The following passage is the first installment of our Coach's Corner series, where Kaijin coaches impart their wisdom to help guide your training and development. In this month's corner, lead striking instructor Sam Radetsky discusses the most important quality martial artists should pursue.
by Sam Radetsky
I’m often asked, what is the best attribute for a beginner or even an experienced fighter to possess? Is it speed? Power? Flexibility? Along the same lines, people often ask me, what is the best background for a beginner to have? Wrestling, for takedowns and top pressure? Tae kwon do, for great kicks? Powerlifting, for sheer strength?
I always answer the same for both questions. Persistence. Persistence is that attribute. Persistence is that background. Persistence is the to key to continual progress in martial arts. Something like kickboxing or bjj isn’t going to be picked up easily and the most important thing is to show up to class and train regularly. Unfortunately, there aren’t any super sexy secrets. Just be persistent. Sure, you could say that one needs to work hard, be disciplined, have dedication, and maintain focus. But that’s too much to think about and it’s all enveloped within persistence.
The follow up question I usually get is, what about talent? Talent is nice to have, but it’s overrated. As a coach, give me persistence over talent any day. Talent is a one hit wonder. A good coach can provide answers to talent easily. Of course, you’ve got to have that good coach, but hey, you’re at Kaijin, so that’s not a problem. Too stiff to do high kicks? Let’s work those leg kicks so that they are hard and sneaky. Too slow and clumsy to dance around your opponent? Let’s work your defense, punching power, and clinch game. For every disadvantage you may think you have, there is a solution.
We'll bring the coaching. You bring the persistence.