Episode 7: Fun In Martial Arts
Is Fun The Most Important Part To Our Martial Arts Training Or Is There Something Exceedingly More Powerful To Consider Here?
In this episode of the Martial Art of Self, we look at the word ‘fun’ and our relationship to fun when it comes to martial arts for example.
Doing something that we are not good at, and doesn’t come easy to us, is rarely ever fun, but it is fruitful. Through sticking to it with time and dedication, and discipline – it bears fruit. It expands our self-character and enriches our life. This is something we can then truly be proud of ourselves.
We can reshape our outlook to for example martial arts and the training and living involved in it, and free ourselves from this concept of ‘it must be fun all the time.’ It is not. That would be unnatural since our experiences vary from day to day anew. Each day is a new setup. We meet each day anew. Therefore what was fun yesterday, may not be so fun day after day.
Continuing to do the training though is the important part otherwise we put a halt to our growth if we only let ourselves grow when we have and experience fun towards something.
In this episode, I share how this idea of fun has compromised my growth and what I have realized when it comes to fun and martial arts and other activities of my life.
Music by Fidelis Spies
Welcome to the Martial Art of Self podcast, a podcast about bringing the essence of martial arts back to self.
Hi everyone, this is Aldin, and in today’s episode we are talking about fun during training. I have been looking at this point for quite some time, and I have been wrestling with it inside myself when it comes to my martial arts training. But not just confined to martial arts only. It also applies to many, many other things in my life. Particularly responsibilities where I have to do something that I don’t necessarily want to do at that moment, or at that time. For example, if I have to work on a particular project, like a personal project, and I don’t necessarily see working on that project as fun, or I don’t see it necessarily as fun to do my martial arts training and I have for quite some time, for many years believed that something is wrong with that.
Why am I not having always fun when it comes to doing my training when it comes to working on a project that I know is going to be fruitful, that I know or feel like is going to create something of which I am going to be proud of myself and in my life?
I believed that something is seriously wrong with me for not being always in this happy blissful state when it comes to for example the training, the execution of the exercises or the time investment into my training. From there, it turned to the point where I started doubting that maybe I am not as much interested in martial arts, maybe I am not that much interested in my training anymore, because here I am and only rarely do I have fun during the training. Mostly I am not in a really fun and happy state so to speak when it comes to the training, and the time that needs to be invested in the training or a specific particular exercise, training regime and so on.
Through the doubt, I started to think that maybe I should just stop training. Maybe I should just stop doing what I am doing and just pursue the next greater, better thing that would produce this happiness, this ‘I am having fun’-experience and feeling within myself, but what I have come to see and realize lately is that doing something that I am not accustomed to, doing something that i am not good at, even if I have repeated the same exercises during my martial arts training many, many, many times – the focus when I do the exercises is always to improve from the previous time and therefore I am always anew challenging myself in my already established training patterns and punching patterns and kicking patterns and moving patterns. Always challenging them and seeing where can I improve, where are still weaknesses, where can I add something, remove something from it and make it truly uniquely my own, plus make it better?
What happens through that process is that you are putting yourself in a position where you are doing something you are not good at, because you are challenging the status quo of your techniques. The status quo of your training. The status quo of your mindset, etc.
So, you’re putting yourself in a position where you are faced with something new, something that you are not good at. Doing something that you are not good at, doing something that doesn’t come easy to you, something that is unknown is rarely ever fun, but it is fruitful. Through sticking to it throughout time and dedication and discipline it bears fruit eventually. It creates something within yourself, within your character, within your life that you could be proud of.
So, lately I’ve come to look at this whole ‘Fun during exercise’, ‘Fun during my training’, ‘Fun during my martial arts’ from a different perspective: Challenging myself and doing something completely new, something that I’m not good at particularly is never really or rarely ever fun, but it is necessary for growing, for expanding, for creating, for becoming better, for creating this or that particular characteristic or expanding a particular characteristic within my Self-Character, within my being, within who I am, or expanding and creating something new or something existing through and in my training, in my punching, in my style, if you want to call it that and so forth.
