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Everyone has a lot on their plate these days. The demands of the average adult with a family can be enormous, but we have to stick to our guns and commit to continuing our training if we really value studying martial arts. It is too easy to wake up one day and say, “I used to study martial arts, but I got too busy.” That said, I understand the responsibilities that most adults share, and I think with some simple strategies we can get the most out of your time and get back on track.

Make Your Martial Arts Training A Priority

martial arts training

The first thing you have to do is make your martial arts training a priority. Hopefully, you have goals and objectives that drive you. Maybe you want to earn your next rank, be a black belt next year, or win a medal at the next competition. Something needs to be a motivator for you, and then you can work from there.

What is the number one thing preventing you from practicing or making it to class? Is it your job? If so, get your work done at work. Try arriving 15 minutes early to get settled in and stay away from distractions like social media when you are working. You will get more done, and probably get a raise!

What about family responsibilities? Be sure that your family knows how much your martial arts training means to you, and that you want to find ways to make it to class more often. Make alternative arrangements for things like picking up the kids, or helping with homework on the night or two that you attend class. If it is important to you, your family members should be willing to help you out. In return, you should offer to help them as well.

Are you the problem? For most people, they say that the above reasons are why they are missing classes and/or not training enough, but for many people the problem is looking back at them in the mirror. Let’s face it many of us do not manage our time well. Our use of technology is usually the biggest culprit. Rather than saving us time, our devices are often sucking time from us in a collection of seemingly innocuous moments. Social media, while initially a great way to stay connected, has become an unhealthy obsession for many. Control your impulses. I recommend a limit of one hour a day to deal with all of your social media accounts. Use a timer and stick to it.

Practice Martial Arts Wherever You are

martial arts training

Find time to practice wherever you are. You can train your stances in an unused conference room or practice a form in an out of the way space in a warehouse. You don’t have to go to a special place to practice. Practice wherever you are even for a minute or two. When I was getting ready for a tournament, I used to stop at a school on my way home from work and bust out my staff form in the large empty parking lot. Be creative.

As we age, it takes longer to heal, and we feel our bodies taking longer to recover after workouts. That means that there will be aches and pains, but that can’t be the reason for missing training. If we wait until we are one hundred percent, then we will simply never train. There is always going to be something to deal with. Still go to class and do what you can. You will probably find that you can do more than you thought you could. Take necessary precautions, but continue to pursue your goals.

All of these topics can probably be funneled into the broader and more honest bucket called “excuses.” Without minimizing responsibilities to work and family, I believe that there is still a place for your martial arts if you want it. You have to look inward though, and with unflinching honesty pinpoint what it is that is keeping you from studying, and then deal with it.

I have students that come regularly from 50 miles away, and I have students down the street that I rarely see. What’s the difference? Priorities. If your martial art training is something you really want to do, then you have to fight for it. Carve out that time that you go to class and make it non-negotiable. It will probably be difficult, but no one said it would be easy.

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