What’s the secret to martial arts success? Showing up for class.

It’s true: consistently showing up and working hard will make you better at what you do.

Here’s why:

1.     You’ll learn faster. Consistently pitching up will give you more exposure to martial arts techniques, drills, and combinations. More exposure means a quicker build of the brain’s neural pathways, which cement the learning process.

2.     It improves your mental wellbeing. A good sweat not only releases feel-good endorphins, but frequent training also helps concentration and mental clarity.

3.     It builds your fitness. Regular training builds a bridge from where you are now to where you want to be. Training three times a week, every week for a year will build better stamina and strength than sporadic, high-intensity training for a month.

4.     It reduces the risk of injury. Excessive and rapid increases in training could lead to misalignment and injury, while consistent, incremental conditioning builds strength in the muscles, tendons and ligaments, protecting the physical body.

5.     It encourages you to deepen your practice. The more you improve, the more you’ll want to train. The more you train, the more progress you’ll make and the closer you’ll get to your goals.

6.   You’ll train with all levels. Consistently showing up for class gives you the opportunity to train with students of all grades. This exposure allows you to push yourself to get better, or if working with someone less experienced than you, gives you the chance to meet them with patience and care.

7.     You’ll make friends. Going through tough training with your fellow karateka builds camaraderie and respect. These relationships can grow into solid friendships with consistent interaction, engagement, and mutual trust.

8.     It becomes a habit. Knowing exactly what you need to do and how long it will take, takes the thinking out of the equation. The less you need to think, the more likely you are to do.

9.     It builds your confidence. The feeling of achievement that comes from perseverance breeds confidence. It gives you a greater belief in yourself, knowing you’ll do what you say you’ll do.

10.  It builds resilience. Let’s face it, some days are better than others. Even though you may sometimes fail, in the words of the Chinese proverb Nana korobi, ya oki, consistency teaches you to “fall down seven times, stand up eight”. It means choosing to never give up hope, and to always strive for more. It means your focus isn’t on the reality in front of you, but on a greater vision that may not be a reality yet.

Consistency means grit. You’ll always find a reason not to show up, but training is never effective if it’s dependent on motivation. It’s separate from motivation. Motivation comes and goes, but training is something you always do.