As traditional karate involves ample repetition, boredom is something commonly experienced by karate-ka. There are many strategies and techniques that we can use to alleviate (or break through) any boring patches. The last thing we want to do is lose sight of our goals and quit on ourselves. This is unfortunately a common reason why so many Martial Artists quit before the even get to Black Belt.
1. Take Control Of Your Learning New Skills And Developing New Knowledge
When a student is gaining mental stimulation by learning new skills and knowledge, they’re generally happier to do the repetition that goes along with this.
There are many ways to increase your knowledge:
- Read the club magazine (Shimbun) as it always has great articles to help.
- Read the hundreds of articles in the ‘Articles’ section of GKR Karate’s website.
- Read books on Martial Arts.
- Google various subjects to do with training.
There are many things to keep your mental stimulation alive. Many of which can be found in the Articles section of this website. History (of karate, kata, karate’s forefathers, etc), Application (of techniques, kata etc), Combat strategies etc.
Seeking knowledge on the things you are starting to find boring during training is often your best bet. Learning about these things will help develop your appreciation and understanding for what is boring you.
Constantly learning about your art, your craft and yourself will help keep your passion for karate alive.
Be aware however of over compensating this point. There are many martial artists in the World who have an absolute wealth of knowledge on the arts yet cannot put any of it to practical use – unless they are against a cooperative partner. To know but be unable to do means you don’t really know.
Karate was never about purely learning new knowledge. It was about balancing the development of mind, body and spirit. Those who do all the reading but little repetition to put it to practical action miss out on the body and spirit elements. Note that through working hard that we learn most about ourselves.
2. Keep The Repetition Portion Of Your Training In The Proper Perspective
i) Focus on the prize rather than the price: Those who focus on a visual picture of what/who they wish to become (e.g. a black belt, a great practitioner, a fit and healthy person, to do the splits etc) are those who breeze through repetition. Meanwhile those who focus too much on the price (the work) will ultimately struggle with boredom throughout their journey.
ii) Remind yourself that repetition is the mother of skill: It’s one thing to do a technique competently when you are thinking about it, its another thing entirely to do it competently without thinking about it. This is where repetition comes in.
iii) Remind yourself that self-defence relies on instinct: In any self-defence situation, if there is one thing you can plan on, it’s that things won’t go to plan. It won’t be like kumite where an opponent gives you time and space to strategise. Additionally, your body will get an adrenaline dump that will drastically minimise your fine motor skills (which is why “fancy” techniques and low percentage joint locks are unrealistic in actual self-defence).
In such a state, the techniques and strategies you employ will be those that are instinctive. And instinct is developed through repetition.
3. Set Goals
A journey without goals is like a ship without a rudder. The main purpose of a goal is to entice us to become the person needed to be in order to achieve it. Our goals keep us motivated, give us direction, and provide the purpose to persist until we haver reached them.
There are a number of articles relating to goal setting in the articles section of this website. be sure to visit the ‘Life skills’ category within the Articles section.
4. Constantly Strive To Develop New Skills
Seeking out new knowledge helps to keep you mentally stimulated. Constantly striving to develop new skills is also an important way to remain stimulated on your journey.
It’s important to continuously improve your current techniques, yet from time-to-time add more to your arsenal.
Knowing you have new exciting skills to develop will help keep you pushing yourself and focused throughout all other areas of your training.
Examples of new skills you might wish to develop are:
- Developing your high kicks.
- Developing your application for techniques and kata.
- Applying bunkai and kata principles into kumite.
- Learning a new kata.
- Learning new footwork drills.
There are many articles that you can read to help you with getting motivated about your training and ongoing development in our articles section.