Practice Makes Perfect

You’ve heard it. Practice makes perfect!
And it’s true ­ but only if you’re practicing properly. And with mindfulness and intensity.
Let me explain: I’m practicing my punch. I do it diligently. But I do it incorrectly over and over again.
What’s gonna happen?
Well, eventually I will become pretty good at doing it incorrectly.
Bad habits are hard to break ­ especially old ones.
When you’re working out, be sure to focus first on proper technique. Slow it down. Break it down step by step.
In the case of the punch, the motion starts with the hip, then the torso and finally the arm.
Is the wrist straight? Are you hitting with the 2 big knuckles?
Once the basic motion is mastered, you can start increasing speed and boosting acceleration. Maintain balance at all times.
Be mindful of what you are doing. Practice both punching in the air and hitting a target like a mitt or punching bag. Keep your chin down, your elbows in, your knees bent and weight forward on your feet. Exhale with each punch.
Now, “practice make perfect” is really about commitment. Are you training enough to get better? Or are you training just enough to stay current?
In general, students should practice at least 4x per week if they want to get stronger, better, faster. So if you are in class 2x per week, then you should make the time to train at home at least another 2x per week.
And if you want to become an Olympian, then you should drop out of school or quit your day job and training 5­6 hrs per day 6 days per week.

Sensei James has 35 years experience in the martial arts in Hawaii and has served as an AAU (American Athletics Union) certified martial arts coach and tournament judge. He has a 5th degree black belt in Hapkido and a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo. James Kerr is also Founder and Chief Instructor of Smart Karate. He is also best­selling author of Bully­Proof: How to Stop Bullying and Gain Black Belt Confidence.