In many ways training martial arts is easier today than ever before. The popularity of MMA competition has made arts such as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai more accessible to the public. The internet has allowed techniques to travel across the world in a matter of seconds. Schools such as Precision MMA in LaGrange, NY now have experts in striking and grappling under the same roof in large world class facilities. When I began training in the 90′s BJJ and muay thai were unknown. There were very few training partners to work with and the gyms were small “hole in the wall” facilities. Instructional videos were few and far between. Gyms would not mix their styles so I would have to travel to one gym for boxing, another for jiu-jitsu, another for muay thai and still another for wrestling.
Martial arts today is almost a completely different world in 2014. However, one thing has remained constant – the essential steps for success. Half my life has been dedicated to training and in that time I have narrowed the path to greatness down to a three step recipe.
#1 Make martial arts a priority in your life
Seems simple enough, but this is the most neglected step in the success formula. If you want to become great at something it has to become a lifestyle. Our priorities are things that hold a strong place in our daily routines. They are the things that must get done. Other things must work around our priorities. This can come up in many ways in our daily life. For example, if you want to add a “movie night” to your weekly routine make sure it’s not during your class time. If you have a test to study for wake up earlier or go to bed later, but do not allow it to replace your mat time. If there is a time draining activity like playing video games or watching reality TV that makes getting to class difficult eliminate it. Treat your training time like a no-excuse, must attend obligation and success will be difficult to avoid. Additionally, make sure your lifestyle supports your martial arts training. This may mean prioritizing rest so that you can properly recover from hard sessions or improving your diet so you have the fuel to make it through long sessions.
#2 Show up
Their is an old saying that 80% of success is simply showing up. If you are absent from class you’ll never pass the test. People will often tell me how important martial arts is in their life, but actions speak louder than words. The ones who mean are those with the most marks on their attendance card. Additionally, the more your are in class the more your instructor can understand your learning style and physical abilities as well as limitations. A teacher and student that work together on a regular and uninterrupted basis have an understanding that brings out the best in both of them. Your ability to get to class is directly proportional to how much of a priority you’ve made martial arts in your life, in that way the first two steps are forever linked.
#3 Training the right way
Sometimes the biggest determinant of success is not simply the hours you put in, but what you put into the hours. When it’s time to train turn your cell phone off, focus your mind and commit yourself wholly to improving. Drill with a purpose, ask questions when confused, follow your coaches advice, step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself. There are some people with 10 years of experience and then others with one year repeated ten times. The difference is the amount of effort that is put forth in expanding one’s abilities. If you struggle with your guard begin rolling from your back, if your head movement is lacking make yourself do rounds of pure defense – don’t avoid your pitfalls, but rather face them head on.
This is the formula used by myself and many others to find success inside the four walls at Precision MMA. The nice part of this recipe is that it doesn’t rely on anything other than hard work and dedication abilities which are naturally within the grasp of all. Choose to be successful!
Looking to train mixed martial arts in LaGrange, NY? Check out Precision MMA Free for 30 Days call 845-392-845 or visit http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com
Author Brian McLaughlin is the head coach at Precision MMA in LaGrange, NY. He is a Tampa Gracie black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu as well as a former professional mixed martial artist with over 15 years of training.