You are fond of martial arts but you do not go to classes as often as you wish to. Sometimes for bad reasons and there are a lot of them : tiredness, workload, aches and pains in your back / knees / wrists / arms, a terrible cold, a dinner party, a movie?. You may even have taken a “break”, to do something else : for weeks /months / years?
Do not worry. It is not too late to earnestly get back on your favorite workout. Here are the 10 best reasons to help you not to miss out any – karate or other martial arts – training. And for those who never fail to attend classes, I hope that this article will bring you food for thought and additional motivation.
1 – In Western Countries, We do not Practice as much as in Eastern Countries
For instance, in Japan or in Okinawa, karate players often exercise everyday i.e. more than 10 hours a week. It is very seldom the case in the western world and this is one of the reasons why their progress is much faster than ours. Imagine if you miss every other class, your progress will be extremely slow even close to zero. So get motivated!!!
2 – Progress Means Steadiness and Attendance
“Karate is like boiling water, if not giving heat it will go cold” : It is the eleventh principle you can read in the book “The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate-Do” (Gichin Funakoshi). In other words, practice steadily! Many karatekas train eagerly then get distracted losing the benefit of their learning and end up gradually turning away from their subject area. Do not let the vicious circle settle down.
3 – You will Better Learn What You Have been Taught
When you have worked with a technical topic or a given principle, your teacher often makes a short “summary” at the following class. It is neither a “repetition” nor a “catch-up” course to those who failed to attend the previous session. It is part of the process of remembering been set up. If you do not swiftly reactivate what you have been taught, it will be simply “not” integrated and will be at the expense of your progress. Here is my piece of advice for those who have memory difficulties : take notes in a notebook after classes.
4 – You Do not Miss Out any “Critical” Class
It is always with considerable pleasure that students learn new techniques such as kata, taolu, poomse, a karate move, applications of self-defense in countering attacks with sticks or knives, techniques from another martial art than yours… Unfortunately you were off in the very course. Hopefully you will have the opportunity to rework all that in the next leaning sessions, but keep in mind that you are unlikely to have a thorough detailed explanation.
5 – Physical Fitness and Steadiness Go Hand in Hand
Regular workouts will enable you to optimize your physical fitness such as cardio, endurance, strength, agility, speed, balance, timing and so on. All good reasons that will help you progress faster in your art. Indeed, practicing martial arts improves the muscle toning of your whole body. Accordingly your health and wellness will only be greater.
6 – You Always Feel “Great” After a Good Workout
Have you spent a terrible day at work with too much strain or too many problems to be handled? You wonder whether you would go for your workout because it is raining or it is too hot. You may find out a poor excuse but when you get motivated you realize after the class that it was really well worth the training. It has enabled you to empty your mind, clear your negative thoughts and get focused on your favorite discipline for an hour or two. Having a moment to yourself outside your family, your friends and your colleagues will be also good for you.
7 – You Show some Respect for Your Teacher and the Other Students
Do you find your teacher “awesome”? He makes you progress, puts right your performance, makes you do interesting exercises and gets you prepared to achieve tests in a duly manner to name a few. You must know that preparing his courses requires upstream work for him i.e. attending every training is showing him some respect and your gratefulness. Additionally, with respect to him and the other students, your steadiness will avoid wasting time during classes and will enable all students to practice together at the same pace. “Never forget that karate begins and ends with courtesy / rei” (rei means respect for the others and self-esteem). It is the first of the twenty guiding principles of karate written by Master Funakoshi.
8 – An Opportunity to Meet Your Training Mates
What made you open the Dojo door for the first time is probably different, but along the years you realized that taking pleasure in discussing, chatting and practising with people who share the same passion as you is really “awesome”! Karate and martial arts in general have a significant social dimension as well. I am pretty sure that many of you have made very good friends in the “club”.
9 – A Way of Developing Your Mental
Do you think you display greater martial spirit for not taking courage or finding the will to put on your karategi (or any other outfit) to go practicing ? Stating that you will never miss any training is a way of strengthening your mental. When unfortunately you had a “really” good reason for being unable to go to the dojo, no problem, you can train at home or somewhere else, as soon as you can!
10 – “Martial” Path is Endless
You must ensure that you are a little better every day and follow the “path”. It is a lifetime quest. For instance, a few years ago I saw a student achieving his black belt then gradually neglecting workouts until stopping. For him the main purpose was the exam. It is as if an individual who has recently got his driving license and believed to be a Formula 1 pilot whereas he is just a beginner. Therefore I will end with quoting the following Japanese saying : “Learning by doing means pushing a cart to the top of a hill. Stop pushing and all your efforts will be vain“.
Are you ready and motivated for no longer missing any training?
Author of the article
5th Dan - BEES 2