I get questions all the time from people asking what they should do to get to the next level of their training. Whether it is technical, cardio, diet, strength, or competition, people are looking for the next shiny object to take them there, and think I have a secret that will make all clear.
Usually, it is pretty straight forward, common sense answer that can make the person feel silly for asking. Or sometimes they think I am just being lazy in response.
But that is not my intention nor am I being lazy. 🙂
If you are a white belt, you most likely do not know enough to conquer the obstacles ahead of you. But purple belt and above usually have the answer, they just don’t know it.
An easy way to approach this is to ask yourself,
If you are having trouble with cardio, what aren’t you doing that others who are successful are?
If you are getting crushed from bottom half guard, what aren’t you doing that others are?
If you are having problems with diet, what aren’t you doing that people who are fit are?
These are easy questions to ask, and answers to these questions are either self-evident or not difficult to find thanks to the internet.
When my brother and I started, internet wasn’t really a good resource yet, especially for martial arts, so we had to ask ourselves these questions and do a process of trial and error to discover the answer. It took much longer, but ultimately we would find the answer.
So rather than just asking very open ended questions of people and getting broad or vague answers, think of them in this context of what you are not doing. It should narrow the possibilities down significantly, and if you are following a particular athlete or instructor, chances are you are aware of what they do, and can figure out what they are doing that you are not.
That difference would be a good starting point for making a change in your process to get different results. The key is that to get different results, you need to different things. So doing things you aren’t doing is a great way of changing things up.
I used to do my conditioning routines in this fashion, and ask myself what I didn’t want to do in training. That was usually something I considered hard or was bad at, which is another good indicator of something that I need to work on.
Comment with your take on this.