Tired of being stuck?
It’s been six months and you haven’t learned anything new or progressed in your training. You ask yourself begrudgingly, now what? Take a break? That’s an option. Try a different sport? Again another option.
Something that you must keep in mind is that martial arts is a lifelong journey, it’s not a 1-5-year process and you are equal to Master Shifu or Bruce Lee. Did you get that? Kung Fu Panda pun there lol…eh moving right along.
America has been sold this 5-year commitment and I get a blackbelt mentality with martial arts. I’m here to call BS on that. Unfortunately, it gives false hope that in 5 years you will have achieved a certain status in your “craft” if you will.
The longer time I spend in Muay Thai, the more I realize how much I don’t know. Remember, I have been training in Muay Thai for over 12 years. Fighting both as an amateur and professionally. I am in a constant state of trying to learn and improve over time, not overnight. Do I get stuck/stale with my learning? Of course, however, I don’t accept that and just stop.
One thing you must know is in the first 6-12 months of training your brain and body are like a sponge. Most people, if you’re anything like me, will at first be overwhelmed by the information but still eager to learn. You take it all in as you can remembering everything you have done in class and it feels like you are constantly learning “new techniques” or “new combinations.” Pssssssst, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. There is no new magic technique or combinations to learn.
It literally is repeating the same thing over and over again. Remember Bruce Lee’s quote, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
After the first year of training those moments of learning happen less and less, it becomes more like every six to eight months before you have another aha learning moment. If you don’t train on a consistent basis, the reality of that is, those moments won’t happen.
I know you’re probably throwing your hands up right now going, what am I supposed to be focused on then? How do I get past being stuck?
Here are 5 things to focus on to help you get past “being stuck”
- Reframe your mind. Progress is a long process, think like a crock pot, not a microwave. Think about how both of those inventions work. One is fast, the other is slow. “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.”
- Watch as many Muay Thai fights as possible. You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t do this. It truly helps make a difference in opening your eyes as to what the technique should look like at a high level.
- Record yourself training. I have, and I still do. It allows me to see everything that I am doing right and wrong in my technique. I can then move forward and adjust accordingly.
- Try to master one thing before moving on to the next. How can you learn to throw a proper power kick if your footwork is still out of whack? Think about building a house for a moment. What’s the first thing you build, the roof? No, the footer, the floor, then the walls, then the roof. Not the other way around.
- SHADOW BOX IN FRONT OF A MIRROR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t care how stupid you feel, it helps. Shadow boxing has been as important to martial arts as conditioning has. They truly go hand in hand. If you don’t like it then tough, get over it.
I remember being in the gym for hours practicing how to properly land the jab and getting yelled at because it wasn’t perfect, being so frustrated I wanted to quit. Walking out of the gym frustrated talking to myself, telling myself I suck, I’m garbage, I’m not meant to do this. I should just quit and go do something else. What I realized now all these years later is you need those moments.
You need to be terrible for a while, and grind through the process of struggling to learn, that’s how you get better, that’s how you get past your plateaus.
Feeling stuck is going to happen. It happens to everyone, it’s just up to you on how you’re going to deal with it. Are you going to push through until you have another learning moment or are you just going to get frustrated and quit?
Only you can answer that question. I can only open the door for you, I can’t make you walk through it.
As always, train hard, be a beast!
Published: May 29, 2023