Martial arts teaches you a lot more than fancy fighting techniques. These ancient styles also teach you important values that facilitate personal development in and out of the dojo. Life can get very hectic for most of us, so learning values from martial arts like self-discipline, perseverance, and an unshakable commitment to accomplish any goals you set for yourself can improve your personal and professional life.
Having a tough week? Here are 5 inspirational martial arts quotes that will get you through the week:
1) “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali
You’re a lot tougher than you give yourself credit for. The reality is, most of us have the ability to overcome any major challenges that come our way. It’s the little quirks of life like bad habits and distractions that are more likely to wear you down and prevent you from reaching your goals.
This is what the legendary boxer meant by the phrase “pebble in your shoe.” Don’t let minor things prevent you from fulfilling your goals. Take any pebble (procrastination, toxic people, or bad habits) in your shoe out and focus on the important things you want in life. Anything that makes it harder for you to reach this goal is a pebble.
2) “A brave man, a real fighter is not measured by how many times he falls, but how many times he stands up.” – Rickson Gracie
You probably do not like dealing with setbacks, but it’s important to always remember this is a normal part of life. One thing you’ll quickly realize when you start training martial arts is that losing and setbacks are opportunities to learn new things.
When you’re working towards a goal, you want to be constantly improving. If you find yourself not getting the desired results you’re looking for, take some time to reflect on what you could be doing differently.
This quote is very fitting of a BJJ master like Rickson since humility is a byproduct of training this style. Everyone starts as a white belt, and even the greatest grapplers in the world like Rickson have been forced to tap countless times over the years.
No one gets to be a black belt without going through this rite of passage. Remember that the next time a setback makes you think about quitting.
3) “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine.” – Bruce Lee
We are all under constant pressure to conform to our surroundings, but this is a recipe for disaster. The truth is, what works for others won’t necessarily work for you. That why it’s important to be honest with yourself when setting goals.
You shouldn’t be accomplishing things because others expect you to. When that is the case, it’s easier to lose your motivation over time. Instead, aim for things you know would bring you closer to your true potential.
It can be tempting to go with the crowd at times simply to avoid criticism, but you’ll always be left wondering what could have happened if you had the boldness to walk your own path.
4) “Do not fight with the strength, absorb it, and it flows, use it.” – Ip Man
The essence of this quote is found in many martial arts. There are two meanings to this saying. On the one hand, the strength Ip Man is talking about is your inner strength. One of the many things that often holds people back from reaching their goals is the fear of being great. Many people do not even realize they have this fear.
There’s no point holding yourself back and being afraid of success. Instead, be aware of all your strengths and use them to your advantage when you can.
Then, there’s the more literal way to look at this quote. When matched with a seemingly stronger adversary, do not try to match his/her strength with yours since it won’t be enough. Instead, learn how to use the other person’s strength against them. This is the fundamental principle behind martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Keep this philosophy in mind the next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with what lies ahead of you.
5) “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee
Here’s Bruce Lee’s version of the old saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none.” We all have a million things we would like to get accomplished someday, but you need to learn how to prioritize things and focus on only the most important things.
When you take on more than you can chew, you’re more likely to end up not getting anything done at all. Resist the urge to be the person who knows how to do 10,000 fancy techniques, and instead perfect a few things that move you towards your long-term goals.
Simply identifying the things you need to do to move you towards your goals isn’t enough. Perfect those things like the person who practices a single technique 10,000 times.
Use the philosophy behind these quotes to power through the week!
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