In training it is not uncommon to run into a number of hurdles. One of the major ones could be your inner self. I have learned that the more I would challenge myself and overcome my own mental hurdles the more control I would gain over my mind. With the goal being complete self control with an iron will and indomitable spirit. With overcoming obstacles comes enlightenment as to deal with difficult challenges often I had to dissect myself and recognize my own weaknesses in order to confront and overcome them.
Obstacles in training are all reasons to give in and nearly always are encountered when one begins to gain some competence in the system. Realizing the obstacles for what they are and the benefits to be gained from overcoming them will help immensely in the fighter’s journey. I find there are three types of impediments, the tangible ones, the intangible ones and the silly ones.
Tangible impediments come across as sprains, torn ligaments, broken bones and illnesses. It would be unwise to advocate training with an injury, but often I found I was able to train round my injuries. I remember training on a number of occasions with my arm in a cast. Training under these types of conditions develops will power. I will never forget bumping into a 3rd Dan black belt at a seminar who had lost a leg in a motorcycling accident when he was a blue belt. He still was able to kick more ass than most able bodied men. If becoming a black belt was that easy everyone and his dog would be walking around with one. It is about having the determination to train even after recovering from terrible injuries.
There are intangible impediments, things like fear of pain. Some people particularly women would tell me things like “I really don’t understand what attracts you men to punching and kicking each other like you do.” I say that to overcome your fear you have to confront it and desensitize yourself to it. This means lots of full contact sparring and ground fighting and full contact drills involving weapon defences. In real fighting pain is the ugly handmaiden and the only way to prepare oneself to survive a real confrontation is to start building tolerance to pain. Boredom is something else that I hear. I always say that there are so many facets of defence in Krav Maga that boredom is simply a lazy man’s excuse.
I have some people, again mostly females who would say that they simply do not enjoy the full contact training. I always say that the real enjoyment comes from the fruits of training not from the training itself. Come on nobody really enjoys getting slammed, thrown, punched, kicked etc. (I apologize to all the masochist reading this blog). It is unrealistic to expect total enjoyment from an activity as physically and mentally demanding as Krav Maga. When the pleasure is there savour it, when its not there cope with it; its part of the character building process of being a martial artist.
Then I come across silly reasons not to train. I had quite a talented individual with previous military experience tell me that he has to quit training because he broke up with his girlfriend. All the more reason to train, there may be an opportunity to meet another like minded person and fall in love. Someone else told me that her hours at work have been cut and she cannot afford to train. I run probably the best value training in an Israeli close quarter combat system for which I was charging three times as much in England. Back in England someone told me that their cat had died and they are too heart broken. Nice excuse, you could use this one nine times.
Every reason not to train can be turned into a reason to train. The real strength is hidden in these obstacles which we run into on our journey as martial artists. If you want the strength and reap the rewards then you will have to overcome these obstacles.