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Evolution Of Progress

Training is hard and joyous and a daily practice ensures that whatever it is that you’re studying will never be far from your mind. It keeps you rooted in the subject and if you’re practicing properly, it ensures that you’ll see constant progression in skill and understanding.

However, a daily practice can be hard to maintain. It can feel like there’s always something else that must be done that is standing in the way. ‘I really need to lie-in, the house is a mess, I’ve got work to do, I want to watch season 6 of something’ or ‘I really do deserve a rest’. These are just a few of the things that can distract us!

In order to embed this daily practice, planning will help, scheduling time that’s non-negotiable will help with sticking to your goals. Set time aside and do not change your mind. For me, the morning is always best, I go to bed a little earlier, then I can wake up earlier the next day. That gives me time to train and start before the day does, giving me less time to ‘talk myself out of it’!

So, what do you do when you are regularly training and it feels like you’ve hit a wall, you’re not progressing, nothing seems to make sense and things that were once understandable are now not quite right?

It’s taken me a few years to learn this, but this is a very important moment in your studies. It’s easy to think ‘I knew it, it’s just too hard’, or ‘I’ll never get it, I’ll stop and try again at a later date’. Many people do this, especially in the Martial Arts. What I’ve come to understand is that when this happens, it’s your mind and body trying to figure something out. You’ve plateaued and hit a wall in your understanding. You have to break through to get to the next level. So don’t quit! Stay calm, relax, lower the tempo of the training and try not to push. Focus on the things that you can do well for a while but keep you mind relaxed and the training natural, do not give into frustration or anger.

You’ll quickly find that suddenly, the thing that was blocking you is revealed and ‘click’ you can do it! You’ve got to the other side.

This has happened to me for years and it finally got to the point that when I got frustrated and I thought I knew nothing, I’d stop and realise there was something new that had to be understood. Very cool! I think I may have got quite good at this ‘accepting’ process, because lately, I’ve noticed that I’ve not been experiencing the frustrated block but instead I seem to know that I don’t quite have it so I naturally slow down and focus more until I get the breakthrough.

If you plotted Martial Arts practice on a graph, it would look something like, dedication and quality of practice against time spent training.

It’s pointless to train for countless hours if the method is wrong, equally its useless having a highly developed practice if you barely ever train. Correct training over a long period of time is when you really evolve. It’s like when you haven’t seen a friend for a few years, and you bump into them and they’re very different. It’s in the way the move, their emotions are more settled, there’s confident eye contact, they’re energised, strong and happy.

Happy training everyone and remember, train smart, hard and for a long time!


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