Effort. It’s one of the words we use to guide us and set our intention when learning, practicing, competing, and training in the Martial Arts. What do we mean by it?
Merriam-Webster defines it:
conscious exertion of power : hard work <a job requiring time and effort>
a serious attempt : try <making an effort to reduce costs>
something produced by exertion or trying <the novel was her most ambitious effort>
effective force as distinguished from the possible resistance called into action by such a force
the total work done to achieve a particular end <the war effort>
These are good. We use effort with an added dimension of evaluation of the DEGREE of the effort. This is on the part of both the instructor and student, and includes understanding of the difficulty of the task, as well as the student’s age and ability level.
So what are some indicators of Effort? What is it that marks it as more than just doing?
Sweat Effort is hard work. In Martial Arts that certainly means sweat! Pushing your body; increasing aerobic health, strength, balance, speed, timing, control, weapons, all mean sweating.
Frustration Effort is the fuel of improvement. With high goals set, there comes the occasional setback, loss, missed goal. Frustration is that acknowledgement that more effort is needed.
Satisfaction Effort leads to success. Attaining a goal small or large, arrived at through effort brings a strong sense of satisfaction. An evolving Martial Artist then sets new goals and proceeds to apply effort to attaining them.
How do we know that we are putting forth “sufficient” Effort? Well, there’s no upper limit is there? Consider those who have to work through hardships and handicaps to attain their success. Remember the times that your instructor/coach/trainer/teacher motivated you to give greater Effort. It is entirely relative to you, your situation, and the task involved.
We can pretty much suspect that there is always a bit more Effort that we could give. At no time does this guarantee success however. That’s just how it goes, but is never a reason not to put in the effort. Lofty goals and great Effort can in themselves be rewarding, as the joy is in the journey not the destination.
Brian Dillon What do You think? Let us know!