Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 Rules of Success (for Martial Arts)

Graduation commencement ceremonies celebrate the transition from one stage to another. Many speeches consist of sage advice, teaching young ones how to live their lives to the fullest, what they should and shouldn’t do. At this University of Southern California graduation ceremony, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was asked to give the commencement speech.

Although Schwarzenegger’s life is rife with controversy, there’s no denying the success he’s had in politics as well as in show business. What many people don’t know is that he was also a successful businessman, investing in many fruitful business ventures with his paychecks from Hollywood. In this speech, he shares the 6 secrets to his success with the graduates. These secrets can be applied not only to our daily lives but in our martial arts journey as well. 

Without further ado, Evolve Daily reveals how you can use these 6 Rules of Success in Your Martial Arts Journey:


1. Trust yourself.


According to Arnold, it is up to us to figure out what makes us happy, no matter how crazy it might sound to other people. The longer we practice martial arts, the more different techniques and styles we will eventually come across. We watch videos and learn from our instructors, but both can only give us so much advice. In the end, our game becomes dependent on what style suits us or what we find interesting. It is all derived from years of experience, trial and error. Ultimately, we know best what works for ourselves and what doesn’t.


2. Break some rules.


Arnold says that it is impossible to be a true original if you’re too well behaved and don’t want to break the rules. We always have to think outside of the box if we want to be successful in martial arts. If we stick to tried and tested techniques and never experimented, then we will never know if we could have been more successful if we attempted other moves. Manny Pacquiao, one of the best southpaws in boxing history, would have not been as successful had he not incorporated the strong right lead jab into his repertoire.


3. Don’t be afraid to fail.


In everything he’s ever attempted, Arnold admits that he was always willing to fail. This enabled him to take risks and push himself to achieve anything that he wanted to. Whether it’s in competition or just in class, we shouldn’t be afraid of failing or losing to our opponents. We should learn from every experience, each of which makes us better in the end. The determination we get to become better the next time gives us the ability to push ourselves further and eventually achieve success.


4. Ignore the naysayers.


In his speech, Arnold tells us that we shouldn’t pay attention to the people who say it can’t be done. The more people tell us no, the more we should find more ways to prove them wrong. There is no greater satisfaction than showing all the naysayers that you are capable of much more than they believed. When we train martial arts, we often come across those who lack confidence in our abilities. Instead of taking what they think to heart, we should just concentrate on making ourselves the best martial artist we can be and eventually prove them wrong.


5. Work your butt off.


Everyone who does martial arts knows the value of putting in hours and hours of hard work into training. If you want something bad enough, you’ll stop at nothing to achieve it, even if it means dedicating every single minute of your waking hours visualizing and training. According to Arnold, none of his rules work unless you do. An athlete himself, he knows the value of hard work and how much dedication you need to have to become successful.


6. Give something back. 


After we’ve achieved success, we should always find a way to pay it forward and help those who need it. In martial arts, there will always be new students looking for guidance. Starting a martial arts journey can be very overwhelming, and we of all people should know what it feels like. For Arnold, giving back will give you more satisfaction than anything else you have ever done. We could all make our martial arts journey more meaningful than just winning awards.


So how do you want to incorporate these rules into your martial arts journey? Start today and reap the benefits in the future!



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