Martial ArtsStretchingThe Journey

The Valley of Repetition & The Mountain of Perseverance

The Valley of Repetition & The Mountain of Perseverance

The journey of martial arts can be compared to wandering across the landscape. Some get caught in the valley of repetition allowing the hardship to overcome them–quitting. Others chose to persevere through the mountains enduring the harshness of the wilderness. In turn, hardening the body and creating a strong resilient mind. Most who quit never make it through to see what the other side of the mountains holds. Most don’t know there are many mountain peaks to climb through.

This story is written from the perspective of a student who is in the midst of training. Who has hit the valley of repetition and found comfort in it’s harvest. The mountain of perseverance hanging overhead as the cold winds come down sending chills into each muscle. This is the story we all go through in our training to unlock our potentials.

Where Most Quit, We Keep Going

Nine months into my martial arts journey, standing in the middle of the dojo; my gui is damp with sweat, and the initial thrill of newness has long since worn off. The punches, kicks, and stances that seemed so exotic at first have now become painfully familiar. “Again,” the instructor calls out, and we reset our positions. My body moves almost automatically, but my mind feels like it’s stuck in a loop. Is this what martial arts is all about—repeating the same moves over and over until the end of time?

Struggling with the Plateau

Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona, Arizona 2023

I’ve gotten past the basics, pushed my way through the exhaustion and soreness that marked my early days. I can execute a decent sidekick, and my stances don’t wobble like they used to. But now I’ve hit what seems like an endless plateau. The repetition is what’s killing me. Each class feels like a rerun of the last, and the excitement that fueled my first steps into this journey has dwindled into a monotonous grind. The constant demand for focus, for endless refinement—it’s overwhelming.

Shifting Perspectives

One evening, my instructor pulls me aside. “You look like you’re struggling,” he says, his eyes searching mine. “You’ve come far, but this is where many people lose their way. They think they’ve learned all there is to learn, so they stop truly seeing. Martial arts isn’t just about learning moves; it’s about perfecting them. It’s in the repetition that mastery is found.”

His words echo in my mind as I go back to my stance, preparing for another round of what I’d started to see as monotonous drills. But this time, something clicks. As I throw my punch, I notice the subtle alignment of my wrist, the way my knuckles lead. I feel the ground beneath my feet, channeling energy up through my legs and hips. The move is the same, but my understanding of it is different, deeper.

The Joy in Refinement

Oak Creek in Sedona, Arizona 2023

Suddenly, the repetition isn’t a curse but a blessing. Each repeated movement becomes an opportunity for refinement, a canvas for expressing the best version of myself. Just like a river is always changing, every repeated movement changes with the new awareness. The practice makes permanent, not perfect. How we practice allows those techniques to embed themselves into muscle memory. I start to embody joy in the fine-tuning, the minor adjustments that transform a good technique into a great one. Allowing the growth to guide through the painful training. The understanding comes to me that the repetition is allowing my awareness to experience new parts of each movement, pieces of the puzzle that were once hidden. With that shift in perspective, the plateau transforms into a launching pad. Gaining a new awareness within flow of the technique, the understanding feels more aligned with it’s embodiment.

Discovering the Hidden Depths

Months turn to years as I find myself diving deeper into each technique, discovering nuances I’d never noticed before. How a subtle foot turn opens the hip allowing more power to flow into a strike. I begin to realize that the more I learn, the more there is to learn—that mastery is not a destination but an ever-receding horizon. Strangely enough, I find comfort in that. The repetition, the focus, the relentless pursuit of perfection—it all becomes a form of meditation, sharpening my mind as it sculpts my body.

Transcending the Mundane

Master Victor at Oaxaca, Mexico 2023

I’ve come to understand that the path to mastery is paved with repetition. But within that repetition lies the secret to unlocking my fullest potential. I’ve not just become a better martial artist; I’ve become a better version of myself—more focused, more disciplined, and remarkably resilient. These values I observe seep into my life allowing calmness through utter chaotic moments, the knowledge of persevering through hardship to attain my goals, and the sharpened mind allowing me to stay more focused on my tasks. The training had slowly but permanently transformed my entire life unlocking a new level of potential I had never imagined.

So, to those of you in a similar place, feeling the drag of the plateau, I say this: Embrace the repetition, for it is your greatest teacher. It may test your patience and resolve, but it will also forge you into a refined practitioner and a stronger being. The key is to keep seeing, keep learning, and most importantly, keep going. Some months you may not see any improvement, trudge on. The journey, with all its ups and downs, is where the real treasure lies. Forget the destination and fill yourself with this moment.

Training at Fera Academy

Fera Academy invites you to embrace the rigors of martial arts training, a journey tailored for those ready to invest time and commit wholeheartedly to the art and science of self-improvement.

At Fera Academy, your voyage transcends the boundaries of conventional training. We are in pursuit of individuals who are striving for mastery. The path of martial arts we offer is not a short-term engagement—it is a lifelong journey of evolving into the best version of yourself.

We are seeking those who wish to unlock their potential:

  • Individuals with unwavering dedication, who understand that the path to mastery is laden with challenges that will test their limits, yet inspire them to push beyond.
  • Souls with long-term commitment, ready to invest their time in a discipline that yields not just physical agility but also mental fortitude and emotional resilience.
  • Minds fueled by a mentality of continuous improvement and mastery. If you find joy in honing flexibility, fortifying mental toughness, and mastering the nuances in the martial arts, then your pursuit aligns with our ethos.
  • Hearts yearning for internal peace, who approach martial arts not as a means to dominate others, but as a way to achieve self-mastery and harmony within.

These are the four requirements we ask of our students. Without these values, the journey only becomes harder. Fera Academy is not just a martial arts school; it is a community where martial arts, calisthenics, yoga, meditation, and breathwork are the mediums through which life’s virtues are cultivated. Here, the martial way becomes a canvas for your personal growth. As you crash into your limitations with perseverance, they shatter ushering in a new chapter in your life.

Take the step today. Join us at Fera Academy, where the commitment to martial arts is a commitment to nurturing peace, respecting nature, and fostering a spirit of freedom within and beyond our community. We offer private online lessons.

Enroll now and transform your potential into the mastery of yourself.

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Master Victor is a Fine, Martial and Fire Arts practitioner amongst many other things.

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