1. People tend to get bored in martial arts classes
I’ve been practicing martial arts for over a decade and I’ve seen a lot of people stop training. Usually because they get bored and therefore try other activities. This is unfortunate because a martial art program has multiple benefits packaged into one activity. That said over the years I’ve been taught and now use a few methods to make sure I never get bored in training. Generally training is boring when it’s repetitive, less challenging and not fun. The way to avoid this is by disguising repetition, keeping your workouts challenging and experimenting constantly.
2. Disguising repetition decreases boredom
Disguising repetitive movements in your training keeps things new despite practicing the same techniques. I understand some people find it boring to practice the same combinations for months. Learning a martial art is tedious. In Guided Chaos we constantly change how you practice. We recommend clients practice while closing their eyes, standing on balance boards, moving slower, using resistance bands, practicing while sitting and having training partners push you from different angles are a few things that increase variety.
With these additions you’re not practicing anything new so much as you’re practicing in a different way. Often doing the most basic Guided Chaos “techniques” becomes difficult on balance boards especially for beginners. Simple striking now needs tremendous effort and focus without adding any extra movements.
3. Keeping your workouts challenging and difficult decreases boredom
Generally, keeping your workouts tough motivates you to keep improving. In fact this is central to the concept of “flow” which simply put states that when things are too hard we experience anxiety and when they’re too easy we get bored. Learning a martial art isn’t any different. It’s important that you find the sweet spot for yourself and give yourself a proper balance.
Use progressive resistance to challenge yourself at a pace that isn’t too fast or slow. When you’re working out you continually increase the amount of weight you lift to progress. Keep lifting the same weight and you don’t get stronger. So make things more difficult for yourself in your practice and partner practice. Work with everyone with just your left arm, only kick with your right leg, only hit with one type of strike or tie both your arms behind your back and make your partner miss.
4. Make your training FUN!
Keeping your training fun makes the process enjoyable instead of feeling like drudgery. Martial artists attempt to make training so difficult they forget to enjoy the training. If you don’t like the experience of training what’s the point? I don’t care how ambitious you are about getting better if you’re not having fun you’re going to stop practicing.
Make training fun by experimenting and remain in a state of play. One of the biggest things I’ve learned from my instructors is that even though the goal were training for is deadly serious you must experiment and be okay with messing up and being silly. Children learn skills fast because they’re focused primarily on having fun so they try anything that seems cool. Adults often are so focused on winning they don’t try new things because they’re too scared to lose. This hampers your training and leads to practice feeling like it’s the same thing over and over.
5. Final Thoughts
Folks don’t allow your training to become boring or stagnant. A lot of it comes down to you taking responsibility for your training. You have to get creative and mix things up for yourself. Have fun! Good luck!