Do you want to know what the quickest way to success in martial arts is? If you guessed CROSS-TRAINING, then you’ve got it right!
As martial artists, it is in our nature to be relentless. We’ll stop at nothing to achieve our goals because mediocrity isn’t part of our vocabulary. Regardless of which martial art we practice, we always want to work on getting better in order to take our skills to the next level.
You might be wondering: how does one improve in their martial art of choice if they decide to work on something else? We at Evolve Daily believe that as martial artists, we should never limit ourselves. To give ourselves an edge in martial arts, we need to be open to trying new things.
Today, Evolve Daily shares how cross-training can make you so much better at martial arts:
1) Because it helps us face our fear of the unknown
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 don’t enjoy it? What if it’s too hard? 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.
When you start cross-training, you’ll be more open to trying new things in your martial art of choice. This will help you add more techniques to your repertoire, which will make you a much better martial artist in the end!
2) Because it helps us work on our weaknesses
Whenever you start a new martial art, there’s a big chance you won’t be the best in your class right away. Starting anew can humble even the most gifted martial artists. You are once again a beginner starting from square one. It may feel like a big step down, but you can take pride in knowing that not everyone has the courage to start from scratch. It also shows that you have the guts and confidence to know that you can rise from any situation. This is an important lesson we learn from martial arts. Everyone has to start somewhere and knowing that you’re okay with being a beginner says a lot about your character.
According to ONE Superstar Eddie “The Magician” Ng, trying different martial arts certainly takes you out of your comfort zone. “Because of routine, we’re trapped under this false sense of security. We don’t want to be okay with being comfortable. We need to be challenged in order to excel in both life and in martial arts,“ Eddie says.
3) Because it helps us become more well-rounded
There’s no doubt that cross-training makes you a more well-rounded martial artist, both mentally and physically. For example, if you’re more of a grappler, your eye for detail and technical knowledge transfers well as you acclimate to the striking arts. You become more concerned about getting the tiniest details perfect, giving you the upper hand technique-wise compared to others.
If you’re more into striking, your intensity and strong cardio will surely make you a better grappler. The many rounds you spend hitting bags and doing push-ups will help give you the energy to last through several spars while your intensity can take your offensive skills to the next level.
4) Because it helps us break out of our plateaus
Our bodies are built to adapt to their environment. As our bodies become accustomed to certain movements, workouts, or techniques, we begin to see a diminishing rate of returns. Thus, the biggest threat to our bodies is monotony. Not only will it drain your enthusiasm, but you might also find yourself at a plateau. Remember, your body needs a challenge in order to spark change!
Cross-training not only helps you break out of a plateau, but it also makes you a better, faster, and stronger martial artist!
5) Because it helps prevent us from getting burned out
A burnout is often the result of being mentally exhausted from doing the same thing, day in and day out. Not only does a burnout take a toll on your mental health, but it could also affect you physically.
According to Dr. Todd Schlifstein, a sports medicine rehabilitation doctor at NYU Medical Centre’s Rusk Institute, ”The harder you train your body for just one activity, the more stress you put on all the muscles and bones involved in that one activity, so the more you do and the better you get, the more you risk overuse.”
By cross-training in other martial arts, you can give your body the break that it needs and the chance to improve in other aspects. As martial artists, we understand that there is always room for improvement – so why not take that next step and cross-train?
There’s nothing to lose. Get out there and try something new! Who knows, you might discover a newfound love in another martial art – or even consider taking up mixed martial arts!