Global Martial Arts University Blog

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Is Your Personality Type Holding You Back from Succeeding in Online Martial Arts?

This is a guest post authored by Adam Bein, currently a yellow belt in the Global Martial Arts University Shotokan Karate program. He maintains a helpful blog for other shotokan home study students.

You've signed up to learn Shotokan Karate through the Global Martial Arts University.  You pay your fee and you've begun to watch videos and practice.  Wouldn't it be nice to know what hurdles YOU face studying martial arts online due to YOUR specific personality type-that other people who have a personality type different from yours, do NOT have to deal with or face?  Another way to look at this;  how does your type of personality get in the way of advancing in online martial arts training?  Furthermore; how can you leverage the benefits of YOUR personality type to maximize returns and advancement in online martial arts training?  The big question is:  Is understanding your personality type key to excelling and progressing, and not dropping out of, online martial arts training?  I say "Yes.  Understand yourself and your chances of advancement in online martial arts training are significantly greater." 

So What Type of Personality Do I Have?

There  is a personality categorizing test called the 'Kiersey Temperament Sorter' (sometimes known as the Meyers Briggs Personality Test), that, through a series of approximately 80 questions, any individual can find what personality type they have/dominates them, how they function and perceive the world around them, how people with that personality type make decisions, what they prefer, their needs, and their motivation.  

The Member

Are you a person who leans towards membership, being part of a community, finds comfort in functioning in a group setting? You might excel in online martial arts training if you get other people to join your endeavor in a weekly meeting.   Ask family members, people from your church, youth group, other clubs or organizations to join you.  Together all of you can learn Karate.  This might be exactly what you, and they, need, is a good fit-group learning Karate with Global Martial Arts University.  Succeed and advance as a group or a team.

The Perfectionist

Are you a person who strives on improving, perfection, to have skill or knowledge, to understand?  Are you extremely self-critical, self-doubting, yet you have an inquiring attitude?  Consider toning down your tenseness.  You more than the other personality types must learn to accept the mistakes and imperfections that you exhibit on your way to being proficient. You WILL reach competency!  You WILL excel at Karate!  You are never on the verge of failure-you are an exciting, brave individual and you WILL be skilled!  You might need to 'take it down a notch', and 'relax'.  Enjoy the process, enjoy the journey - with Global Martial Arts University. 

The Butterfly

Are you a butterfly?  Do you go from exciting endeavor to exciting endeavor? Are you quickly bored with the mundane?  Incorporate your Karate training into the pursuit of your own identity.  Help YOU become a finished, significant self. Global Martial Arts University can help you bring out the best IN you.  Time your learning and enthusiasm in the correct dosages and stick with it and you will ever closer get to perfection in the art of Karate and towards being a finished self, the you you really are!

The Action Star

Are you a person of action?  Repetition-boring!  Freedom to do as you wish-exciting!  YOU can work or practice for hours!   Karate is fun!  Karate is exciting!  The kicks, the blocks, the striking!  Look at you!  Preciseness, boldness, timing!  But one thing you must learn-leveling up in belts and improving in Shotokan Karate is not an accident and is not done simply by repetition.  Instead, success requires analysis, success requires setting and meeting goals, and improving-and not abandoning this endeavor when boredom strikes (you know you get bored easily!) you need to look BEFORE you leap.   One of the keys to YOUR success in learning Shotokan Karate with Global Martial Arts University is for you to realize that this race is not a sprint, it is long-distance and as such, requires levels of attention to which you would prefer, if given the option, let's be honest, to completely avoid.  You're a do-er after all.  Hate to break the bad news to you but it's time for less scattered doing and more thinking, focusing, planning, and sticking with the plan. 

So GMAU student, which type of person are you; the Member, the Perfectionist, the Butterfly, or the Action Star?  It may be important for you to understand yourself and your personality type so you can custom tailor your learning to fit YOUR personality and to steer away from pitfalls unique to your personality type, so you can excel in the online learning of Shotokan Karate. 

My Karate Journey with the Global Martial Arts University (Guest Post by Jonas Bieri)

This is a guest  post written by Jonas Bieri, of Switzerland. He is currently a 3rd kyu brown belt in Shotokan Karate-Do with the Global Martial Arts University. He also maintains a blog about his karate journey.

When my kids started Karate at a local dojo, my interest in the Shotokan style started. Watching them train, learn and grow made me want to practice Karate, too. Observing their world-class japanese instructor teach them techniques, mindset and stamina, and seeing all the kids improve, rank, sometimes fail and retry, motivated me enormously.

