“How Often Do I Need To Practice?”

The news has just showcased another robbery and unlike other news segments you’ve watched, this one hits home because this time the robbery took place down the street. Maybe you’re a parent helping plan their child for College and thinks “perhaps having some self defense training would be useful as they prep for College life.” Perhaps you’re that individual that has just experienced a confrontation, that fortunately had deescalated before any physical encounter ensued, puts you in a bad head spin and for the very first time in your life, you feel vulnerable.

Whatever the reason, you feel it’s now time to look at some sort of self defense training. Once you choose the school, then the real work begins. It is here that reality sinks in and you start to question “Do I really have the time to devote to a training regiment?”

Certain organizations prey on this vulnerable line of thinking because we as a society have become comfortable to the “quick fix” method. Why take time to practice self defense tactics when you can just buy some sort of weapon. It seems many companies utilize this philosophy onto an unsuspecting shopper but even if this was the route one prefers, there’s still an accountability factor to train in order to effectively use such a tool.

This leads to the topic at hand; “How often do I need to practice?” My reply would be “How skilled in your self defense tactics do you want to be?” No matter what we are wanting to learn a skill in, when our mindset is worrying about the amount of time we have to commit in order to be effective in said skill, we should pursue another avenue. In the long run, we are setting ourselves up for failure because we will not see the results we are looking for if we are concerned about the time we have to devote in order to gain said skill.

With that said, there is a way to combat the negative stereotype training commitments tend to bring when choosing to develop a skill. In this case, self defense. Lets take a look at each step:

  1. Find Your Goal – What level of skill do you want to be as a Self Defense Practitioner? Basic, Mid Level, Expert, Master?
  2. Training Time – Look at what you CAN do, NOT what you think you can do in a given week. Understand though that the more skilled you want to become, the more time you are needing to commit to.
  3. Have An At-Home Training Regiment – Most don’t realize that your At-Home Training Regiment is most important in your skill development. Class training is meant more to guide you towards what needs to be improved on as well as new material you need to know. Not to be your only source of training for the week. I urge my students to commit to fifteen minutes of training per day either all at once or broken up throughout the day.
  4. Create A Training Plan – Self Defense Students have many skills which require their attention in order to improve upon. Attempting to work on everything each day will only prolong your advancement. Instead break up each skill, applying it to a day in the week. For example you may focus on perfecting your blocks and punches on Monday while focusing more on kicking tactics on Tuesday, leaving footwork and ground tactics on Thursday.

About Master Mulhollen

Master Mulhollen has studied martial arts for over 20 years. He was a Choi Kwang-Do instructor prior to Dynamic Self Defense. He holds a 5th degree Black Belt and is the Master Instructor at the New Albany Dynamic Self Defense School.

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