Discipline goes hand in hand with martial arts. It’s a positive feedback cycle, in which discipline breeds better martial arts performance, and practicing martial arts breeds more discipline. Getting into a routine where you practice regularly is important, but recovery is just as crucial.
When it comes to optimizing your martial arts performance, be sure you are intentional about incorporating rest and sleep to your routine. Here’s how and why optimizing your new martial arts regimen will benefit your practice and execution.
One of the best ways to improve your martial arts practice is to—of course—practice! Regularly visiting your martial arts school to hone your technique and seek guidance from your mentors is key to bettering your performance over time.
Studies consistently prove that repetition is needed to heighten your skill level. Training with a partner can help optimize your practice by holding you accountable and providing the support you need to push yourself harder.
In any type of physical training, resting is an essential part of growth and advancement. Injuries are inevitable in martial arts and, when they do happen, management will greatly influence how quickly your body will recover. Warming up and cooling down are, in fact, vital components of the “rest” portion of your martial arts routine. The warm-up allows your body to boost blood and oxygen flow to the muscles that you’re about to utilize, so you are less prone to strains and tears. Designing a warm-up routine with careful consideration of your body and the specific muscle groups also gives you a chance to become more mindful with your training. Cool downs are also important, as they gently bring your body back to its resting state, while minimizing future stiffness and soreness.
Scheduled rest days or periods are imperative, yet often overlooked. Overtraining can lead to serious, long-term injuries that will set your martial arts practice back. Give your body the recovery time it needs, so that it can repair after your workout (during which your muscles literally tear), and your body can be even stronger the next time you train.
While learning new skills can help you advance your martial arts practice, your brain actually requires a considerable amount of time to process and create memory of this new knowledge. A study by Harvard Medical School demonstrated that sleep has an enormous impact on learning and memory. According to the findings of their research, a full night’s sleep within 30 hours of training is necessary for improved performance. While rest and regimented sleep are easy to forego, it is important to remember that rest will impact and aid in your long-term progress and physical achievement.
Getting into a suitable routine, in which you practice consistently and rest appropriately is a surefire way to not only improve your martial arts performance, but also optimize and reinforce the knowledge and skills you obtain. In addition to practicing your skills and getting rest, be sure to incorporate proper nutrition in your diet, so your body has the energy for training. The more you optimize your routine, the more successful you’re going to become in your training.