I am often telling my students to make their martial arts training a priority. Training is at set times and their other plans should be made to work around these times.
For many, martial arts training starts out as a hobby, but given due time this is no longer good enough. It should get to the point where friends and family know not to bother asking you to attend other events or go out on the town during these times because they know that you will be turning them down due to your training, or that you will be arriving late – training comes first.
In order to reap the benefits of martial arts and improve your life through them you need to set routines and stick to them. A person can only get true benefit from training through consistency. If you miss classes every time something else comes up, you need to re-evaluate your priorities. If the martial art is so important and helps so much in your life, you should be willing to sacrifice for it. It is only through extenuating circumstances that your training routine should be broken – and even then, you should have a feeling of guilt for doing so.
Being serious about martial arts is a lifestyle choice. Martial arts promote health, fitness and confidence to name but a few. Without your training these, and other, areas of your life begin to suffer. Being strong in your conviction to train and sticking to your schedule no matter what leads to improvement in all areas of your life. People look at you with more respect when they know you are serious about your martial art. If you skip training for any lame excuse it will tarnish your reputation with the people who may have thought so highly of you because of your training. Showing you are serious about martial arts tells people you are serious about achieving and about living. People immediately build an opinion about your character.
Everybody in martial arts say they are dedicated and that training is a priority, but this is not really the case. People like to tell themselves that they are dedicated and nothing gets in the way, but in actual fact, they use excuses all the time. “I have to work late again.” “I have to be at my girlfriend’s house for dinner.” “I need to pick up my laundry”, etc. The list goes on and on and the excuses become lamer and lamer. The fact is, if you are doing something else during training time, then that has taken priority. That is more important than your training. No amount of argument can change that. People come up with hundreds of excuses, but all they are really doing is trying to justify their actions to themselves. People need to be honest with themselves. Martial arts and training are not everybody’s number one priority, so don’t kid yourself into believing it is. If you are constantly making excuses and missing classes, then you need to admit that other things come first in your life. There is nothing wrong with this as long as you admit to it. Not everybody in the world is the same.
It is understandable that some people have commitments in their lives that can be deemed as more important than their training, but these commitments should be few and far between. They should not interfere on a regular basis. Training, to these people, should still be marked with a high priority. The majority of people though, have no excuse. They are dedicated more to the idea of the martial arts and training than to the martial art and training itself.
Take some time to evaluate what is important to you. Set your priorities with honesty. Hopefully your training will be right up near the top.