Do you remember your first martial arts class? Perhaps you weren’t sure what to expect, or felt a little lost. But the good news is, you held on and made it past the toughest part, which is the beginning!
We recently looked back and couldn’t help but wish that we knew certain things before we embarked on this journey. It doesn’t matter whether you’re thinking about picking up martial arts, or if you’ve already been training for awhile. No matter which part of your martial arts journey you’re at, there are some important things that you should always keep in mind.
Today, Evolve Daily shares 7 Things Everyone Should Know When They Start Training Martial Arts:
1) Be ready to learn at all times
Every martial artist should work on improving by 1% every day. In order to make good progress, it’s absolutely necessary to keep an open mind and stay attentive in class. By doing so, you’d be able to absorb the important information that your instructor is sharing with you. Apart from that, it helps to regularly attend classes and drill. When you do so, you’d pick up more things at a faster rate.
We believe that a positive learning attitude would take you very far in your martial arts journey. Hence, it’s important to always be ready to learn – even when the technique is so complex that you take a long time to grasp it. Remember, as long as you don’t give up, you’ll eventually get it.
2) Replace your bad habits with good ones
At the beginning of your martial arts journey, you might have a poor stance, kick with the wrong technique, or keep forgetting to guard your face. These are just some of the many bad habits that you could pick up at the start – whether you intend to or not. However, once you recognize these bad habits, you should make it a point to get it right and keep doing it correctly in future.
Some other poor habits worth breaking include staying up late at night, mindless snacking, and binge drinking, among others. Think of your body as a weapon – we’re pretty sure you’d want it to function well so as to maximize your performance in the gym. So make sure you treat it with the respect and care that it needs.
3) Never focus on negative things
While it’s easy to get disheartened when you’re not progressing as quickly as you wish to, you should try to think positive. This is because you can’t expect overnight results when it comes to martial arts. Instead of focusing on your desired outcome, celebrate your progress – be it nailing down a technique or choosing to eat something healthy after your workout. Remember, little victories ultimately add up and lead you to great things!
4) Always remember to stretch
Stretching might not seem like a big deal at the start, especially when you’re excited to punch and kick things. However, you’ll eventually realize that it’s one of the most important things to do before and after your training! This is because it warms up your muscles and prepares your body for an intense workout; and also help reduce the muscle ache that you’ll feel the next day. What’s more, it prevents you from getting injuries and increases your flexibility! So make it a point to stretch before and after training!
5) Stop thinking, start doing
Unfortunately, most of us tend to overthink at the beginning, and end up doubting ourselves, or worse, give up learning that technique. The thing about martial arts is that the more you practice, the better you’ll get. So don’t get too upset or disheartened if you don’t get it right the first time.
Also, instead of just thinking about the technique, figure it out by doing it. If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to get help from your instructors. They’d be more than happy to guide you!
6) Invest in a foam roller, and good training gear
When you start training, you might not understand why you need a foam roller. Perhaps you’ll notice other people using it before or after training, and wonder what they’re doing or why they even need to foam roll. Well, there’s a reason why people do it!
Foam rolling basically prevents potential muscle imbalances as it helps you to roll out knots in your muscles and connective tissue. Hence, you’d be less likely to suffer from severe muscle ache, and can head back to the gym in no time!
As for training gear, quality is definitely a priority. Although it might seem expensive, think about how often you’d use it – and more importantly, how much it’ll protect you when you’re training! Trust us, it’s totally worth investing in high quality gear.
7) Stay determined, and push through the toughest moments
The problem with some beginners is that they lack the perseverance and drive to carry on when training gets tough. Hence, they decide to give up and end their martial arts journey before it even truly started. We know it’s not easy, and there’ll be times when you feel like you aren’t good enough. But believe us when we say it’s worth holding on, and moving forward. After all, that’s the only way you’d be going the more you train.
The next time you feel like giving up, remember why you started in the first place. It also helps to look at how far you’ve come from day 1, and of course, understand that nothing worth having comes easy.
So tell us, what are some of the things you wish you knew when you entered the gym for your first martial arts class?