New Student: when will you quit?

WC_lun

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This is a great read Bill and I think perspective students should read it.

The flip side of the coin is that in what we do, most people will come and go. That's just how it is. We can design programs to keep people's interest, but there really is no way to keep people from quiting. That drives some teachers nuts. I view it a bit different. Those that quit do so for thier own reasons, some good, some bad, but in the end it is thier decision. Hopefully, for however long they have been in the school, we've helped them in some manner. I wish them luck in whatever the future holds for them. Now our attention is focused on those that have stayed and percivered. Those are the people that will learn the most and hopefully be the future of the art.
 

DavidMoreland

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The amount of individuals who begin training in BJJ vs the amount who receive their blue belt is startling. Really strikes home once I see an old group photograph, from course or from a seminar and look in the faces. He is gone, he is gone, she is gone... who's THAT guy?

Excellent post. Well done, if it was written by you.
 

Rumy73

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Great post. However, you failed to mention some serious turn offs. Fees. Fees. Fees. Then there are dealing with other people's agendas and their lack of commitment to safety. What else? Second stringer instructors who really do not know the material well. And lastly, trying to apply a curriculum for kids on adults. I stopped paying for MA schools after my black belts, but I did not quit training.
 

DavidMoreland

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Great post. However, you failed to mention some serious turn offs. Fees. Fees. Fees. Then there are dealing with other people's agendas and their lack of commitment to safety. What else? Second stringer instructors who really do not know the material well. And lastly, trying to apply a curriculum for kids on adults. I stopped paying for MA schools after my black belts, but I did not quit training.
Yes, I like your recommendation for applying curriculum for kids to make them healthy and confident.As you mentioned you did not quit training that's a very good thing shows your dedication towards your health.
 

Nighthawk

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The black belt quitter section hit me particularly. We had one do that at our school. Pissed me off. I have ZERO intention of being that guy. There are too many students whom I have helped, become quite proud of... And you can tell the ones who are going to quit! That's what really saddens me. We have one in class who I think may have gone as far as he's going to... I'm doing everything I can think of to inspire him. And then there's Rain... She's just starting to get good, and she LOVES it! She's the kind of student who will keep me from being a black belt quitter. I learn something new from her almost every class, be it through her enthusiasm or something new that she's figured out and wants to show me. Gotta love it!
 

3ii

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Well, I'm going through my second week as a beginner in kickboxing and I'm thinking of quitting, in spite of having bought the equipment already.
I used to do Taekwondo (5 years ago) and I loved it, but I was forced to stop because of health reasons. Now I decided it was the right time to return to the field so I chose kickboxing to wipe the dust off my bones. The first lessons went well and truth be told, I had lots of fun. Then, tomorrow, my trainer deemed I was ready to go on a mini fight with another student. What I got was that I was supposed to hit him but unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to do it. He was playing slowly, yet I could hardly dodge or counter-attack back. Ashamed and disappointed, I left minutes later.
I thought that the two sports were not too different from each other..., but punching a person in kickboxing has nothing to do with Taekwondo-style fights I have experience in. I'd say that it was a waste I even tried to get back to it. Some things can't be re-acquired.
 

Gnarlie

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Well, I'm going through my second week as a beginner in kickboxing and I'm thinking of quitting, in spite of having bought the equipment already.
I used to do Taekwondo (5 years ago) and I loved it, but I was forced to stop because of health reasons. Now I decided it was the right time to return to the field so I chose kickboxing to wipe the dust off my bones. The first lessons went well and truth be told, I had lots of fun. Then, tomorrow, my trainer deemed I was ready to go on a mini fight with another student. What I got was that I was supposed to hit him but unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to do it. He was playing slowly, yet I could hardly dodge or counter-attack back. Ashamed and disappointed, I left minutes later.
I thought that the two sports were not too different from each other..., but punching a person in kickboxing has nothing to do with Taekwondo-style fights I have experience in. I'd say that it was a waste I even tried to get back to it. Some things can't be re-acquired.

Well that's a defeatist way of looking at it.
 

Tez3

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Well, I'm going through my second week as a beginner in kickboxing and I'm thinking of quitting, in spite of having bought the equipment already.
I used to do Taekwondo (5 years ago) and I loved it, but I was forced to stop because of health reasons. Now I decided it was the right time to return to the field so I chose kickboxing to wipe the dust off my bones. The first lessons went well and truth be told, I had lots of fun. Then, tomorrow, my trainer deemed I was ready to go on a mini fight with another student. What I got was that I was supposed to hit him but unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to do it. He was playing slowly, yet I could hardly dodge or counter-attack back. Ashamed and disappointed, I left minutes later.
I thought that the two sports were not too different from each other..., but punching a person in kickboxing has nothing to do with Taekwondo-style fights I have experience in. I'd say that it was a waste I even tried to get back to it. Some things can't be re-acquired.


