When To Take Risks In Your Training

Image by The U.S. Army

Training is risky business. Any physical activity comes with some amount of risk for physical injury. Sparring even more so. No matter how careful we are training with our firearms, even dry-fire comes with some inherent risk – we must always be careful. Simply setting foot on the range has its own risks that we cannot control.

Despite these risks we still continue to train. We weigh these risks against some sort of benefit and decide to train anyway. Some risks are too great and we avoid them. Where should YOU draw that line?

The amount of risk you should take in your training needs to be balanced against the risks you encounter on a day to day basis. The average person who carries a pistol for self-defense will encounter far less risk in his daily life than a switched on high-speed low drag operator who seeks out trouble.

I have heard a story or two originating in the special operations community where operators would not call a cold range while shooters went down range to change targets. You could walk down your lane to have another shooter shooting at targets to either side of you. Is this too risky? Given the environment these operators work in, probably not.

Their jobs require that they be put in situations where they may need to make a shot that close to a fellow operator. They are put in these situations to preserve our freedom when they carry out missions overseas. Operators train so that they are proficient enough to be comfortable and capable in these situations. For them, the risk of being downrange while a buddy keeps firing is nothing compared to the risk they encounter in the field.

But would the average self-defense shooter want to be down range while others are shooting? Probably not. The risks involved would far outweigh any benefit of practice you might get while trying not to splatter your friend’s brain matter all over his target. This would not be a skill you are likely to need to survive everyday life, so why take the risk?

Operators take these risks because the cost of not taking them is less confidence and poor performance in the life threatening situations they willingly enter every day. For a civilian shooter who is training to defend themselves, we are not mitigating any risk in our daily lives by taking these kinds of risks.

On the other hand, we take risks just by going to the range. Splash back from steel targets, explosive firearm malfunctions, and the riffraff on the next lane over all make going to the range risky. We still do it (and should do it) because not practicing means we will be incapable of acting when we need to.

The same goes for physical training in general. We can pull muscles, tear tendons, and break bones in hard training if we are not careful (and sometimes even if we are). Not risking those injuries puts us in a weak position when we need those skills to be there.

Ultimately the amount of risk you assume will depend on the amount of risk you encounter in real life. If your profession takes you into harms way, I fully expect you to take on more risk to reduce the impact that real life hazards might have on you. When the training has significantly higher risk of injury or death than the threats you prepare for, you might need to reconsider your training.

How much risk do you take in your training? Post a comment and share!

What’s More Important – Speed or Reliability?

Waving my arms around like wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men doesn’t tend to get the job done. (Image by elvissa)

Speed is king. No matter what defensive system you study, they all converge on several points. One of these points of convergence is speed. 

In shooting this is a matter of how quickly can I draw, reload, or get follow up shots. In other martial arts, the speed of a punch, kick, or your footwork in general is constantly improving. Speed will always be a constant goal in your training.

Reliability is often forgotten, but always there. Reliability doesn’t just refer to how reliable your pistol is, but can also refer to how reliable YOU are. When I think of reliability, two other concepts come to mind: consistency and effectiveness. Can you consistently perform the motions you want to? Can you effectively get the job done with the technique at hand? Reliability may not be in the foreground of your training, but you should strive to make it so.

 Unfortunately, it is easy for speed and reliability to be at odds with each other when training.

 Going Too Fast

The saying: “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast” is often heard in many circles. This principle boils down to not going so fast that you make mistakes. For example if I am attempting to draw a pistol too quickly and don’t get a proper grip, I may get it out quicker, but I do so with the cost of making more than one shot difficult. An even more obvious example is in reloading. If you rush and fumble to get the magazine into your pistol, you are probably going to waste a lot more time than if you smoothly insert it the first time.

 Fast Won’t Always Work

Sometimes the fastest way of doing things won’t always work. Assumptions about the state of something can often slow you down in the long run. With my pistol, magazines don’t always drop free. I prefer to make stripping the magazine from my pistol a part of my reloading habit to mitigate this. To practice without manual stripping and always assume the magazine will drop free might be faster when this works. But for those times when it doesn’t drop free, this assumption creates more of a headache than it saves.

 Fast Is Not Always Effective

In the martial arts, speed is often what makes a technique effective. Throwing an effective punch, for example, is rooted in a quick transfer of energy (not tensing the shoulders). On the other hand, going fast isn’t always the most effective way to do something. Some strikes can be done too quickly. These strikes can look very flashy, but at the same time have no oomph behind them. Waving my arms around like wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men doesn’t tend to get the job done.

