Signs That You Are Officially a Martial Artist
Martial arts training is both physically and mentally rewarding. But you will notice a point where the physical and mental skills apply not only in class, but also out of class in every day life.
Losing Isn't The End Of The World Anymore
During your martial arts training you will train with people who are better than you, and you will end up losing. The lesson to take from this is learn what you did wrong that made you lose, and get better. This process becomes habit, and then one day you will realise that it's ok to lose in anything you do, as long as you learn why for next time.
The only person you are in competition with is yourself, and the only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday!
The Journey Is So Much Better Than The Destination
When you start training your goal is so simple - get a black belt. Somewhere along the way though you will realise that all a black belt is really is a belt to hold your trousers up. A black belt is simply someone who keeps coming to training, and soon you will see that the classes, and what you learn in the classes is so much more important than just getting that black belt.
As soon as you realise this your life goals will change forever.
Being The Biggest And Strongest Doesn't Mean You Win
You will quickly learn in martial arts that technique beats brute force all day long. Then one day you will realise that this applies to life as well. Take the office - we all have a bully at work who shouts the loudest to get what they want and to get attention. You don't beat that person by being louder, you beat them by being better!
Martial Techniques Become Second Nature
During your early martial arts career any technique you are asked to perform or that you try to do is done with a few seconds of hesitation, a bit of thought, and then applying a half decent technique / strike.
One day however when this request comes in from your instructor without thinking when someone grabs you, you quickly put them to the floor without hurting them too much, showing your prowess to all around you.
These reflexes could also appear when falling (rather than hitting the floor you break fall), or when someone grabs you by surprise and you have them in a lock before you realise it was just a friendly gesture.
Train enough and your body will learn the techniques for life.
You Will Become Much Calmer
We've all been there in training. Your partner's fist or leg connects with your face harder than intended. It'll annoy you at first, but eventually you will learn to judge the intention rather than the action, and you'll quickly brush it off and carry on like it never happened (and maybe in your head analysing your guarding position).
This repeated process will make you realise that what people do is not always what they mean, and that you should judge people by their intentions rather than by the action. So many fights in your life will simply cease to happen with this simple learning.
Anything Worth Having Hurts To Achieve
At one point, all seasoned martial artists have incurred minor (or serious) injuries. It's part of training in a combat art. And as you approach black belt the physical intensity increases, and it can be quite tough. But if it doesn't challenge you then it won't change you, and becoming a martial artist definitely changes you.
You'll soon realise that anything worth having requires effort, blood sweat and tears, and you'll also realise that you can go through that to get what you want.
Your Mind Is A Bigger Barrier Than Your Body
You think you're too tired to carry on, so you stop. That's your mind thinking your body can't go on. After a few gradings, where your instructors will start to push you, you will see that your mind can make you carry on for much longer than you think. You want to pass the grading so you carry on despite what you think you're body is telling you. You pass and realise you could do more than you think.
As soon as you realise this your mind and your body will push each other to new heights, and you will start to achieve more than you could ever imagine.