5 Class Tips for Beginner Martial Arts Students

5 Class Tips for Beginner Martial Arts Students


How’s it going? Ando here from SenseiAndo.com. If you just signed up for martial arts classes,
you might be wondering how to make the most out of your practice time. You might also be worried about looking like
a total fool. I get it. So, today, I’ve got five tips to help you
fit in, earn respect, and build your skills. Here we go. Tip # 1: Be On Time. I can’t believe how many students—beginners
and even some old-timers— who think it’s okay to just stroll in late, take ten minutes
to change their clothes, and then expect class to just stop when they make it to the mats
so they can catch up with what’s going on. Not cool, man. Show some respect and be on time. Even better—show up to your class early. Give yourself time to take a drink of water,
say hello, change your clothes, warm up, and get your mind focused on your training. That’s not just good for your learning,
it shows respect for your teacher and your fellow students. So, get to class early or at least be on time. Tip #2: Keep It Clean and Safe. I hate to say it, but every martial arts class
has at least one student who stinks. And heads up—if you can’t think of who
that person is, it might be you. Don’t be that guy. Wash your uniform. Wear deodorant. And ease up on that ridiculous cologne or
perfume you’ve been wearing. You’re going to a Kung Fu club, not a dance
club. And hey–if you had hummus or pesto for lunch,
carry some breath mints in your bag. Here’s the rule—show up to every class
like you’re going out on a first date. Also, if you practice in bare feet, throw
some baby wipes into your bag. If you’ve been walking around all day in
flip-flops or open-toed shoes, a quick wipe down of your feet will help keep dirt and
germs off the mats… and out of my face. Plus, after class, a quick wipe down will
help you keep dirt and germs from traveling home with you. And that’s a good thing. One more thing. Long nails on your hands and feet, piercings,
and jewelry of any kind, are all dangerous to you and everybody else. So, trim your nails and lose the bling. If you do happen to get cut or scratched,
I also recommend carrying some Band-Aids and athletic tape in your bag. Getting blood on your uniform might make you
feel cool, but getting blood on MY uniform… no, not cool. Tip #3: Bring a Notebook. This tip is so obvious, yet most people don’t
do it. You kept a notebook for every class in your
academic school, right? So, why wouldn’t you have a notebook for
your martial arts school? Now, I’m not saying you have to scribble
down every word your teacher says during class. Don’t do that. But after class, you should definitely have
a habit of writing down what you learned. Now, if writing seems like too much of a chore,
even though I think that is the best way to do it, well, then use your phone to make a
quick voice note or a quick video. I leave the method up to you, but I highly
recommend that you take what you’re learning and put it into your own words. I promise—a notebook is a game-changer. Tip #4: Hold Your Questions. They say there is no such thing as a dumb
questions. That, my friend, is a lie. There are dumb questions. Here’s an example. Asking a question about a technique that you
haven’t even practiced yet. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen
an instructor—a world-class, legendary instructor—interrupted by some hotshot student who wants to sound
smart by asking a bunch of “what if” questions. “Wait—what if he’s not wearing clothes?” “Yeah, but what if he’s got a hatchet?” “Yes, I hear what you’re saying, but what
if he doesn’t have a head? Hmm?” Hey, Karate Kid—zip it! The answers to all of your questions will
be revealed by practicing, not by talking. Let’s get this straight. A teacher’s job is to show you an idea. The student’s job is to take that idea and
then go practice and explore it. If something’s not working, or if something
is discovered, then you can ask a question. And that’s going to be a smart question
because it’s based on experience, not imagination. So, remember this–listen first, practice
second, question third. 5) Prepare for the Plateau. Being a white belt is the best of times and
the worst of times. It’s the worst of times because you’re
often going to feel like you’re drowning in a sea of new information. But it’s the best of times because you’re
never going to learn so much, so fast again. It’s thrilling. But at some point, you’re going to hit a
wall. You’re either going to think, “I already
know all this,” or you’re going to think, “I’m never going to get all of this.” Either way, you’re wrong. Here’s how the learning process works. Your skills make a jump… and then they plateau. Sometimes those jumps are big and dramatic,
and everyone can see it. Sometimes the jumps are very, very small and
maybe you’re the only one who notices. Sometimes your might have a couple of jumps
in the same month. Sometimes that jump might take a year. Sometimes you might think you’re actually
getting worse! But you’re not. It’s just how it goes. So, don’t give up. As long as you’re doing the work, you are
still learning… even if it doesn’t feel like it. Remember, no matter how long you’ve been
training, there is always more to learn. So, in your head, always be a white belt. That’s the secret. Think like a beginner and you’ll be a master
before you know it. Like 50 years. If you liked these tips, hit subscribe. To keep up with everything I’m doing, find
the link to sign up for my free email updates list. Until next time, go buy a notebook, then keep
fighting for a happy life.

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