Go to class. It's that simple. Every student knows that consistent training is vital for the personal growth and skill development of a martial artist. Consistency is the most transformative component in any kind of training. So why are schools across the country suffering from low attendance and enrollment rates?
But Senpai, I have stuff to do!
It's true that life happens and there are a million things you could be doing instead of training. Cars break down, school starts, bills need to be paid. To those who are not committed to consistent training, anything can become an excuse. If being "okay" at your martial art is acceptable to you, you're excused. No one is going to force you to improve in your art. But if you find yourself wanting to grow in your art as well as your everyday life (or you're just feeling guilty because you used to be more consistent and life be lifin' lately), I encourage you to read on.
Shokunin - An Artisan's Dedication
A good martial arts student comes to class as often as they can. A great martial arts student embodies the spirit Shokunin (the Japanese concept of lifelong dedication). If this word is unfamiliar, or if your art is not Japanese in origin, read up on it. You won't regret it. To sum it up briefly, shokunin means "artisan," but it carries with it a connotation of so much more. Shokunin is a word with layers. It means dedication of one's entire life to mastery of their art in such a way that will benefit the world as much as themselves. When we train with the spirit of shokunin, we each become a shining example of right action, strength, courage, self-control, and all the other virtues and tennets martial arts has to offer. If strength of spirit sounds nice, but doesn't inspire you, here are a few other ways consistent training can benefit you.
Body and Mind
Consistent training offers numerous advantages for your body and mind. Through regular training, you can improve your strength, flexibility, and coordination, all essential components of effective techniques. A clever student will cultivate mental and emotional well-being by enhancing focus, discipline, and stress reduction. Moreover, maintaining a consistent practice contributes to long-term health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health and strengthened immune system.
Regular training allows you to progress through belt ranks, unlocking higher levels of mastery. By consistently practicing techniques, you develop muscle memory, enabling you to perform instinctively and with precision. This level of mastery brings fluidity and grace to your movements, making your art an extension of your body. Additionally, consistently training can boost self-confidence and facilitate personal development, empowering you to reach new heights both in and outside the dojo.
Practical Tips for Maintaining a Steady Training Routine
Incorporating training into a busy schedule can be challenging. Here are some practical strategies for maintaining a steady training routine:
Prioritize Training: Make training a priority by scheduling regular sessions and treating them as non-negotiable commitments.
Set Realistic Goals: Establish achievable goals aligned with your abilities and gradually challenge yourself to reach new milestones in your rank.
Stay Motivated: Stay inspired by tracking your progress, celebrating small victories, and exploring different aspects of training, such as weapons training or attending seminars.
Build a Support System: Surround yourself with like-minded individuals within the dojo/ community who can provide accountability, motivation, and encouragement.
Staying Committed to Your Journey
The martial arts journey is not without its challenges, but staying committed is essential for long-term progress and growth. Overcome obstacles and setbacks by drawing inspiration from personal anecdotes or success stories. These stories demonstrate that consistency and perseverance are key to achieving significant milestones in your training.
Dedicated, consistent training is essential for unlocking your full potential as a martial artist. Only by embracing the transformative power of regularly attending class can you experience the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of a true practitioner. Stay committed, celebrate milestones, and embrace the countless rewards that come with consistent training. In other words: get to class!