MaArtial Podcast: The School of Hard Knocks with Stewart McGill

How can one build up the mental endurance to face difficult situations in life?

In this episode of the MaArtial podcast, we speak Stewart McGill from the London branch of Urban Krav Maga. A member of Martial Arts Illustrated’s Hall of Fame, Stewart tells us about the techniques he’s used to thrive in the face of life’s adversities.

With decades of martial arts experience under his belt, Stewart shares some enlightening tips for how to persevere through times of low motivation, negative energy, and other adversities.

“I’ve always just thought that you have to get on with it,” Stewart told us. He credits a strict upbringing with giving him the qualities he’s leaned upon in later life.

“I do regard myself as quite a resilient person, though I guess in many ways I am like anybody else and I have some weaknesses, and I think for that I do have to thank my father. [He] gave me a certain level of resilience and I’ve never really expected everything to be great.”

Difficulties endured over the course of one’s life play a great role in building resilience, says Stewart. And a lot of those difficulties tend to come earlier in life.

“I think the 20s are one of the more difficult times you have, because you first have to get out make your own way in life, find a job, and we all go through a succession of difficult and damaging relationships,” Stewart says, adding that current struggles are making things more difficult for young people than in the past. Still, that can be a good thing.

“I was wondering if our children’s children will actually be a little bit tougher than we are, because they’re going to have difficult time getting by for the next 10 years. My generation had it very easy in many ways. So resilience comes to a certain extent from that.”

In his 20s, Stewart found that martial arts gave him strength to push himself and persevere through difficult times.

“There is no doubt that the grade system in karate does give you certain targets to go for, and you want to get to a certain level. And you see people in the class who are much better than you, and you think, ‘I could do better than that,’ so it doesn’t give you a certain incentive.”

For more information about Stewart McGill, and to sign up for one of his courses in the United Kingdom, visit the official site of Urban Krav Maga London.

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