Whether you’re new to the sport or hitting a plateau with your training, you may be wondering how to speed up your progression and skills. Some techniques will come naturally to you, and others may take years to master. We understand this can be frustrating, so we’ve created a list of 7 different ways to get the most from your martial arts classes. We recommend reading this article if you need a little boost or are unsure of your workouts’ effectiveness.
1. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
As they say, it takes 10,000 hours to master something. While these hours aren’t entirely necessary for your martial arts training (unless you’re trying to get a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu red belt), repetition is crucial. The best way to improve your skills is through practice and repetition. Consistent practice doesn’t mean that you have to train for countless hours every day. It just means to avoid the on-again-off-again pattern, which can make it very difficult to improve.
Consistently practicing the fundamentals and techniques will solidify the movement in your mind, making them second nature. Repetition doesn’t only relate to how many times you practice your technique, but also how many times you come to the gym. Figure out what schedule is realistic for you and commit to training during that time. Sticking the same days and times each week will turn it into a habit, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself progressing!
2. Don’t Let Your Ego Get in the Way
Your ego can get you in trouble, especially with combat sports! During class, your main goal should be to improve yourself. Don’t focus on who the strongest or toughest person is, and never try something too far outside your skill level.
You can’t quite “fake it ’till you make it” with martial arts, so don’t be afraid to ask your instructor questions. They’re there to teach you and guide you when you’re stuck. If you’re struggling with your training, sometimes the only way to learn is by asking for help!
3. Strength & Conditioning
Martial arts itself is a great cardiovascular and muscular full-body workout. You’ll strengthen and tone your legs, core, arms, and back while losing excess body weight. With that being said, doing some extra strength and conditioning work will boost you towards your goals a lot faster. You can put in some time working out outside of your regular training schedule or use our open mat time on Saturdays from 10:00 – 11:00 A.M.
Like many sports, a lot of success in martial arts comes down to mindset. One day your training will feel like it’s quickly progressing. Everything’s going right, your technique is flawless, and your cardio is unstoppable. Then the next day, it seems you’ve forgotten everything. You can’t get the movements right, your energy levels aren’t there, and your training partner’s outperforming you.
These days aren’t a sign that your bad at martial arts or that it’s time to throw in the towel. It just means you’re having a normal experience along the learning curve. Progress isn’t entirely linear, and having those frustrating days is part of the process. Remember, as we mentioned earlier, try and keep your ego out of it. Finish your workout strong, get some rest, and come back for your next training day!
5. Keep a Well-Balanced Diet
Diet may be one of the most overlooked yet most important pieces of advice on this list. A healthy and balanced diet will help you feel stronger and more energized during your workout (and throughout the day). While we don’t have time to dive into a full diet plan, here are some of the basics you should be shooting for:
- Avoid eating processed foods. Unfortunately means skipping out on that Taco Bell or McDonald’s meal you were thinking about
- Add fruit and vegetables to your diet
- Add lean meats like eggs, fish, poultry, nuts, and beans to your meals and avoid overeating red meats
- Drink plenty of water. The amount depends on your age, weight, height, activity level, and so on. An easy way to find the right amount for you is by Googling your “daily water intake calculator”
6. Train with Other Students Who Are Better Than You
When sparring with a partner, you may be tempted to spar with those who are less experienced with you. While this may be an easier matchup for you, you’re losing out on the opportunity to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. If you spar with students of all experience levels, you’ll gain the most growth as a fighter.
7. Remember to Get Some Rest
While we encourage you to push yourself mentally and physically, know there are times when you need to back off and recover. When your body is overworked, it can’t train effectively. You may think that some time off will hinder your progression, but it will let your body and muscles heal and repair themselves, so they’re ready for the next training session. Remember, not all the progress happens in the gym. Proper diet, rest, and hydration will help you get the most from your martial arts classes.
Martial arts can be a rewarding and frustrating process all at the same time. We hope our 7 tips help you get the most from your training, and as a bonus tip, we want to remind you to have fun! We don’t do this because we have to; we do this because we love it! If you’re going to try out a new class or have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at (951) 609-4478 or contact us on our website.