Punch Fear In The Face: 5 Things You Should Never Say In Training

As martial artists on the path of self-improvement, we’re always looking at ways to become the best versions of ourselves possible. Unfortunately, because we’re so gung ho on achieving all these goals, we’ve set such high standards for ourselves that we’ve become afraid to try. We’ve become pseudo perfectionists, letting anything and everything get in the way of us accomplishing our goals because we deem ourselves unworthy.

Before we let this irrational fear get the best of us, perhaps we should examine the key ways in which we can tune it out. Here are the 5 Things You Should Never Say When Training Martial Arts:

“I’m not ready.”

Stretching is a great way to warm up your muscles before a workout.

Saying you aren’t ready is one of the easiest ways out of trying something new/progressive. In training martial arts, we become comfortable with certain techniques because they’re easy for us to understand, or because they suit our body type, or because we’ve already made them effective in sparring.

Trying new techniques that are out of our repertoire make us more vulnerable during sparring, or worse, feel like complete beginners. Almost nobody feels comfortable trying new techniques, but the more you put it off, the less likely you’ll be to try them. The more techniques you have in your arsenal, the more well-rounded you’ll be.


“I’m not good enough.”

The knee is one of the deadliest strikes in all of Muay Thai.

Every once in awhile, it’s OK to feel we don’t measure up to anyone’s standards. But it doesn’t mean it’s true. Thoughts are just thoughts, no matter how real they may feel. And despite how we feel, it doesn’t mean that we have to take our thoughts seriously. Remember that time you thought you weren’t good enough to spar with a higher belt but ended up getting some points on them? Or that time you never thought you would get promoted but eventually did.

It’s true what all positive thinking books say: as long as you believe it, it will come true. The more you believe something is possible, the more likely you will be able to achieve it. Tune out the negative voices in your head and think positive. You’re capable of so much more than you think.


“But I need…”

Martial arts will give your child more confidence than any other after school activity.

This is a favorite excuse of many martial artists. For example, when competition season comes up, all the excuses not to compete come up. How many times have you found yourself saying, you can’t compete because “I need to be fit/be able to beat all the people in my level, etc.” We create these barriers because we’re afraid of taking a chance. Next time, break those barriers and see what you can accomplish. You’d probably surprise yourself.


“I’ll do that when…”

Many of us think that there’s this special moment we all need to wait for in order for us to finally achieve our training goals. We wait and wait for this magical time, but it never comes. It’s up to you to make the decision when that day will be, and you need to be specific. For example, if your goal is to lose 10 pounds, you need to say when you’ll accomplish it. The more specific you are about your deadline, the more real it becomes.


“I can’t.”

Adding strength and conditioning to your martial arts training will certainly take it to the next level.

This is possibly the worst thing to say during training. By saying that you can’t, you’re already telling yourself that it’s impossible. Remember what we said about positive thinking? The mind is powerful, and it can will your body to do things you could have never imagined yourself doing. Whether it’s competing in a major competition, losing extra weight, or eating clean – the more you say that you’re going to do it and that you can, the more possible it becomes.


Although it may be tough to tune our fears out in the beginning, just like training, it gets easier in time. The more you train, the more confident you become in yourself and your abilities as a martial artist. So what are you waiting for? Punch fear in the face and just go and train!

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