for Martial Arts
Top 10 Hints and Tips for Busy Swordsmen
he timesavers on this page will help your life, not just your martial arts training. This page, if read carefully, will take you about ten minutes. The advice will save you going around in circles and restarting for years - so read it.
Top 10 Timesavers for Martial Artists
Leave Training Timesavers and return to Sword Fighting
Know why you want to train in martial arts and what your goals are. The first of my timesavers begins with taking a bit of time to think carefully about what you are committing a portion of your life towards. What do you want to achieve? Is this the best way to do it? How much time do you have available and is that enough to achieve your goals. If not, don't do it. Or dump some other things that are not taking you towards your goals and make time.
Know yourself. Think about your past track record. Are you one of those people who likes to join a multitude of things and hasn't really got enough time to do any of them well? The most important of my timesavers is to tell you right now DO NOT START ANOTHER THING. If you want to do Chinese swordsmanship, taijiquan or any other martial arts training, make the time to do it well or don't waste your time starting. Some people like the experience of being a constant beginner by starting one thing after another and never mastering anything. If that is you, fine - go ahead but be prepared for the students who begin with you to leave you behind even if you are the most talented. Persistence is what counts most.
Practise every day. This is one of the best timesavers. If you practise what you learn in class, every day, you'll know it and not have to repeat the same material over and over. There are enough times when training is impossible - sickness, family visits, extra busy work times, etc. So don't miss any of the ones you can make it to.
Learn one thing well before going on to another. If it's sword - learn the basic cuts first. Get them correct. If you push on to the next thing and the next too quickly, you'll only have to go back and correct it all - unlearning and then relearning.
Make a set time for your training. When I started, I was already busy and unsure of what needed to be given up to make time. So I got up an hour earlier, sacrificing an hour of sleep every day. This worked until the family adjusted their timetables to get up when I got up. Still - find a time that is yours. Announce it to everyone and be unavailable for anything else during that time. It's an appointment and most other things can wait for an hour.
Turn off the mobile phone. I don't have one. I don't understand why people want to be available to others all the time - always on call. But if you're used to a mobile phone, turn it off during your training time in the same way as you would at the movies. Your training is not interruptible unless you want people to waste time for you.
Write things down. The time you spend in class or training alone, is valuable. Don't lose any of it. One of the biggest timesavers for retaining what you have put time into learning, is to take notes and go over them as soon as possible. Then, when you run out of things to practise, go back to your notes and make sure you haven't lost any of what you learnt. At the end of a training session, write down what you still need to work on. Plan youR training time for the next day so you don't waste time wondering what to do.
Warm up and stretch before every training session. That means getting to class early enough. If you don't stretch, you are more likely to injure yourself and waste weeks recovering from torn muscles or ligaments.
Have a place to keep all your equipment. This is among the top 10 timesavers because it will save you time finding your training gear. Having raised children, I know how much time they waste looking for their shoes before school. Adults are supposed to be more organised. So put your clothes in the wash straight after training. Then they will be clean. Have one place to always keep things. Clean and oil swords straight after training. Spending a little bit of time in those tired moments after a training session is part of the discipline that will save you from rushing around before the next session. Rushing around and not knowing where things are, is one of the things that make people feel they haven't got enough time to train.
- Turn off the TV/Games console. This should probably go highest on the list of hints and tips. It's amazing how many people say they haven't got time to train but spend several hours a day looking at a screen. We all have the same amount of time. Kings and presidents have the same amount of time in their day as you do. It's a matter of what you do with it. If training is important. Do it. If it isn't taking you towards where you want to be in life, put it aside and stop pretending. Do something else you really want to do instead.
Return to Chinese Swords Guide Home