Sup fools! I wanted to write down some things I feel are important for you to know if you're looking to become a successful martial artist. Keep in mind that everyone's goals and definition of being a successful martial artist vary from person to person. Becoming successful could mean losing a bit of weight or becoming a champion in a discipline. Either way this advice will hopefully help you on your path. You would be surprised how many high level guys I've trained with or worked with that completely ignore some of this stuff, but everyone has their own path. All I am trying to do is kind of let you in to my process and how I think when I take someone from knowing nothing and get them to where they want to be.
1. Trust your instructor - This is so important! When people first start training they have a lot of questions, "Why do we do this?" or "How do I do this other move we aren't working on at the moment?" Trust in your instructor that he has a game plan for you. Some things you are not ready to know or something may be revealed to you in time on your own through consistency. It is definitely tough letting go of not knowing and just going with the flow, but keep showing up and trying your best and things will start to fall into place. I've done this myself where I ask a certain specific question to my instructor and other instructors even, the answer I receive is simply "mat time" Keep putting your reps in and things will start to make sense I promise you we have all been there.
2. Listen - This sounds very simple but it helps sometimes to be reminded. Show up to class in the zone and really absorb what your instructor is saying to you. Most cases your instructor was not just handed this information easily but through rigorous training and self evaluation. My students that start with me now have no idea that some of the things that they are learning on day one took me years of doing it the wrong way to learn. A single sentence or phrasing can change your whole game, and if you're not tuned in you can miss a detail that can totally level you up.
3. Drill Harder than you roll/ be a good partner - I love rolling, it's easily the most fun part of training, however, I make my biggest improvements drilling. Drilling correctly and reacting correctly while doing so will improve both you and your partner. Put forth a lot of effort into drilling and moving like a jiu jitsu player, rolling will become addicting when you realize you can just drill these moves and inject them into your sparring. It's almost like downloading the technique, focus most of your energy on drilling the move with precision and timing and your ability will increase quickly.
4. TRAIN FOR THE SAKE OF TRAINING! - Enjoy training! I see pro MMA guys only in the gym when they have fights coming up. That is no way to improve. When I first started training I had zero expectations. I didn't want to become a professional martial artist or fight or anything like that. I merely trained because I loved it. If you can come in two three times a week just because it's what you enjoy doing you will level up immensely. When people start they want to just turn into this person that makes money doing martial arts or something and it never pans out, those guys never last despite how talented they may be. If you train just because you love to train things will fall into place.
So there are some quick little tips I figured I would share with you guys this week. Keep these in mind when you are in a rough spot in your journey, it isn't about whose good it's about who is left!
By JM Holland