Invest yourself to more than something you “do” twice a week.
Allow yourself to become frustrated, stagnant, and hit ruts, but always find a way to overcome them, they are but obstacles on the journey and sometimes it takes a shift of perspective to get around them.
Make friends and training partners, but do not let the absence of either hinder your progress.
Learn the skill of how to practice effectively on your own, away from the school.
To study is more than mindless repetition at various speeds.
Keep your head in the game when you work out and save distractions for later.
If you are going to take the time to do something, do it as best as possible.
Time is precious, especially the few moments you get for yourself.
Trace your roots, find out where your art came from. You’ll begin to see why you do things the way you do.
Be respectful of other styles, though someone else’s technique is not the way you learned, it does not mean that it is incorrect in that persons school.
Rather than making judgements from watching brief moments of other arts, do your research. Read up on other arts, you will find out why they focus on specific material and what concepts they are training.
Use competition for learning, see how you handle under pressure and against different skill sets and training methods.
You are not in a race, so do not compare yourself to others.
Be patient with beginners, everyone was a beginner at some point.
Be patient with beginners with other backgrounds, you know which ones, they are just trying to be acknowledged for their prior achievements.
You are not as good as you think you are, never stop improving.
Be mindful of other students, you do not know what they are going through at that exact moment in their life, and don’t expect them to know what is going on in yours either.
Never be afraid to ask a question, but first seek the answer out yourself.
Understand that there is going to be a counter to a counter to a counter…
Where there is movement, there is vulnerability, there will never be a perfect technique.
There will always be a “what if” when learning a technique but you need to get a solid grasp of the basics before pursuing tangents.
Be the martial artist that others look up to.
Skill is not in what you wear, be unquestionable in your ability whether you have a belt on or not.
A year will not make you a master, foundations are best built over time. Be patient and enjoy the process, you will still have “aha!” moments even after decades.
Always go back to the basics, most answers can be found in the fundamentals.
Explore your art, and translate it beyond the scope of punching and kicking, applications can be found in most any aspect of your life.
Never ever stop learning.
*This is a repost from my Tumblr originally posted December 2015