Is there a secret to becoming great at martial arts?

I’ll never forget the time a guy asked me, “Yo Sensei!  In your opinion, “what is the secret of the martial arts?”  At first, I have to admit, I thought the question was funny.  I still wonder to this day how he would have responded if said something sarcastic like, “Just think about the acronym W.W.C.N.D.  ‘What would Chuck Norris do?’” and followed up with a blank, non-expressive stare! 

In our society today, commercials and media promote the “quick fix,” “”fast track to wealth,” “secrets to success.”  Blah, blah, blah.  Think about this for one second: “Who was the last person to attend a learning/ real estate/ secrets to success seminar (one time) and actually  become rich?”  There are no magic tricks like waving a magic wand and reciting a line from the latest Harry Potter movie!

The truth is that there is no secret to the martial arts…  No “Easy” button potion from Whole Foods or guru on a hill :). Becoming great boils down to action and grit. Here’s a few ideas to chew on.

1. Practice to own it!: Instead of thinking about secrets and quick fixes, practice with the intention of mastering.  My music production teacher used to drill me, “Key Board Mastery boils down to repetition.”  Such a true statement for anything we pursue in life.

2. Nurtured motivation: Motivation comes and goes as we all know!  With that first Cup of coffee comes the desire to conquer the world, change the way we do things, “yes we can!”  Once that coffee wears off, we crash.  Nurtured motivation is the process of sustaining a quality level of motivation during the day. “Motivation is like taking a shower.  It must happen daily in order to work.”  Read, listen to your favorite music, keep your personal mission statement/ goals right in front of your face, speak to a mentor…Do whatever it takes to stay motivated.

3. Be Pro-active: As my favorite college professor used to say “Get it done. Get it done now!”


Chris Millares