Whatever you are training or training for, you need to consider reliability. Never train something to be so fast that you cannot be effective, consistent, or reliable in your execution. Most actions will get faster through practice, but avoid going too fast too soon. Perfect practice makes perfect, and going too fast is far from perfect.

 How do you balance speed and reliability in your training? Post a comment and let us know.

When Is the Toolbox Too Big?

Image by booleansplit

It is common in the training world to hear people refer to adding tools to their toolbox. This metaphorical toolbox contains all the techniques (and their variations) that you have acquired and carry with you in your daily life. Your toolbox may contain tools for your shooting, clinch work, knife fighting, stand up, you name it. People have bought into this toolbox metaphor so much that they brag about how big their toolbox is.

My question, however, is when is this toolbox too big? I like to have plenty of tools in my shed, garage, or workshop, but do I really need to carry around every tool I have ever owned?

Training is merely a matter of repetition. The more practice you get at a particular skill, the sharper that skill is. Continuing the toolbox metaphor, this means that whether we have one tool or two-hundred tools, we need to keep them all sharp if we intend to use them. The problem here is that in the modern age, time seems to be at a premium. Unlike your workshop tools, you can’t pay someone else to sharpen your skills for you.

The larger your toolbox, the heavier it is. It is hard work to carry around all those tools when you might only need a few. Every variation of a tool we carry adds weight to the tool box. How many different size Phillips head screwdrivers can you really use? Keeping only the tools needed to get the job done makes finding one in a hurry a lot simpler. If you need a screwdriver, how do you decide which of your Phillips head screwdrivers to use? It will almost always be the first one you get your hands on.

Violent confrontations are high pressure and high speed events. You don’t have time to select a variation of a skill – you need to know what you need and have it be instinctual. Like the screwdrivers, the more variations of a skill you have, the harder it is to recall and employ the correct one under pressure. You are more likely to simply employ the variation you are most familiar with, whether that is the variation you would consciously choose for the task or not. You will naturally default to what you have trained the most. If you train multiple ways of performing a skill, you risk either not having a clear default, or wasting your time training skills you cannot recall under pressure.

Hopefully we’re now in agreement that the size of the toolbox needs to be managed. If we are to shrink the toolbox how do we decide what to keep and what to leave at home?

Maximize coverage while minimizing overlap

We need the broadest set of skills that will cover every task we may need to perform while decreasing the overall size of the toolbox. When talking about actual tools, this can often mean finding tools that can perform multiple tasks. I don’t need to be fluent in twenty different methods of reloading a pistol. I don’t need to master every grappling system that exists, and I don’t need to be able to throw fifteen different punches.

Instead you should focus your efforts on keeping what works the best. When you find a better hammer than the one you currently own and use, replace your hammer. Save it somewhere, but only carry with you the best tools you have access to. Constantly train and refine, but rather than try to keep every tool sharp, pick the ones you really plan on using, and store the other ones. You should always be trying to find the best combination of tools for you.

“Hold That Thought, I Need to Warm Up”

In pretty much every athletic endeavor, the participants use some sort of warmup activity prior to participating. This warmup has two primary purposes. The first is to loosen up and ready the body to maximize performance and prevent injury. Second, the warmup allows the body to start getting into the groove that is used for that activity, helping to recall the body mechanics employed.

In martial arts warmups are often employed, and for good reason. Throwing a high kick completely cold is a great way to cause some major muscle and tendon tears. Injury can slow down even the most well-coordinated training plan. Mitigating the risk of injury through warmup is a good way to keep ourselves training.

Shooters often warm up before testing themselves too. By shooting or dry-firing prior to testing yourself, you generally improve your performance.

How could warming up be bad?

On the street you don’t get a warmup.

The problem with warmups is that you don’t always get one. Real life is unpredictable, and you cannot choose when you might get attacked. Similarly, you cannot stop your attacker and ask them to hold on a second so you can warm up. This might be a good defensive strategy if you think your attacker might die from laughter.

How can we address this in our training?

