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Bowley Kenpo Karate » Philosophy » What motivates you?

What motivates you?

Why do you walk this path?

Motivation. To progress along this Kenpo path takes a lot of drive and determination. This journey has many highs and lows. Moving forward during the highs is easy. But trudging forward during the lows requires you to have laser focus about why you’re here. Do you know what your’s is?

Is it discipline? If you come to me looking for a martial arts drill sergeant, I’m going to disappoint you. We’re loud when we kiai, but I’m not a bark in your face kind of instructor. Also I’m not the type of guy to make you come to class or force you to do your Kenpo homework. The discipline we provide is self-discipline, not external punishment discipline.

What motivates you?

What motivates you?

Is it approval? If you’re looking for me to cheer you on, you’ll absolutely get encouragement, but it can’t be your focal point. I’ll be the best coach/teacher I can at providing inspiration, but you have to supply the motivation.  A pep talk from a mentor  can make a huge difference, but to walk this path seeking someone else’s approval is a setup for disappointment and failure.

Motivation should come from inside you. Are you here for the excercise, the self-confidence, to stop a bully, as a family activity with your kids, looking for a sense of family and community, a thirst for knowledge, or to just see how far you can push yourself? Any answer or combination of reasons is fine. But you have to know. Deep down you have to believe this is what you want. What you’re willing to sweat, bleed, and cry for. No one else can help you find that.

At a recent class, all the students were pushed past the funpoint of Kenpo karate. Our school practices in an open garage. On black mats. In the Texas heat. Facing the west sun. We were working sparring drills in full pads. It was hot, but everyone drilled at high intensity. A couple of students even took good shots. It was a rough class. But everyone carried on through all the drills, made it through to the end, and kept their heads high. My students motivate me.

I’m not suggesting you tattoo your motivation on your forehead or carry around a sign. But in your head (and heart) understand what drives you. It’ll make getting through the difficult stretches easier and could provide the lift you need. Besides, who says this only has to apply to martial arts?

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Sam Bowley
McKinney, TX

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