First sparring night after a long hiatus. It was FMA vs HEMA. Two vastly different styles from opposite ends of the earth. I took my FMA up against an opponent that has trained harder, longer, and smarter in his HEMA arts (Sword and Buckler, Long Sword, Bolognese, etc). I lost. Often. He was faster, able to keep me at a range he had the advantage. It was only through trickery I was able to negate the range advantage to do better. I made many mistakes and its a testament to how multi talented my opponent is as he was happy to explain the who/what/where/when/why and how my mistakes occurred and what to take away from them.
When we switched to knives, I excelled and found where my advantages were. For a moment I was very proud but reminded myself its a skill that needs to be maintained. If anything, I'm inspired to train more in that aspect as well as improving my range game (what is often referred to as largo mano in FMA)
The point is, only by challenging yourself can you improve yourself. There will be pain. There will be mistakes. You will fail. Its ok for this to happen.
Because pain heals. Mistakes you can learn from. And you can rise from your failure to succeed
Keep at it. Whatever art, be it martial, musical, whatever. Never stop trying. Never stop learning. Never stop testing your skill. Never stop honing your sill. Never stop doing what you love.