ever forget the reason you train?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by furinkazan, May 31, 2015.

  1. furinkazan

    furinkazan Valued Member

    Possibly a bit of an unload.

    Lately, I've been feeling this way. Since my previous dojo closed, I've checked a few different school over a period of coming up to eight months, before finding another Bujinkan school this week. I feel like, even though I might have only checked out some styles shortly, or not particularly liked some of them, I still feel like I've taken on board things from them, even if only one or two things maybe (footwork, a few technique drills, conditioning etc) and yet for some reason I feel somewhat lost with training in regards to purpose.

    When my 16 year old self started training I was in an exceptionally rough time of my life (both in terms of exposure to violence and an unstable period in education, home and health). I got into training because I so desperately needed an outlet to handle my stress levels and partly to protect myself, but it became a hobby I had a strong love for. I wanted to become as competent a martial artist as I possibly could.

    seven years later and the dojo I spent that time in, and part of me wonders why the other classes didnt stick. I mean yeah, some of them were at times I couldnt make regularly since begnning an Masters Degree, others were just downright obnoxious teachers feeding the 'ultimate fighting style' and wanting me to throw money at them in subscriptions after first class, or didnt really teach or correct students. It might also be related to clinical depression, a problem I've had in the last two years quite significantly. Out of all the clubs I've checked, one local Karate school has managed to keep me interested in learning Goju Ryu (they also teach kickboxing and BJJ, which I sometimes dabble in, but Im not interested in competing).

    I sort of feel like the reason behind training feels lost to me. Anyone had a similar experience? How did you handle it?
  2. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    I train because it's what I do.
  3. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I think reasons can change over time. When I started I wanted to be able to fight. Now that I can fight I only really train to compete. I'm struggling to go now that I don't have any fights set up. In future ill be aiming for my black belt and thus to teach.
  4. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    I'm hunting for that moment where my opponent has no idea what happened.
    Sometimes I'm hunting for that moment where my opponent can know exactly what is coming but can't do anything to stop it from happening.
    I find it sometimes but I can never hold on to it.

    I've had times where the value or fun or life of an activity disappears. Like it seems like a waste of time where it was once a deeply profound experience. That's just depression talking. It's a symptom of taking the little profound details for granted and not valuing doing something well for its own sake. The solution, in my experience, is to be mindful. Actively notice and embrace the good, no matter how small, and accept the bad as perfectly normal. If you can maintain that habit, you'll naturally enjoy the good more and suffer over the bad less.
  5. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Not exactly, but something sort of related. I train because I love to. Because it makes me happy. Because I enjoy it and I think it makes me a better person overall.

    But sometimes I do stress out too much. Particularly before a test. I get caught up in doing well for the test. Or sometimes when I just have a bad lesson where I am not doing well, I just get down on myself.

    I sometimes have to remind myself. "I do this for fun!" Then I get out of my funk and remember that I do do this for fun!

    I have passed this along to a couple of students who get all caught up in some training stress or another.

    Also, you mention depression. Depression can make all things you enjoy just not fun. Makes you just have trouble getting out of bed. Been there. But then is when it is most important to keep doing things. And exercise has been shown to be good in combating depression.
  6. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    When I was 5 years old, I was the youngest boy in my 1st grade (almost all my classmates were 6 years old). There were a Mongolian girl and a Mongolian boy (sister and brother) in my class. Everyday during the lunch hour, that huge Mongolian girl (she became national swimming champion in Taiwan later on) about twice of my size who always took me down and mounted on top of me while her younger brother kept punching on my face. Everyday I went home with bruise on my body and black eyes on my face. I train because I don't want to be mounted by any girl for the rest of my life. I train for fighting and nothing else.

    When I

    - was young, I trained to "develop" something.
    - get old, I train to "maintain" something.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  7. matveimediaarts

    matveimediaarts Underappreciated genius

    This has never happened to me in MA, but it happened in my relationship to my guitar. School and laziness and dispassion due to burnout and lack of inspiration=feeling disconnected and ambivalent to the art. Then I forced myself back into after school, and I have had renewed passion for it for many moons now. :)
  8. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    I think I understand where you are coming from.

    I've had moments where I come out of class, and I think to myself - why am I doing this? I am 47 years old, and aren't I a little old to be kicking and punching people? I'm not going to be fighting any full contact matches, and the odds of me having to defend myself are pretty low. Wouldn't it be more productive to spend this time getting better at my job, or learning something useful - like auto repair, or cooking? I'm not really good at any martial art, I probably will never be that good, and I'm at a point where my ability to do physically demanding ones like Muay Thai will be decreasing as I get older. I'll never catch up with people that who have been doing it longer, never be as good as people who are younger and more fit. I'm just not that skilled or in shape, and never will be. This is the sort of negative thinking patterns that sometimes I can get in to. There's some truth to these thoughts, but maybe less truth to them than I think in my most negative moments.