Training flexibility should be high on your priority list. The better your flexibility is, the less likely you are to get a pull while you are fighting sans warmup. If you are training for the purposes of self-defense, you need to know what your limitations are likely to be when you aren’t warmed up. Some part of your training should include training within those restrictions, even while warmed up. An example of this is by removing high kicks. High kicks are impractical on the street anyway, but even more so if you won’t get a chance to stretch before you get attacked.

When you are working on your shooting, test yourself ‘cold’ by simply starting without any dry-fire or warmup. Once you measure your baseline, you can now begin your normal practice. If done properly, your “cold start” might even give you ideas as to what you need to work on during your practice session.

Ultimately, when the adrenaline starts pumping, you’ll overcome most of these issues even if you don’t train specifically to mitigate them. I would still recommend stepping back and evaluating your training within the context of fighting without a warmup. Make adjustments so you are prepared for the fight that occurs outside the ring.

How Many Classes Is Too Many?

Last week tgace posted his thoughts about a phenomenon he sees in firearms training. He believes that some civilian shooters are spending too much time getting training. Part of his argument is that the payoff for classes after the first few greatly diminishes. He also argues that individuals should invest more of their time and funds taking classes on other skills, say tactical driving or first aid for example.

I can agree with his arguments to a point. There certainly is a huge need to diversify your skill set. I would agree that before you take your third or fourth shooting class, you should probably try and invest in some training for defensive tactics, knife work, first-aid, driving, or any number of other skills that end up taking the back seat.

I would also agree that the gain from each class can be less than the one before it. If you want the most bang for your buck, you would always be investing in skills you have little or no knowledge of.

I do think he missed several points, however, when it comes to training. Most obviously, different instructors bring different things to the table. Training with different instructors gives us an opportunity to see similar material from different viewpoints, helping us choose what works best for us. I would also like to point out three important reasons why any civilian shooter (or professional for that matter) should regularly take classes on subjects already known and understood.

State of the art

When compared to traditional martial arts systems, the practice of tactical shooting is still in its infancy. New techniques are being developed and refined at a very rapid rate. Any serious shooter should probably take a shooting class every few years to keep abreast of these changes and keep on top of their game.

For the longest time, an overhand manipulation of the slide with the weak hand was the only correct way to handle an emergency reload. More recently many top tier instructors are starting to advocate the use of the slide stop instead in an effort to increase the speed at which the pistol can be reloaded. While this might not be the best change for you, being exposed to it in a class setting is a good way to evaluate these kinds of developments objectively under the watchful eye of an expert.

Testing Ourselves

Pressure testing is an important part of our training. Some classes give us a chance to test what we have been practicing and validate our training techniques. Some would say that competition would be a better way to test our skills, but that can’t always be the best way to test. Some skill sets are not easily testable in a competition setting.

The best example I can give here is Southnarc’s ECQC class, which I have taken twice now. ECQC is an extreme close quarters combat class, focusing on a variety of skills ranging from verbal skills to grappling with guns, and even grappling with guns inside a vehicle (vehicular brazilian jiu-jitsu). No competition I know of will put you inside a vehicle with a Sims gun fighting against someone else with a Sims gun. Sure you can test the components – I could compete in IDPA and MMA and test the pieces – but sometimes testing everything together in a cooperative environment is best.

Get out of the bubble

Most civilians train individually. We may have training partners or even a small group of peers that we train with, but we don’t go to a regular weekly class like we might do to train in something like karate. This means that we as individuals are cut off from regular oversight by an experienced instructor. As a result our training will eventually deviate from what we are taught. Sometimes this can be good, but other times it can cause us to get sloppy.

It is possible to mitigate this by using video or by having a good training partner, but sometimes the watchful eye of an instructor is necessary. If for no other reason, I would argue that regularly having our skills evaluated and corrected by an experienced instructor is worth the cost of attending the occasional class.

So how many is too many?

It should be pretty obvious by now that I’m a strong proponent of regular training with instructors, whoever you are. But how often is enough, and when have we crossed the line into stroking our egos and over-training one skill?

I think this will depend on your goals and resources. If you can afford it, taking a yearly course in every subject you want to be capable in is a great goal. Of course most of us cannot afford that, so we need to find a slightly more attainable goal. I would say if you’ve attended more than two classes in a subject (say combative gun handling and tactics geared toward the pistol) without having taken any training on peripheral matters (say driving, first aid, or unarmed defensive tactics) you are probably getting too deep.

