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Make a Resolution That Counts:

It’s that time of year again, as we open up 2022 with that shiny new car smell, let’s take a moment to make sure we’re setup for success. Too often we set a new goal to embark on a fresh start at the beginning of the year, but we fall short of our mark. River City Warriors has been going strong since 2008, we’ve seen it all, and like most martial arts academies and gyms we get an influx of people ever January.

Like you, we’ve learned over the years what makes us more successful, or at least gives us the best shot at success. It hurts our souls to see people come and go, particularly when they’re making great progress in their Gracie Jiu Jitsu or Jeet Kune Do. Whatever the subject, we know we can help everyone get the results they’re after. That’s our New Years commitment to YOU! All you have to do is follow our professional advice and make it in to the school for some great classes.

All In The Approach

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to any new habit, which is really what a resolution is suggesting, is making a goal that’s unattainable. Don’t get us wrong, we’re huge fans of long term goals at RCW. We have several coaches who are Gracie Jiu Jitsu black belts and it took all of them more than 11 years to attain that accomplishment. A funny but fitting analogy is the old adage “How do you eat an Elephant?” One bite at a time of course!

When we make long term goals, but fail to give ourself short term ones in tandem we are setting ourselves up for failure. Because we won’t reach the long term goal we’ll flounder and burn out before we ever get there. How you approach your resolution is key to determining your success or failure. Another aspect of this long term goal fallacy is that we’ll often be incredibly hard on ourselves. We think that if we’re not fit right away, or an expert, or making this our new lifestyle 7 days a week that somehow we aren’t moving forward. The second key component of our approach is we believe you should seek PROGRESS, not perfection.

Imagine having a diet where you never allow yourself a cheat day. That might work in the near term, but it’s unsustainable in the long run. You’ll quickly feel like you’re missing out on never having your favorite foods. That lack of flexibility will usually sabotage your deeper goal of living well and having healthy eating habits. Not too mention if you decide not to eat in this incredibly specific way down the road, you’re likely to gain the weight again and return to where you started. Flexibility supports your goal, but often we feel like we’re failing when we bend the rules around our desires and the cycle continues.

Did You Catch the 3 Keys?

  1. Set a goal and include both short and long term milestones.
  2. Focus on progress, over perfection.
  3. Allow yourself some flexibility.

 

So You Wanna Become a Badass Warrior?

With some goal setting structure out of the way, lets dive in to how YOU can become a Warrior. At RCW, we are good at our job. We know exactly what skill development looks like and how to train people from beginner all the way to expert in MMA, JKD, Muay Thai/Boxing, and all our other self defense classes. Time and again we’ve repeated this process and if you follow our advice you’ll unleash the inner badass that you’ve always known was in there.

Set a schedule. We recommend attending class twice per week in the beginning. A lot of people think they’re going to need 5 days a week to get going, or that somehow it’ll accelerate the learning process. Usually what happens is people fry themselves out, they get fatigue and sometimes even injure themselves because their body isn’t used to the activity. Two days a week is a great start, and you can go to multiple classes on those days.

In the beginning, it’ll still be tough. Despite the best intentions, creating a new habit of going to class twice a week will be challenging. By setting dedicated days aside where you’ll be training that’ll help facilitate a solid start. We found that people who attend 90 days twice per week in the beginning of their journey at RCW typically stay active with us about 3-4 years on average. That means they made it! Set your days and be ready to stay committed when social invites come up, when work wears you out, when any reason to skip comes up you’ll be able to hold steadfast to your goal.

Stay flexible, you’re a Warrior in training. Do your absolute best to stick to your schedule but allow yourself some flexibility. Listen to your body, if you feel like you can handle a third day jump on in. We’re writing this resolution to do list on the internet, not stone tablets. Be free to make POSITIVE adjustments. Don’t beat yourself up and get defeatist if you miss a day. That too, is probably going to happen. When you eat poorly you have the chance the very next meal to try and get back on course. Training is the same way, if you miss, don’t hate yourself, see if you can fit in a second day that week and keep your goal. In the rare case you absolutely can’t, then get back on track the following week and take a moment to evaluate why your schedule didn’t work. As long as you keep going, you’re on the path of progress.

