepping stone for me.

Both fears that I conquered was through this school. My instructors helped me with this, including being close minded. I'm more open-minded and more willing to try new things. I donno if they will ever read this, but thanks to Mr. C and Master K. *bows respectfully*
Don't worry...if you're instructor sees your head swelling, I'm sure he'll be right there with a pin to pop it :D

who gets a swelled head from his instructors whacking him all the time.
Hey congrats on your progress, it's a huge step in self improvement. You sound alot like I was when I stared the MA, very shy, quiet and withdrawn with no confidence. Now it's a little different, but if I may I want to share a funny story. Cthulhu reminded me of this.

When a student reaches green belt at our school we do something that's called "green belt initiation" It has the sole purpose of tempering the person's ego a bit after they hit this level. What it entails is basically full contact sparring with the master. You wear protective gear, he doesn't and you have 30 seconds to hit him, cause he's going to hit you.

When I hit my green belt I remember doing this. I'd always been pretty good in the ring (for my experience) so I usually was a little over confident with this and developed some really bad habits. That 30 seconds I spent in the ring with my master was the most frustrating/aggravating/painful half minute of my life. He exploited my bad habit of ducking improperly and kept telling me not to, by the third time no more warning, just an axe kick to a very vunerable head :waah: What a way to get it into your head how much you still have to learn.
Years past I'm now the one doing the sparring since my master has moved on a little in age, and I'll never forget that lesson.

I still frequently get that lesson in competitions and I think it makes me a better person for it, albeit a painful lesson.
Nothing wrong with having an ego, just keep it healthy cause guarenteed there's someone out there better than you willing to give you that lesson . . . just hope it doesn't cost you a couple thousand in dental repairs :wah:

That is such a cool story. I know when I got to green belt in TSD, I was one of those "know-it-all" green belts. I thought I was the s**t because I could do some "tricks" like the Black Belts. I just started developing good technique, and I had the pride ..... you know what I mean. But I did get my ego deflated by my master real quick LOL.

Now that I have my green belt for the second time, I know that there is so much to learn. Even at black belt. It was a humbling experience for me big time.
Originally posted by karatekid1975

I forgot to mention that when I started MA, I had very little (if any) self confidence or self esteem, so this is a major stepping stone for me.

Both fears that I conquered was through this school. My instructors helped me with this, including being close minded. I'm more open-minded and more willing to try new things. I donno if they will ever read this, but thanks to Mr. C and Master K. *bows respectfully*

Your journay of personal growth and transformation is an inspiring testimony. You should document it as an inspiration for new and prospective students.

Your instructors, Mr.C and Master K, must be very proud of you. I can assure you that it would mean more than anything else to them, if you would share your reflection with them. The ultimate reward for a teacher is the knowledge that he/she has made a difference in his/her student's life.

Sooo, you should really share your reflection with your instructors.
I totally agree with you, Kenneth. I did write an essay on this. I told my instructor (Mr. C) that I have something for him. I didn't tell him what yet. Before I go to the advanced class (blue belts and up) and leave his class, I want to let him know how I feel about him being such a big help to me. I will give him the essay after my blue belt test :)
teaching helps a student to mature. it shows them the responsibilities that come with the knowledge. in my opinion your instuctor would not have asked you to assist him if he was not confident in your commitment. best of luck :)
Thanks, Shinzu. Yea, I agree. I taught in my TSD school, too. That was fun, as well. You get a better understanding of a technique, form, ect when you have to teach someone else. I even learned that white belts can teach advanced students stuff ;)
i realize this thread is almost a year old but i felt compelled to reply anyway. i am only a white belt and i have learned so much from the martial way. i have been attending class twice a week for two months now. after the first 5 classes or so i started to realize i was in a haze after class. i wasnt quite with reality. then i realized the next class that during class i wasnt quite with reality either. my body almost drops all thought process and goes into automatic response. at first i was so baffled. then i read about something about "mind-no-mind" in martial arts, like meditation in motion. i have always looked upon martial arts in awe. i am just sorry it took me so long to get here.
Well done partner :)

What you described in your first post is such a wonderful truth. We tend to learn more when we teach, we tend to perform better or 'stretch' our limits better when we teach. You have indeed taken a bold step into a more rewarding training experience.

Keep it up and never let the politics get in the way of this joy. Good luck.

true indeed. you start to do things that you thought you couldn't.. and then your body does them automatically. it's a wonderful journey.... don't be too worried about what it looks like at the end, just enjoy the scenery along the way. best of luck Lost!!
when you have a qualified instructor who also has your best interest at heart, you can be sure that he/she will only present the next challenges for you when you are ready!
I remember several times that i wasn't sure if i was ready for the next step, but trusting the judgement of my teacher (who always seemed right!), it always worked out for the better.
these experiences will in turn help you to guide your students in the future!
sounds like you are developing true inner confidence which doesn't come from a colored belt!!
I donno if you are talking to me, stickart, but thanks (if you are). Good post :)

Yes, this thread is a year old, and I have switched schools (long story). But I am in the same situation. My new instructor asked me to teach forms one day (he broke the class up in ranks, like the other school did). With the experience I had in my first post, it was so much easier this time. I even got 10 minutes with my instructor after class. He gave me pointers on my new form. I thought was nice of him.

I really do want to teach, and teaching little things here and there will help me in the long run.
teaching also helps you to improve your tecnique as well. you can teach something you don't know how to do right?

it has helped me alot. i love to teach, but i never claim to know it all.
I think that there are advanced levels of martial arts that are difficult to reach without getting teaching experience. It is very enlightening to constantly have questions bounced off of you that causes you to analyze everything further!
true. when you need to break down techniques for students, it improves your knowledge and understanding as well.

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