1. To improve in martial arts you must train on your own
People sign up for martial arts classes all the time. They show up to classes and begin to progress and get better. Then they plateau, get frustrated and stop training. All my fellow instructors have seen this before and oh we get annoyed when we see this…we don’t say it but we can’t sleep at night! (Okay we sleep but you get the point). We get frustrated because we know this can be easily avoided. The way to avoid this frustration is by training consistently at home, which allows you to better understand the information you’re taught, increase your ability to perform techniques and gives you more direct control of your progress.
2. Training on your own increases your conceptual understanding
Training on your own gives you more time to reflect on what you’ve learned and make sure you understand it. Often my instructors teach me a concept and I’ll think I understand it. Then on the train ride home I’m pulling my hair out due to my inability to totally grasp the concept. Practicing on your own fixes this because it gives you more time to “think it over”. You can connect the dots of what they were trying to say. Classes move fast and information is thrown at you 2,000 miles per hour. Give yourself sometime at home to put the pieces together.
3. Training on your own increases your physical ability
Practicing at home also allows you to physically refine the movements you learn. Okay now we’re getting to the word that Allen Iverson religiously doesn’t believe in. PRACTICE! I want all of you to say it with me…”I will not ask my instructor why I’m not getting better until I practice consistently at home”. I would make you say it twice but that would start to go into the realm of practice which you all hate. Seriously though folks you have to put the time in. As I said before class goes by really fast and you usually don’t get enough practice time in class to master skills and techniques.
Practicing at home gives you the extra time that you can’t get in class. It makes the movements you’re practicing smoother, more graceful allowing you to pick up speed and power over time. Now when you return back to class you’re able to work more on your timing since you’ve practiced the basics consistently.
4. Training on your own gives you more control of your progress
Also practicing on your own gives you more control over your development and allows you to directly impact your progress. There’s no reason to get frustrated because YOU control how much YOU practice. So you don’t have to blame how long the class is, your instructor or anyone else. The power is in your hands. If you want to get better put in more work and practice.
There you have it, your simple strategy for improving in virtually ANY martial art. It’s not super complicated it’s just that on some level people aren’t as disciplined about their training as they should be. Now there are certainly occasions when people feel like they don’t have enough time to practice. I’ll break down soon how to improve in a martial art when you don’t have much time! You don’t need as much as you think! Thanks for reading!