Grit in Martial Arts


March 13, 2018
Yossi Sheriff

During the thirty plus years I have been teaching, so many students have gone through groups, so many students, that I feel that the data I present is not anecdotal, it has a statistical significance.

Grit predicts success.

Success is also personal. Each practitioner starts from a different point, equipped with different initial quantities of courage, intellect and money. A different starting point affects the end point. Those who come to groups from a low starting poing will find themselves after thirty years in a better place, compared to their own starting point.

What is the unit of measure of grit? Years.

Grit is founded on decades of persistance, grit manifests in resistance to external difficulties. Grit maintains focus in front of disruptions. We sum up grit toward the end of life. Period.

A practitioner who trains for ten years is at the beginning of the road. Ten years is about tenth grade. A practitioner who has been training for thirty years is getting nearer.

Should the training be in Akban? Of course not, but there must be a comprehensive practicum, not just practicing but an initiation practicum that the apprentice is a part of.

When I look at the student’s cards, I do not see a statistically significant deviation. Long-term training predicts a student’s personal success – success relative to his starting point.

And those students who have a good starting point? Money, high IQ, crazy courage, the same students create success that can be measured in absolute terms, not only relative. Academic achievements, excellent family life, money or if the apprentice wishes to – an enterprise that improves the quality of life of many other people.

Grit means a simple but very difficult thing – training is not an option.