Why I Never Quit Martial Arts

("Susanoo slaying the Yamata-no-Orochi" ca. 1870s by Toyohara Chikanobu)

("Susanoo slaying the Yamata-no-Orochi" ca. 1870s by Toyohara Chikanobu)

Ultimately I have this sense that somehow training makes me a better person.

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I don't much care about belts, nor am I defined by them.
I've never won any world titles.
I work for a living, but I make time.
This art has caused me countless injuries,
Built many relationships,
Lost many relationships,
Sacrificed other pursuits,
Put aside financial ambitions for simpler ones.
It takes me a few days to get over one really hard day of training.
I have to admit to myself that I'm not special.
I constantly get beaten up by people who started after me but have already surpassed my ability.
It's made me upset, sad, happy, sore, upset, happy, tired, frustrated, and curious.
I keep training
And I don't know why.

Ultimately I have this sense that somehow training makes me a better person.
You won't see me win any world titles, but I will say
I know myself just a little bit better each time I train.
I know myself more than I did the day before.
My reason for training isn't to be a champion, and that's okay
Because somehow martial arts is the best expression of who I am as an individual.
It is for me an expression of life.
I don't do it for pleasure.
I do it for a better reason.
I do it because it's important.
I do it because it's hard.
My greatest obstacle was never any opponent,
It was myself.
My greatest achievement wasn't a title or a belt,
It was never stopping.

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