When you want to get really good at something, you need to put in a lot of time practicing it. It doesn’t matter what that thing is, time is the key ingredient. Some experts tout the 10,000-hour rule. It states that if you want to master something, you need to spend at least 10,000 hours practicing it. That is a lot of time!
Karate is no exception. In order to become really good, you need to spend a lot of time learning and then practicing your skills. Time is the magic ingredient that most people overlook. Some students are naturally gifted or extremely athletic when they start learning karate. Those students find a lot of success early, and can sometimes quickly move up in rank. The problem is that they miss out on the ‘seasoning’ that occurs when you spend time at a level. You can gain an awful lot by repetition at a given level. Furthermore, as your mind experiences more and more, it helps you to adapt and grow in a way that shortcutting the process will not allow.
All this time you need to put in involves a serious commitment to your art. At some point, this requires you to stop dating karate and marry it. This is to say that you need to go all in. Spend the extra time and do the little things. Don’t try and rush through the different stages, but instead embrace them and get out as much as you can. You need to enjoy the journey and not focus on the destination. That isn’t to say you can’t set high goals and go after them, but you will find it works best if you are enjoying the process as it occurs instead of being fixated only on the final result.
So how do you go about making sure you put in enough time? Prioritization! You need to make sure your karate training and class time are amongst the top of your list as far as priorities. If that is the case, you will be able to make sure you have time to attend class regularly, and you will have time to practice what you are taught. If it isn’t a high priority, than you will find it very difficult to put in the kind of time necessary to obtain the highest levels of rank.
Everyone wants to be a blackbelt, but very few are ready to put in the commitment needed to get there. Don’t be one of those people. Look karate squarely in the eyes and say, “I do”. Your commitment will allow you the time to become a fantastic martial artist, and will be a relationship that will last a lifetime!