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. Unfortunately...no.
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!