This is really all it takes. Really. There’s no magical switch we can flip, shortcuts, or some special talent that turns someone into a badass. Which should relieve you, because it means with consistency and a quality curriculum that anyone can do it!

And Now in a Numbered List:

  1. Set a schedule you can keep, 2 days per week.
  2. Be ready for outside factors to challenge your new schedule. How will you respond?
  3. Stay flexible, an extra day is great, but try to stay on track to your 2 day commitment.
  4. Don’t beat yourself up, but find a way to get back on track if you stumble. Remember it’s natural.
  5. 2 days a week for 90 days, and you’ve got it made! New habit unlocked!! Consistency is all it takes.

Nicky P. Winning another match at the Roseland representing RCW.

You Are Not Alone and in Good Company!

River City Warriors is filled with a diverse community of people working together toward common goals. It’s something we’ve intentionally built over the near 15 years we’ve been in this game. You’ll find the other students in the school as helpful as any of the coaching staff on the floor. Building great relationships and hanging out with other people sharing a similar purpose is a great way to stay on track. Whether your goal is self defense, competition, fitness, learning a skill, or any of the benefits that come with martial arts, you’ll find RCW supports you every step of the way.

Don’t take our word for it though, come on by and see for yourself. We always offer a FREE trial so you can see the quality training and community on offer at RCW. If you’re interested you can jump in right now by following the link. —-> FREE TRIAL <—

 

Thanks as always for reading, and from all of us at RCW we wish you the best in 2022!!

We’ve all been there, down in the dumps ready and willing to pull the plug. In the end it could’ve been the right decision but more often than not we regret things that we relinquish too early.A common hurdle in life, but one less talked about is the stages of quitting. It doesn’t just happen overnight, and sometimes it happens before it begins. In my experience coaching mixed martial arts and self defense for over 20 years I’ve narrowed down the stages of quitting that I run into from time to time: and now a bulleted list, because everyone likes that.

  • The didn’t start yet quitter
  • The too quick quitter
  • The almost made it quitter
  • The mission accomplished quitter

If You Feel Like Quitting

The Didn’t Start Yet Quitter:

Right off the bat, we’ve got a quitter who hasn’t even done anything yet, but has already given up in their mind. This type of individual offers up reasons why they can’t begin a new activity or endeavor. In classes we offer like Gracie Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai I have often heard people concur phrases like “Well I’m not good yet…. I’m not in shape yet… I’m afraid people will laugh at me…what if it takes me a long time to learn?” And on and on and on. This line of thought derails your good intentions and prevents you from moving forward. Haven’t even begun yet, but this person is finding a way out.

We’re conditioned from previous experiences that people will make fun of us because we’re new or different. That we might stand out by being the new kid on the block and that it isn’t going to go well. In the modern workplace/academia there’s such a need to be on point and a know-it-all-cause-internets that the sense of exploration and wonder we had as kids is fizzled out like fireworks in the rain. This is probably the most common obstacle for most people, even if they don’t say it, before they come try a class out at RCW. Luckily it’s also the easiest to deal with, all you have to do is TAKE ACTION!

The action you take can be small, something as simple as booking a class, telling a friend you’re trying something new, putting it on your calendar like a scheduled meeting at work. The action step can go in to place, and you can go back to riding the excuse train all day, except now you’ve got an action in place that will probably get you to that new hotness and you’ll realize afterward that everything went amazingly well! Of course it did! Because if anybody made fun of you, or laughed at you, or required you to be highly skilled at a brand new endeavor then you shouldn’t bother hanging out with those kinds of people!

Sure there might be the minor internal quibble that your self-esteem starts to realize that you’re beginning a new activity, but learn to embrace changes and to love learning again and you’ll quickly be on your way.

Too Quick to Quit:

This Too Quick to Quit person… they’re pretty easy to spot, way easier to identify than our first transgressor. Too Quick usually comes in with fire in their eyes and talking the talk. They tell me how great they are and how grateful we should be to have their presence at the academy. They come in 8 days a week and maybe even start to be viewed as the most regular person in the school. Almost too soon, other students and coaches start to buy in and think just maybe this person will be the next life long addict of arm bars. And…. that’s because it is TOO SOON!

