Guest Author - Caroline Chen-Whatley
Experiencing Martial Arts is a lot building a relationship. There are ups and downs, days you want to sing from the highest hilltop and moments when you're ready to cry. Before you run away scared, not all of it is as bad as this analogy may seem.
How you starting out in Martial Arts is as unique and personal as any other important relationship in your life. Perhaps you caught a glimpse of something and had this image blazing through your mind. Perhaps you've watched from a distance for so long, with longing. Perhaps you were convinced to try it out with a friend or came looking for help and stumbled across Martial Arts.
Whatever the reason, each person who starts Martial Arts will have their own story to tell and moment in which they knew Martial Arts was for them.
But just because there was that first spark, doesn't mean the relationship sparks off immediately. In fact, like many new relationships, there are the ups-and-downs you must be ready to handle.
When you first start, there is a great deal of enthusiasm. Most new students run out there and try to grab as much knowledge and as much information as they can. As a teacher, this is something I love seeing and sharing in their energy. However, it's not always handled in the best manner.
In many ways, it's a bit like buying your first gift for that new girlfriend/boyfriend. Will she/he like it? Will it fit? Sometimes, we buy flowers for the girl and end up finding out she's allergic to anything that grows.
As a new student, it's best to temper this time with patience. All things will come to you in time and with humility. If the action comes from the heart, it will endure. If the actions rise from ill-will, to put someone else down, it will only destroy your energy, making the relationship harder.
I recall a time when a new student, not my own, tried to impress me with his knowledge of Martial Artists. While he had some wonderful energy, he spent most of the conversation explaining why others were "bad" or "incorrect". In his innocence, he inadvertently cast a bad light on his teacher's protocols.
The courtship can be long or short, depending upon your experience. For some, it's a time to explore, to discover many different arts until they find the right one that is a "fit" for them. For others, it is stop-and-go for several years before the courtship ends. These people will start a style, stop for a while, explore, and then find another.
When you're ready to commit and build that relationship to the next stage, the courtship draws to a close and you move on to the next exciting part of your Martial Arts Relationship.
Read -- The Honeymoon
Coming soon … The Hereafter