How to Stay Motivated in Your Training
Whether it’s to get a black belt, get in shape, or start fighting, we all have our reasons for starting martial arts. Long periods of time between belt ranks, back to back fight losses, trouble finding opponents, or simply not getting the results you imagined, can all discourage us from training. Here are some tips that will help keep you motivated:
Friends that share your interest in training or share the goal you have are invaluable to your progress. There is nothing like some friendly competition to motivate a person. These friends will advance with you, and will push, strengthen, and motivate you, and be there to help. More than likely, at the same stage where you are beginning to feel unmotivated, they have felt or are feeling the same way.
Make Friends That are Better Than You
Is there a pro fighter or more advanced student whom you admire at your martial arts school? Or maybe one that you feel most comfortable around? Make friends with this person; they can become your mentor. Ask for help on a technique, ask what they would do to counterattack a certain move, or any question. Remember, everyone began at the same point in their training; as a beginner. They have been there and know how it feels, and can help you along the journey.
Make a Goal Calendar
Every goal is comprised of smaller steps that happen along the way. If your main goal in martial arts is to earn a black belt, become a pro, or get in shape, break down the steps that it will take to get there. Start with the larger steps, such as “Earn blue belt” or “earn brown belt,” then think of the steps in between those belts, such as techniques. This list will seem long at first, but once the pieces are broken down into small, short-term goals, you can add them to the calendar.
Once you break down those steps, break them down into weekly goals and put them on a calendar. Create a timeline to reach your long-term goal. Having a small task each week will show you that you are progressing and reveal your achievements, when they are sometimes hard to see because the main goal is so far away.
Martial artists wish they had video of when they first began. Their first classes, first tournament, or something where they could compare from that day to the present. Ask a friend or classmate to take a video while you are training, sparring, or at a tournament. A month later, take another video doing the same activity. Being able to see your progression will keep you motivated.
Go Watch Tournaments or Fights
Whether you are at competition level or not, attending a tournament or fight event is a great learning and motivating experience. Watching crowds of other martial artists compete is an inspiring sight, and watching your own division will teach you things you can’t learn from training alone. If possible, attend a tournament where your classmates are competing. This will inspire you to train harder, and you will feel the difference when you go back to your school the following Monday.
Skip a Week of Training
“Quit training when I feel unmotivated?” This sounds ridiculous, but it often works. Most students, in the beginning, can’t go a day without training. They can’t get enough of it. But, when you hit a rough patch or begin to feel unmotivated, you miss a day or two of your classes and don’t feel compelled to return. You begin to take your school for granted.
When you force yourself to skip an entire week, or two, anyone who loves the martial arts will agree, you will be dying to get back into the gym! “You don’t know what you got until it’s gone” is very true, even with Martial arts.