The Value of Struggle

One of my teaching colleagues posted an NPR piece today on Facebook and it got me to thinking. You can read the full article here, but basically the idea is that when given an impossible math problem, East Asian students spend more time tackling it, trying again and again to solve it, when American students are much quicker to give up.

Martial artists are eternal students. Like those students with impossible math problems, we sometimes are given enormous tasks to surmount. Whether your art has difficult jumping kicks, takedowns, board breaking, or many long forms to remember, these are all obstacles you must surmount on the path to black belt.

So the next time you come home from class, discouraged and considering quitting, remember this: every black belt has been where you are now. And, as the saying goes, “Every black belt is a white belt who never quit.”

You might not get it the first time, or third time, or even the 100th time–but if you keep struggling through, you will eventually succeed in both achieving your goal and in finding your own inner strength.

About Sensei/YDN Caitlin

Sensei Yudanjanim Caitlin is a 2nd degree black belt, senior instructor, administrative assistant, and student of Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and Arnis at Northwest School of Martial Arts.
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