― Confucius, Confucius: The Analects
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
To become proficient in anything requires sustained effort and focus.
It also involves working through various obstacles or challenges. These can be many:
- Perhaps you are not as athletically gifted as some of the other students.
- You might have a busy life that only allows you to train once a week.
- There are certain techniques that you are struggling to understand and perform. (I always had problems with wrist releases.)
- You have a temporary or permanent disability (e.g. back problems) that can slow down or limit your training
Such factors can frustrate. They can be more frustrating if you are comparing yourself to other students (or instructors) who have rapidly moved up the testing ranks.
We can’t always expect rapid, monumental progress in our training. Besides the above-mentioned limitation we might experience injuries, busy schedules, or simply find ourselves struggling with particular techniques, concepts, and exercises.
Here are some suggestions to help you persevere:
Be a tortoise: There will always be students who are more athletic and seem to perform techniques and exercises with annoying ease. You might not be as gifted but persist over the long run and you will marvel at your progress.
Adjust Your Standards: Monumental leaps in proficiency are not always forthcoming. Strive to improve a little every month, every week, every class, and every exercise… Your sustained effort will reap beneifts.
Don’t Compare: There is always someone better. Don’t torment yourself by comparing yourself to someone who is more skilled. Focus on your own development.
Adapt Your Learning. You body is tired? Watch some Krav Maga videos. You are physically tired? Stretch. You have a leg injury? Consider how you would defend yourself from a sitting position. Adapt.
Don’t Forget the Fundamentals! Continue to refine you basic strikes, releases, body defenses etc… This will help you when learning more complex techniques.
Don't Binge. Train Consistently. I have seen students who try to binge by showing up 4 times a week before a test vs those who show up consistently once or more week on a consistent basis. The latter do better.
Persist with small steps and you will improve and become proficient.
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga Federation, Toronto