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Follow The Path To Black Belt

Let's do a mental exercise. Close your eyes, and imagine you, in your kimono, tying a black belt around your waist. Maybe the image comes easy, maybe it doesn't. Anyway, it'll be reality if you follow the Process.

First let’s define the Process.

Remember how I said in a previous email how we’ve had Black Belts come out of the Basics programme? Well that’s the process. The fact is that if you train for long enough, you’ll be a black belt. How do I know this? Because everyone who trains for long enough becomes a black belt.

Everyone. No exceptions.

The process is laid down already. You come training, you learn, you practice, you become better. There are bumps in the road along the way. Maybe work will derail you. Maybe you’ll have a baby (or 2 or 3 or 4), maybe you’ll have an injury you need to come back from. Or maybe you’ll lose interest for a while and then have it rekindled and return.

But if you keep coming back, you’ll be a black belt.

But unfortunately, a lot of people think “That’ll never be me”. One of my jobs in coaching is to say “Look, we’re not supermen/superwomen. We were all Beginners once.” I stepped on the mat for the first time one day a couple of decades ago and said, “Uh, what’s an armbar?”

So focus on enjoying yourself. Enjoy the training. Enjoy the people around you and the craic on the mats. Enjoy the post-training banter, and the pre-training chats. Enjoy learning the new stuff, and enjoy being reminded of the things you’d forgotten about.

And when things get sticky in life, and you feel like you’re in a rut, enjoy just coming up and de-stressing by training and hanging out with the crew. Do that until it turns around (and it always does) and you can go back to enjoying yourself.

And then, one day, in a few years, someone, hopefully me, will be calling out your name and have a Black belt in their hand for you.

But first- start. Take the first step. Walk onto the mat for the first time.

See you on the mat,


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