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#433682 - 08/23/11 12:01 PM New guy, huge problem.
Zinc Offline
Koga no mono!
Newbie

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 14
Loc: Western Pa!
Hello everyone. Let me start by saying a couple things. One, it's an honor to post here. Two, I have nowhere else to go with this, other than to martial artists.
For about a year or two (going on two now), I've been training in martial arts, and it's opened up this massive new world to me, one that I enjoy more than ANYTHING else. The problem is, I don't know where to go in this world. I want to train to martial arts to better myself, but I am constantly losing my motivation. I can't keep with any form of healthy eating, working out, or meditation. The only thing that's roughly consistent is actually going to the dojo three times a week, and there I still feel like I'm not getting the art as much as could be.
I am coming to you with confidence in saying that I don't have much in this world to look forward to. Let me say that I am not ungrateful for the things I have (family, friends, faith), but it's just a plain fact that I am good at nothing, except for martial arts. I'm not exaggerating either, I'm quite mediocre at everything that I have attempted.

I know I sound desperate, but the things is if I'm losing myself in training... what else do I have left to look to?
Does anyone here think they have an answer to any of that? The dedication mostly, but I'm seriously open to any and all suggestions. If I could, I'd devote my life to the arts, but I don't see how that's possible at this point.

Thank you guys.

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#433683 - 08/23/11 12:50 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Zinc]
gojuman59 Offline
Member

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 224
Loc: Missouri

Welcome to the grind of life. I've found that these feelings go in cycles. I encourage you to keep at your training and let your resolve be strengthened.Hard work and disipline in your training will pay off in the end. Don't expect it all to come at once. I would pick one aspect of your life to work on at a time.Improve that and then move on to the next aspect of your life that needs work. Keep your chin up and never give up.
Also avoid the negative talk. You are good at something, you just haven't found your place in this world yet. Good luck!!


Mark

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#433684 - 08/23/11 01:00 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Zinc]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Three days a week takes a decent amount of dedication for most people, beyond that you should train on your own if you're looking to do more.

Anyway dude, you sound depressed, I know the feeling. It's easy to judge yourself as being mediocre, but what does that mean anyway? For everyone that feels like you, there's a strung out, speed-addled workaholic out there that never feels good enough no matter what they accomplish. The human condition I guess. If martial arts isn't helping you enough with these feelings, try to find something else that will. From personal experience, these feelings of being mediocre etc. aren't gonna go away until you confront them.


It sounds like you might be applying this to martial arts too maybe, like you need to do more and more and more ore else you'll be mediocre..stop looking at it that way and do it because you love it, don't think so much about getting better.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (08/23/11 01:01 PM)

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#433685 - 08/23/11 02:50 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Zinc]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572
First off, welcome. Some points I'd make:

1) There is no such thing as natural talent. This has been borne out by scientific study. Read Matthew Syed's book called "Bounce". It demloishes the myth of natural talent and instead looks at the 10000 hour theory and provides scientific evidence that shows the former to be a fallacy and the latter to be a more accurate explanation for how anyone gets good at anything.

The fact that you are good at martial arts is because you are clearly passionate about them and practice them regularly. Impassioned practice over a long period of time is what makes people excellent at something. I'm willing to bet you just didn't have the interest or passion for many of the other things you claim not to be good at.

2) I was reading an interview with a Shaolin Monk who know lives in London. He was having trouble meditating so he went to the abbot in the temple with his problem. The abbot asked him what he enjoyed doing most. The monk said "Fighting". The abbot told him to find the meditative quality in fighting. Fighting then became a form of meditation for the monk.

3) The Samurai use to say that the future wasn't real, it only exists in the mind. The samurai also said the past isn't real, it is an illusion that lives only in the mind. The only thing that is real and tangible is the present, what is here and now. Don't worry about the future or fixate on the past. In other words, don't live in your own head. Live in the moment, the here and now.

Live is short. Do something you enjoy and are passionate about. You could possibly think long-term about teaching martial arts. I know there was a Martial Arts degree a university in the USA were offering if you wanted to study what you're doing in more detail. If you wanted to look for less general study, I know Judo coaches and a Karate coach who've completed Sports Science degrees and used their martial arts as the theme for their study and thesis.

There's no rule in life that says you've got to end up working in an office somewhere. I know a few people who make a living out of teaching martial arts. They aren't millionaires ( the BJJ guys with the big academies are probably close though lol!) but they make a living and more than that they are doing a job they love. I don't know too many people that can say that.
_________________________
"Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food" Hippocrates.