Being already a student in a local Goshindo Jiu Jitsu dojo and training once or twice a week, I did not want to spend yet another weeknight away from the family to practice Karate, so in 2016 I joined the Global Martial Arts University with their distance learning course to learn Karate at home via video lessons instead. We have some free space in the corridor between the kids’ rooms, that’s where I placed a mirror and now call it my home dojo.

The beginning was easy. Every free minute I slipped into my Karate gi and practiced along the lessons and classes of Sensei Jon. I already knew about the techniques from watching my kids, so I progressed fast, and soon I was able to test for yellow belt. I made space in the living room, started the camera on my phone - and felt horrible stage fright creep up on me!

I have never had problems with oral examinations at school or uni, but demonstrating my Karate on video for my Sensei, that was different territory. It really is hard for me to keep calm, breathe, and stay focused while still relaxing my body during an exam. Never before have I experienced a mental blackout, but in Karate exams this happens regularly to me (as you can observe in my latest examination video at 3:00). Thus for me practicing to overcome the blackouts is a great lesson for life.

The level of stress may be lower than what my kids experience during their exam in front of their Sensei and parents, but I think this is compensated by the much longer and physically more demanding video exam the GMAU requires. With each belt level, new techniques are added to the syllabus, and it gets more demanding. Even though with the addition of the different kicks the training gets harder, I now prefer longer training sessions than I did at the beginning. At yellow belt level I usually trained 30-60 minutes, while I now prefer 1-2 hour sessions. The longer the session, the more important it is to vary training intensity, so I had to learn to listen better to my body.

I usually do not plan my training session ahead - I begin with a short, 30 seconds meditation to calm my everyday thoughts and worries, focus on the state of my body and mind, what feels good and what not. Often I start with one of the video classes for the warm up, no matter what belt level they are targeted at. Depending on my mood and how much my legs can take, I vary the intensity of the basic techniques (Kihon) that follows. Sometimes I control myself in the mirror, sometimes I trust my body feeling alone. Towards a belt exam, I remove the mirror to gain confidence in what I do and how it feels, and shoot a video to check if what I feel matches how it looks from the outside.

I never do a training session without Kata. Usually I repeat every Kata twice, finishing with that required for the next belt level. Learning a new Kata is always hard for me, I’m not the fastest learner. It takes real dedication, perseverance and many hours of watching videos, checking my Karate books over and over, visualizing myself working through the techniques several times a day (e.g. before drifting off to sleep at night), and of course physically training the form dozens of times. Yet it’s worth it.

With my Kata training I think I now understand and feel what C. W. Nicols describes as “Moving Zen” in his Karate Memoirs. I often reach that state Sensei Jon describes as “No Mind”, where Kata movements just flow without thinking about what was and what’s next, and my mind is completely focused on the here and now. After such a session I feel reinvigorated, relaxed and full of energy for life.

And for me, that’s what it is all about.

Jonas is an active contributor on our Discussion Board, and has also filmed a "Student Created Class" for the entire shotokan student base. When you login to a free or enrolled account, go to Extras, then "Student Created Classes" to see his class.

Finalists of the 90 Day Student Challenge - Who Will Win?

It has been an exciting 90 day challenge! We started with 34 energized participants three months ago. Students who had set the goal of earning their next belt within the next 90 days, and to document their journey along the way. For some, they were off to a strong start. Training with intensity, blogging, making videos, and making progress. For a few, life got in the way, and they were not able to continue to make blog posts and train as regularly as they would have liked. Our initial group dwindled down to 6 finalists. Six students who not only trained with consistent intensity, but also documented their journey along the way for you to follow. Six students who put it on the line, and submitted their next rank exams.

Now, it is up to all active Global Martial Arts University students to vote for the winner. Remember, the grand winner will receive a $400 cruise gift certificate (its about time for a vacation after all of that training), the runner up will receive a custom GMAU training kit, and all finalists are receiving a special edition "Challenge T-Shirt." Here is an overview of the challenge and prizes.

And now, the finalists. Take some time to visit their blog or youtube channel to see what their 90 day challenge was like. Watch their rank exam video, and take notes for yourself. And then, login to your GMAU student account and vote for the winner! Are you not an active GMAU student yet, today is a great day to being your own challenge.

Nathan Douglas

Jonas Bieri

Conray Paul van Biljon

Adam Bein

Matthew Allen

Ambreen Khan-Evans

Voting Begins Now!

If you are an official (active) GMAU student, you will be able to cast a vote. Consider the student's overall challenge. Read their blog or watch a few of their video updates. Contrast their improvement over the challenge to their test. Take into account their testing video, and overall journey. Thanks for voting!