An integral part of being a martial arts student is motivation. Each day, the martial arts student must summon the will to put forth the effort to reach the ultimate goal of becoming a skilled martial artist. When motivation dwindles during martial arts training, here’s how to preserve it.
Motivation is the secret that keeps martial arts students training for decades. A lifetime discipline, the martial arts must be honed day in and day out: it is a lifetime practice for lifelong learners. The student must not retreat from practice, become lax in training, or settle for sloppy form.
The determined martial arts student must prioritize motivation above all else, even more so than the martial arts instructor and fellow students. Motivation is what urges the martial arts student to attend weekly classes rather than become distracted with the latest craze or world events.
With every punch, kick, or throwdown, motivation drives the martial arts student forward. Difficult techniques are practiced to perfection when motivation kicks in. Mental and physical limitations are no longer obstacles when motivation propels the student to overcome them.
What are the different types of motivation?
External motivation can be harnessed in numerous ways. Some students may eye the next belt rank and push themselves beyond their limits in order to reach it. Other martial arts students vie for the tournament trophy, and motivation makes its appearance, helping them perform at their peak.
Internal motivation is the pursuit of excellence and cannot be furthered by external rewards. A martial arts student with internal motivation seeks to put forth his best effort, regardless of trophies or the performance of other students. Internal motivation compels the student to persevere in training.
1. Focus on Purpose
The most fundamental way to preserve motivation during martial arts training is to identify and recall the purpose behind beginning the discipline. Students may have a desire to reach peak physical fitness, lose weight, increase personal discipline, or hone self-defense skills.
When feeling unmotivated to attend class, students are encouraged to recall their intention for training. Remembering what originally drove a student toward learning the martial arts can be a great way to instill motivation when it diminishes. Focusing on the “why” increases motivation.
2. Be Realistic About Expectations
Successful martial artists have decades of training and practice behind them. Martial arts training is a lifelong process of learning, practicing, and honing techniques. Students who feel their improvement is moving slowly are advised to accept that performing at their best in each class is unrealistic.
One way to combat unrealistic expectations is to keep track of progress in a training journal or an app. A tangible way to track progress can be the motivation a student needs on off days or during long stretches when it seems like no progress is being made at all.
3. Set Martial Arts Goals
Each martial arts practitioner benefits from effective goal setting. Students who set small goals work toward achieving them; and, when the goal is achieved, the feeling of accomplishment can be a motivator in itself. Motivation comes from results! Check in with goals regularly and modify them when necessary.
Goal setting should include both short- and long-term goals. Short-term goals are those within the student’s immediate grasp, such as attaining the next belt rank or learning a new technique. When achieving short-term goals, the student should take time to celebrate.
Long-term goals can include increasing flexibility, improving speed, balance, and flexibility, or mastering a new artistic weapon. Students who come across hurdles and look back on their accomplishments will be motivated to work past their roadblocks and continue their progression in the martial arts.
4. Follow a Practice Schedule
A martial arts student can stay motivated by practicing consistently and building up momentum. Set a martial arts training schedule, such as practicing every other day or attending weekly classes. The habit and self-discipline developed through a routine make it easier to stay driven.
5. Become a Well-Rounded Practitioner
Martial arts students are encouraged to take their discipline outside of the classroom in order to become a well-rounded and motivated practitioner. Actively participate in martial arts tournaments, training camps, demonstrations, performances, and workshops to keep training fresh and exciting.
Students rely on their motivation when practicing for an upcoming tournament. Some students enjoy the performance aspect of displaying their kicks, punches, and throws. Learning new skills in clinics, seminars, and continuing education classes are also excellent ways to preserve motivation.
Martial artists constantly refine their skills. Students, too, are urged to hone the techniques, skills, and drills they’ve learned in class in order to stay motivated and continually progress over time. It’s important to perfect the skills acquired rather than try to learn every new technique at once.
Grow in Your Martial Arts Journey
Learning and perfecting techniques are best done in an encouraging environment, such as at Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts. Martial arts instructors teach and guide students of all ages and abilities through our renowned martial arts training programs. Students young and old improve their martial arts skills here.
Adults and teens have the option to take martial arts classes in a wide variety of disciplines, such as Kumdo, Tae Kwon Do, Hapkido, Kung Fu, Karate and Judo. Artistic Weaponry is taught by the world-class instructors at Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts.
Younger students, including those in kindergarten and elementary school, will find plenty of encouragement in our Preschool Karate and Karate and Martial Arts for Kids programs. Sr Grandmaster Yu invests his time and attention in developing young martial arts students.
Students who aim to perfect a certain martial arts skill have an opportunity to train with Sr. Grandmaster Yu in private lessons. Self-defense classes are also taught and will help determined students gain a sense of mastery and confidence through learning the martial arts at Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts.
Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts is open to receiving students at our Oak Park, Illinois, school. Martial arts students from around the community find a well of motivation from our acclaimed instructors and well-equipped facilities. Visit our school and see firsthand how martial arts classes will benefit you.