Building the Skills to Cope

“Each belt we earn is not a reminder that we can accomplish anything, it is proof.” ~ Renshi Boon Brown

We all know that person who never really developed coping skills. Things get a little tough and they turn to the booze, the drugs or just disappear. Some people go, “I need a smoke,” or, “I can’t wait to get out of here and to the casino.” There are good ways to cope with life’s difficulties and there are negative ways. Drugs and escapism don’t solve problems, they just hide them for a while, and because they usually delay us from dealing with the problem, the problem gets bigger.

Life is tough and sometimes, seriously tough. We have to be able to deal rationally with struggles, challenges, and loss. Problems do not just go away from ignoring them. We should learn at an early age how to deal with challenges and some people get really good at them. I think training in martial arts teaches people how to deal with their struggles and helps to develop great coping skills.

We are challenged each class to work on techniques that can be overwhelming, but we find a way to progress and to accomplish what once seemed impossible. Each belt we earn is not a reminder that we can accomplish anything, it is proof. Not only are life’s challenges small in comparison with earning a Black Belt, but we learn that dealing with those challenges, coping with them, is the best path for personal growth. We don’t shy away from challenges, we seek them out, embrace them and conquer them.

There is an old saying by Nelson Mandela, “I never lose, I either win, or I learn.” Whenever we feel defeated, it’s the perfect time to reflect and write down our potential path to take advantage of what happened and how best to improve because of it.

Young Master Brown 2 768x576 1, Ancient Ways Martial Arts Bradenton


Image – a young Master Brown, helping others learn to cope with losing. Just kidding. Believe me, I had my share of second, third and no places too.

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