Building Perseverance

Written by on August 3, 2011

When you think back through your Babin’s Karate for Kids career, isn’t it amazing how many people you’ve passed by?  These are the people who started the same time you did, but for whatever reason, took a “break” and just never got back into it?

Winning Through Perseverance

We often hear from member that they see past students around town.  They almost always ask, “Are you still at Karate for Kids?” My answer is always “of course!”  Then I hear: “That’s awesome.  I wish I had stuck with it.  I would have been a black belt, too.” (They always say this with a look of regret in their eyes, too).

While I’m sad they didn’t continue, it serves as a reminder of how far you’ve come.  It also reminds us how well we stuck to our goals when others fell by the wayside.  It’s a self-esteem booster for you.  And that really is the secret to being great in any endeavor – staying the course over the long haul.


Really, to be successful at Karate for Kids, you don’t have to be the strongest athlete or the most flexible person.  Or even have the toughest physically. No, when you start, none of those things matter.  What does matter is your ability to persevere.  Because in the long run, it’s not where you start, it’s where you end up that matters.

We Grow At Our Own Pace.

You’ve heard the old “Tortoise and Hare” fable, haven’t you? The Hare rushes through the race, sees the Tortoise way behind him and takes a “breather” midway through the race.  But not the Tortoise.  He knows he’s not as fast as the hare.  So he stays focused and moves at his own pace.  And to everybody’s surprise, he wins. That is the essence of “perseverance”.

Life Is Not a Sprint.  It’s a Marathon.

Like any other trait, you can develop perseverance.  The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes.  Here are some of the powerful ways our training helps   develop your perseverance “muscles”.

Teaches You to Master Your Emotions.

It’s easy to give in to momentary impulses and derail your hard-won efforts (like the hare).  Take dieting, for example.  One of the biggest blunders is saying, “What the heck, this one time won’t hurt.”  People give in to a momentary whim and before you know it, a snowball effect has happened.  That one slice of chocolate cake turns into two pieces of chocolate cake.  Then a piece the next day.  And so on.  Your emotions can lead you astray if you’re not careful.

Learning how to master your emotions through the martial arts helps you to develop perseverance and fuels you with a willingness to carry on to reach your goals, no matter what the cost.

A martial arts blogger named Logtar says that martial arts training teaches you to develop your second mental wind.   “This is the part of us that determines whether or not we quit, keep going, or intensify our efforts during difficult times”, he says.  Once you discover what stops you, you can then find ways to overcome those obstacles.

Another benefit: when you are master of your emotions, it’s easier to avoid very dangerous whims of the moment like drinking, smoking and other risky behavior!

Helps You Focus on the “Big Picture”

Whenever you feel discouraged, it’s usually because you’re focused on the present moment…or the immediate challenge at hand.  But when you step back and realize your  current obstacle is only a tiny hiccup on the path to a bigger goal, it puts things into focus.

We help you concentrate on the big picture.  You then gain something very important: perspective.  When you step back from your challenge and see it from a better point of view, it builds your perseverance because you can see the big picture – the forest, not just the trees.

Instills a Lifelong Mindset of Learning and Growing

Take a look around our academy.  All the higher ranks you see are people who have embraced learning and growing.  They’re people who put aside their egos, learned to be humble and adopted a “beginner’s mind”.  They know that every single day there is always more to discover about martial arts.

You’ll meet more and more people like this the more you rise through the ranks.  In fact, I would argue that you can’t make it to the rank of master without great humility as well as believing “there is always more to learn”.   (I’ve also noticed most true masters in any field – not just martial arts – are humble deep down and always strive to improve themselves.)

Yes, your higher ranks are an incredible resource for you.  Talk to any of them to share your concerns and discuss your challenges.  Ask for their advice and find out how they broke through their own barriers.  What did they do to take it to the next level?

Babin’s Karate for Kids Teaches Triumph

Success leads to more success.   Everybody knows that.  But to achieve anything great in life, you must first know what it’s like to accomplish small goals.  You have to start small and work your way up.

Since martial arts presents and ever-increasing series of challenges (stripes, belts, ranks, techniques, etc.), it’s a perfect way to flex your “personal victory” muscles.  Every day, week and month there is something to conquer, a new technique to learn or a new challenge.  You feel what accomplishment is like.

It might be something simple, like a self-defense technique.  Or it could be something more difficult, like winning at a regional tournament.  Whatever the goal, when you achieve it, it leads to greater confidence and carries you through to more success.

Then, when you confront an even bigger challenge, you can say to yourself, “Sure, this seems tough right now.  But so did winning at the last tournament.  And so did earning my blue belt.  In fact, those seemed almost impossible at the time.  I know I can do this, too.  I’m going to press on”.  Small victories add up to big success.

This constant series of challenges is what makes Karate for Kids so fun.  But it is also why it can be frustrating at times.  It’s NOT easy.  That’s why martial artists are viewed as such elite athletes.  And it’s also why it’s so rewarding personally when you hit your goals.  There’s no better feeling in the world.

Develops a Winning Attitude

We’ve all heard the phrase “A black belt is just a white belt who never quit”. How true this is.  A lot comes down to your attitude.  Studies reveal those who are positive live longer, enjoy more relationships with others, have fewer health problems and enjoy more successful careers.

This is one of the big reasons we help instill a “black belt attitude” in all our students – it’s a critical ingredient in developing perseverance.  After all, what is a winning attitude anyway?  Self-talk is a big part of it.  When your internal voice is positive, it leads to greater action.  On the other hand, when your self-talk is negative, you become your own worst enemy.  Those with negative attitudes defeat themselves before they even get out of the gate.  We show you how to turn “can’t do” into “can do”.

But The Most Important Point of All….We Will Never Give Up on You!

If you do your part by attending classes regularly, practicing, listening and staying focused – we’ll do our part.  We’re going to thrust you to a whole new level – physically as well as mentally.  We’ll stand by your side during those tough times and never give up on you.

We’ve seen it all here.  Family struggles, money issues (and who doesn’t have some of those these days!), frustration, brick walls, etc.  All of our higher ranks have gone through the same struggles.  Just remember if one person can do it, so can another.

Wise Advice From a Higher Rank

Here is a valuable piece of advice.   “You have good martial arts days and you have bad martial arts days.  The more you progress, though, the more the good days you’ll have.  Stick with it and you’ll see”.

This is great advice.  So this month I want you to be aware of your  “perseverance muscles”.  Go that little bit extra this month. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Energy and persistence conquer all things”.

Practice perseverance and you’ll be amazed at the results.

—Chief Master William J. Babin



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