A reasonable goal might be to take one shooting class and one class from these other subject areas every year. Rotate your secondary class every year, but continue to seek instruction on the one topic that really excites you year after year. This should strike a good balance in your training.

How many classes have you taken on one subject? Post a comment and let us know your opinion!

Beginning Training Series: Putting It All Together

This will be the final post to wrap up my series on beginning training.

 Training for what could be a life or death situation requires training in many different areas. Fitness, shooting, and combatives are all pieces of the puzzle. Mastery in any one area does not ensure your survival because there are no rules in real life. You may be the best shooter in the world, but it won’t save you when someone clubs you from behind.

 Just as mastery in any one area doesn’t guarantee survival, neither does mastery in all areas. Life is unpredictable- all we really can do is give ourselves the best chance possible of survival. Part of this is learning to put all the skills together.

 Mixing colors

 The core of your training boils down to the primary skills like your shooting, grappling, and knife work for example. These primary colors need to be blended. You may find yourself needing to employ a firearm while grappling, or utilize a knife in order to protect a firearm. Finding instruction and experimenting with methods to combine all the pieces of your training is the key to maximizing your chances of survival. Don’t leave this to chance, learn how to integrate your training.

Going above and beyond

Eventually you will find your core competency will reach the point where you feel confident in your ability to protect yourself. This is an indication that you need to find a way to further challenge yourself. You can always find a class or instructor who can make you feel very weak and defenseless. Never cease in your mission to improve.

Find the edge cases of your training. You should always be pushing the envelope and finding the weak areas. For example, how do your skills apply when placed in a different environment, like a vehicle? Do your tactics still work if you are injured?

Training isn’t a one time thing, nor a short term endeavor. You must commit yourself to it, or failing that, hire a body guard. Remember, never cease in your practice. Always seek to grow your skills, and train like tomorrow might be your last day. Hopefully it won’t be.

Beginning Training Series: Getting Started With Weapons

Today I will be discussing training with weapons as part of my series on beginning training.

The defining factor for most self-defense situations is that they are unequal initiative, disproportionate armament type events. You are likely to be surprised by your attackers and/or they will be more heavily armed than you. You can mitigate the initiative problem by learning to be more aware and avoiding dangerous situations. We can also mitigate the problem of being outgunned by studying the use of various weapon systems and adding them to the kit we carry with us every day.

There are four main categories of weapons you might consider for self-defense: firearms, edged weapons, blunt weapons, and non-lethal weapons.

Before you read on, remember that it is your own responsibility to know the local laws and regulations pertaining to any weapon you might want to carry.

Firearms

If you want to maximize your ability to defend yourself across all situations, you should strongly consider adding firearms to your training regimen. Firearms are tools that extend your reach and allow you to solve problems in ways your empty hands or other weapons just don’t allow. They are the eternal equalizer that can shrink physical gaps between you and your adversaries.

Training with firearms is not something that should be taken lightly. While they can be very powerful tools, they can also be very dangerous. In the hands of an untrained individual, firearms often have disastrous consequences for oneself or loved ones. I would recommend seeking out instruction if you are a beginner, rather than diving in blind. Find an instructor at a local club or range, or an experienced friend who can show you the ropes. Learn the basic safety rules and how to handle a firearm safely.

I would strongly recommend learning with a .22 first. This allows you to learn safety and proper operation with minimal recoil so you develop good habits. Personally I spent about a year shooting nothing but a .22 pistol before moving up in caliber. I attribute most of my trigger control and marksmanship ability to not jumping the gun (no pun intended) on stepping up to the next caliber. Habits are harder to break than they are to make, so start yourself off by creating good habits that you won’t need to break later.

Once you have complete control of the basics, you can move on to learning how to properly draw the firearm and employ it in defensive situations. You owe it to yourself to seek out a good instructor, whether local or not, to help you master these skills.

Keep in mind that the only responsible way to carry a firearm is to make the time to properly train yourself in its use. Put in the time at the range, but don’t forget that dry fire is an excellent way to improve your skills for a small fraction of the cost. Also remember that you should always be prepared (both mentally and physically) to use any weapon you choose to carry.

Edged Weapons

Edged weapons are a category that includes primarily various types of knives. Edged weapons can often be easier to legally carry in some localities, and are usually far easier to conceal. Training with knives is often overlooked. Many of us carry knives and haven’t sought out much instruction in their use. I am guilty of this myself, having limited training with them. You should try to find some instruction, or at a minimum find a good book or DVD on the matter.

