Junior Student’s Corner
by Sifu Sammy Romeo
To become a disciplined and dedicated martial artist, developing a proper training plan is an essential tool. Trying to find a balance between Kung Fu, work, school, or other everyday tasks can be difficult to achieve. Taking some time to develop a consistent training plan may seem somewhat daunting, but only benefits you in the long run.
The method that works best from my own experience is to prioritize certain days of the week to train, and stick to those days. Make the days you decide to train mandatory, regardless if other plans try to influence your decision whether to train. This forces you to be strict with yourself in terms of defining your priorities. You will have to determine what takes priority over Kung Fu, and when Kung Fu has a higher priority than another task.
For some people, prioritizing certain days of the week is not the best approach for consistent training. Other tasks of more importance can suddenly change your schedule, making your weekly routine unpredictable. Another method that can combat this issue is to create a deadline for yourself. Give yourself a total number of classes that you want to attend by the end of the month, and it is your responsibility to make sure the number is met. It is important to ensure this number is attainable, and realistic for you.
Let’s say your goal is to attend twelve classes every month. Twelve may not seem like a large number, however, you would need to attend a minimum of three classes every week to meet this goal. The monthly approach allows you to have more flexibility in the days you decide to train. If you happen to miss a class during the week, compensating for it is easier when keeping track on a monthly basis. If you only attended two classes during the week, then you need to attend four classes the following week to make up for the missed class.
Procrastination is an obstacle you might face while developing your training plan. There will be some days where you won’t feel like coming to class, and you will want to make up for it another day. Every once in a while, it is nice to enjoy a day off, but this mindset is a bad habit that can turn into a vicious cycle. Eventually, you will realize you went from training multiple times a week to only a few times a month. Training inconsistently makes it even more difficult to get back into a routinely training plan. If you have time to train, then train. There should be no excuses about why you shouldn’t train when given an opportunity.
Creating a consistent training plan and managing your time responsibly is not easy, and requires discipline and a strong attitude. Once you get it right, it will reward you in terms of higher productivity and lower stress levels, making Kung Fu more enjoyable.