You throw a jab a thousand times. You throw a kick a thousand times. You check, you block, you attack, you defend, you cross, you knee, you elbow, you train. Over and over you do the same technique, the same skill, the same motion, trying and trying to make it perfect, to do the right movement, the correct form…
But you aren’t perfect.
You are going to screw up. You are going to get it wrong.
Your mistakes, your missteps are not what define you in your chosen art.
They aren’t what defines you as a fighter.
Frustration is natural and it will never not happen. It might hide away for a little while patiently waiting to creep into your training when self-doubt starts to cloud your mind, but it will never disappear forever.
What you do with the pressure, the frustration, is what defines you.
Do you blame it on others? Oh – I didn’t learn it that way. Someone else taught me that differently.
Do you blame it on yourself? I’ll never get it right. I can’t do this. I’m not good enough. Why can’t I get this right? Why is everyone else getting it right, but me?
Does it really matter who you blame?
Recently, I was reminded – Muay Thai takes a lifetime to learn.
I’ve heard this before, but this time it really resonated with me. We are all striving for this perfection in our art. Much like a painter or a sculptor, we are chasing the dream of a perfect creation, a perfect drill, a perfect fight. But there is no such thing. Artists are always evolving, growing, changing, learning and relearning. There is always something to adjust, something to morph.
Take a step outside your training. Look at it like you’re someone else; life is a dream and you are an observer, a scenario similar to a painter critiquing their completed work. They either have to accept their work as beautiful and see the things they want to improve upon as challenges for their next concept, or let the negativity eat away at them. Oh- that color is all wrong, the strokes should be wider, the image brighter. Or they can see what they created as part of their ever-changing, ever-growing process. We can do the same with our training or our fights. We can let the imperfections eat away at us or we can look through eyes that see a lifetime of learning, a lifetime of growing and changing, a lifetime of creating a perfectly imperfect work of art.
We are artists. Accept creativity and a constant metamorphosis as part of your craft.
Don’t get me wrong, frustration will come… of course. But don’t dwell on it so much that it ruins the beauty of your training. Because ultimately, it is a thing of beauty. It’s an art that flows and changes with each individual.
Every struggle and every success breathes new life to our fight.
If Muay Thai takes a lifetime to learn, then you might as well make it a beautiful process.