I vividly recall those days when I used to train tirelessly, pouring what I believed was 100% of my energy into every punch and kick, only to later realize that I was far from reaching my full potential. I would strike the bag or pads with all the intensity I could muster, convinced that I was giving it my all, yet barely budging the pad holder.
It was baffling. I was exhausted after every training session, drenched in sweat, and yet I couldn’t fathom why I wasn’t making the progress I expected. I dedicated myself to training diligently, often being the first to arrive at the gym and the last to leave. However, it gradually became evident that the sheer hours spent in the gym did not necessarily translate to results. The return on investment, as it were, just wasn’t adding up.
But what was I missing? It was at this juncture that a revelation dawned upon me.
There exists a fundamental disparity between exerting effort and possessing the necessary abilities to excel.
Let’s examine the definitions, as per Webster’s:
- Effort: the conscious exertion of power
- Ability: competence in performing a task
I was unquestionably giving 100% effort in every training session, but what I lacked was the ability to execute techniques correctly, precisely, and effectively.
Building strength, speed, power, and technique is undoubtedly a time-consuming process. Yet, among these attributes I contend that technique reigns supreme. Why? Because while the others have their limits, impeccable technique honed through focused drills and deliberate practice of specific moves, propels you leaps and bounds ahead of the rest.
What I failed to grasp was the importance of dedicating time to refining the minutiae. Instead of focusing solely on the fun aspects of training, such as hitting pads, pounding the bag, or sparring, I neglected the smaller, foundational drills.
Here’s an example of a drill that would have tremendously benefitted me, as it has each of my students:
Take a moment to place your foot on an elevated surface, like a chair, stool, or box, and practice rotating your hip, supporting foot, and shoulders simultaneously. This seemingly simple drill serves to open up your hips, perfect the rotation of your torso, and ultimately cultivate a more powerful kick.
In hindsight, it’s clear that my journey required a shift in perspective. I needed to recognize that true mastery is not solely about effort; it’s about the fusion of effort and the mastery of technique, refined through diligent practice.
Train hard, be a beast!
Published: October 4, 2023