While you may eat, sleep and breathe karate, even the most dedicated martial artist can begin to feel like their training has become a bit stagnant. This is a common feeling for more advanced students. Repetition and practice is key to honing your skills, but over time, can wear on you mentally and physically.

 

You don’t want to completely neglect your training, but you also don’t want every training session to feel like a monotonous routine. Everyone at some point reaches a plateau or hits a wall and it is a natural stage in one’s training. The goal of this blog is to help you to work through these feelings by introducing different ways to keep training fresh and exciting!

 

So how do you beat the monotony of training?

 

Try something NEW and UNFAMILIAR!

Give something new a chance that you’ve never experienced before!

 

Maybe you’ve avoided weapons training or focused solely on kata over kumite. Take some time to step outside of your comfort zone and change up your training! Having the opportunity to branch out and try something new will help you to appreciate the arts in a new way!

 

Take some time off to REFLECT AND RETAIN!

This may sound crazy, but take a break from training just briefly to give yourself time to become mentally and physically refresh.

 

This IS NOT to suggest laziness, quitting or taking time off simply to take time off. However, our brains and body need a break every now and again. So, by taking some much needed time off to reflect, relax and reset you’ll instantly feel the results of your mood and motivation!

 

Spend the time you would usually be training in mediation or silent contemplation. By allowing your mind to relax and take a break from all the outside stimulus and noise that life can bring, you will rejuvenate your entire attitude toward training!

 

Set goals focused on IMPROVING your weak areas!

Narrow your focus to one area or technique. Pick one kata, one punch or kick, one series of techniques and put your heart and soul into only that! Notice every little detail and feeling and pay attention to every nuance and aspect, no matter how small.

 

When your mind is dedicated to just one thing, a whole new world can open up! Aspects, mistakes, and ideas you would have never noticed in a technique or kata you thought you were familiar with may now become glaring because your mind is honed in on only one thing.

 

If you really want your training to seem fresh, put all your energy into training your weak points. Spend time on your weak side. If you predominantly practice punches over kicks, then switch it up and vice versa. Work solely on tightening holes in your game and becoming a more well rounded martial artist.

 

Not only will your training feel new, this will help you to become a complete martial artist and help you add another notch to your journey!

 

Focus on TEACHING others!

Put some significant time into teaching rather than learning and you’ll be surprised what you’ll gain! Ask your instructor if you can take some time to help the new white belts or assistant with the children’s classes.

 

Being able to analyze or present your understanding of things from a different perspective, can change your whole outlook. Especially when you transition to explaining technique to another person you might even discover something new by doing so!

 

Through explanations and walking through corrections, you will notice mistakes you had no idea you or the person you’re teaching were making.

 

Find GOALS and TARGETS for you to achieve!

Set a few goals to accomplish. Maybe you want your high kick to reach a little higher. Maybe you’d like to punch just a second faster. Maybe you want to finally be able to touch the floor with your hands when you stretch. Whatever your aim is, just having one or a few will help break up the monotony and give you a sense of purpose each time you train.

 

This will not only help your skill level overall, but help add an extra edge and drive to every class you show up to!

 

Remember…

Even the most dedicated martial artist can start to feel a lack of drive toward something that they love. This is natural. It’s important to not give up and throw years of hard work and dedication away, but rather to mix it up and find new ways to fall back in love with what you have been practicing all along.

 

By following some or all of these tips, you will find a new and refreshed look at your martial arts training and become a more well-rounded martial artist! Good luck!