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#433687 - 08/23/11 07:12 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Prizewriter]
Shonuff Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/03/04
Posts: 603
Loc: London, UK
The thing I found most helpful in generating motivation (after many many years of searching for an answer to that same problem) is to find out and do the things that replenish you.

For me, I spent every free moment running about, socialising, training, socialising some more. I left no time to take care of myself. When I stopped, spent more time alone, got more sleep, cleaned up my place, ate better etc etc I found I had more mental energy for the stuff I found difficult.

Work out where your mental energy goes and what areas of your own existence you are not taking care of. Then step back and do those things for yourself that you've not been doing.

And if you ever hope to maintain this for any length of time don't do shift work or find any particularly taxing career. Try not to have a family either. In fact if you see someone your attracted to that there is even a vague possibility of a relationship, run like hell.


Edited by Shonuff (08/23/11 07:17 PM)
_________________________
It's Shotokan not Shoto-can't!!!

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#433688 - 08/23/11 07:31 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Prizewriter]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Zinc.
Maybe it would be a good idea to speak with one of your instructors about it. Chances are they may have felt like you do at one time or another and you may get some good insight from them.
Good luck, and keep training.
_________________________
Insert profound martial arts quotes or tough guy phrases here.

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#433690 - 08/23/11 11:50 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: choonbee]
Zinc Offline
Koga no mono!
Newbie

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 14
Loc: Western Pa!
Hey guys, thank you for all the replies!

First off, let me reassure you that I'm not an extremely depressed person- I'm actually quite happy. I'm only stuck at the moment, and the feeling isn't any good! laugh
I've read over everyone's comments, and I gotta say I love all of it.

If I might:

Mark: I know EXACTLY what you mean about the cycles. I feel those, and that's actually what this is about (I am horrible at wording my feelings :D) Also, I will most definitely think about the aspect to aspect thing. Although I had thought about it for a moment, and I don't quite know what to do first (Working out, healthy eating, mentality). Gah...

Zach_Zinn: Haha, as bad as it looks man, I'm not too depressed smile I'm quite happy, I just am really stuck right now. Also, I really would hate to leave martial arts, just because I really don't know what else there is to look to.

Prizewriter: I might actually look into that 'Bounce'. And your right, I really had no passion for any of the other things. smile Regarding the monk, I still need to find out what I enjoy. As weird as that sounds, I really don't know what I truly enjoy in life. Also, I couldn't teach martial arts for big money, it would kill me. On the side would be fine, but I really have a hard time with the big corporate Mcdojos and such.

Shonuff: I'm SERIOUSLY going to take what you said into consideration. My main problem here though is after I'd thought about where I'm usually at (my mind at least and such,), I find that I spend most of my energy on keeping my head uncluttered. I don't know if anyone else has had this, but my mind... it's so cluttered. I can't think straight, ever. Also man, Girls= F- no man, I don't want to ruin a girl's life, and shift work? I'm joining the army, and hopefully off to Japan to do historical... cultural... stuff. I don't know. Yeah. laugh

choonbee: I don't know if I'd be man enough to talk to my Senseis about this. frown

Thank you all, and I'm sorry for such a long post! I really appreciate this- it's literally my biggest problem in life right now, wouldn't you believe it? Haha. laugh


Edited by Zinc (08/24/11 12:36 AM)

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#433693 - 08/24/11 10:11 AM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Shonuff]
BrianS Offline
Higher rank than you
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 5959
Loc: Northwest Arkansas
Originally Posted By: Shonuff
And if you ever hope to maintain this for any length of time don't do shift work or find any particularly taxing career. Try not to have a family either. In fact if you see someone your attracted to that there is even a vague possibility of a relationship, run like hell.


WIN!!!!!!! BWAHAHA!!! That is so true!
_________________________
The2nd ammendment, it makes all the others possible. <///<




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#433707 - 08/25/11 03:45 AM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: BrianS]
Mark Jordan Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 138
Loc: Burbank, California
I'll give you some points for the effort of still going to the dojo 3x a week despite what you're feeling. That is an accomplishment! When you say "I am good at nothing, except for martial arts" you are belittling yourself. Don't belittle yourself. Instead, have more confidence in your own abilities.

When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything and depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything!

To stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it. Take time to look at a bigger picture, be grateful for what you have and realize exactly where you are and how much more you have left to do. Sometimes we always want things to happen at once and we donít quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.

Lastly, reward yourself every now and then for a completed task (big or small).

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#433708 - 08/25/11 04:00 AM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: BrianS]
Mark Jordan Offline
Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 138
Loc: Burbank, California
I'll give you some points for the effort of still going to the dojo 3x a week despite what you're feeling. That is an accomplishment! When you say "I am good at nothing, except for martial arts" you are belittling yourself. Don't belittle yourself. Instead, have more confidence in your own abilities.

When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything and depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything!

To stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it. Take time to look at a bigger picture, be grateful for what you have and realize exactly where you are and how much more you have left to do. Sometimes we always want things to happen at once and we donít quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.

Lastly, reward yourself every now and then for a completed task (big or small).

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#433714 - 08/25/11 12:39 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Mark Jordan]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
Zinc, having dreams and desires is nothing mediocre. Going and chasing your dreams is nothing mediocre... Mediocre, is towing the line, accepting your lot and doing nothing... except measuring yourself against other people.

OK, you may not be as quick or as able as some others, but part of the art is to measure your self against yourself... not others. You have been to the dojo 3 times more this week than I have in the last 2 months (I won't go into why)... so you have achieved more than me... think of all those who sit saying they'll start MA and never do... how mediocre are they? Think of those who don't last as long as you...

You recognise these things in yourself and seek to better yourself by asking advice from those who've walked the road... that's not mediocre... that's smart (and humble).

Another thing... perhaps don't look for the art and you'll find it... one day you'll realise you've been in it all along. You can't always see it from the inside.

Best of luck to you, my friend.

T:-)
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#433718 - 08/25/11 10:12 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: trevek]
Zinc Offline
Koga no mono!
Newbie

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 14
Loc: Western Pa!
Thanks Mark and Trevek, I'll definitely follow what you have told me.

(By the way Trevek, I was there this week- I just started my new job, hehe. :D)

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#433735 - 08/28/11 07:53 AM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Zinc]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Life is what passes you by whilst you make plans.

As others have touched on (Prizewriter in particular), there is a correlation between effort applied and reward gained. Your interest in martial arts has led to you training regularly, and thus you have achieved a level of success you do not feel you have in other areas of life.

All that shoudl tell you is that you are capable of raising your game in any direction you chose, should you decide to apply yourself with a modicum of dedication.

As to 'I'm not as good as I think I should be after 'x' amount of time', consider the bigger picture. Technique and skill are 1 facet the body needs in order to be good at martial arts (undoubtedly the primary facet). But you poor eating habits and lack of motivation for complimentary conditioning, means that you are limiting yourself in your area of interest.

As an analogy: If you build a sports car, and finish it with a great paintjob, top quality rollcage, bucket seats and full harnesses, along with carbon fibre everywhere and top-end suspension; it wont count for much if the engine is from an economy 3 door, poorly tuned, and fuelled with low-octane fuel.

So, for you, you need to come to see gym work and an improved diet as part of your martial art training, which it seems, is something that inspires you.

Nothing is a thing of itself. Everything is merely a link in a very long chain.
_________________________
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#433860 - 09/23/11 11:21 AM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Zinc]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Zinc:

A pleasure to meet you!

There was an old Dave Lowry column, in Black Belt Magazine as I recall. It described what Lowry called "Dojo Crazy" I believe was the term. Described was the training hall where one student ate, woke, slept and did his art every waking moment literally in that school.

Every spare moment was spent getting technically very good at that art. He was held in awe by most/many of the other students. Unfortunately, the guy was NUTS! He omitted his wife, his family, his entire life... just to get good at something he felt very important.

Psychological Therapy would not have been a bad idea for him. Many find the martial arts incredible and wonderful challenge. Many find it very therapeutic... where else in the known universe can you truly smash someone, strike them, choke them, hit them, kick them with no long term negative consequences for it... aside from a martial arts class (sic. and STILL be friends afterwards)?! A good place to let off steam, provided you tell your partners your "intentions"...

Martial arts training are very unique in some ways. That intensity, the knowledge being learned, self control... all useful things. But, if you genuinely believe you have absolutely nothing else... nothing you know of... perhaps talking with a professional will help?

