The Lingerers

Nothing is better than blunt truth. It may sting initially but the wound heals virtually instantly.

Yesterday, I had a (now former) student tell me they were no longer going to train with our group. Classes were simply too difficult and too physical.

Though I was disappointed to see them leave, I appreciated the fact they told me the truth, or at least how they viewed things as truth. I will take this any day of the week. (Of course, I would prefer students telling me how they love class and will stay, and bring a dozen of their friends with them next time.)

The ones very challenging to deal with are the lingerers — those individuals who talk a lot and do little. They plan on coming to class, are sure they will attend the seminar and promise to be one of the regulars. This lasts for a grand total of one week. The next week, a litany of excuses begins. Their kids were sick. The job is tough. The car is broken. A UFO landed in their driveway and they cannot get out. It all begins to sound the same after a while. Excuses lead to more excuses.

In the beginning, I was diligent about contacting these individuals. After not seeing them for 3 or 4 classes, I would call or email, inquiring as to how they are and when they would be back. Now, I simply devote my time and effort to those individuals who live by the Code of Truth, not the code of excuses.

If a person wants to train, they will find a way. Yes, they may miss a class here and there but that is the exception, not the rule.

If a person does not want to train, admit it. Be truthful with self and with your instructor. Every art is not for everyone and arts such as Systema can be very physical and as such, some do not want that type of challenge in their life. Other arts such as Iaido are very technical and the tediousness and details can drive some up a wall. Pick and stick.

Truths are easy to understand once they are identified. The point is to identify them. Once identified, speak them, live them and abide by them.

Live your truth! What a great lesson from the world of martial arts. Even if you decide not to train in them – even if the answer is no – the lesson still is a powerful one.