Joining Karate was the launch of my career.
Taking up martial arts gave me a focus, something that was my own.
An endeavour to pursue that was both physical and mental, it engaged all aspects of the brain.
Learning the moves, developing the flexibility, training to become faster, developing the coordination and control. This started my interest in physical performance.
Learning the Japanese terminology, memorizing the kata, understanding the weight distribution in each stance and being able to explain these to lower belts helping them to learn. This kept the geek side of me happy.
Starting training really was a life changing experience.
And no small part of that was the man who taught me.
He’s had such a positive influence on me and so many other kids that came through the Karate club.
And this taught me that being a coach / instructor / teacher doesn’t stop when the class is over. It is a vocation, it’s a 24 hour a day job.
The way a coach can affect a persons life is astonishing.
The lessons learned in training, be it martial arts or strength training can be and should be taken into the outside world, the struggle to master yourself in training transferring into mastering yourself outside of training.
As Henry Rollins famously wrote in his masterful article , “the metal never lies, a 100lb’s is always a 100lb’s”
There’s no hiding, no pretending.
Either you lift that bar or you don’t. There’s no pretending that you did.
You snatch that kettlebell for the required number of reps, or you don’t. There’s no pretending.
You put in the hours practising your kata, perfecting your footwork and developing your timing, or you don’t. Ok this is easier to pretend with, until you get punched in the face…… And I got punched in the face. I got punched so hard that I took up the iron. I got punched so hard I stopped pretending.
I never got punched that hard again, although many tried.
This weekend back at my old karate club reminded me of all this. Meeting other incredible karate based martial artists from around the Lancashire area brought all this back to me.
And watching Jack Parkers face as he sat in his bed looking at the photo’s from the weekend celebrating the club he started and developed, run by people he trained, attended by people he influenced. Watching him scroll through the pictures with a tear in his eye.
It makes it all worth while. 27 years of hard graft and training, all of it validated by that tear.
Don’t pretend you train. Don’t make exaggerated claims. Don’t brag about your ability.
Train diligently, with integrity, focus and determination.
Let your actions speak for themselves.
I’ll see you on the training floor from tomorrow.
Dave Hedges www.Wg-Fit.com