Blunt Weapons

Another category of defensive weapons is blunt weapons or impact weapons. These include everything from batons and expandable batons to kubotans, black jacks, etc. You must not take for granted that you can posses or carry these weapons, so make sure you are familiar with your local law.

As with knives and guns, you should make sure you make an effort to learn the proper use of these weapons if you intend to carry one. Most common are things like kubotans or defensive styluses which can easily be carried on a key chain. It should be easy to find an instructor who will teach the effective use of such a weapon – you should seek one out and attend a seminar or class if you carry one.

Non-lethal

This catch all category includes a variety of self-defense weapons that are intended to be non-lethal options. Tasers, stun guns, and pepper spray are all marketed as great self-defense weapons with minimal risk of killing your attacker. They are often marketed as not requiring much if any training, but if you rely on them you should still find instruction. No tool is a perfect solution, you should train with anything you intend to use to protect your life. Again you need to worry about local laws because, surprisingly enough, these non-lethal options can be illegal in many places. I grew up in Massachusetts, and pepper spray requires a license to carry in that state!

Also note that something like pepper spray can be a great tool to add to your repertoire even if you carry other weapons. It is always a good idea to have options, and a non-lethal option might allow you to avoid immediately escalating to guns or knives in some situations.

These are all various options you have when considering adding weapons to your defensive repertoire. If you are just starting your foray into self-defense, or if you are ready to take it to the next level, you should seek out instruction in various weapons systems. Even for those of us with substantial martial arts training, empty hands are not perfect weapons. Augment yourself with weapons and proper training, and you increase your likelihood of survival.

What weapons have you trained with, and how do you include them in your daily carry? Let us know by posting a comment!

Train Like You Fight, Fight Like You Train

“Train Like You Fight, Fight Like You Train.” We’ve all heard this well-known slogan, and some of us even claim to live by it. What does it really mean, and how can we apply it to our training?

Fight Like You Train:

When push comes to shove, your training is what you fall back on in the real world. All of the great daydreams you’ve had about how you will deal with a given situation will remain just that – day dreams. When tested under pressure, your body will invariably return to what it knows the best. This simple fact indicates that if we end up in a violent confrontation, a fight in a tournament, or even an action pistol match, we will react exactly as we have trained. This can be good, or it can be bad.Avoid reinforcing bad habits because whatever you have practiced the most will be how you react when the pressure is turned up.

Train Like You Fight:

Because we have determined that we will react how we have trained, we need to take every precaution to make sure that the reaction that occurs in the real world is the one that we want to occur.

In the realm of shooting there are some very specific examples of “training like you fight.” With a pistol, when performing an emergency reload I do not want the habit of retaining my magazines. As a result I make sure to drop them. With a revolver, most shooters empty the cylinder onto the bench instead of dropping the shells. A bad habit in real life. Things like press-checking can also be bad habits if done in the “heat of battle.” Avoid ingraining these habits, even if it means inconveniencing yourself at the range to do so. Try to do everything the way you would in a fight, every time.

In the martial arts the same principle applies. The habit of dropping one’s guard or taking an extra step before kicking can be great ways to open yourself up for punishment against an experienced adversary. When fatigued we often revert to these habits because it is simply easier to do for most people. Incorrect repetitions like this ultimately make your unfatigued response the same.

 

The only way to verify that you are not building bad habits is to pressure test your training, find your weaknesses, and correct them. Don’t let convenience drive your training. The first part of the statement, “Fight like you train,” is an immutable truth. This is how the world works, and you cannot change it. “Train like you fight” is a recommendation, always train the way you want to fight, otherwise those bad habits will show up when you least want them.

What bad habits have you ingrained in training, and how have they cost you?

6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Looking For a Dojo

On Friday last week Caleb Giddings made an astute observation that even Krav Maga is heading the way of the McDojo. I would have to agree. No longer can you rely on the name of the system to indicate its validity. Unfortunately a lot of people are trying to make a living off this stuff, ultimately leading to a lowering of standards.

What’s worse is most people do not know what to look for when they are trying to find a school or instructor. It is often the flashy and unrealistic garbage that uninformed people are drawn to. Compounding the problem is the fact that there are more of these “McDojos” out there than there are good ones. So how do you actually go about finding a good instructor or school?