To bring this back to self and to expand this, away from just martial arts, is where I start looking at my life into projects, into responsibilities, into family matters, into relationship matters, into my work, into my hobbies, into my goals, and see where am I still accepting, where am I still allowing this limited mind-set, this perspective, this view of: But, I am not having fun during this activity, so maybe I should stop, maybe it’s not for me, maybe – because its not coming at ease, it’s not coming easy and I am always feeling this resistance towards it and I am always having to scoop up these massive amounts of resources from time to time of just getting myself really into this state of Will, this state of ‘Okay, I can move and I will move through this resistance, through this experience of just not wanting, not being up for it, not feeling like doing this activity, doing this project, doing this family activity, doing this relationship activity, doing my training, doing this project, doing this podcast’ and so on, and look at:
How can I tweak that perspective, that mindset and apply this new one of, and remind myself that doing something that I am not accustomed to, that I don’t know, even if its a new episode on this podcast, for example, is something challenging, and is rarely ever fun if I am in, lets say, a ‘creative block’, if you will. If I have no idea what to talk about in a particular episode or something during a particular episode doesn’t come natural, isn’t here and I need to center myself, I need to go into myself and I need to see what topic can I talk about. Or, how much time can I invest today in my training? What skills, what resources are necessary for me to prepare, to do a particular project, or a particular activity in my world and my reality? To accept the fact, to acknowledge the fact, to become friends with the fact of:
It might not be fun, yes, but it is fruitful. If I can see that it is going to be fruitful objectively — Now stepping away from my reactions, from my resistance, from my thinking about it that I just don’t want to do the activity and all these things that pop up into my mind – and I just take a step back, I just breathe and I just allow myself to look at the point objective of: Okay, this is the activity – for example, this is my podcast, and this is the episode and I am having all these thoughts of not wanting to do it. I am having all these feelings, these emotional resistances towards it, just not wanting to do an episode, because I am feeling like in a ‘Creative Block’. I have no idea what to talk about here. I am doubting my previous episodes, and so on. Or, I don’t feel fun during the training, I just don’t know if I want to train today, I just don’t feel up to it. I feel tired. I trained yesterday for like three hours. I’ve trained like the other day for three hours. I’ve just trained enough this week, I just don’t want to train anymore and ‘It’s okay’. Trying to persuade me by saying ‘Its’ okay’ to skip today’s, for example, standing pose, or today’s Fajin training or something like that, or particular exercises to practice the application of the Fajin for example.
Instead, to take a step back and breathe and look at the whole point, for example, the podcast, or training objectively and see: Okay, what are the goals that I have defined – either on paper, or on an electronic document, or within myself and my mind alone. What are the points? What are the goals? What is it that I see I can create within myself? How can this podcast, how can my martial arts training contribute to me growing, expanding and becoming a better version of myself, of my being, of my Self-Character? To live more up to my potential that is possible and doable for me to be, become and live – how can I do that?
If i see that there are indeed points showing that doing this particular activity, like the podcast, the episode, my training, this project, that activity, etc. – is going to create something that is going to assist and support me in turn, either directly or indirectly to allow me to grow, expand or create something more within myself, within my Self-Character, then that becomes my reminder.
I stick to that. It is an objectively observed conclusion, a direct seeing of: Okay, this activity, this podcast, doing these episodes, doing these activities is going to assist and support me to be more creative, to grow in my creativity, to expand in my creativity, to create this point within myself – this outlet where I have a voice, this outlet where I can express myself in my art, where I can express myself in martial arts, my passion, in whatever it is I would like to express. It is a medium for self-expression, and allowing myself to express myself I know is going to make me happy eventually. It is going to make me feel proud of myself. It is going to be something tangible that I have created, that is here, that I can reference, that I know I have created, I have done it, and in turn also I know that through doing these episodes, and even during these episodes I am having so many new realizations, that have only come because I have allowed myself to step up to the challenge and go beyond the resistance, the experience, the thoughts of not wanting to do it and still do it.
So, through that, I am getting new realizations about myself, about martial arts, about living words, about so many new things that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. It would have taken me maybe another month or year or years to get to that through a different situation or circumstance, or event.
Then, when it comes to for example the martial arts I see that the benefits are that I am being more physical, and I want to be more physical. The training, the exercises is allowing me and is creating a state within myself, if you wanna call it a state, where I can center myself, where I can become in-tune and become more in-touch with my Self, my essence, my being, my mind, my physical body and I can work on my physical relationship, my self-physical relationship, my self-mind relationship, and my self-self relationship – the relationship I have with myself.
