The practice of martial arts is deeply rooted in philosophy, tradition, and culture. It teaches not only self-defense but also discipline, focus, and respect. Many people start their martial arts journey with a specific goal in mind – to achieve mastery, earn a black belt, win a world title, learn self-defense, etc. Yet somewhere along the way, many stray from the path or give up completely.
In order to truly succeed in martial arts there are certain characteristics and traits that a person must have. These traits can be cultivated in anyone who is willing to try. Remember, success in anything – whether it is your career or martial arts, does not happen overnight. It starts with one small step.
Here are the 9 traits that will lead to your success in martial arts:
Many coaches, instructors, and long time martial arts practitioners regard discipline as one of the fundamental characteristics of a successful martial artist. Coaches and instructors teach their students the value of discipline the minute they start their first class. There are rules and processes to be followed, including respect for the martial art and the instructor.
In order to become successful, a martial artist must adhere to a strict training routine. As simple as it may sound, discipline is often what separates the World Champions from the “could have beens”.
People with natural talent and perfect physical attributes are a dime a dozen in martial arts. People with true passion, however, are much harder to find. Passion will outdo natural talent every time.
Being passionate means that you put your heart, mind, and soul into martial arts because you cannot imagine a life without martial arts. Take the time to sit down and reflect on your goals in martial arts. If you feel like you will stop at nothing to achieve these goals, then you are already on the path to success!
Whenever you step on the mat, in the ring or the cage, you always risk the chance of losing. No matter how hard you’ve trained, it could all go down the drain in a single moment. How you respond to failure is what defines you as a martial artist.
Failure is a reminder to stay humble. A true martial artist doesn’t let their ego blind them from reality – no matter what color their belt is or how famous they’ve become.
To become successful in martial arts, you must have confidence in your abilities. You must have complete trust in yourself and your technique. You must have faith in your instructor and your training. You must walk away from your training feeling confident, knowing that you are able to handle whatever comes your way.
Believe in your skills and know that you can achieve anything. You are a courageous competitor, ready to take on any challengers. You are armed with the techniques and skills that your instructor has taught you. You have trained too hard for far too long to lose faith in yourself.
Setting goals for yourself, especially in martial arts, is one of the best things you can do to ensure your progression. Think hard and be realistic about where you’d like to see yourself a year from now. Write down your goals in clear, concise terms. Give yourself a specific timeline for completing those goals. When you’ve done that, think about what you’ll do to get there and reward yourself for every goal that you achieve.
Make sure that your goals are specific and immediate. As you complete your goals, write down new ones and reset your focus on new horizons. By setting goals for yourself, you can separate the trivial, unimportant things from what’s really important in your life.
Success very rarely happens overnight. It takes years of hard work and perseverance to make it happen. After his first loss in the UFC, Evolve Fight Team member and BJJ World Champion, Leandro “Brodinho” Issa, knew that giving up on his dream was simply not an option. When he received news that he was up for another fight in the UFC Octagon, “Brodinho” used this as a chance to redeem himself. He won his fight in spectacular fashion.
The path to success may be long and filled with obstacles, but with enough patience, you’ll get there eventually. As long as you stay focused and keep working hard, success will eventually come.
The best martial artists are like water. They are versatile and able to adapt to whatever situations they may find themselves in. Whether they are competing or sparring with their teammates, they know how to adapt their techniques in order to best ensure their success. Similarly, when martial artists prepare for competition or a fight, they often study their opponent’s style. Based on the opponent’s style, they can then create a specific game plan to take advantage of the opponent’s weaknesses. This is versatility.
In order to become a well-rounded fighter, a martial artist must always be working to improve his or her weaknesses. A martial artist must always be adding to his or her toolbox of skills. By enhancing strengths and improving weaknesses, a martial artist becomes a versatile and complete fighter that is ready for anything.
8) OPEN MIND
An open mind is one of the most important traits a martial artist can possess. Martial arts is a continuously evolving pursuit. There are always new techniques and training methods being developed. No matter how long you’ve been training, there is always something new to learn.
If you are open to learning new things, you are able to stay ahead of your competition. You must keep an open mind or risk being passed by.
Staying optimistic can be difficult when you feel like you aren’t progressing in your martial arts journey. Yet, instead of feeling frustrated about the techniques you can’t get right or giving up every time your partner beats you during sparring, use these situations as lessons to learn from. Take mental notes of the mistakes you’ve made and ask your coach for advice on how to improve.
Remember, the minute you give up is the minute you stop improving. Instead of throwing in the towel, think about how much you will improve in the future if you continue to work hard. Stay optimistic and learn from your mistakes.
Beyond all the kicking, punching, throwing, and submitting, learning the principles and concepts behind becoming a successful martial artist could make all the difference in your journey. By combining what you’ve learned in this article with rigorous training, you will see dramatic improvements not only in your martial arts skills but also in your daily life.