Reposting a blog entry on Quora by Elke Weiss, with her permission. She was writing to encourage people to start Krav Maga, even if they felt weak.
I want to tell you about a young boy when he first started learning martial arts. Although extremely athletic and nimble, playing soccer and climbing on everything possible, this boy was the smallest and weakest kid in class.
He was head and shoulders shorter than everyone else, and he was skinny. The other students could easily push him around with one hand. In sparring, they could get him into their pocket when sparring where he couldn’t reach back.
This boy could have given up. He didn’t. He couldn’t make himself taller, so he focused on what he could do.
He worked harder than any other student. He practiced every single technique a thousand times, focusing on precision and form. He made sure his movement was clean, he made sure he could use his considerable intelligence to outmaneuver and outthink. He was aggressive and fierce, and he was determined.
He lifted weights and made himself stronger. He worked on his speed and agility. He threw himself into every single class, even though he was at a disadvantage.
That small boy became an instructor at 17, studying with the top teachers in his country.
That boy grew up to be the 2010 Krav Maga champion, taking out competition 50 pounds and a foot taller than him.
That boy grew up to be a special operations soldier in a top unit.
That boy grew up to be a lead instructor in combat, teaching over 10,000 soldiers, including US marines.
That boy grew up to be a highly successful teacher who teaches hundreds of students with kindness and compassion because he knows how it feels to be an underdog.
That boy grew up to be someone who knew the path of success is built on failure and lives his life out of his comfort zone.
It's a great story for everyone, but I like it also because that boy grew up to me. I didn't start out an expert in Krav Maga, I started out as the underdog. Hard work and grit was what got me here.
If I didn’t have to struggle to overcome all those obstacles, I wouldn't be the person I am. Have the courage to struggle, it makes you a better person.
(Elke Weiss is one of my students who blogs a lot on Krav Maga)