Nothing is guaranteed (and you’re not invincible).
I’m often asked, “What will always work in a fight?” The truth is that nothing is ever guaranteed to work. A black belt does not guarantee someone to win a fight. What’s more dangerous than not knowing how to defend yourself is the false confidence of thinking that you are invincible. Regular practice in martial arts gives you the tools and confidence to answer a myriad of self-defense scenarios. While there is nothing that will always work, you will be prepared.
One of the reasons I hear people do not go back to a gym is due to the soreness of working out. In martial arts, you’re learning to use parts of your body that you’re not accustomed to moving. Until you get acclimated with using those muscles, you will be sore. Additionally, martial arts involves being punched, kicked, locked, thrown, etc. While we work at all costs to avoid injury, pain is part of the journey. To recite a quote, “Pain is a great teacher, but no one likes his class.”
You will be challenged mentally and emotionally.
When was the last time you did something challenging? What did you learn from it? Martial arts is a journey that is full of challenges, both physical and emotional. The opportunity to overcome adversity and challenge will create strength, skill, mental focus, and emotional intelligence. But you only achieve these things if you push through and conquer the challenges.
Training stops when you stop.
There is a misconception that there is a pinnacle of martial arts where you’ve learned everything and completed your journey. The truth is, it only ends when you stop. I’ve trained in martial arts for over two decades, and I am continually learning new concepts, new techniques, better ways to do things I’m currently practicing, new and better ways to teach, and more! Martial artists who have been in the arts for 50+ years will tell you the same. There is no end to learning. There is such a mass amount of knowledge in the world that one person can’t learn it all in one lifetime. More importantly, you’ll continue to learn more about your Self through the journey.