Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Returning to Martial Arts Training After A Break

A few months ago, I wrote a post called Managing A Break in Your Martial Arts Training. I was facing a busy work schedule and I made the decision to put my gym membership on hold. I called my Tai Chi instructor and told him that I was taking a break from class until December. It was a hard decision but one I knew I had to make. I struggled but I maintained my training/teaching schedule in Okinawa Kenpo.

I made a list and planned my break from Tai Chi class. Let's see how I did.

1. Keep in contact with your instructor and the other students. I had minimal contact with my instructor and classmates. I made a few phone calls and sent emails.

2. Stop by for a class...even if it is once a month. This would have been great but it didn't happen.

3. Practice on your own so you don't forget the material. Not often but I did practice the form occasionally.

4. Keep reading and studying. Absolutely!

5. Set a date for your return. Don't leave it open ended. Yes. I set a date for December 1st. I started going to the gym but did not make Tai Chi class due to my schedule.

6. Invite your training partners for an informal workout.

7. I invited my tai chi instructor to teach a guest session at our dojo. Yes. We tried several times to arrange for a visit but could not coordinate schedules. :(

How hard is it to walk back into class after a break in training? It is not hard at all! Last night, I walked back in Tai Chi class, briefly caught up with everyone and started training. It is that easy!

As an instructor, I know many students who take a break never return. I have heard many excuses...I don't remember anything, I am behind the class, family members/friends are ahead of me now, I missed a testing or I'll never catch up. The list could go on and on. The longer the break...the harder people find it to return.

So, if you took a break and want to return to martial arts training...Do it!


Charles Indelicato said...

I've done items 1,3,4 regularly. My sons continue their training, so I am in contact with my instructor and collegues weekly.

I've set a date (#5) a few times, but it keeps moving to the right.

But I intend to return one day!

Michele said...

Charles: Good for you!

My date changed too. I am not sure if I will be able to make class every week but I will try.

There is a student in our dojo who is taking a break due to school obligations. I have no doubt she will return. She simply cannot train right now.

Thank you for commenting.

Rick said...

Well done.

Michele said...

Thanks Rick!

T. said...

Excellent post. A lot of the battle is just showing up. My karate school has an "open invitation" at all times--we make it obvious that if you leave for academic or personal reasons, you're always welcome to just stop by. It helps that the dojo fees are wicked low, though.

Erin said...

Well you did acomplish most of the list good job :D

Michele said...

Thanks T! We have an open invitation at our dojo too. It is always a nice surprise when students who are on a break stop in for a training visit.

Hi Erin: Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting.

Saundra Tosh said...

Number 3 is really important. Once in awhile, you should practice the moves you have learned to keep your body in condition. That way, you would not find it hard to adjust when you decide to rejoin your martial arts classes. Our body is like an engine. It should keep on moving so that it can keep its good form all the time.

Diana Guess said...
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