When I was in the shower this morning I noticed two bruises on my arm. I’m sure they happened during last night’s Hapkido class, but I’m not sure when. The one is pretty good size, so you would think I’d remember, but I don’t. Sometimes you take a shot and know, right then and there, that your eye will turn black, that it’s going to hurt later, and so on. Other times, you wake up the next morning and wonder where the bruises, aches and pains came from.
That brings me to the point of this post. Training hurts sometimes. We are practicing a martial art, and along with that practice comes pain. And that’s a good thing. (Sometimes injuries also occur, even though we try not to injure people in class, because then they cannot come back to train. Injuries that take someone out of training are not good. However, there is a big difference between injuring a person and hurting a person.)
You don’t learn Hapkido without feeling a lot of pain. It hurts when your partner puts on a joint lock correctly. (At least it better, and you don’t want to tap out early. Tapping out early can rob your partner of making sure the technique is done correctly.) Joint locks hurt. You deal with it. It hurts hitting the mat over and over. You deal with it. It hurts when you miss a block and your partner whacks you upside the head. You deal with it and block better next time. (Or get out of the way) It hurts when you wake up the day after hard physical training. You deal with it.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t want to deal with it, and that’s why many who check out a martial art class don’t start, and its why many who start training don’t stick it out till black belt and beyond.
But here’s the secret. When you deal with the pain of training and continue on, even when it hurts, you become able to deal with other difficulties in your life with the same determination and discipline. Things than many people find too uncomfortable to bear, are minor to what you put yourself through on a regular basis. You think to yourself when things get tough, “This isn’t near as hard as it was to achieve my black belt.” That’s just one benefit of training. There are so many more, but that’s the one I wanted to focus on today.