"The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of its participants." -- Gichin Funakoshi

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

losing momentum

It seems the closer I get to shodan testing, the less motivated I become. I really don't understand that at all; I should be more motivated with each passing day. I have to force myself to make it to class at least once a week. What is my deal?

It's not that I'm losing interest - believe me, I'm not. I think I'm just in a bit of a slump. I've been especially lethargic since the weather turned so hot and humid.

The thing is, I know it isn't just the weather. Karate isn't exactly the only endeavor I've ever lost momentum on in my life. I really should have predicted this all along. I'm a great "starter" - I just tend to not finish a lot of the things I start. I get distracted easily.

So I find myself in need of advice. Anybody else ever get like this? How do you keep yourself from losing steam? How do you snap yourself out of a slump?


Steve said...

I can totally relate to this. I have found that setting short and long term goals that are specific and measurable helps me a lot.

When I begin to lose steam with something, it's usually because I haven't achieved anything and I'm getting tired of striving to acheive a goal that still seems so far out. I don't even think about blue belt at this point in my BJJ training. It's a long term goal, but if that were my only goal, I'd lose steam.

So, I set shorter term goals that are achievable and measurable. Succeeding in my goals motivates me to set new goals. Competing at 170lbs is one of my current goals. Developing my competence using of lapel chokes. Fixing my back and hip. These are my current goals. Future goals will include earning a blue belt in BJJ, winning my division in a tournament, competing at the Pan Ams in California (that last is a goal for 2009 or 2010)...

frotoe said...

just keep going!! Once you get into the testing for Shodan you will regain the motivation. What is involved with your testing cycle? do you have to take a pre-test? Don't worry..just keep going. When I was testing for Shodan at one point I lost all confidence in myself. I thought...I do not deserve this..I KNOW NOTHING! Its no more than a reality check, really. Just don't stop now! :)

supergroup7 said...

I think that you might want to ask yourself what your goal is: Why are you taking karate? Is it because you want to learn self defense? Is it because you want to learn more about Eastern Martial arts? Is it a health thing? Once you find your base.. then it will be easy to motivate yourself to seek more deeply into the things that you are interested in.

Amanda said...

I had to train at another studio for 5 weeks out of the 8 leading up to my black belt test. That was stressful, but I just did it.

When I am feeling distracted, exhausted, bored with taekwondo it's often because of something else. (Right now it's a cold coming on and finishing up my income taxes!) I just force myself to go.

Sometimes though, it's just a sort of burnout. I switch gears by training a little less than normal physically but training more in other areas--reading books about my art, watching demonstrations, attending tournaments, meeting new people in the art, asking Master more questions.

Of course, some of these things are probably easier for me to do than you--I live in South Korea.

But those things tend to give me a physical break while challenging me mentally.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean, A. And I see it with others. I know several people who made it to our level and just dropped out. I think it has to do with a sort of image we have of what it will feel like when we get there.

It's not a disappointment, exactly, just a concept that by now we should know more, have better stances, be able to understand things better, but as we're told all along, the black belt is just the beginning.

The heat doesn't help though. By mid-afternoon, I'm wiped out.


blackbeltmama said...

You wouldn't believe the number of 1st kyu's who quit at my school. It's amazing to me. I know how you feel. I've had bouts of that for years now. Just keep your eye on that goal and how good it's going to feel to have black around your waist.