I saw an advertisement online offering comedy lessons with Steve Martin. In the opening of the promotional video he says he was talking to students and they were asking him things like how do I get an agent, where can I get my headshots and he thought to himself, shouldn’t the first thing to be thinking about is how do I be good.
I get a lot of messages on Facebook from potential students who have an interest in our art asking me questions like:
- How do I get a black belt?
- How do I get a To-Shi name?
- How do I start a training group?
- How do I open a school?
Remember I said these are potential students, most have not had any training yet. It kind of blows my mind because in my head I’m thinking the same thing as Steve Martin, shouldn’t the first thing to be thinking is how do I train and get good at this?
I understand the need to have goals and to strive for something but almost 100% of the people who asked me these questions after I told them that first they should start training and learn the art didn’t. Why?
I believe it’s because they’re looking for acknowledgement from outside themselves. If you give me this (insert label here) I will be better and feel good about myself. Unfortunately, if you don’t feel good about yourself inside, acknowledgement from the outside won’t be enough for you.
The training, the effort, the mistakes, the learning, the comradery, understanding, and acceptance of yourself are the rewards. Our art offers a lifetime of learning and discovery if you focus on the training. It takes curiosity, focus, and patience, it won’t happen overnight but as you focus on you training you’ll be surprised how fast the other things will come along.