View Full Version : Feeling Incomplete
I currently study Taekwondo and some Jujitsu. I am short (5 feet 4 inches) and often spar people much taller than me (5 feet 9 inches - 6 feet 2 inches). I have much less experience than these people, but I don't think that I should feel quite so insignificant against them. Two of my instructors, whom I often have to spar are 3rd dan, one with 7 or 8 years more training the other with 10 more years training. We are all about the same age. The one with 7 or 8 years on me I can usually, if I get in close enough (he's 6"2'), get a few good hits in, but the other one, with 10 years (6 feet), I can only get one hit, maybe, in 5 minutes of sparring. I know I'm improving, I train about 4 days a week, but does anyone know of something I can do myself to improve my sparring? How can I improve my speed, also I want to improve my hand techniques. At my school we don't do all of the Chon Ji forms, I'm currently trying to learn all of the one's we don't do, as they have some hand techniques I've never learned. I'm begining to wonder if tkd is not the MA for me, and if it's not, what do I do? I teach, that's where all of my income comes from. I clean the school for lessons because I can't afford them. I've looked at Hapkido and found it interesting, also I would like Tai Chi, but like I said, I can't afford anything. Right now I'm not even getting any money to teach, because we're broke. Any advice for me? I know this post was a long, probably confusing, rambling, but I do feel like I need assistance.
So you've hit "that" stage in your training huh? :) Don't worry, this "self-examination" thing is something that everyone goes through. It is normal, and it is very healthy. Believe it or not, this is the point in which a person starts to become a truly serious student of the arts. Everyone's situation and concerns is different, so it is hard to give you specific advice. However, when folks I have known have reached this crossroads in their training, the best advice is to tell you exactly what I was told, "Keep training".
One other thing you might want to consider is to talk with a martial arts neighbor in your area. Mark Barlow is a member here, and lives down on the coast, about a 45 minute drive from you. Not only is Mark one of the very nicest people I have ever met in the martial arts community, he is an exceptionally knowledgeable instructor. Drive down, have lunch with him and go to his dojo some night. I think having a face to face talk with him and getting his advice would be a very good idea. He is honest and will give you an unbiased opinion based on your circumstances.
Good luck and if you would like to discuss this further, in private, please feel free to contact me via PM. Once I get out of the hospital later this week (I go in on Tuesday), I would be happy to spend some time on the phone with you as well.
Thank you! I'll try and get in touch with Mark as soon as I can.
Just a few more thoughts in addition to Mr. Carver's.
These stages are definitely "normal", every serious practitioner goes through them! This is the first of many such stages,and the answer is the same to all of them, keep practicing! Never give in to the three "great evils"--Fear,Doubt,and Confusion.
Like I said,this is the first of many,and eventually you will come out the other side of this a better practitioner than before you went in. It is when you think you have it all figured out,THAT is when you have a serious problem!
Keep practicing,and you will be allright. Good luck!
Doh! I wasn't going to tell him that this was the first of many!
Brandon, even someone that has been training as long as I have go through this, and like the rest of us, you will get through it too. Anyway, my offer to talk with you is genuine, so drop me a PM and later on in the week, I will set up a time to give you a call. My dime! ;)
Seriously if one has a real teacher how could you ever expect to catch up let alone best him?
My goal has NEVER been to beat my instructors but only to learn from them and surpass my own skill. Are you better today than you were last month? If not, why not?
Your instructors and other students are merely there to assist you in YOUR development. Sparring partners are not there to be defeated or to defeat you but to allow a means to test your skill. That is it.
You need to get over the idea of winning or losing and concentrate on training and improvement only.
Of course this is a difficult mindset for my TKD stlyists because it has become a "sport" and changed the entire approach from a martial art, to a martial sport.
If you find your current school lacking I'd suggest trying to network with other martial artists. The reality is you don't need to be in a school to learn and you don't need a teacher to train.
Take what you know and concentrate on improving it. Now is not the time to be worried about additional instruction. Improve what you know until it is effective and reliable. Only then should you add to what you know.
Indeed, How long does it take to defeat an opponent? Do not be frustrated when your results are not as you wish. My father taught me decades ago that "training is an opprotunity to die over and over at no cost" No matter what martial discipline you study there will remain one constant factor in all of your training. It will cling to you like an iron claw. That is your attitude. Please do not be offended. I am not saying you have bad attitude. I do not know you. However, as the gentlemen that have responded to you have stated this is something we all go through. My approach is a very simple one and I hope it may aid you in overcoming your obstacle. In viewing life we concern ourselves with trivial things. We get quite excited and angry at things that should typically bring us joy when in fact the real problem lay somwhere else. View things in terms of life and death. You are alive today. there is no garuntee that you will be alive by sunset. In terms of money I have no advice. I would suggest to allow your spirit some room to vent and just like in a military battle when your leading force is stagnant and you are only spending resources with no gain. Pull back a little (Take a quick break) shift your forces (try a different perspective) and hit the opponent hard again (get beack into the swing of things) Failure and defeat are never an option. These may seem like radical views. However, I typically do not participate in these forums. There is nothig wrong with them. I simply use the site for my US email service. I hope you understand my message.
Also to budoseek forum readers I must also inject. A letter in response to "Brandon" was written by me at the request of my grandfather who does not speak english. However, I do intend on participating in forums. His advice was, at his request anonymous. He does not like internet:)
You and your grandfather have my gratitude.
You and your grandfather have my gratitude.
Ok that really made me laugh, but that's just wrong...
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