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Work is my favorite four-letter word. In martial arts, work is simply a part of the process. There is no route to black-belt that does not include hard work. Work is the most essential element of success. 

However, work isn’t the only element in success! There are plenty of people who work hard but don’t necessarily succeed. Hard work needs a goal and a plan. Work is the engine that drives your plans and goals.

Work, not talent or ability, is what you need to reach your goals.

I dislike it the most when someone says that they do not have enough talent or ability to succeed in martial arts. This mindset is unecessarily limiting. I think hard work will surpass talent and ability every day and twice on Sunday. The most wasted commodity in the world is talent and ability in lazy people.

I learned recently in a WHA seminar that in perfecting a technique, you do not have automatic reflex until the technique has been performed at least a thousand times. The only thing I would add is that it should be performed correctly at least a thousand times.

Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. This takes a lot of work, and in the martial arts, work means sweat.

You need to think in terms of building up what I call “sweat equity”.

For many years, we would wring the sweat out of our belts after we trained. Results in martial arts come in direct proportion to the sweat you give.  The only way a black-belt can be purchased is when the currency is sweat. The more sweat in your actual belt, the more results you’ll get in attaining your next one.

Black-belts are not born. Perfect technique is not inherited. Flexibility and balance cannot be bought. Martial arts is an equal opportunity rewarder for those who are simply willing to put in the work.

Don’t be afraid to work hard. Embrace it. Your black-belt awaits.

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