Since this is the very first blog post for my site, I've decided to write about a topic near and dear to my heart. That topic is the importance of CONSISTENT training. This is the single most important concept a budding martial artists can learn.
Many new martial artists begin their journey believing if they only train hard enough they will achieve their goals, but the reality is consistency is much more important than intensity. I am not saying that you should never training with high intensity, but I am saying high intensity training should be the exception not the rule.
If you train with a high level of intensity every time you train, you will inevitably break your body, mind, and spirit down. They will lead to injuries and mental fatigue that will require you to take time off from your training to recover and can ultimately lead to you quitting martial arts all together when you inevitably burn out.
The key to success is setting aside time in your life solely for martial arts. It doesn't have to be a lot of time. 30 minutes a day of training on days your aren't training in class is enough for you to see a noticeable improvement in technique and overall performance. This is especially important if your schedule only allows you to make it to the dojo once or twice a week for structured training. Training twice a week at the dojo is not enough to develop above average skill. It is your responsibility then to set aside the time for the self training necessary to improve.
As mentioned above, your training does not have to be intense. Save the high intensity training for class. Instead use this time for footwork drills, coordination drills, general fitness, flexibility, etc. Really take the time to THINK about what you are doing and WHY you are doing it. During your self training is the perfect time to really examine a skill or technique and make it your own.