Understanding your personal motivation behind your martial arts training can help you stay committed to your practice and working toward future success. Motivation plays an essential role in this success both in martial arts as well as in your life.
1. Identify Your Purpose
What was it that first got you interested in learning martial arts? Did you want to learn self-defense? Or were you looking for a new way to lose weight and improve your fitness? Maybe you were looking for a fun way to meet some new people? Whatever the reason for your journey into martial arts, it’s helpful to remind yourself of what got you interested. Identifying the purpose of your training can be a great source of motivation. Whenever your motivation drops, remind yourself of your intention. Why do you continue showing up? Focus on that “why” every time you show up to train or train at home.
2. Emphasize the Process
When it comes to learning martial arts, it’s not realistic to expect that you’ll perform your best in each class. Martial arts is a practice which means you’ll have some good days and some not so good days. On the days that your training doesn’t go as well as you had hoped, cut yourself some slack. Remember that learning martial arts is a process and focus on the small steps that will get you to a long-term goal. Emphasizing the process helps you keep your momentum going week after week.
3. Have Fun with Your Training
When you participate in something that you don’t enjoy, how long are you likely to continue doing it? Probably not all that long. On the other hand, when you enjoy an activity, you’re much more likely to sustain it for the long-term. Realistically, not every aspect of martial arts will be enjoyable. But for the most part, you should enjoy yourself. Think back to when you first started and what made your practice fun. Try to get yourself back into that mindset and focus on having a good time while you’re working hard.
4. Do Something about Feedback
Your instructor wants you to improve and accomplish your goals just as much as you do. Using their knowledge and experience, instructors provide feedback on how you can improve and make progress. If you never do anything with this feedback, you’ll eventually hit a plateau in your training. Once you stop growing, your motivation will probably plateau as well. To avoid stalling out, do something about the feedback you receive. It can be tough to receive feedback. But rather than seeing it as something critical, use feedback as a way to improve and also ask for feedback if you feel you are not receiving it, communication is the key when dealing in ALL things.
5. Keep Refining Your Skills
As a new martial arts student, early on you learn several techniques, skills, and drills. As you progress, these foundational skills don’t become less important. Instead, these early skills become an area where you continue to get better and refine your technique. In martial arts, sometimes it’s not a matter of how much you know. But instead, it’s about how well you do the things you have learned so far. By continually refining what you’ve learned, you can stay motivated to continue to get better over time, a saying we have at MAD Systems is “10K repetitions to Mastery” and that is only the beginning of the journey!