Junior Student’s Corner
by Sifu Jeremy Norris
Throughout our lives, we will witness and endure many moments of failure, but for some reason, we always get past it. Let’s look at what can be learned from our failures in order for us to grow to succeed.
Failure can be described as a lack of success, or not being able to perform to the expectations. In Kung Fu there are many types of failures, some may see failure as not being able to perform a certain technique, not being as flexible as classmates, not being able to break that board, or even a feeling that you are not as good as your classmates. The importance here is that no matter how small or large the failure there is always a lesson to be learned.
One way we can learn from our failures is by examining what elements need to change to succeed. Let’s take an example of breaking a board. If you fail at punching through a board on your first try, it is most likely you need to examine your technique. Look at every element of your punch, note what can be done to make it better, then work to improve your technique. The simple process of improving your technique will lead to success. From this, we can conclude analyzing your failures and implementing change, will lead to success.
The next element to changing our failures into successes is related to our mental state. Many times, when faced with failure and adversity it is easy to be doubtful of the situation. This makes it easy to fail and just move on without understanding why we failed and what we need to do to succeed. To succeed we must have a good mental spirit. Spirit is the one aspect in Kung Fu that can be a deciding factor between failure and success. Think about a grading, if your response to making a mistake was giving up, you would never pass your grading. To succeed in a grading, you must have good spirit to not let your mistakes weigh you down. Not letting our mistakes limit us is what defines us as martial artists.
One compelling quote that relates to this mindset is, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill. From this, we can conclude that we need to be able to move on from our failures, if we spend the time and energy focused on our failures there will be no potential to succeed.
When you run into a time of failure during your Kung Fu journey let your spirit help you to move past the obstacle and succeed. Remember no instructor or student before you have succeeded without failure, the only difference is that they have learned to turn their failures into success.