The reason for practice in martial arts is easy, right?
Not necessarily. Most people believe practice makes perfect, so the major reason to practice in martial arts is to become perfect. Unfortunately, that isn’t correct.
Practice doesn’t make perfect. You can practice a wrong technique over and over and over and all you’ll get is really good at being wrong! Effective practice makes you better. That’s a good way to look at the need to practice in martial arts.
Another part of effective practice is for it to be sustained. In other words, you can’t practice some of the time, off and on, and expect to improve. You must practice in martial arts on a consistent basis.
Many people think they can practice something until they reach a desired goal and then stop. Their thinking is that they will continue at that level even if they don’t practice any more.
The exact opposite is true. Yes, they may reach their goal, but they won’t stay there. Our memory is prone to forgetting. If you don’t continue practicing beyond the point of mastering your goal, you won’t maintain that level of training.
Practice in martial arts should be geared toward the movements required becoming automatic. If you have to think about what to do next in a contest, you’ll be too slow. The action will speed past you before you can bring to mind what your movement should be. But once the correct movements become automatic, no thought is required. Your mind will know what to do in each situation.
In order to gain this level of automaticity, you need feedback. Every time you practice in martial arts, you need someone much better than you giving you feedback. Not feedback telling you what you’re doing wrong, but feedback regarding whether you’re making progress or not.
This can be psychologically difficult.
No one likes to be told they’re possibly not making progress. And, at first, in your specific practice sessions, you will most likely fail to make progress. It takes a lot of repetition to improve a weakness. And that’s what you’re targeting: your weakness.
When you practice in martial arts, you’re doing so specifically to improve those areas where you’re weak. This isn’t going to be fun. To begin with, you’re going to find your weaknesses, then you’re going to build practice sessions to target those weaknesses, then you’re going to be given feedback on how you’re doing.
All of this is hard.
But when you practice in martial arts and begin showing improvement, it can be the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself. When you see yourself getting better as a result of your own actions, all the difficulty you’ve put yourself through will be worth the effort.
Shifu Raymond Ahles at Blue Dragon School of Martial Arts is ready and able to help you in practicing the basics of kung fu and in reaching your goals. Contact him at 201-385-3130 today and get started or started again!”