Training is training, right? Wrong. There is more to training than just doing the moves that you’re accustomed to.
In order to get more out of your martial arts training, you’re going to have to give more to it. That’s just how life works. Here are five truly helpful ways to give more to your training.
1. Enjoy the adrenaline
Soak up the adrenaline that comes with training. That boost that you get from doing serious physical activity, embrace it! Don’t shy away from the positive rush that you get from your classes, embrace it. That embrace will propel you forward to doing more and being a better martial artist. Though there is always a sense of control in training in the martial arts, the raw power that derives from the adrenaline push can help you with intensity and even with focus.
Adrenaline is a fight or flight hormone that heightens your senses and sharpens your mind, but many martial artists cut themselves off from those benefits and try to tamp down the high that comes with training in favor of a stiffness and rigidity. Don’t!
2. Think about emotions
Something that we don’t often talk about is that martial arts is an emotional journey, and how often emotions can get in the way of getting the most out our training. Take stock of what you’re feeling and address any lingering issues that might be keeping you from doing more.
For all that we say about being brave and taking control, in the martial arts we often find that we are afraid of our feelings. Bottling it all up and ignoring it clouds the mind and keeps you from getting the most out of your training.
3. Give 1% more
Commit to giving an extra one percent to each class. This is a concept that will build on itself, and eventually you’ll find that you’re giving way more than you thought you ever could! Each class, give just one percent more than you gave to your last session, pushing yourself harder but within reason. Imagine if you did this over the course of a year!
4. Put blinders on
Martial arts class isn’t socialization time or workout time, it’s training time. Though there are certainly social benefits to training in martial arts, and though many people find life long friendships at the dojo, during training you need to focus on training. It’s common for the social excitement to run away with folks that the dojo, but putting those blinders back on and refocusing is often a huge boost for martial artists.
5. Don’t miss class
This one seems to go without saying, but it’s really worth repeating – don’t miss class! Even one missed class is a problem in terms of the continuity of your training, because it breaks your rhythm. Just don’t do it. Regular training is the key to success.
On a related note, train as often as you can. Though you certainly want to avoid burnout, in terms of training more is more. If you can pick up an extra class per week or attend a seminar, you’re going to find that your performance increases dramatically.
We all work so hard to train and to improve our skills, but it can really be the little tweaks that really boost us to the next level as martial artists. Give just a little more to your practice and you’ll get exponential rewards!