The Exceptional Martial Artist

Transcript - The Exceptional Martial Artist

Today I'd like to talk to you a little bit about the exceptional martial artist.

What is it that distinguishes the person who just comes to the dojo for a year and someone who becomes incredibly better? What is it that distinguishes the average person from the person who commits their whole life to martial arts? When you step on the mat, you look around the room and there's often that one person who's clearly better than everybody else or more committed than everybody else, or just a joy to work with. Here's the deal — I'm not going to tell you exactly what those things are, but I will tell you some things to look for when you're on the mat at JMAC.

You want to pay attention to the people who have really high ranks and are really committed. You look at Holland-Sensei, who's just super energetic. Why is it that he says "Hai" louder than anybody else in the room? Why is it that Gage-Sensei, who has better credentials than almost anybody on the planet in Japanese martial arts, lines up all the way at the junior end of the line when somebody like me is leading the class? Why is it that when Shimizu-Sensei comes with Nobetsu Sensei and trains, there's that ineffable, hard to pin down energy about what he does? What is it that he's doing differently? How is his mindset different, how is his behavior different, what is he bringing to the training that maybe you're not bringing -- or that other people who aren't doing as well as they might be, aren't bringing?

That's the key.

Start looking for those things. It's easy enough to learn the patterns, it's easy enough to develop more power, it's easy enough to develop better balance, focus, concentration, but to become the exceptional martial artist — and believe me that's where the really exciting stuff is — you've got to pay attention a little bit more than you might expect, and one place to look is at those people who are themselves exceptional.

In our last video in this series — the next one coming — I'm going to talk to you a little bit about becoming a full member. That is what happens after your two-month trial period, when you've decided, yeah, I'm gonna commit to another ten months and really give myself to the training, so that I can learn what it's like to become a true martial artist.