How To Become a Good Martial Artist Within 28 Days
Sounds too good to be true isn’t it, become better at something within 28 days. Well, let me assure you that you can become not only better but vastly improved in a few weeks.
Wait, hold on. I am saying that you can be better in a matter of days and not months. Am I scamming you?
I am telling the truth so let me explain.
Stop Listening To People on Facebook
Do you know how much time the average person spends on Facebook? Well according to this data it is 40 minutes, well in my experience martial artists spend three times that amount.
Go to any on-line forum on Facebook and you will see the same boring arguments about what works and what doesn’t in self-defence. I can easily name several individuals and if I was to check their timelines at least one post a day is about the standards in martial arts.
These are the people you should de-friend, you are unlikely ever to meet them anyway. In short, their antics can become addictive; it is like a soap opera of martial arts. Some of their posts are comedy, others entertaining but what they are doing is draining you of time and more importantly focus.
The Truth About Standards in Martial Arts and Self Defence
I will say this very clear and loud. There is only one standard that you or anyone needs to worry about in martial arts, and that is your own. Because there is always someone better out there than you!
So why pass judgment on the standard of others, or what techniques work?
Get over it folks. Yes use Facebook, Reddit or anything else but do so in a more positive manner, and more things will happen for you. Use it in a negative way and guess what, you will attract negative people.
So once you have got out of the habit of judging others you can focus on yourself and YOUR MARTIAL ARTS!
How To Develop Your Martial Arts Skills
Now for those of you sitting there reading this, you could be under the impression that getting a lot better at martial arts in 28 days is impossible, however here is my guide to achieving this. You can do it, but it takes effort
1. Get a Training Diary
I have written about this extensively on numerous websites. Get a training diary!!
One of the best articles I have ever read on the subject of training diaries is this one by Neil Adams MBE. He is a two-time Olympic medal winner and world Judo champion his advice is crucial, not just for Judo but also any martial art.
A training diary is a simple notebook that you record your training inside. The very act of doing this will help you to focus your thoughts and training. Write inside it after training, fill it in after you go to the gym and then read it!
A training diary is useless if you don’t use it, record your feelings after each session, your thoughts on how your techniques went, which techniques you learned. Be as detailed as you can!
2. Go Over The Techniques In the Week in Shadow
I have been shadow boxing, shadow fighting and even shadow Judo’ing for 25 years. It works,
Shadow fighting allows you to develop muscle memory. Think of it as a test, if you were studying for an exam or an interview then you practise, you revise. In martial arts, if you just sit and wait for the next class then you will be holding yourself back from increasing your skill level quickly.
Each day set a timer for 3 x 2-minute rounds and just go through your techniques in shadow. Refer to your training diary and be loose. This is not about getting hurt by over training but developing good body mechanics via muscle memory.
3. Be the First To Class and the First to Leave
Most people will tell you that you should be the first to class and the last to leave, this is an old description regarding training focus. However, it is not correct. Why would you hang around? Say your goodbyes, have a quick chat then go.
I will explain why here;
Firstly after class, you will be warm and have lost fluids. To aid in your recovery, you need to get home, get showered and take in fluids.
The second issue is focus. By staying to the very last second when the coach turns the lights off you are not focusing on your goal that should be to get home and write in your training diary.
By all means, stay, get cold and not write in your diary. Then you will not develop as quickly as you could do.
Being the first to class is all about getting warmed up, getting focused and training. Get into the right mental attitude before training.
4. Train With the Instructor in Private Lessons
You train once or twice a week in class and then book a private lesson as well.
Almost all instructors give private lessons, and you should get some because this will help you to grow quickly. It is not about making money for the instructor.
This is about paying him or her for 1 to 1 attention, and guidance. This way you will be able to learn the techniques quickly and get them down, so you hit like a baby Rhino!
Worried about the cost?
Then get a mate to come in with you, the instructor will do you a deal I am sure if you ask nicely and possibly knock money off for each of you.
5. Train As If You Are Going to Teach
Have you ever been asked to teach in class? It is great when this happens. An instructor will ask you to demo or show a technique and what happens? The student usually stutters, no matter how experienced they are.
If you aim that every technique, you learn you should be able to teach to anyone! This sounds odd, but you should aim to be so confident and knowledgeable about each technique that you can show others. You gain this ability by doing the above steps.
6. Focus of Technique First and Speed Second
What happens when you hit a pad? You try and punch faster and harder the each time you strike. However in my experience, the faster and harder you hit something the more faults that come with the technique.
When a person starts boxing, they drop their hands; this is a pretty bad mistake and to fix it old time boxing coaches given boxers little hand weights to hold as they shadow box under supervision. They stand and watch the boxer do shadowboxing and footwork drills and shout every time they drop their hands.
When the boxer is on the pads, they slap the boxer hard in the face (trust me it hurts) whenever they drop their hands. They do this, not because they want to be a pain in the backside but because the boxer needs to get the basics right!
Often they will have the boxer punch with hand weights and correct them every time the arms do not come straight back to the guard, the weights both strengthen and then slow down the arms so the boxer focuses his mind on technique.
If you try and add speed straight away to anything, then you will start developing errors very quickly. So slow done in your training and make sure the technique is correct.
7. Remember Your Next Opponent Might be Training Harder Than You- So Train harder!!
The final tip is quite simple, but many don’t do this.
Do you train as if you are getting ready for the fight of your life or as if you are at the country club?
Go to a boxing gym and you will see people training hard because they train for an opponent. Ever seen the Rocky film where he puts a photo of his next opponent up in his mirror? It was Rocky 4 I believe.
Boxers do this because they want to think about their opponent training hard, so they train even harder. For the martial artist, this becomes hard because we don’t have an opponent. After all, in self-defence, we never know who is going to try and attack us. However, we can train for the worst case scenario.
When I was a police officer I used to train hard. Why?
Because at any time I could get a call to a situation where I was fighting a drunk, drugged up MMA trained fighter or boxer who was younger, bigger and stronger than me. Or perhaps a group of them.
Worst case scenario or what!!!
And guess what, that happened on more than one occasion.
The answer was to train hard for those situations, so I could be explosive when I needed, so I could fight against the odds when my life depended on it. But how do you do this?
Simple- it is all about attitude and focus. Give 150% in class and training. This is the magic glue that makes the difference.
So there you have it. A guide on how you can become a better martial artist in as little as 28 days.
This is a useful series of tips if you use them.
Now you can ignore them, or you can use them. The choice is yours.