What is Failure ?

What is Failure?

Defining failure and its importance to success

From a young age (5 to 11) I was competing regularly in martial arts and I was failing, regularly. My Dad would take me across the country, often driving 6 hours to compete. The fear, pressure and anticipation I felt was often so difficult to overcome. The disappointment of driving 6 hours, competing and loosing within the first minute in a sudden death competition, resulting in no medal or trophy and driving home was often so difficult to overcome.

Fortunately, the support from my Dad the whole time, who never seemed disappointed and instead passed on life lessons of perseverance and used the loss as a stepping stone to overcome and improve weaknesses.

This excellent method for helping a young person develop, certainly helped guide my character on the right path. As I progressed I began competing more frequently and the fear and nerves began to subside, I was winning national competitions in several organisations every year and eventually as an adult went on to train and fight professionally, full contact in other martial arts around the world.

I believe we learn far more by failure than success, providing failure is put in the right context and the child/student is provided with excellent mentoring.

Martial Arts, taught professionally as part of a progressive character development programme, can be an excellent tool for developing a competitive spirit in young people which will guide them through difficult times and prepare them for adult life.

Let’s ensure our students are not avoiding competition but instead let’s put competition, success and failure in the right context to help our students develop a strong Character.

Now that we have defined Failure, it’s time to learn how we can analyse our performance positively so that any outcome is a learning tool! We are going to give away our “FOUR R’s” to analyse performance positively! It’s coming up in the next blog so check back soon!




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We have developed a world-class character development programme and pride ourselves on our ability to bring communities together through martial arts. We exist to inspire young people to seek challenge and adventure, teaching them that they can make a global impact and lead a positive change in the world.
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