Here’s How To Apply The 100% Rule In Martial Arts

As martial artists, we’re all goal-setters. There’s always something we’re working on – whether it’s finally nailing a berimbolo, landing a spinning back elbow in sparring, or finishing a 10 kilometer run in 40 minutes, we’re permanently on the path of continuous self-improvement. Unfortunately, actually achieving those goals is a completely different story.

The stories are the same – perhaps you started drilling the berimbolo and stopped after a few tries, thinking it would help you with your goal setting. After sparring and trying the berimbolo out, you feel frustrated with yourself because you weren’t able to pull it off.

The truth is, you’re never going to make any significant headway until you decide to completely commit to your goal.

According to Jack Canfield, the best selling-author of The Success Principles, “99 percent is a b*tch. 100 percent is a breeze.” What does this mean? Not fully committing to a task – whether it be your martial arts goals or even something work related means you are constantly falling short of your potential. And the dissatisfied feeling that comes along with it is what will exhaust you and stress you out. You would waste so much time on feeling guilty and anguish about how you can’t progress because you can’t get your techniques right. However, once you’ve decided to commit yourself 100% to your goals, well, let’s just say that those anxious feelings could go away.

Here’s how to apply the 100% Rule In Martial Arts:

1) Just start

If you’re waiting for inspiration or motivation to start working on your goals, you’re never going to get it. For example, making an excuse like: “I’m not going to work on my left hook until I start training more,” just buys you more time and traps you in 99% effort and a whole lot of frustration.

There’s no better time to start than now. You can’t master the berimbolo or achieve any martial arts goals overnight, so just getting started will help you get the ball rolling. And there’s no rush to accomplish your goals and move on to the next right away. Just focus on improving yourself at least 1% a day and you’ll see the difference when you show up for your next class.


2) Identify what needs 100% of your attention

BJJ World Champion and ONE Superstar Bruno Pucci trains hard at the Evolve MMA Fighters Program.

Not everything in your martial arts journey needs 100% effort. Although this may sound strange for a goal-setting martial artist, that’s what makes the 100% rule stand out. You can only give one thing 100% of your effort.

Before you decide on this one particular goal, think carefully. Is it a complete game changer? Will it take your BJJ/MMA/Muay Thai/Boxing skills to the next level? You don’t have to go crazy and commit your entire existence to accomplishing goals. Your 100% is just one thing – stick with that goal, and check it off your list!


3) Make a commitment

ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee has been practicing martial arts since she was 3 years old.

When you devote 99% to your goals, it takes longer. You keep on thinking about your other goals, derailing you and possibly stressing you out.

Make a commitment to dedicate at least 30 minutes or an hour of your day, six days a week (or however many training days you clock in) to working on your goal. Block off your calendar (both training and social) and don’t let anything get in the way of you changing your allotted time. This way, you’re putting 100% effort by sacrificing other responsibilities for your goal.

Skip the pre and post BJJ class banter and focus on drilling instead. Watch tutorial videos, ask your instructor for help – he would certainly be more than glad to help you out. Deciding to focus on a single goal makes it easier, and definitely increases the possibility of you actually accomplishing it.


4) Do it again

ONE Lightweight Superstar Shinya Aoki has a black belt in both BJJ and Judo.

Nothing brings more satisfaction than knowing you’ve achieved your goal. When you apply the 100% rule to martial arts, you notice that you’re slowly ticking off the goals you’ve always dreamed of achieving. Soon, you’ll find yourself finding new goals to set and work on — and you feel less burdened by all those unfinished goals left in the dust.

What separates great martial artists from mediocre ones is their willingness to completely devote themselves to something. All World Champions had to put in years of effort and make sacrifices to get where they are. If you want to follow their paths, perhaps you should think about what you’re willing to give up.


As daunting as it may seem to give 100% effort, you would be surprised at how much anxiety using this rule could actually relieve. So go on, take that plunge and commit yourself 100% to one goal. In your quest to become the best martial artist you can be, you shouldn’t be afraid to take a chance. Go on, you’ve got this!

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