The quality of perseverance is a very important trait in any martial artist. If you want to be a blackbelt then it is an imperative! What does it mean to persevere? It basically means sticking with something despite difficulty in achieving success. Let’s examine that in more detail.
At some point or another in almost every endeavor you will do, you will come across something that will cause difficulty in making progress. Sometimes the issue is small and sometimes it is big. But, what is critically important is to not stop or quit, but to keep working on it and not give up. No one can predict how long something will take to learn or master. Just because you are having a difficult time at present, doesn’t mean you are not very close to making a breakthrough. If one has hope and optimism, then it will help you continue in tough times.
In karate, students will go through times when learning the material seems easier, and there will be times when it seems very difficult. Often times students will get stuck at a specific level and feel like no matter what they do, they are not making forward progress. That is usually not the case. Although they might not be ready for a promotion or the next level, if they are actively trying and have a positive attitude, they are certainly chipping away at what is necessary to succeed. In our experience, using the kaizen way, that is continually working to make small but steady improvements, will ultimately lead to success.
But, you must be willing to persevere during the times when it is difficult and you are not making active gains. That can be difficult and challenging, but it is all part of the process. I have seen many students get stuck at the early advanced stage. Usually, this is a result of not fully understanding the material at the earlier belt levels and now they are relying on incorrect fundamentals. Most of these students quit. But, there are some who will persevere despite the time and effort involved and eventually they make a breakthrough and proceed to the next level.
It usually boils down to how much to do you want to achieve whatever it is you are doing. Whether its karate or running a marathon or getting good grades in school or just being happy, it doesn’t matter. I encourage you to enjoy the good times and persevere through the tough times but don’t stop trying and never give up on your goals.