Carnegie Hall and the Martial Arts

Carnegie Hall and the Martial Arts

You know the old joke “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?”  Practice, Practice, Practice.  Practice is the answer to most of what ails us.  Lack of forward motion in any aspect of our lives can be fixed with practice.  Things that seem hard can be made easy with consistent practice.

Some may say “I don’t have time to practice.”  To those I say, you have time to do whatever you want to do.  Yes, time is precious but if something is important we can always find time to practice.

When I was eight years old my mom signed me up for piano lessons.  Why?  Because I asked.  But I soon found out that it was going to interfere with my imagesother important activities like playing with my friends and sports.  My mom quickly set my practice schedule. I had to practice for 30 minutes five days a week before I could do anything else.  I thought that was a good compromise, so I made a plan.  I would hurry home from school and practice; by the time all my friends got home and finished their homework, chores etc. I would be ready to go.  I also started riding my bike.  This got me home faster than if I rode the bus.  It all worked.  I got to do both activities and satisfied my mom’s requirements. Plus, I learned how to play some cool songs.  By the way- I took lessons for three years and then and again in my 20’s for 3 years, and I can still play today.  My love for music is still intact, even if I did have to practice piano for 30 minutes before I could go out and play

I put this plan into place again in my teens when I started taking karate.  I decided to practice all my katas twice each day and do all my basics 20 times each day.  My mom wasn’t as insistent with my karate practice because I tended to get in her way or kick over her head while she was sitting in a chair.  I think it annoyed her, but she wanted me to excel in whatever I did so she didn’t say much.

Kata GWith karate and jujitsu in the Total Ryu system, practice is still important.  Practice and repetition with both is essential to not only learning but also to execution when needed.  Practice outside of the dojo is a must.  Karate must be practiced on your own.  The katas, basics, stances etc. need to be repeated over and over again.  If you do this, then when I see you in class we can teach you more and at a faster pace.  Jujitsu can also be and should be practiced on your own.  You don’t need to throw an uke to learn the throws; just practice and go over the foot work, body positioning and everything we go over on your own.  If you do this, it will be easier for you when you work with an uke.

Practice is essential to achieving excellence in any aspect of our lives.  Implement the trait of consistent practice and you will achieve, I promise.

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