Budo is a huge part of my life. In a philosophical sense, it influences nearly everything I do. I engage in physical practice a lot! At one point I was practicing 2 hours a night, 4 nights a week. Then the occasional Saturday workshop or weekend seminar on top of those other 8 hours. It’s my passion.
Then in the non-practice hours, I do spend a good bit of time trying to grow my dojo, but I also do relax a good bit. If I had a place to set up my drums, I’d play pretty often.
I used to think about starting up a small band and playing locally (sometimes I still get asked to play), but given the amount of time to give to that on top of a full time job and taijutsu practice, I would have to sacrifice something to play at the level I would expect of myself. I’m not in a position to quit my job, and I’m not willing to sacrifice that much taijutsu practice time.
I think it’s important to figure that out for yourself. What is your bliss?
Do. Or do not. There is no try. – Master Yoda
In his book, “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell presents an idea that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill/art. After over 20 years of budo, I intelligently guesstimate that I’ve put in almost 5,000 hours of practice. With that much time devoted to only one thing and only halfway to mastery, how could I expect to master more than 1-2 things? 3 at the max.
Of course, it’s important to be consistent. Balance practice and rest. If you try to cram your 10,000 hours into 5 years, you’ll probably burn out quick and actually end up gaining nothing or possibly even getting worse at your chosen skill.
Rest is a part of training. – Nagato-Shihan
I’ve known so many people that wanted to be a poet and a musician and a chef and a martial artist and an architect and a gardener and a painter and a mechanic and a pilot and a yogi and a web designer and a…
At best, they end up being mediocre at each of those. They thin themselves out. In terms of martial arts, many even make it to black belt only to quit shortly after.
Find one or two things you’re passionate about and commit to those. I guarantee that mastery and happiness will come out of it!
Have you had or currently have commitment issues? What is your passion (martial arts I hope 😉 )? How do you balance practice, rest, and consistency? Please post in comments below.