Monday, August 23, 2010

It's all in the mind

I have been fighting with my martial arts--more importantly, I've been fighting with my head lately.  I haven't been to class for several months and am not really going to be heading back any time soon.  I've had problems with myself, with comparing myself to the others in my TSD class. I see myself as not as good as them.   It's all in my head, I know.  I should not compare myself to people around me.  They train differently from the way I trained.  I didn't learn the Korean in my original class and didn't make a lot of effort to learn it when I was taking classes regularly.   I didn't work on my material outside of class and let myself get discouraged when I didn't understand the Korean for specific movements/techniques. That frustration led to more frustration and became a huge snowball.  Because of this, I let myself get discouraged.  Instead of approaching someone and saying "I want to practice x, y or z", I steamed and stewed and let myself get into a more negative habit than I've ever been in.  I didn't listen to myself when I thought "Oh, I can do this!"  Instead, I opted NOT to hear my little inner voice, but heard a much louder, more negative one that said "You're terrible.  You'll never advance to be anything more than a Cho Dan".  I didn't attack that voice and ignore it or beat it back.

I don't feel like I'm comfortable going back to the dojang at present.  I had been told by someone that I shouldn't have gone into the dojang as a black belt because my ways were so totally different from theirs. I was told that I should have started over and worked my way back up the ranks to earn my black belt properly. I internalized that, let it sit in my sub conscious and finally succumbed.

I'm going to go back to Tang Soo Do at some point.  I don't think my Masters will have me back any time soon.  They probably think (here I am projecting what I think they think, most likely not what they really DO think...) that I'm a loser and that I gave up.  I don't see it as giving up right now.  I'm revamping my focus.
To that extent, I've started taking Tai Chi classes to learn to take things slower, literally.  My instructor says that she feels that my Tai Chi training will compliment my Tang Soo Do training.  Right now, the first thing I've learned (and probably the most important!), is that I am drowning out paying attention to the others in the class.  We are all beginners, no matter who we are.  In that I feel I've learned something.


I've also learned that I don't CARE that I'm not as good as everyone else in class.  I'm as good as I can make myself.  That's the important thing.
I'm not in a race to be as good or better.  I'm in no race at all.  I'm learning.  I'm slowing down.   In the process, maybe I'll learn how to get back to my martial arts training, to get to the point where I can be super proud of myself again. 


It's up to me because it's all in the mind

1 comment:

The Accidental Aikidoist said...

In Aikido there is the saying:

"True victory is victory over oneself". That's good that you're coming around.

As for the change I once went to a different dojo in a different area for Aikido. I was mildly taken back by their difference in approach. But I gritted my teeth and took the class mainly because I wanted to see a different perspective. I got myself up to show at least SOME respect for the sensei there and we ended up talking a little about the difference in Aikido at difference schools...what a surprise!

I don't know about yourself, but my martial training has been about getting over the person's mind, or "I" as they call it here. It seems that you've been warring over yourself for quite some time (I've read some of your earlier articles). I feel that you should trust your gut instincts more. One way to begin this process is to have a "just do it" mentality when it comes to what you want to do at any particular moment.

I know this sounds superficial but this is the best I can do in a blog comment. Hope that helps. Good luck in your future endeavors.