You Suck At Martial Arts

gpseymour

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If you fight mma the looser also gets a trophy.
That may be reasonable given the work and risk necessary to step into that arena, though if I were the loser I can't say I'd want a trophy. Then again, I'm not the kind of guy who goes out for MMA, so maybe they're doing it right for their audience.
 

gpseymour

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A good teacher may be hard to find. A good student is even harder to find.
Agreed. A teacher will go through typically go through dozens of students to find a good one. A student will probably go through a few teachers to find a good one.
 

JR 137

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Speaking of realizing you suck and not being able to suck less, aka plateaus, my CI gave us a speech a few times...

You may not think you're getting any better because you're not doing better sparring against the same people. The truth is you really are improving, but that person/people you're gauging your progress against is improving too, and quite often at the same pace. If you did a month to month time-lapse video, you'd easily see the improvement.

I also think you get to a certain level of gross improvement, and from there on the improvement is fine improvement.
 

Sarah Mc

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I'm really glad I ran a Google search that merely said, "sucking at martial arts". This post has been so helpful. I've been training for 5 months now. I'm 33 years old and this is the first time in my life I have chosen to stay with something when I didn't think I was any good at it. I think, sad as it is to say, I'm dealing with the feelings that come along with that for the first time, too - intense discouragement, fear of imminent failure, worry that it's pointless because I can't see how I'll ever get better.

I actually have gotten better. I can see that. But because it seems like other students are getting better much faster, I doubt that my progress is meaningful. However, the other students all have some background in either martial arts or some kind of physical activity - I don't. I'm learning every scrap of this for the first time, and sometimes my brain just can't process it all - all the different techniques, keeping the punches & kicks straight, teaching my body how to move - that has to take time, too. I was starting to realize that I need to suck with abandon - just go for it. It can't possibly be worse to suck boldly than it is to suck with fear.


So you suck at martial arts? You have no natural talent? Your balance is pathetic, you have no breath control, you are stiff and uncoordinated? That's terrific!

Go ahead and suck. I suck too. Everybody sucks. The question is not whether or not we all suck, the question is what we suck at and how badly we suck.

So you see a lot of students wearing black belts and they don't seem to suck. Trust me, they suck too. You just don't see all their mistakes, because your eye is not accustomed to looking for the details where they reveal their suckitude to their instructors.

What matters here is that we accept that we suck. It's OK to suck. Be awful, be useless, embrace it!

But keep one goal. As we train, we try to suck a little bit less each day. Not huge strides, small gains. It will sneak up on you, you will not notice it. Or you may notice tiny little differences one day and go "Hmmm, I used to not be able to do that..."

So we all suck and it's OK to suck and we're going to keep sucking.

Just suck a bit less each day.

Keep training. There is no one in the dojo who thinks you are the worst they have ever seen, because THEY were you a few short years ago. They have the benefit of hindsight which you do not yet.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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I'm really glad I ran a Google search that merely said, "sucking at martial arts". This post has been so helpful. I've been training for 5 months now. I'm 33 years old and this is the first time in my life I have chosen to stay with something when I didn't think I was any good at it. I think, sad as it is to say, I'm dealing with the feelings that come along with that for the first time, too - intense discouragement, fear of imminent failure, worry that it's pointless because I can't see how I'll ever get better.

I actually have gotten better. I can see that. But because it seems like other students are getting better much faster, I doubt that my progress is meaningful. However, the other students all have some background in either martial arts or some kind of physical activity - I don't. I'm learning every scrap of this for the first time, and sometimes my brain just can't process it all - all the different techniques, keeping the punches & kicks straight, teaching my body how to move - that has to take time, too. I was starting to realize that I need to suck with abandon - just go for it. It can't possibly be worse to suck boldly than it is to suck with fear.
Remember that you're not competing against the other people in your dojo/club. You're competing against yourself. As long as you're better than you were yesterday, or on an upwards trend, then you're golden.
 

gpseymour

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I'm really glad I ran a Google search that merely said, "sucking at martial arts". This post has been so helpful. I've been training for 5 months now. I'm 33 years old and this is the first time in my life I have chosen to stay with something when I didn't think I was any good at it. I think, sad as it is to say, I'm dealing with the feelings that come along with that for the first time, too - intense discouragement, fear of imminent failure, worry that it's pointless because I can't see how I'll ever get better.

