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Martial Arts with a Mission: Sam

Our Martial Arts with a Mission series follows several imaginary martial arts students on their journey to achieve their goals, both in training and in life.


The alarm goes off again and Sam hits snooze. For the third time in a row.

For the third day in a row.

Last night he had grand plans to get up and go for a run before work. But the plan seems so much less appealing now that it’s time to get up. When he finally does get out of bed, there’s only time to get ready for work. Another failed attempt!

During his commute he’s being hard on himself. Why is it so difficult for him to stick to a training plan? He has fitness goals that he set for himself. He used to be an athlete in college. But years of working long hours in an office job have taken their toll on his physical health.

He wants to get back in shape so badly, but whenever it’s time to work out, he finds himself dreading the process.

As he sits in traffic, he tries to think about something else. Something other than his continued failure to be disciplined. He looks around for a distraction, anything to take his mind off his feelings of shame and guilt. But there isn’t much to look at on I-25 at 8 am. Just a thousand other cars, a thousand other drivers, probably all mulling over their own internal struggles as they sit in their vehicles.

That’s the problem with commuting, Sam thinks to himself. It’s just so boring.

And then he has a revelation: That’s the problem with working out. It’s Just. So. Boring.

He can’t be excited about going for a run around the block, or going to the gym to lift weights. It’s all too repetitive. It’s the same darn workout every time. He needs something more intellectually stimulating, something he actually wants to get out of bed for. If he could find a way to make working out fun, maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to stick to a training plan…


One month later, the alarm goes off. Sam runs back to his room to turn it off. He forgot he even set it. He’s already been up for 15 minutes. He already made his coffee.

He already has his gi on.

Sam’s mission is to get fit and have fun at the same time. What’s your martial arts mission?

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