As martial artists, we’re constantly working on improving ourselves. Whether it’s for competition or for our overall training, we always push ourselves harder in order to achieve our desired goal. Unfortunately, there are times where we just need that extra boost of inspiration. Training can get frustrating, especially when we feel like we aren’t getting anywhere. Today, Evolve Daily shows you 7 Things You Can Do Right Now To Get Better At Martial Arts:
1) Train on your own.
Apart from attending classes, how much time do you devote to training martial arts? Do you watch videos? Drill after class? Ask your instructor questions? Research? All these are part of training too! All the work you put in outside of class undoubtedly gives you an edge over someone who doesn’t.
Imagine if you devoted an extra 10 minutes after each Muay Thai class practicing your high kicks – you’re doing 200 repetitions more than everyone else! Tell us, how could you not improve?
2) Choose the right sparring partner.
When we choose the same sparring partners all the time, chances are, they can already predict what you’re about to do. Same thing goes for sparring someone you know you can beat – there’s absolutely no challenge for you, which means you’re probably not learning anything. Doesn’t this defeat the whole purpose of sparring?
When selecting a partner, choose one of the following people:
a) Someone who will definitely beat you (You’ll develop awesome defense)
b) Someone who challenges you (You’ll know exactly where you stand)
c) Someone who you can definitely beat (You’ll be able to practice more complicated techniques)
If you’re doing striking, choose someone with a different stance or fighting style. If you’re grappling, choose someone who has an awesome bottom game and work on your passing – there are so many ways to challenge yourself to become a better martial artist!
3) Set a weekly goal.
What is it that you want to achieve out of training: a gold medal in your upcoming competition, to perfect a technique you’ve been working on, to get promoted to the next level? Regardless of what your ultimate goal is, you should have at least one realistic, achievable goal every week. Let’s face it, it’s easy to get discouraged every once in awhile.
Training can get frustrating and it can be tempting to give up altogether. What’s important is that you are improving a little bit everyday and are reaching your weekly goals, no matter how small they are. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy – it can be as simple as not gassing out during warm-ups or perfecting the cross choke from closed guard. Before you know it, you’ve already reached your ultimate goal and that is definitely one of the best feelings in the world!
4) Seek inspiration.
Sometimes, we need a little inspiration to get us going. We all need someone to look up to, in hopes that someday we may achieve greatness too. There are many awe-inspiring martial artists such as Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali that can serve as our inspiration during training.
Whether it’s their fighting style, their warrior spirit or their martial arts philosophies, there are so many ways we can incorporate what we’ve learned from these legends into our training. Who knows, perhaps one day we may achieve greatness too; after all, it is within us all.
5) Get faster and stronger.
As martial artists, we want any advantage we can get over our opponents. Whether its being faster, stronger, or both; having the extra time to incorporate strength and conditioning into training is definitely beneficial. Not only does it gives you the break you need from all the tension from hard training, it also gives you the ability to work out your weak spots and turn them into strengths.
Whether we want to own up to it or not, everyone has their weaknesses – poor flexibility, lack of coordination, insufficient cardio and strength. There is always room for improvement!
6) Take a break.
As athletes, we are often exposed to a “try hard or die trying” attitude. We want to be the best we can be – in our martial art of choice and in our everyday lives. We believe that the only way to achieve this is by training hard all day, every day. Sadly, this could lead to a burnout — forcing us to take a break or worse, quit!
Why not take a few days off to re-think your martial arts journey. There are times when we just need to sit back and relax, and give ourselves some time off. We’ll definitely feel rejuvenated and ready to train again, just as long as we remember why we started and what our goals are. But beware, don’t give yourself too long of a break – it might be difficult to regain momentum again!
7) Try something new.
Although many people thrive on routine, they can become too comfortable with it. Why limit your potential when you are capable of so much more? Why not challenge yourself by trying something different. Go on, step outside your comfort zone. We dare you. If you’re a BJJ guy, why not try Muay Thai? If you’re more of a boxer, why not go for a grappling class? Many people are afraid to try new things because they are afraid of the unknown. In fact, studies show that people fear an unknown outcome more than a negative one.
What if I won’t enjoy it? What if I get hurt? Before making all of these assumptions, why not just go ahead and do something about it? You never know what will happen until you try. After all, part of being a better martial artist is willingness to take risks!
By constantly challenging yourself, you are not only opening yourself up to new opportunities but you are also making yourself a better martial artist. On the way, you become a well-rounded individual too. So go on, get better; a new, more exciting and fulfilling life and martial arts journey awaits you!