I actually have gotten better. I can see that. But because it seems like other students are getting better much faster, I doubt that my progress is meaningful. However, the other students all have some background in either martial arts or some kind of physical activity - I don't. I'm learning every scrap of this for the first time, and sometimes my brain just can't process it all - all the different techniques, keeping the punches & kicks straight, teaching my body how to move - that has to take time, too. I was starting to realize that I need to suck with abandon - just go for it. It can't possibly be worse to suck boldly than it is to suck with fear.
Without knowing anything more about you, the fact that you searched for "sucking at martial arts" I think says something pretty positive about you. You felt you sucked, and wanted to do something about it (and that something wasn't looking for something else to do when you quit martial arts).
 
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Bill Mattocks

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I'm really glad I ran a Google search that merely said, "sucking at martial arts". This post has been so helpful. I've been training for 5 months now. I'm 33 years old and this is the first time in my life I have chosen to stay with something when I didn't think I was any good at it. I think, sad as it is to say, I'm dealing with the feelings that come along with that for the first time, too - intense discouragement, fear of imminent failure, worry that it's pointless because I can't see how I'll ever get better.

I actually have gotten better. I can see that. But because it seems like other students are getting better much faster, I doubt that my progress is meaningful. However, the other students all have some background in either martial arts or some kind of physical activity - I don't. I'm learning every scrap of this for the first time, and sometimes my brain just can't process it all - all the different techniques, keeping the punches & kicks straight, teaching my body how to move - that has to take time, too. I was starting to realize that I need to suck with abandon - just go for it. It can't possibly be worse to suck boldly than it is to suck with fear.

And here's a little motivation for you. Keep track of those students who progress much faster than others. In my experience, when it comes naturally to them, they tend to quit first. I do not know why, I just know they do. Good luck to you, keep at it!
 

dvcochran

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I'm really glad I ran a Google search that merely said, "sucking at martial arts". This post has been so helpful. I've been training for 5 months now. I'm 33 years old and this is the first time in my life I have chosen to stay with something when I didn't think I was any good at it. I think, sad as it is to say, I'm dealing with the feelings that come along with that for the first time, too - intense discouragement, fear of imminent failure, worry that it's pointless because I can't see how I'll ever get better.

I actually have gotten better. I can see that. But because it seems like other students are getting better much faster, I doubt that my progress is meaningful. However, the other students all have some background in either martial arts or some kind of physical activity - I don't. I'm learning every scrap of this for the first time, and sometimes my brain just can't process it all - all the different techniques, keeping the punches & kicks straight, teaching my body how to move - that has to take time, too. I was starting to realize that I need to suck with abandon - just go for it. It can't possibly be worse to suck boldly than it is to suck with fear.
It is a rather literal search but you sound like my kind of person. Open and honest. I often say one of the greatest things about martial arts training is that it is a personal journey that you do in a group setting with others of a like mind. They are your martial art family so, just like any other family, there will be different kinds of motivation, and probably some condemnation. Use them all to your advantage. I think learning any MA is a longer and less obvious journey than structured education, like going to college. If you are not careful the highs and lows can really swing. That is one of the things you learn to control, over time. Use your observations of others as a measuring stick. But remember there is not a direct translation since you are a totally different person from them. I hope you don't get too discouraged, it is part of the process. If it was easy it would not be so popular.
You didn't mention your rank but there is a very real thing I call the "green belt syndrome". A person has been working out just long enough to realize they really do not know anything. If you have the syndrome I consider it a good thing. You are aware of what is going on in yourself and others around you. It will pass.
Keep in touch and let us know how things progress.
 

mrt2

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I'm really glad I ran a Google search that merely said, "sucking at martial arts". This post has been so helpful. I've been training for 5 months now. I'm 33 years old and this is the first time in my life I have chosen to stay with something when I didn't think I was any good at it. I think, sad as it is to say, I'm dealing with the feelings that come along with that for the first time, too - intense discouragement, fear of imminent failure, worry that it's pointless because I can't see how I'll ever get better.

I actually have gotten better. I can see that. But because it seems like other students are getting better much faster, I doubt that my progress is meaningful. However, the other students all have some background in either martial arts or some kind of physical activity - I don't. I'm learning every scrap of this for the first time, and sometimes my brain just can't process it all - all the different techniques, keeping the punches & kicks straight, teaching my body how to move - that has to take time, too. I was starting to realize that I need to suck with abandon - just go for it. It can't possibly be worse to suck boldly than it is to suck with fear.
It shows real self awareness and courage for you to post this. How many people who suck either don't know or don't care? Based on what I see, quite a few actually. Not the majority, but a large contingent especially of younger students especially.

