Many experienced martial arts practitioners reach a point in
their training where they don’t see any improvements or feel like the current
methods their implementing are no longer working. The efficiency of your body
to adapt to the regular training methods is to blame for the plateaus that
When this takes place, it’s a signal for us to mix up the
training regimen and begin to approach training from a different perspective.
To surpass existing and impending plateaus, we need to make minor adaptations
to move forward and bring on progress.
Switch up the program
Implementing a new approach in training will stimulate the
body and mind to adjust and conform to the new changes taking place. If you are
more dexterous with your right side (7090% of the world population is
right-handed), take a new approach and do most of your training with your left
Starting from a disadvantaged position is a great way to
diversify a normal training pattern. A student in a striking discipline might
want to begin cornered against the ropes and have to fight his/her way out to
the center of the cage. If you are a grappling discipline, begin in a less
favorable position and work on your counters and escapes.
Goals and Challenges
Setting your sites on a single objective will speed up the
process while maintain clarity and focus. Taking on a personal challenge will
make you work harder than you normally would and force you to think and act
differently to achieve it. Goals are achievable whereas to fulfill a challenge
may take many tries if it is reached at all.
Some examples of goals would be: knowing the detailed
particulars of a certain position, drilling a technique for a large sum of repetitions,
or just getting more time in training. The primary goal for students in many
martial arts disciplines is to reach the rank of black belt. Setting out on a
challenge could entail ranking #1 in competition, or instructing an individual
to the black belt rank. A good challenge is a sure-fire way to bust through a
Go Back to Fundamental Techniques
Trying to learn too many movements and details in a short
period of time will cause confusion and hamper progression. Produce muscle
memory from drilling techniques and become fluid in execution and transition.
Once you are adept at the position or move, add on a few new techniques and you
will find it less confusing.
During sparring, work on positional training to focus on the
details of a set area of skills. Time out the positions at 2-3 minutes
intervals and focus on controlling that one position, whether it be standing,
on the ground, or against the cage. Figuring out the details to a position will
give you the options to counter or control an opponent’s move.
Stop training plateaus from thwarting or slowing down your
progress. Changing up an established routine on a regular basis will prevent
the body from adapting and help to keep your mind engaged and active. Don’t
feel like your only option to get out of a rut is to take a break from
training, get focused and with a little creativity you’ll get back on track.