martial arts motivation lighting fires

Lighting Fires: Martial Arts Motivation

Sometimes writing a piece and allowing folks to connect the information to martial arts in a metaphorical way can have a noticeable effect. Do you learn from stories? Do they motivate you?

Well …

A few days ago, I built a fire in our fire place. Rather than using the scrap on top of the wood pile, my wife grabbed a small log from the bottom of the stack of wood. She found a piece that must have been 20 years old. No kidding.

I built the fire before dinner. It kept burning and burning. When we went to bed, we closed the doors on the fireplace, made sure the one log was isolated in the center of the grate, and then forgot about it.

The next morning, there were still embers. It hadn’t completely died out.

Then, around lunchtime, it suddenly burst into flame again, and made a cute, little fire. Still going.

No religious miracles about something burning longer than it should … but I was still amazed that this one log could burn from 6 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. the next day.

So, I added some small pieces of wood; I fed the fire. A little later, I added a big piece. It was too big; it didn’t catch. So, I backed off, and stuffed some medium sticks between the large piece and the flames and embers. Sure enough, this time it worked. The new, replacement log caught … and burned for a long time.

You could even say, that because of the great embers from the night before, this fire, once it got going again, was even better than the original.

This is where the story ends … but the lesson begins:


The Martial Arts Lesson

Was the point of this little story obvious?

For me, the big 20 year old log equalled a great foundation … wonderful training in the martial arts for a long time. A long period of great instruction can go a long way to keeping your skills (your fire going).

At some point, you might think that the flames have gone out and/or you stop tending the fire. (You lose your martial arts motivation and stop training.)

Still, you might surprise yourself: You might find that you still have a little enthusiasm in there somewhere … you still have some desire to be martially proficient.

Ready to build the fire up and get it flaming again? All you need is a little spark.

But be careful: If you train too hard, put on too big of a log, the fire might not hold; it could go out. It’s important to start with little pieces of wood — some kindling. (Take it in small steps.)

Progress a little at a time; don’t start a New Years’ Resolution with 5,000 punches a day. Start with five at a time, maybe a few times a day. Build quickly, but not too fast.

Make sure you add medium pieces before you jump to an Oregon-size log.

Happy Training.


About the Author

Keith Pascal has authored many books, ebooks, and articles on practical martial arts and self-defense. Check out his new book on Motivation For Martial Artists. It’s called Get Off Your Butt and Kick Some Butt.

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