There are a number of factors that come in to play. Even a good school can be plagued by some of the bad traits. Choosing a dojo is a subjective decision… and I would definitely recommend looking around at multiple dojos before settling on one. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself when investigating a dojo.

Does the instructor have a day job?

Most of the great instructors I have come across in life have a day job. Their art is a passion that encompasses much of their spare time, but they do not teach for a living. When teaching for a living, it is not uncommon to lower standards in order to keep students in the dojo. Students are money, and when your income comes entirely from your class enrollment, you will do what you need to in order to keep the business going.

Very few instructors can manage to teach for a living. Most of those who do it successfully without compromising their standards live and teach in a very densely populated area and happen to have very little competition.

How often are people promoted?

In order to pay the bills, most instructors in McDojos will promote people often and for a pricey testing fee. The more ranks in the syllabus, the more money they can collect from you over time. Watch out for these fees and speedy promotion, they usually indicate that the dojo exists to make someone a living.

Do the students sweat in class?

Sweat is not bad, and does not indicate that you are looking at a pure fitness class.

Fighting is a physical activity!

When you watch a class, if the students aren’t breaking a sweat, it is time to move on. I have trained with some excellent instructors who love to talk (and their students love to listen), but with every single one of them I have broken a solid sweat. If you can spend a whole class standing around you are in the wrong place.

How long are the classes?

Dojos that exist purely to extract money from their customers often have very short classes. No matter how you slice it, 45 minutes is too short for an adult martial arts class. Look for at least one hour, but 1.5 – 2 hours is better. Does the instructor try to pack many short sessions into the schedule in order to get more people through the door? This is a sure sign that you should look elsewhere.

How much does it cost?

Even the best dojos shouldn’t charge you an arm and a leg. Prices tend to be higher in the city than the rural areas as costs are higher, but if you’re being charged 200 dollars a month, odds are you need to look somewhere else. Commercial schools often charge a lot in order to pay the bills and support an instructor who doesn’t have a day job.

Do they offer specials for an accelerated black belt program?

No one should guarantee you a black belt in any amount of time… ever. The coveted black belt is somthing that is earned, not bought. While putting your time in is a big part of it, no instructor with any sense of decency will promote someone to blackbelt just for paying their dues. If you find a school with these practices you need to keep looking.

 

Many of these things should be obvious, but I have seen many people completely miss these signs of a poor school. Shop around, do your research, and watch or take a class or two before you commit to anything. This is by no means a comprehensive list of what to avoid when looking for a good dojo. Do yourself the due diligence before selecting an instructor and throwing your money away.

What would you add to this list? Post a comment and tell us!

Your Opponent Is Training Harder Than You

Need some motivation to go hit the gym, the mat, or the range? Well here it is: your opponent is training harder than you! This might not always be the case, but there is at least a slight chance that this is true. Do you really want to leave something like your life to chance?

Somewhere out there someone is better prepared than you are. They may just be stronger or faster, but they might even have a better developed skill set. These advantages your adversary has on you could be the difference between you that causes you to lose, or worse – die.

When you go train today, this week, or anytime for that matter, tell yourself:

My opponent is training harder than I am.

Fix it. Push yourself for one more rep on an exercise. Ultimately in most endeavors you need to push yourself harder. No one else can make you put in the effort that you need. Determine what your limit is, and try and push that limit every time you train. If you can’t raise the bar you most likely aren’t trying hard enough. All true gains come from within.

Making your training sessions more effective is just a piece of the puzzle. Not only is your opponent training harder than you, he is training more than you too.

My opponent is training more than I am.

Tell yourself that every morning. Use it as inspiration to find time to squeeze in another session each week. If you tell yourself that one hour of practice a week is enough then you are destined to fail. If you want to get good at something, you need to do it a lot. Train hard, but also train often. Get your lazy ass out of bed and do something.

Quantity doesn’t always beat quality, however. Your opponent is also probably training smarter than you are too.

My opponent is training smarter than I am.

Could it be true? Dedicate some amount of time each week to research training techniques, tactics and instructors. You need to go beyond just volume and continually try and improve how you train in order to maximize the results. Don’t get spastic about your training. Stick with what you are doing long enough to see results, or the absence of results. Without some consistency you cannot evaluate what is really working and what is a bunch of hype.

 

I hope I have inspired you not only to go train, but to go train harder, longer, and smarter than you are now. Don’t give up, and train like your life depends on it. Someday it might.

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