Keep putting in the effort and I have no doubt you will get better.
 

JR 137

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I'm really glad I ran a Google search that merely said, "sucking at martial arts". This post has been so helpful. I've been training for 5 months now. I'm 33 years old and this is the first time in my life I have chosen to stay with something when I didn't think I was any good at it. I think, sad as it is to say, I'm dealing with the feelings that come along with that for the first time, too - intense discouragement, fear of imminent failure, worry that it's pointless because I can't see how I'll ever get better.

I actually have gotten better. I can see that. But because it seems like other students are getting better much faster, I doubt that my progress is meaningful. However, the other students all have some background in either martial arts or some kind of physical activity - I don't. I'm learning every scrap of this for the first time, and sometimes my brain just can't process it all - all the different techniques, keeping the punches & kicks straight, teaching my body how to move - that has to take time, too. I was starting to realize that I need to suck with abandon - just go for it. It can't possibly be worse to suck boldly than it is to suck with fear.
Like kempodisciple said, you’re not competing against the people in class with you; you’re competing against yourself. Don’t try to outdo anyone, try to outdo yourself. Being better than you thought you can be is far more important than being better than the next guy. And while/if you’re amazed by them, if they’re human they’ve got their own insecurities and self doubt too. Everyone does. While you’re looking at them and asking yourself how you’re going to keep up, they’re looking at others and thinking the same thing.

After some time, you’ll see people who haven’t been around as long as you struggling with stuff that’s easy for you. Then you’ll look back and remember how much you struggled with it back then. That’s when you realize you’ve improved quite a bit.

But it takes time. There’s no substitute for experience.
 

DocWard

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I just found this thread and the title made me want to look at it.

There's a saying often used in the military, "Embrace the Suck." While the typical meaning is not quite on point, in that it typically is used to mean deal with or make the best of a bad situation, I believe it works.

I suck at martial arts? I will embrace the suck. Nurture it until it gets better, becomes something greater.

I've run a fair number of 5K races. I'm usually a middle of the pack type in my age group. No matter how hard I train, I'll never be a top runner. I accept that, but on occasion, I've had a bad race and been frustrated. After one particular poor showing, I was looking at the results and commented on not doing well. Another person said "Yeah, but you beat every person who sat on their couch and didn't even try." At that moment, I embraced the suck.
 

yak sao

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Yeah, maybe you do suck. But how much more would you suck if you weren't training?
And a year from now, or five years from now, are you better for doing martial arts and sucking at it than you would be if you quit altogether?
 

JR 137

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Yeah, maybe you do suck. But how much more would you suck if you weren't training?
And a year from now, or five years from now, are you better for doing martial arts and sucking at it than you would be if you quit altogether?
Well said. In a year or five from now, hopefully she’ll be sucking less. That’s really all any of us can hope for with our own training.
 

yak sao

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Well said. In a year or five from now, hopefully she’ll be sucking less. That’s really all any of us can hope for with our own training.

Deleted scene from Kung Fu TV show:

Kwan Chang Caine is somewhere in the western United States. the scene finds him practicing a form near a flowing creek. he finishes the form and stares at the glistening water .
the scene fades away as he remembers ...

We now see the young Kwai Chang Cane sitting on a bench looking at a flowing creek . he is looking very sad .
the blind master Po comes walking by, using his staff to feel his way ....

Master Po: Grasshopper, why are you so upset?

Caine: I am very sad master because I suck at kung fu .

Master Po: (smiling) this is a good thing

Caine: (looking puzzled) why is it good to suck master ? shouldn't I try to be my best?

Master Po: young grasshopper , the first step to mastery, is realizing you suck.

The scene fades away and we now see the older Kwai Chang Caine standing there by the creek and he smiles.
 

KenpoMaster805

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Look no body suck they just need training practice and motivation if you say to a student you suck thats means the one who teaches sucks too
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Look no body suck they just need training practice and motivation if you say to a student you suck thats means the one who teaches sucks too
I just asked you this on another thread, but it fits this one too...do you read the posts you respond to? Or do you only read the titles?
 

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