Success Skills and Martial Arts 

      Is success achieved by a minority of people? Do martial arts help you become successful?
      Success is defined differently by different people, so who is right? My definition of success
might be different from yours, and your neighbor, and so on. How do we achieve success, and
what does that mean for us?
      I will begin by noting that there are some “success skills” that seem to be universal.
      Many people seeking success take up journaling, drinking more water, martial arts, exercise, etc.
to build their discipline. The discipline successful people learn in the smaller things becomes
applied to the bigger ones as they seek better jobs, higher grades, and quality of life.
      Martial arts is especially beneficial in building success skills because of the discipline,
integrity, and perseverance required of an individual while attending classes. The goals that you
are taught to set in martial arts also translate to other areas of your life, such as weight loss or
the focus required for better grades.
      There are many books like “Atomic Habits,” or “The 5 am Club” that illustrate some of
these examples and are enlightening books to read when seeking the development of success
       I do think that success is achieved by a minority of people. Black belt, one of the biggest
goals in martial arts, is achieved by a minority of people. Why? Because success is hard. The
focus and determination required for success are hard. Getting to black belt is hard! Building the
skills that create success is hard. When something is hard, fewer people want to do it. Humans
desire comfort and do not want to place themselves outside of their comfort zone. However, I
must state that no one has ever achieved anything great while being comfortable.
      Do success skills make you uncomfortable? Does getting up earlier so you can exercise
make you uncomfortable? Does extra practicing for your next belt make you uncomfortable?
      Does more discipline for good grades make you uncomfortable? I guarantee that, if not the
above, there is a skill that you could be creating or forming in your life to become a winner. And
who does not want to be a winner?
      There are many definitions for success, and the best I can do is contribute my own
thoughts. I believe that success is a habit, because how we do one thing is how we will do
everything. Habits are certainly formed through martial arts through the practice and
determination required to get to black belt.
      I have some good news, though. You get to choose your own success! I am not going to
tell you in an article exactly what your success will look like, though for some it might be like
what I have mentioned above. No matter what, the success skills you build and the success that
comes with it will be unique to you.
– Sophia, 2nd-degree black belt at Middleburg Martial Arts

5th-degree Master Jan Lappin, a Middleburg resident, founded Middleburg Martial Arts in 2001.
Both schools Fleming Island and Middleburg teach Tang Soo Do based on the systems developed by
Grandmaster Shin and the World Tang Soo Do Association. Learn more at
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