There is only one way to master anything in life – and that is to stay obsessed. Have you ever heard of an old proverb that states you can’t serve two masters? You cannot practice a little bit here, a little bit there and believe that you will master your technique or martial art. Something I have learned with all of my years of training is that I cannot get good at everything all at one time. I cannot learn how to throw elbows if I don’t know where my feet are supposed to be.
This simply means you can’t have your heart in one place and your head in another. I talk to people all the time when they come through the door and I ask a very simple question, “What do you want to achieve?”
Some people can give me a direct answer as clear as, “I want to lose 20 pounds in the next 45 days.” Or “I want to improve my kick with my rear leg by X date.” Those are focused and clear statements that tell me exactly what you want and when you want it.
It’s the group of people that come through the door and give you a vague answer like, “I want to be good at Muay Thai.” Well everyone wants to be good at Muay Thai, I need a more specific answer about what you want to be good at… If I teach you how to properly throw a jab, you are already better than 75% of the population that doesn’t know how to fight. Do you want to be good at leg kicks or do you want to be good at kicks to the body? Do you want to improve your punching skills with speed or power or do you want to learn to turn someone while clinching?
These are more specific goals and things that you can really focus on. If you are all over the place with your training: technique boxing one day, ju-jitsu the next, Muay Thai another day, there’s no way that you can master any one of those arts. It takes years to get good at any one of those martial arts, let alone trying to master all at one time.
Here’s a little bit of an obscure analogy, but follow me.
If you were learning to fly a 747 airplane how much practice do you think that would take?
What about trying to learn to command and operate a submarine for the Navy?
Trying to drive a cruise ship?
All of these jobs would take some considerable amount of time to learn. Now, how about trying to learn all three at once? For the next three months you only get to learn one machine, one hour a day, for one day a week. You can choose any order that you like. How long will it take you to get good at any of them? How much information do you really think that you can retain?
You see there’s no singularity of focus on any one thing. How do you expect to be a master at all of them if you haven’t mastered one? When you are clearly and specifically focused on what you want to achieve, you will be unstoppable.
Here are 5 tips to help you achieve your goals:
- Singularity of focus: You have to know exactly what it is that you want to achieve. Have a very clear and definitive answer.
- Deadline: You have to know when you want to achieve this goal. 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 months, 5 years. Have a set date that you want to achieve your focused efforts by?
- Make it manageable: Break the goal down into little bite size pieces. Don’t try to do everything all at once. Break everything down to the simplest level and practice it there. Then as you improve on it you can add other things to focus on.
- Record: Keep track of your progress with a training log. I have said this before. It is so important that you write everything down. You can always go back weeks and months later to see your progress. There will be times that you feel stuck and this will help remind you of how far you have come.
- Record (but different): Video tape yourself, you would not believe how much this helps you realize where you are doing great and where you are making mistakes. This is something I wish I did more when I was first learning.
I’m sure most of you have heard of Bruce Lee, one of his many profound quotes says, “I don’t fear the man that practices 10,000 kicks one time, I fear the man that practices one kick 10,000 times.”
Just a final thought to leave you with. What is your focus? What do you really want to achieve?
As always, train hard, be a beast!
Published: April 3, 2023