Malcolm Gladwell concluded through his research that it takes 10,000 hours of training to master a skill. The reason 10,000 is such a magic number is because it illustrates just how much goes into mastering a skill.
How many hours have you trained total? Probably not as much as you think. A rough estimation of my time training in martial arts is around 2,600 hours (includes regular class time, testings, tournaments, training on my own, and workshops/seminars).
How many kicks have you thrown? Again, it’s probably less than you’d think.
Now to let you in on the little secret of the magic 10,000 rule…
10,000 hours without __________ is a complete waste of time.
10,000 kicks without __________ is a monumental waste of energy.
So what’s the secret?
It goes beyond flexibility, power, or proper technique.
Without it, nothing else is possible.
Do you know what it is? Go on and guess… I’ll wait…
If you’re coming out of class without a drop of sweat, then you’re not putting forth effort. Without true effort – that level of exertion that leaves you hunched over and gasping for breath – you won’t grow. You won’t get better. You won’t be stronger.
If you don’t put in the effort then don’t complain about the results.
“But it’s hard.”
Nothing worth attaining in life is ever easy. It requires work and time. It demands your blood, sweat, and tears. If you’re not willing to fulfill those requirements, then you do not deserve the rewards.
Effort isn’t popular. It’s old school. We want our cake and we want to eat it too. We want hacks to get there faster. We complain because it takes so long. We think sweat equity can be supplanted with tricks and secret training techniques.
You can plan and tweak your training regimen to get the greatest results. You can use the tricks and hacks to get a head start. But at the end of the day, this one rule still reigns supreme…
Effort can’t be replaced.
Put on your belt and take a good look in the mirror. What do you see? Do you see someone who’s earned that belt?
Or do you see a fraud?
Did you just bide your time and pay your dues?
Do you just coast through class and hope no one notices? Well guess what…
It doesn’t matter who notices.
Even if no one notices, you’re still missing the point of training. You come to class to get better. If you’re not trying to get better, then why are you there?
You’re wasting your time.
You’re wasting the instructor’s time.
You’re wasting your fellow students’ time.
Are you a time waster?
If so… it’s time to make a decision…
“We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then is not an act but a habit.” -Aristotle