Nothing wrong with "karate therapy" by any means. Peter Urban wrote about his ideas in his work "Karate Psychology" a.k.a. "Karate Sensei" (Masters Publications). An obscenely difficult read on almost any level... It describes 26 individuals who Urban supposedly taught, and examines their intimate personal flaws and how they used Karate training... as literal therapy according to Urban anyway.

Perhaps "Te" will be just the ticket to help you discover that you have far more than you perceive. If not find someone to share your perceptions, and they can help change your view!

Jeff

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#433897 - 09/29/11 09:51 AM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Ronin1966]
duanew Offline
Member

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 326
Loc: MN
"where else in the known universe can you truly smash someone, strike them, choke them, hit them, kick them with no long term negative consequences for it... aside from a martial arts class (sic. and STILL be friends afterwards)?! "

Never been to an English, Scottish, Irish, pub?

Duane

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#433913 - 10/01/11 09:22 AM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: duanew]
Zinc Offline
Koga no mono!
Newbie

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 14
Loc: Western Pa!
So, I need to go see a therapist... because I find it hard to find motivation?

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#434082 - 10/29/11 07:11 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: duanew]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Duane:

Nope... I do not drink! (One of many "character flaws"...)
Married with a family... try not to spend time in bars, pubs. But I'm a big fan of avoiding the avoidable... not putting myself in places where problems are common/daily events.

The whole self-protection thing, you know... grin
Jeff


Edited by Ronin1966 (10/29/11 07:16 PM)

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#434083 - 10/29/11 07:48 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Zinc]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Zinc:

My point was simply all of us have to be careful why we study. We should all be on guard against excessive, or potentially excessive study/practice.

Doing so risks making very good but also "dojo crazy" (ie off balance)

That was my point...
Jeff


Edited by Ronin1966 (10/29/11 07:56 PM)
Edit Reason: clarification

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#434340 - 12/27/11 12:31 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Ronin1966]
blanch Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/27/10
Posts: 12
I'm even newer to martial arts than the OP,but i've boxed since i was a pup and know that by far the best way to get motivation is to get at least one training partner and spar hard.

you motivate each other,and if you start slacking the sparring will soon motivate you.

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#434341 - 12/27/11 03:27 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: blanch]
Zombie Zero Offline
Compliance & Liability
Veteran

Registered: 06/17/05
Posts: 1990
Loc: Lorton, VA
Zinc,

You're in Western PA in the middle of Winter. I'm not a doctor, but what you're describing sounds a lot like Seasonal Affective Disorder, something I've struggled with for years.

Consider taking a Vitamin D supplement.

And definitely consider seeing a doctor. Depression is a very real disease, but it is treatable.

Good luck, and let us know how we can help.
_________________________
In my walk in the martial way, my hope is that as long as I live, I will always be a beginner.

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#434344 - 12/28/11 11:16 AM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Zombie Zero]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 904
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
I actually took a Drop of £4000.00 a year so that I could practice more regular.

I've never been able to match that salary since, but at least I'm "happy". I get a little down around Christmas too, but I tend to focus more on what's important to me to help me through it! Having "PTSD" from the Armed Forces doesn't help either
_________________________
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Ken

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#434365 - 12/29/11 10:49 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Dobbersky]
hope Offline
Member

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 149
Loc: Vancouver, B.C.
Is there any country which gives enough support to returning vets with PTSD? Hope this isn't a rhetorical question...
_________________________
God grant me a good sword and no use for it. -- Polish proverb

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#434373 - 12/30/11 11:23 AM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: hope]
Dobbersky Offline
Peace Works!!!!
Enthusiast

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 904
Loc: Manchester United Kingdom
Originally Posted By: hope
Is there any country which gives enough support to returning vets with PTSD? Hope this isn't a rhetorical question...


Its one of those things Governments want to "ignore" just like "Gulf War Syndrome" Some of the guys I served with have that.

Look at the support given to any Returning soldiers its embarrassing. Vietnam, WW1, WW2, Korean, etc. the soldiers were "thrown back into Civillian life without any support, or "retraining" or Councilling with regards to various Physical or Psychological injuries!!!!
_________________________
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.

Ken

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#434378 - 12/30/11 01:11 PM Re: New guy, huge problem. [Re: Dobbersky]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
Funnily enough, the Poppy Appeal was started to raise money for WW1 veterans precisely because the government wasn't doing enough (anything).
_________________________
See how well I block your punches with my jaw!!

Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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