The Secret

I’ve been reading to understand more about the learning process.

From this I can surmise that the secret to mastering anything is simply Practice + Optimized Method + Commitment to Improve = Skill.

Let’s take the first ingredient – Practice. My Tai Chi teacher said that my daily objective should be just to practice. My Kali teacher said that all students must try to hit the first 10,000 repetitions in order to get the muscle memory.

I am sure most of us know this. But how many of us really put in the practice? Its one thing to know it and another to do it.

And I’m not talking about the occasional practice but the persistent practice, daily if possible. And not for five minutes but for hours. How many are willing to put in the time?

So that’s your first hurdle. I recently asked the SKD class to do a simple one week challenge. The objective is to practice a short 4-movement sequence using the hand. It can be done standing up, sitting down even lying down. To make things simpler we will just practice for an hour for only the weaker hand which for most people would be the left hand.

So how many attempted the practice?

One person.

How many managed to put in one hour practice for seven days?

No one.

What is the conclusion here? This is easy – in not trying out for one week one will never know and ten years will easily pass by. You will one day look back and wonder why you never managed to master it.

All it will take is an investment of time for one week. Seven hours is less than a full work day of eight hours. And for that you will end up wasting ten years of time that once gone will never come back.

If you ever have a new student and you want to test his commitment just teach him a simple exercise, ask him to do it for a week and come back to show you the result of his practice before you are willing to admit him as a student. This is a simple way to filter out those students who say they are serious and those who really are serious.

If you still want to take in those who just claim to be serious at least you know you don’t have to spend too much time trying to correct them. No sense wasting your precious time. Instead, focus on those who really want it.

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