You'll hear me 'drone on' about practise many times in the class - particularly, although not exclusively, in children’s classes. I use the word drone, only because I’m sure for some students that it comes across as somewhat repetitive. A typical end of class comment might be:
Me: "Today in class we were working on your belt level patterns. Make sure you continue
practising them at home before your next class, OK?"
Class: "Yes, Sir!"
Now, does everyone go home and continue with their lives. Or do they go home and spend an hour a day
practising? As Instructors we're always curious as to who does...and to be honest in most cases, this is obvious.
Does your son or daughter?
What we do know is that the following is true for the majority of students:
If all of your martial arts practise takes place in class time alone, whether that be one or two classes per week, you’re not practising enough.
If you have a good memory or technically gifted then you might just be able to 'get away with it'. For example, you may be one of those students who after being shown your pattern might pick it up and remember it quite easily. Some students just seem to 'get it'.
For students who need a little more help or sustained effort (myself included) it might take longer to grasp the format of the pattern.
Both types of student (and all the other types in between) will require further practise to refine the techniques, further practise again to make the continued recall of the techniques effortless, further practise for the performance of the sequence to be fluid and further practise yet again to retain all of rewards of practise already attained!
So, slightly swerving the "what are your New Years resolutions?" article, this is a simple challenge to start a new daily habit. Nothing radical here; just a collective commitment to make time to practise 10 minutes a day. Your choice if you include or exclude days that you actually attend class.
DISCLAIMER: 10 minutes a day is no where near enough to make you an expert at Choi Kwang-Do. However, for any student who doesn't practise regularly this will make a significant positive impact on progress.
What constitutes practise? Anything that will help you to improve your Choi Kwang-Do training in any way.
- Spend 5 minutes in the morning kicking and 5 minutes in the evening on your speed drill – that counts.
- Spend 10 minutes reading your syllabus sheet and trying to memorise the belt level requirement – that counts.
- Spend 10 minutes stretching while watching TV – that counts.
10 minutes a day too time consuming? Start with 5 and add 1 additional minute per day. Better than nothing and it still counts. In fact, everything counts as it all contributes in some way to your overall experience. Just ensure you're practising the right thing in the right way, and that's exactly the reason why class attendance and practise with the benefit of an instructor is so important.
Jason Wright is a 6th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor in the martial art Choi Kwang-Do. For further information on Choi Kwang-Do classes in Ealing, West London visit