As quickly as the fire roared up it dies off from this expectation they can’t uphold. After about 8 weeks they vanish, never to be seen again. Its because consistency and skill are always tougher to come by than talent. This person might even be a serial activity starter, but over the years they’ve never really accomplished anything of substance. To help yourself out of this jam, the first thing we recommend is setting a schedule AND sticking to it. Even if you can come in every day the school is open, chances are you’ll burn out before you begin. Consistency is key, a little bit of discipline and the good news is when Too Quick makes it past 90 days they’re usually tempered and ready for great results.

So Close, Almost Made It!

The Almost Made it type, is the saddest for me as a coach and a mentor. For one I’m in the trenches with my students and have gone through all manner of things with them from cancer treatments and major surgeries to major life events, marriage and kids. It’s a very personal path, but I love the connection we get to have with people in our community and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Almost made it is just about to reach all their goals, is fitter than they ever have been in their life, and their friends think of them as a super hero.

Then it happens, life gets hard. Remember quitting before you started? Almost Made It rekindles the flames of self doubt about the road their on and before checking their map starts acting erratically. They start going to class less, they put in less effort than they ever did before. The excitement is gone from their eyes like the veil being lifted from Wizard of Oz. Often there’s an event that happened in their personal life or in the gym that changed something. Maybe they got the worst of it sparring with a newer person they always owned. Maybe they had an injury playing basketball and the recovery time is the hurdle in itself.

When you make it past the Didn’t Start phase and then knock out the Too Quick commitment jitters, plant a seed in your head on what victory really looks like. Is it an achievement, a belt, a skill level, a fitness level, finding like minded friends, or perhaps a lifestyle? There has to be something in there, some conviction, that when the chips are down you’ll find the resolve to keep going. Pausing your progress after all this time always ends in nothing more than tragic regret.

Deep down this still goes back to the initial reasons to avoid starting something. Most people want an out, we want a valid reason for quitting to relive our burden. That out when you take it is never as satisfying as making it! You can do it, call those friends, talk to your mentors, make a plan and stick to it even if that plan is to simply dig your heels in and be the rock you need to be to succeed.

Mission Accomplished, Right?

Oh Mission Accomplished and still quits quitter is a surprising phenomena. Most marathon runners don’t just run one race and they’re done. They take it to task, feel the rush, and rinse and repeat. Most people who attain an instructorship under Dan Inosanto (Bruce Lee’s protege) or a black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu don’t just drop off. Some do, and it’s a fallacy that’s left over from the Almost Made It mindset.

An out, reinforced by the sheer discipline to keep going it can feel good to take a break, but be careful how long that is or you’ll just end up a quitter. Like Almost Made It, this person fails to have a list of convictions at the ready and reasons why they keep doing things that are good for them. It’s like someone who sets a goal weight and reaches their weight loss number, then immediately stops all the good changes they made and goes back to eating their old lifestyle.

I’ve seen it with Black Belts too, all the skill, time, and dedication required but when it’s accidentally viewed as the end all goal, it’s a let down. As Pedro Sauer says “Black belt is a great place to start learning Jiu Jitsu.” Meaning that you reached the mountain top, and you realize looking down there’s a whole new perspective to learn about in life and it motivates you to keep going. If you thought all the answers were at the top of the mountain, you might be in for a letdown.

The essence of life is in the journey and the steps along the way. Imagine your getting into wood working or music, and you somehow convince yourself after 10 years I will have achieved “it.” IT is impossible to be a stationary goal, it is the accomplishments achieved, the friends made, the learning in itself and those goals are on the move and nothing to be arrived at.

We’re all in this together:

We all face a temptation to quit any number of challenges throughout our life, it’s part of being human. It’s how we handle that process to eliminate our fears and move forward that leads to a life without regret. Also a life filled with new beginnings, new choices, success and thrilling endeavors. Good luck out there!

-By Joe Heller

Head Coach RCW

 

 

*Thanks for reading! If you’re in the mood to try something new, we have tons of classes on offer in Portland and the surrounding area. We hold self defense and mixed martial arts classes like Muay Thai, Boxing, Gracie Jiu Jitsu/BJJ, Jeet Kune Do and Kali year round for all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or just getting started we welcome you to come train at River City Warriors. You can START right now by taking advantage of our 5 classes for $5 bucks a class deal. Just click the link below to be an action taker and have a great new experience.