I can see so many new things. I can see so much physical programing that comes up. I can see so much mind-programing that comes up. I can see so much of my being-programing that comes up, that I can then hold-onto and I can work on and I can work through and quantify my process of getting to know myself more. Expanding myself. Actualizing myself as a being, and becoming more physical and building a greater, a better, a more equal-and-one relationship with myself, my mind and my human physical body.
I can explore many more dimensions, and universes if you wanna call it that, of my Self, of my mind, of my own physical body. Through that it gives me an opportunity, it gives me the chance to work through it through other different tools, and so transcend them, find solutions to them and live corrections and find corrections to live, to become a better version of myself, to create a better life for me.
Furthermore, doing the training, I am having fun eventually in terms of learning new things. In learning the economy of movement. Learning how can I use my human physical body the most effective to express my inner-self, to express my being through the physical. Additionally how can i use the human physical body, my body, to assist and support me through physical movement to go beyond resistances on a physical level, or a mind level, or a being level – to apply my will, to apply my Self, my self-will, my self-dedication, to when I set myself up to a goal, up to something to do – and if there is resistance of physical, emotional, mind or being levels – then I have to tools, I have trained how I am able to move and utilize my being, my physical body and movement, inner-movement and outer-movement to go beyond that point and still stick to my self-application, to my self-living, to doing the actions, the things that I have set myself up to do.
Hence, learning essentially through the training – the training giving me that space and time to figure out all these things about myself, about my physical body, about self-movement, about physical movement, and using the physical as equal and one to express myself, my being through it and as it. To further assist and support me in living the corrections that I want to live for myself, for my being and my life. To create a better version of myself and my life.
Thus, these are the points then that I remember and I remind myself that: Hey, I came up with these points objectively. These are the actual benefits, the points that will be created, that can be created if I but stick to this activity of training. If I but stick to this activity of doing my podcast, of doing the episodes. Even if I absolutely do not feel to do so, but I do it. I remind myself of these creational points, of these potential points that can be created eventually. That the activity of training martial arts, of podcasting, etc. will bear fruit eventually. I just have to stick to it.
Accordingly, I let go of this whole concept of ’I need to have fun during this all the time’. You’re not having fun all the time, I am not having fun all the time with everything. That is not even possible. Our lives don’t move in such ways where we are happy all the way and time, where we’re having fun all the way and time with the activities we have to do. Often we have to do things and things fall into our life through work, through relationships, through family matters, through unexpected things that we don’t necessarily sign up for, that we didn’t plan and it just throws our whole conception, planning, and goals out the window, and de-stabilizes them.
Consequently, we are not necessarily having fun to do those responsibilities, that are then here, pressed on by reality, by life itself, for example, to do, but we have to do them. We know we need to do them otherwise there is going to be a consequence, or we know that we could do them and through that could create a better life for ourselves, a better version of ourselves, correct a part of our reality or ourselves to become better and smoother.
Therefore, we are not necessarily having fun during those times, but we can see or sense that those activities, those responsibilities are going to be fruitful, are going to be having a positive effect later on in our lives, in ourselves.
Then the same with looking at the activities, such as the training, such as the podcasting, etc. whatever you are doing – whatever I am doing – and just through allowing myself to just let go of this whole concept of ‘Wanting and needing and desiring and believing I need to have fun during all the time that I do these activities’ and then realizing and accepting that sometimes I will have fun. Other times less, Other times absolutely not at all, and I will feel like I am resisting this whole activity, the podcasting, the training with my whole essence, with my whole being, with every fiber of my physical body. But, I just take a step back. I allow myself to let go of this belief of needing, desiring and wanting to have fun during the activity, during the exercise and I take step back, I breathe and I remind myself, or I look again at the objective points of what is it that this activity can do for me.
What can I create through these activities to benefit the expansion, the actualization, the understanding and the creation of myself and my life to become a better version than now? Then I breathe and I make that commitment, that dedication, that decision to myself, with myself and in myself that I am doing this activity. That I will get myself through the resistance that is here, by breathing. It will pass. It always does. It always will. I just need to stick to it. I just need to breathe and live my Being through these resistances, and stick to the actions, the physical actions and process of doing the activities, the responsibilities that I know, that I see are going to be fruitful and will create a better self and life. Then I breathe and I do.
Thank you very much.
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