Practicing and learning Martial Art can be a lot of fun. When your goal is mastering Wing Chun, however, your practice time should be spent on the most important parts while covering all aspects of fighting.
In this modern age, where most of us have work or school, it is often hard to find a lot of time for practice. We can no longer afford to dedicate your entire day to martial art practice, after all we all have bills to pay. That is why you need to maximize your practice time and spend it on the most important part. You should also cover all important aspects of fighting in your practice.
Different schools have different interpretation of what is more important to practice so we’ll just provide the guidelines to creating the most efficient Daily To-Practice List.
Here are basic steps to creating your Daily To-Practice List and routine:
1. Define Your Goal
Becoming the best martial artist in the whole wide world, practicing martial art for self defense, and practicing martial art just for fun should have different practice routines. This allows you decide how much time you want to spend on practice. After all, time is the most precious resource we have.
Write down your goals. Have an idea of where you’re heading and where you want to be.
2. Have Measurable Practice Routines
For example, your all around practice routine for today might be:
- 3 x Siu Lim Tao
- 3 x Chum Kiu
- 3 x Biu Jee
- 100 x Front Kicks
- 100 x Side Kicks
- 250 x Cho Ma (turning)
- 250 x Sern Ma (stepping) and punch
- 45 min Chi Sao (sticky hands)
- 15 min Dan Chi (one hand Chi Sao)
- 15 min Take Down Defense Drills
When you have a list like this it allows you to track your progress. You’ll be able to see exactly how hard you have practiced and decide whether you should take it a bit easy or increase your workload. Without tracking any progress, it is hard to know how much you’ve improved or how much more work you should put in to get where you want. Keeping track of progress also serves as a reminder of how awesome you are! It is important to gain momentum and maintain it to be able to master Wing Chun. Keeping track and recognizing your achievement builds confidence and gives you momentum to practice daily.
Most importantly, this gets rid of down time! Have you ever wandered around your kwoon practicing random stuff? (we’re guilty of that too) But having a list like this allows you to know exactly what to practice and how to practice. Like a to-do list, you just knock one item out after the other. This will save you so much time and make your practice much more efficient.
What do you do if it’s something hard to measure like Chi Sao or sparring? Measure the time! For these kinds of practices, you should be focused and put in your best effort each time to make sure that 30 minutes of Chi Sao means just that, not 30 minutes of sluggish patty cake.
3. Decide Where To Spend Your Time
This is the key to maximize your training. Once you’ve figured out how much time you are willing to spend, you should also know where to spend your time.
Where should you spend your time? It depends on different schools and its interpretation on practice and what not. A good way to know where to spend your time is to look at your weaknesses. Spend more time on your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. The other way is to focus on the core of Wing Chun. Each day you should be practicing your horse (Cho Ma and Sern Ma), your forms, basic drills, conditioning, kicks, Chi Sao and Lat Sao, and bridging. The other stuff should be secondary in your practice. At our school, we place special emphasis on your horse, forms, and drills early on because each movement is built on it. For advanced levels, we place our focus more on Chi Sao, Lat Sao, sparring, kicking, and bridging.
Lastly, it is important to maximize your time spent at your school during training sessions. Practice things that you can do alone at home and practice with partners when you get the chance. This allows you to maximize partner training time.
Read more about getting the most out of practice.
4. Make Practice Fun
To become good, you must practice regularly. But, don’t let practice become like a chore to you. Many people get so focused on becoming better, and they lose sight of why they practice martial arts in the first place. We’re not saying coming up with a routine and making practice a habit is not important. We’re saying that your practices should bring some sort of joy or the feeling of achievement to you. In the end, if it’s not fun or enjoyable, you won’t continue to do it.
So what can you do? Switch it up a little. You can practice the basics with a lot of variations while still making sure you are practicing the basics. You can also practice with more partners. Having one or no training partner can make practice seem like a chore or a task. Whatever you do, don’t let practice become a pain, make it something you look forward to everyday.
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