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Starting Martial Arts

FAQ: One of the most common questions is how long do I have to train for basic self-defense, just to beat an average guy?1. For basic skills, it does not take all that long. IMO, a year is enough to attain a functional amount of timing, sensitivity, speed, accuracy, power – enough to stand a good chance against an average guy.The proven training concept to ingrain skills and attributes is:Few basic things times a lot of repetition. eg: 1 punch x 1000 timesOnce a skill is deeply ingrained into your nervous system it’s like riding a bike, you can drop it and not do it for years and you will still know how you might get rusty but it is still in your body.However, before it is truly ingrained into your nervous system, in the beginning, stages/years of learning, the repetition NEEDS to be consistent! This is why showing up consistently is very important in the initial stage of learning.In A beginners class, when people do not show up consistently it is not uncommon to teach someone something and have them completely forget it in the next session, the reason is they did not show up consistently and they have taken too much time off between their training session. The result is after many years of signing up for classes they are still stuck at the same level.2. Another concept which has proven to help ones learning curve is after each session of repetition to form the habit of asking questions about what was taught.By asking questions and understanding the whole of what was just train conceptually, you will understand why you were doing something and not just the how.This alone increases ones learning ability in the next training session. Problem is quite often in a beginners class haha, the student usually does not have any questions, they are too busy teaching each other already even though they have not attained the skill themselves yet. This is a direct opposite of what happens in an advanced class, where most of the students are qualified to teach but they don’t want to because they are too busy training and asking questions to improve lol!3. Previous background – a lot of students approach a new art with a conceptual framework of what they have been taught before in another system. It is good to see the points that are familiar OR SAME to you as a reference point, that is excellent to track what is common.However, the problem arises when we hold familiar concepts to a point where we miss the points that are DIFFERENT AND NEW and therefore learn nothing new.It is not uncommon to present something to a group and have them say “Oh, it is kinda like this or that ” when in reality it is nothing of the sort. We have to give up the need to be secure in order to explore and find a new way of doing things, there is no evolution when we hold on too tight to the known.4. Coordination – one of the most important thing that cannot be emphasized enough is to slow down when learning something new. This is common sense in most skills in life like when we learn how to drive, how to type, how to cook etc.But for some reason, people forget this when it comes to learning how to fight. I think the reason is that people frame fighting as something that should be hard and fast right away with blinding speed and power but you have to be able to do something right and control yourself before you can start to go fast and hard. The slower you go the faster you learn in the beginning. Slow down!

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