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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Stop Apologizing

(This is mostly for my students, but really, it applies to anyone training in...anything).

Stop apologizing.

You don't have to be sorry because you didn't understand the technique. You've never done the technique before.

You don't have to be sorry for having a bad day in sparring. You're sparring with good players. Some of them are more experienced than you are. Some are bigger, or stronger, or faster, or all three.

You don't have to be sorry for losing the fight. You fought hard. The other guy fought harder.

You don't have to be sorry because you're not getting it right away. You just started. Even if you've been at this for several years, you just started. Almost any way you count it, I'm two decades into my martial arts career, and I don't get it all right away.

You don't have to be sorry because you're scared. Someone is trying to punch you in the face. That's scary.

You don't have to apologize for missing practice because you had to be with your family. It's your family, for G-d's sake. They are infinitely more important than this.

The process of training is, well, a process. I know it's a cliche, but, if it was easy, everyone would do it.

If you're trying and failing, that's fine. Keep trying. It's the only way any of us get any better.

1 comment:

Kamil Devonish said...

This is a good post. Particularly in karate, a lot of karateka apologize for making contact in practice. And that really drives me mad. That's why so much karate is of low quality. You shouldn't apologize for making contact or trying hard or testing your partner. They should be thanking you for not pulling punches, not trying to kill them and actually giving you a chance to test yourself. "Sorry" can be polite, but it can also become a mindless habit.