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Why Study Cramming Works And You Should Do It More Often

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#TrueTalkTuesdays 31

“A mind of moderate capacity which closely pursues one study must infallibly arrive at great proficiency in that study.”

Mary Shelley

There are two reasons why students sit down and cram as much knowledge into their heads as they can just before a test.

First, they didn’t pay attention throughout the semester and have to make up for lost time. Second, it works!

When I was in college, I was running my academy with my brother, traveling around the country competing, and taking a full course load in college studying electrical engineering. So time wasn’t a luxury I had.

So when tests came around, I crammed. Hard.

Depending on how far behind I was, the amount of time I spent varied. Some classes was just a couple of days, but I remember I had one class I spent a full 5 days on: Physics 2.

That course only had 3 tests. I aced the first one, and just did average on the second. Because of other obligations, and how terrible the professor was, I didn’t attend the classes for 3 months. It was like I just got my blue belt. 🙂

I approached college like I did competition – I wanted to be the best. So to get an A on the course, I needed to score a 95 or above.

So just before finals week, I spent about 8 hours a day in the library studying the course book. I read every single page and did every single homework problem.No exaggeration.

My friends thought I was nuts, but I was determined. When test time came, I admit the first 10 minutes I had brain fog and literally couldn’t figure anything out. But I calmed down and relaxed for a few minutes and the physics starting pouring out of me like Neo seeing the matrix.

I scored a 97 and aced the class!

This wasn’t a one off experience – I did this all throughout college and graduated Magna Cum Laude and had the highest GPA in my degree class.

“That’s a great humble brag David. What does this have to do with Martial Arts?”

LOL! Glad you asked.

The point of that story is to show that people can learn a lot in a short amount of time. I learned 5 months worth of Physics in 5 days. It wasn’t just chance – it was by working off a focused curriculum, during homework, and testing myself that I attained that knowledge.

But that approach doesn’t have to be reserved for procrastinators. Anybody can do it any time and get the same benefits.

You see where I am going with this?

In the martial arts, a seminar is like a hard core cramming session. You sit down for 3 hours and your coach infuses you with a massive amount of knowledge that can take months or years to learn on your own in just a few hours.

Personally, nearly every seminar I have attended has been a game changer. I have had the pleasure of attending seminars from Oleg TaktarovMatt HumeTito OrtizDean Lister, and Baret Yoshida. In each of those seminars, I learned a ton of knowledge that I use nearly every time I’m fighting.

Unfortunately, it is rare to have seminars like this on a regular basis. So you should take advantage of any seminar opportunities that come your way. It always baffles me when I host seminars with great instructors, and my whole school doesn’t show up. Ideally, I should have 500 people on the mats, but ending up with less than 10% of that is the reality.

The hard truth is that not everyone is a top student or aspires to be one. They study enough just to pass. It’s why blue belt is such a perilous rank to instructors – it is a small achievement that for someone with low ambitions will be enough to satisfy them. They don’t see themselves ever making it to black belt (a top student), so why bother continue training?

Don’t be that person.

If there are seminars nearby you, attend them. Paying $100 to attend a seminar is a small price to pay to gain a massive level jump in your game. Not only is that saving you a lot of time, but to gain prospective from someone with great experience is a big help. It is an exchange I have done many times without hesitation, going as far as traveling across the world to make that happen.


What do you think? Do you agree or disagree?

Comment with your take on this.


Want to join a seminar that you will be guaranteed to learn a ton of great techniques, concepts, and systems to take your game to the next level?

Join me in Las Vegas from August 13th to 19th!

We will be on the mats for over 19 hours, working off a focused curriculum, and filming the whole experience. Click below to learn more about it:

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