Starting a new endeavor like martial arts training can be intimidating. But learning anything new comes with its joys and challenges! For one, we always tell our new students, “Enjoy not having to KNOW anything! Show up with a “Beginner’s Mind” and you will immediately benefit from reduced stress and the sheer JOY of Learning! Beginner martial arts students are taking the first steps in an exciting journey, and they can accelerate their progress by following these eight tips.
Firstly, each martial arts student should recognize that their individual progress comes from within themselves. Of course, our Instructors are fully invested in presenting the information and skills in appropriate ways to each student, but, as the famous Samurai, Musashi, once said, “There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.” Attributing a lack of advancement on the teacher, environment, or setting is not the mindset of a true martial artist. Taking full responsibility is the fastest way to master the martial arts.
Tip 1: Attend Classes
A new martial arts student only learns by attending classes regularly. How often students go to class dictates how much they will learn. In the martial arts, a significant amount of material must be mastered in a limited time. Students should observe the instructors’ techniques and make them their own.
Mistakes in form are bound to occur. In class, the instructor has an opportunity to correct the student’s inconsistencies and errors. How often the teacher can fix problems with technique determines how quickly the student advances. Guidance from the instructor is critical for beginner students.
Tip 2: Create a Mental Checklist
Take mental notes in class whenever an instructor demonstrates a particular move. Beginner students usually note the position of either the teacher’s feet or hands, but not both. Progress in the martial arts requires comprehending the entire stance—both hands and feet.
Students can easily take note of which foot is in the lead and in what direction the instructor’s steps are facing. During demonstrations, take mental notes about whether the right or left hand performed the block and which one struck first. Note whether the teacher’s feet moved at the same time.
Tip 3: Train Consistently
Advancement in the martial arts requires that beginner students train at least twice per week. Training two days or more each week gives students the ability to develop good techniques and habits.
Build a training routine by scheduling practice at the same times and on the same days.
Following a routine helps beginner martial arts students stay consistent even on days when they do not feel like training. Stay motivated by developing a love for training. Once this happens, the results of training flow naturally and the student experiences greater confidence and self-esteem.
Tip 4: Visualize Winning
Visualizing advancement in the martial arts is a powerful tool. In fact, visualizing helps beginner students progress nearly as much as practicing. When a sparring partner is not available, visualize an opponent. Throw punches and counterattack a few times per week and progress will be noticeable.
Tip 5: Set Goals
Beginner martial arts students should set well-defined goals. When students know where their training is taking them, they will recognize their progress once they’ve achieved it. Set small, manageable goals, such as improving 1 percent each day, which are easier to manage than insurmountable goals.
For example, beginning students might use the 1 percent improvement strategy by doing one extra press up. Similarly, the martial arts student can aim to perform one more round. In either case, 1 more activity is easier to perform than 10.
Tip 6: Eat Nutritiously
Consuming a well-balanced diet is key to getting in shape quickly. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals help the beginner martial artists reach their goals faster. After intense workouts, the body needs a sufficient amount of nutrients to recover. Feed the body to accelerate post-training recovery.
Martial arts students are encouraged to drink plenty of water each day to keep their bodies hydrated. Eat mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, and limit the intake of unhealthy processed foods. The number one food tip for beginner students is to practice moderation.
Tip 7: Develop a Positive Mindset
The martial arts journey can be a rollercoaster for beginning students. On some days, techniques are performed flawlessly, cardio is endless, and moves from training partners are clearly anticipated. On other days, techniques are flawed, cardio is limited, and training partners have the upper hand.
No matter how each day of training presents itself, practice having a positive mindset. Remember that the ups and downs of training are normal parts of the learning process. Learn to savor even the bad days, because the next day will be a good one.
Tip 8: Work with All Skill Levels
Students who attend martial arts classes are encouraged to work with as many different partners as possible, whether they are another beginning student or a veteran martial artist with a black belt and 20 years of experience. Each partner offers insights into new styles and teaches something new.
Beginners in martial arts training can accelerate their progress with consistent effort, which includes taking ongoing classes at Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts. We offer diverse programs in the martial arts and serve students of all age levels, from kindergarten through teen and adult.
Our highly regarded classes are based on the tradition martial arts. Disciplines we teach include Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, Hapkido, Kumdo, and ancient artistic weapons. Each of our students finds a discipline they enjoy and are given a wealth of learning opportunities from our qualified instructors.
Students at Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts benefit from our classes in numerous ways. Their cardiovascular fitness improves, as well as their muscle and bone strength and flexibility. Our students develop a heightened sense of awareness of their surroundings, which helps preserve their safety.
Practicing the martial arts at Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts decreases stress levels. Our students find their mental focus improves and they experience better control of strong emotions, like fear and anger. Training in the martial arts delivers mental peace and physical wellness to students.
When you are ready to take the first step in your martial arts journey, visit Master S.H. Yu Martial Arts in Oak Park, Illinois. Our experienced instructors are committed to helping students challenge themselves to be their best.