5 Tips for the Student to Excel at Martial Arts
1. Commit 100%
Go big or go home, all or nothing, give it your all, etc... all skills including martial arts require commitment. All great athletes or artist may have been blessed with natural talent, but to be the best, Kung Fu Shaolin Monks practice well over three to four hours a day! As mentioned earlier eat, sleep, and breathe your skill, this means watching martial arts movies, YouTube Video’s, reading martial arts books, magazines, or articles. Practicing can be done at all times!one must commit to their skill or art. One must be willing to be a sponge and learn as much as possible. One must eat, sleep, and breathe the skill. One must practice, practice, practice! Practice must not only be done in class, three to four hours a week is not sufficient to be outstanding at your skill.
2. Learn your skill
When practicing martial arts try not to just go through the motions, or movements, try to visualize what each attack is doing, whether it be conditioning, blocking, striking, or a nice self defense technique. When practicing Tao Lu/Kata/Forms, practice to the best of one’s ability. 1st emphasis should be placed on correct stances and posture, 2nd correct execution of blocks attacks and techniques, 3rd power, lastly would be speed. I am afraid to even mention speed though, due to the fact that this is what most focus on first. Focus on learning the skill and everything about it, one must try to “master” a beginning skill before learning a new one. One must learn to crawl before one can run.
3. Correct your skill
You may be practicing a technique a wrong way, this is common. Do not be discouraged your instructor should be more than pleased that you are at least practicing. Learn the corrections though; do not stay stuck in your old habits. If you think your way is better, right or wrong, your instructor will want you to do it their way. Corrections must be done at all times, keep in mind there is no right or wrong way, overall the “correct way” is what works best for you. Your instructor should have a set curriculum he/she wants you to learn, you must master this before mastering your way.
4. Retain your skill
Many have witnessed martial arts tests, during these tests black belts have only had to do a required amount of “kata”, board breaking, and “kumite”. Not all of the information learned since white belt is needed to perform during a black belt exam at all schools. However at HWMA the curriculum is accumulative to advance to the next rank, this means all beginning stances, forms, techniques, such as something as simple as fighting position must be performed during a belt rank examination. Martial arts schools that have accumulative requirements for testing are usually great examples of prominent martial arts schools. There are other martial arts schools that do not have accumulative requirements, but still produce phenomenal martial artist.
As mentioned earlier one must crawl before he/she can run, this means one must execute a correct single punch, before one executes a double punch. Do not forget “old”/”easy” techniques this will not help for future reference especially if one would like to be an instructor themselves.
5. Do not give up
Most importantly never quit your training. Once in a while one may get discouraged, this is just one of the many obstacles one will face during their training. Everyone plateaus and it is up to the person to rise above it. Try not to have too many rest days, try to do something productive for your skill at all times. There will be obstacles such as new techniques that will be harder to learn than others, this does not mean to give up, this means to try harder. Show your best at your worst, when you are hurt or tired, this does not mean to go without the previous steps. Your competition may beat you up and down, this does not mean to give up, but to show them you’re determined to survive, to win and overcome.
How bad do you want it? All of these tips can be done with ease it is up to the student to execute them!