I stumbled upon an interesting quote today, one I think has a lot of merit for martial artists and self defense enthusiasts. Actually it’s two quotes but I’ll start with one:
When we look at any kind of cognitively complex field — for example, playing chess, writing fiction or being a neurosurgeon — we find that you are unlikely to master it unless you have practiced for 10,000 hours.
I truly believe this 10.000 hour rule applies in spades if you want to become a martial arts expert.
One of the reasons Loren and I got along well when we got to know each other was because we both like to do loads of solo training. Many practitioners only do their reps when they go to class. Then they go home and don’t practice until next class. I never understood that. As a teenager, I’d come home after class and repeat the things I’d just learned. The next day, I trained those again. Partly out of fear of forgetting them (I’m a slow learner) but mainly to just get better. Some of my classmates didn’t understand this was the primary reason why I progressed faster than them: I trained more.
I often tell my beginning students to do this too: practice every day. If only for 5 minutes, but do practice. When they take my advice, it shows: sometimes in as little as a week, they make huge progress. Five minutes a day doesn’t seem like much but it adds up. For some reason, us Western folks often think we’re wasting our time if we don’t train for at least an hour. That’s just not true. Repetition is the key. You need to get your reps in, regardless of how you do so.
Loren always emphasized this in his writing and videos, get your reps in. I think he’s spot on. I still try to sneak in as many reps as I can. My girlfriend is used to me practicing at all possible moments, regardless of where we are (though I have become more discreet over the years and don’t embarrass her in public too often anymore…)
Side-note: if you want to throw out the “perfect practice makes perfect” cliché, don’t. I’ll just tell you to go stand in a corner and count to 10.000…
I want to become a martial arts expert!
Cool, start training more! It’s that simple; But at the same time, it’s a lot more complex. Here’s the second quote: [Read more…]