Your first line explains it...you are a beginner and in your second week of training. disregard you had training in another style years ago, you are a beginner and your instructor had you sparring for a bit of experience which you have gained, shame and disappointment have no place here. You have learnt what you need to work on and probably that kick boxing is harder than you thought it was, I'm betting you thought it was going to be easy. You aren't re-acquiring anything you are learning a new martial arts, stop being such a big girl's blouse and get back in and learn, you will be really sorry later if you give up so easily.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Our Sensei also mentions that he runs into former students all the time who stop him when they see him out on the street, greet him warmly, and inform him that a) they are still working on their kata at home and b) they'll be back in the dojo next week. "Next week" must be code for "I am never coming back again." Because they never do.

But occasionally, we do have students return after being gone for months, years, and in a couple cases, decades. They come back, and some of them stay and keep training. Hey, life happens. Doesn't matter what happened to keep you from training, the point is you can train now, so welcome back and get busy!

Even for those who quit, it's never too late to come back. One of my white belt students originally started training 10 years ago, dropped out, and then started back up again just this year. He's making good progress.

Well, I'm going through my second week as a beginner in kickboxing and I'm thinking of quitting, in spite of having bought the equipment already.
I used to do Taekwondo (5 years ago) and I loved it, but I was forced to stop because of health reasons. Now I decided it was the right time to return to the field so I chose kickboxing to wipe the dust off my bones. The first lessons went well and truth be told, I had lots of fun. Then, tomorrow, my trainer deemed I was ready to go on a mini fight with another student. What I got was that I was supposed to hit him but unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to do it. He was playing slowly, yet I could hardly dodge or counter-attack back. Ashamed and disappointed, I left minutes later.
I thought that the two sports were not too different from each other..., but punching a person in kickboxing has nothing to do with Taekwondo-style fights I have experience in. I'd say that it was a waste I even tried to get back to it. Some things can't be re-acquired.

1) It's not a matter of "re-acquiring" anything. It's a new art and you're a total beginner in it.

2) It sounds like you either didn't have the confidence yet for sparring or you're one of those people who hasn't learned to feel comfortable actually hitting another person. Both those things can be learned. It's just a matter of continuing to train and gradually pushing your comfort levels.

3) There's not reason to be disappointed or ashamed or to quit. Martial arts helps you grow by taking you to the edge where you discover your limitations, then teaching you how to push past those limitations. You just discovered a major limitation, which means you've encountered a major opportunity for growth.
 

Langenschwert

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Well, I'm going through my second week as a beginner in kickboxing and I'm thinking of quitting, in spite of having bought the equipment already.
I used to do Taekwondo (5 years ago) and I loved it, but I was forced to stop because of health reasons. Now I decided it was the right time to return to the field so I chose kickboxing to wipe the dust off my bones. The first lessons went well and truth be told, I had lots of fun. Then, tomorrow, my trainer deemed I was ready to go on a mini fight with another student. What I got was that I was supposed to hit him but unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to do it. He was playing slowly, yet I could hardly dodge or counter-attack back. Ashamed and disappointed, I left minutes later.
I thought that the two sports were not too different from each other..., but punching a person in kickboxing has nothing to do with Taekwondo-style fights I have experience in. I'd say that it was a waste I even tried to get back to it. Some things can't be re-acquired.

Sparring skills are highly perishable. If you've ever learned a foreign language and then promptly forgotten it, it's just like that.

In my Judo dojo, some of the kids had a tournament, and the sensei said something like "it's OK if you didn't get a medal, since you've already beaten everyone who didn't have the courage to compete". It's like that when you train. Every time you train, you're beating everyone who didn't have the will to show up.

Like a day job, a lot of training is just showing up and doing the work. The more you put into the work, the more you get out of your training. This experience was a gift, showing you exactly how you need to improve. Don't throw that gift away. You can learn more from a lost match than a whole month of training. Every time you train, you win. Every time you lose, you learn, which is a big win. You more often learn the least from "winning" a match.
 

Buka

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I haven't actually set foot on a dojo floor since June, but what's odd to me is I haven't missed it. I'm going to Physical Therapy for some health issues, and I was away for many weeks, but I didn't even miss it then. It's gotten to the point where I enjoy talking about Martial Arts more than actually training. (somebody shoot me!)

