Living in a fast-paced, highly informational culture has brought us to be a generation that looks for ways to quicken or simplify a step in a process or even the whole system itself. This is why people often search the internet for “hacks” or tips and tricks on how to “win” In life. Food hacks, study hacks, workplace hacks, DIY tips, and all the other hacks out there are meant to help us get the most of the interest or hobby that we have set our sights on.
In Martial Arts, there are hacks that a current or potential student can apply, not really to shorten, oversimplify or cheat the process, but to give an extra boost to get you going. And before you judge the merits of this post, go through each of the four hacks and you will realize that they are not hacks after all, but basic principles that many may have chosen to take for granted or bypass because they just want to “do martial arts”.
Hack #1 - Focus on the Fundamentals
A lot of people today are in a hurry to be at the top of what they do and reach for success, including martial arts. Almost everyone who starts looks forward to the day of receiving a black belt (or equivalent) and tell the world his or her achievement in martial arts.
The fancy moves, different techniques, and the idea of doing things few people can’t do can tempt those to disregard the basics so as to push for more advanced movements.
One of the reasons is that basics can be seen as “boring” and somewhat unattractive compared to the more advanced moves that Everyone is drawn to.
However, it is a known fact that those who achieve the heights of their status started from the basics, the fundamentals.
Here is the reality: You will have difficulties, eventually, when you fail to focus on the fundamentals. Focusing on the fundamentals is what separates the good from the great. And most of us are really, really bad at basic skills because of impatience and being easily distracted.
Why? Easy. Because we believe that once we get past one stage, we are done mastering it and we are ready to move higher skills or exercises.
It’s not true.
The reality of the matter is the higher you go up in any field, the more you realize how immensely important basic drills are, and this fact will continue as you go up the ladder. This is a continual process as you develop one skill after the other. Fundamentals are the foundation for you to build muscle memory and improve your weaknesses.
So, keep doing the basic drills. Keep mastering the fundamentals and set your mind to enjoy the difficulties and challenges that come with it.
Don’t get distracted by the acrobatic, ninja-style moves that are mostly (badly) portrayed in movies. You will get there if you have focus, discipline and have the patience to master the fundamentals
Hack #2 - Remember that the Body and Mind are Connected!
It is often viewed that in martial arts or any physical activity, the body is prioritized over the mind. But when you solely focus on the body, the mind gets left out or left behind.
Most of you know how the body and mind are connected. The mind decides the outcome while the body executes what the mind “commands". The mind processes the coordination of actions to be taken. Smooth execution of moves, proper stance and defensive variations become efficient movements if you are properly connected with your mind, which means less distraction and unwanted emotion so you can achieve focus on the next move you are to do.
As you strengthen your body by improving your muscle work for speed, agility, and strength, you need to develop your mind as well. Achieve this through meditation and mindfulness. Keep these two connected and you’ll be a much better martial artist.
Hack #3 - Let Your Hips Do All the (Power) Talking
Hips are used when you are punching, kicking, or blocking. More than your arms or legs, the use of your hips is an often-ignored aspect of martial arts training.
Most people think that the power of a punch comes from the fist. However, the hips are the center of your technique.
The kinetic energy comes from the ground up - from your legs, then the hips and then explode into a punch or a kick. Don’t believe me? How much power do you have in a punch if your feet are off the ground? Try it!. You have to improve your lower body and your upper body, but your core is the source of your balance and strength.
The striking power must come from developing the muscles and movements from your hips. To do that, you can improve your hip strength by warming up and running, loosening your muscles and then doing essential stretching.
Proper stretching helps you avoid injuries due to stiff limbs and muscles. Make sure to stretch after warming up. You can feel that your muscles have heated up, then it’s the best time to do the stretching.
Hack #4 - Invest in Good, Quality Gi
They say clothes make the man, and in this case, it is true. While wearing a gi will not necessarily help you skill-wise, it does help set the proper mentality.
Nothing beats the feeling of having to wear a gi whenever you go on karate training. It increases your confidence and allows you to focus on your moves.
Investing in a quality gi uniform is an important part of your decision in pursuing martial arts. It adds on to the excitement and increases your confidence inside as you feel the crisp of the uniform every time you dress up for training.
Purchasing a good, quality gi is not just an investment for martial arts, but an investment in yourself. It is like telling yourself that you will be doing karate for a long time, and thus you need the best quality uniform that will have the staying power to get you through all the rigorous training and all those thousands of hours of sparring and practice.
In picking out your gi, make sure to check out the quality of the stitches and comfortability. Ensure that you can move properly without any restrictions. Do check out our whistlekick Luminary Traditional Martial Arts Uniform. It’s made with an amazing middleweight cotton fabric for a perfect, comfortable fit. It’s not too heavy nor too light. It breathes well and still provides plenty of snap.