    But then I remember I do this because it is fun and interesting to me. I wake up in the morning and think about whatever martial art class I am going to do that day. Heck, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, and it's the first thing I think of. If nothing else, it is worth it for the exercise I am getting. During the times I wasn't doing martial arts I wasn't getting much exercise, and I was sitting on the couch eating swiss cake rolls and watching TV. At best, I would do something like 20 minutes of treadmill walking, or walking the dog around the block. This way I have something I am excited about (at least most of the time), I get some exercise doing it, and get to meet cool people as well. That's the real reason I train, and I have to remind myself of that sometimes.
  9. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    Sometimes I forget why I train when I get my ego checked by someone less experienced than myself or when im having an off day in general and nothing is going to plan, or I don't have the mental concentration to put my 100% into it.

    But usually all it takes for me to remember why I train is by talking to others, watching martial art videos on YouTube, having a good sleep or meal and of course practicing. Ultimately the reason why I do martial arts is because I get enjoyment out of doing it. If I'm not enjoying myself then I have a break for a while. Its no big deal because I can always go back training when I feel like it.
  10. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    This and counselling and if needed, medication. There's no shame in asking for help if you're feeling down. Many of us have been there.
  11. Archibald

    Archibald A little koala

    Mate that's a beautiful mantra for life in general.
  12. SteveP

    SteveP Valued Member

    This happened to me with (rock) climbing. When I first discovered it I loved it. I lived and breathed it and trained really hard knowing that I was on 'my path' and following a passion and purpose. Over the years this dwindled and I kept on pushing myself to re-find my passion whilst really feeling like I no longer had any purpose with it.

    I took a timeout and tried some other things such as mountain biking and walking / hiking and found that it wasn't really the climbing that I loved anymore, it was doing something fun in my spare time and training towards something that pushed me physically and mentally – climbing was no longer ticking these boxes for me. It took me re-finding my childhood love for martial arts and mountain biking to be able to finally let go of climbing and move on with my life. It was a very hard decision to let it go and it really got me down for quite a while whilst I was trying to make myself do something that I didn't want to do but I know within my heart that I just wasn't finding it fun anymore and I'm now loving BJJ and racing my mountain bike at weekends.

    Take a step away for a bit. Trying something new. A bit cliche but sometimes it's what's needed to hear your heart's messages.
  13. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    It sounds like your first real experience of sparring has disheartened you.
  14. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Why not just train kickboxing or BJJ to get good, thats where the real personal development is, everything else is cultural trappings.
  15. LemonSloth

    LemonSloth Laugh and grow fat!

    That all sounds to me not like you've "forgotten" why you train but that your driving motivation behind the training has had a bit paradigm shift and now you're left without the same drive, looking for a new one.

    But yes, I've had it too.

    To be honest it can be a bit bewildering at times. But you either find a new reason to carry on doing the thing you love or you walk away from it. Whatever happens...happens.

    And if you're battling with depression, that can make everything so much worse and distort your perception of things in a negative way.
  16. VoidKarateka

    VoidKarateka Valued Member

    I forgot why I started long ago. No I keep going because it's such a core part of me that I think I'd probably stop existing if I stopped.

    If you're truly passionate about something, especially martial arts, it's your job to find the interest. Whether you're training to compete, reach some level of matsery, become a teacher/coach/whatever you have to push through the fugue sometimes and find the interest in what you do.

    If you can't find the interest, or the drive then you need to take a step back and look at yourself. Does the present you really want to be a martial artist?

    A personal mantra of mine that always keeps me in check when I'm dragging a bit or I'm losing my focus:

    "I don't want to be THAT guy who USED TO do Karate"

    Good luck in whatever it is you're doing.
  17. E-Rocker

    E-Rocker Valued Member

    I wouldn't say I've forgotten the reasons I've trained, but I've had different reasons at different times. When I was at a heavily Kali-based school in Seattle, it was love of the art & feeling of family. When I first moved to Chicago, I was much more concerned about self-defense, but I've been here eight years now with no physical confrontations, so that's not much of a concern anymore. Most of my years in Chicago, I kept training out of a combination of the social element, desire to be in shape, and inertia.

    A year or so ago, I realized I wasn't enjoying it at all anymore, and that I can have the social element by calling my friends up & saying "hey, you wanna go do [x]?", and I can stay in shape by riding my bike. So I stopped training, and truthfully, I've been much happier ever since.

    I may go back to training eventually, but if I do, it will be at a different school.
  18. Dan93

    Dan93 Valued Member

    Not forgotten, always been part of my make up. Mostly always been improving and maintaining fighting skills although this has mellowed and I also enjoy what I do for the art of it. Everyone hits low points mentally in their training, I did after a traumatic event when I was eighteen but I pushed through and it actually galvanised my training. You need a hang in there cat poster in your Dojo!
  19. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    i actually enjoy this more than training
  20. furinkazan

    furinkazan Valued Member

    As an update for you all, some of you were right.

    Upon going to the doctors today, they explained to me some things.

    1. They can't understand why nobody at the practice has recommended me for more intense psychiatric help

    2. They genuinely believe Im unlike to fully recover from what they believe to be severe depression without both therapy and medication (I've had cognitive behavioural therapy in the past, it helped to a point but not entirely)

    3. I may need other forms of help than just CBT, possibly specialist help and a period of a minimum of six months of prozac.

    So yeah, looks like it is very much a case of mental illness. If I do decide to take the medication (which I admit publicly, , the side effects look absolutely terrifying), I will be needing some serious down time to sort myself out.

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