I haven't sparred for I don't know how long, threw away my mouthpiece, I don't roll anymore, I don't even want to. It feels kinda good to wake up every day with no sore ribs, no mat burns, no sore muscles, fingers, ears or shins. I'm tired of carrying home a wet gi and hanging it on something to dry because I haven't washed the other one yet. I never want to put on wet gloves again. And I really like the bottom of my feet not being dirty.

I should be troubled about this. But I'm not. :) Oh, God, I've become a keyboard warrior!
 

tubby

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I'd say that it was a waste I even tried to get back to it. Some things can't be re-acquired.
I think you underestimate what it takes to get back to your old level, but are comparing against the standard you used to train at. How fit were you before this latest training? Sparring relies a lot on cardio fitness and that is something that you lose very rapidly.
I'm just getting back in the gym and at first it was hard to deal with struggling to lift 1/4 of what I used to do, though I am now making rapid progress again. Starting tkd many years after my last training I had to begin again, but after a short time the old experience helped with many things.
Give it some more time and I think you'll see some results.
 

Dinkydoo

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What I got was that I was supposed to hit him but unfortunately I couldn't bring myself to do it. He was playing slowly, yet I could hardly dodge or counter-attack back. Ashamed and disappointed, I left minutes later.
I thought that the two sports were not too different from each other..., but punching a person in kickboxing has nothing to do with Taekwondo-style fights I have experience in. I'd say that it was a waste I even tried to get back to it. Some things can't be re-acquired.

Sounds like your previous TKD training hadn't prepared you for kickboxing sparring, which is fine, because they are two different styles. What I found when I switched from training places with minimal contact to a kickboxing club, was that although I had "lovely technique" according to some, I was lacking the basics of timing and the intent to actually make contact with my strikes. Several months followed of me getting frustrated due to the realisation that my skills weren't at the level I thought they were. As you've found out, this dose of reality can be tough to take.

You have two choices:

1) Continue training and lower your expectations for now, at least until you're not feeling as rusty. (Do this)

2) Quit and never improve. In fact, you'll probably get worse over time. (Don't do this)

Learning how to take a punch without turning the head or flinching takes time....so does learning how to hit your opponent without throwing your strikes half-assed, with the goal being to extend your technique through the full range of motion (hopefully with the other guy somewhere between the start and end), without overly trying to really hurt your training partner. There can be a bit of snobbery present when a TMAist for the first time tries out one of the rough and tumble 'sport styles' - I hate to admit it, but at some level I personally felt what i'd trained before was more sophisticated than the kickboxing I was trying out.

At times it doesn't look as impressive as complex hand trapping or hurricane kicks, but in many subtle ways it is. Especially if the sparring element has been a different type of game (such as points based or one-step) from where you've came from before.
 
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Bill Mattocks

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Never stop. I stopped talking about martial arts, but I still train and help teach in the dojo. Ate a lot of mat last night. Kind of humbling to be dusted so easily by a fellow Nidan. Today my wrist hurts from bad fist formation. I took some Ibuprofen and life goes on. Keep at it. Never stop.
 

GiYu - Todd

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I've had several students say that after missing training for awhile, they were afraid we'd be mad they disappeared, and opted to stay away. But when they do come back, we just say "Good to see you... get changed and we'll see you on the mats." I don't think most people focus on why the person was abscent. Just happy to have them back.
 

tshadowchaser

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First I want to thank Bill Mattocks for this thread and the wonderful opening post.

I have often wondered why students who reach the Black Belt level stop practicing. One of my old instructors had a good number of students over the years achieve this rank but as I look around today I only see 4 of his students who still practice or teach. To me this is a shame and one reason some systems die off.
I also am familiar with those that stop at some point in their training and then say they will come back or their thinking of coming in soon. YEA RIGHT, like that is ever going to happen . I do have one student who quite for 10 years to get married and start a family who has come back, I wonder how long he will stay.

I can understand the student who starts then after a few months say it is not what he was looking for so I will ask them what is missing in the training or what they think they want to study and if I know of a school that meets their wishes I'll suggest it and wish them well. I often wonder how many actually
try a different school.

Out of those that do reach black belt and stop I wonder how many go to a different system for what ever reason.

Going back and reading this thread has been interesting and enjoyable
 

GiYu - Todd

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I also am familiar with those that stop at some point in their training and then say they will come back or their thinking of coming in soon. YEA RIGHT, like that is ever going to happen . I do have one student who quite for 10 years to get married and start a family who has come back, I wonder how long he will stay.

About a year ago, we suddenly had two former students within 3 months return. Both had reached 3rd degree and then quit training due to family and work about 7-8 years previous. Their current schedules don't allow them to come to every class, but they come often enough to be "regulars" again.

It may pay off to reach out to some of your old students occasionally. Perhaps just knowing you've thought of them may encourage them to come back.
 

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