Goals inform training

It is important to have measurable goals in our training. One very useful goal for martial artists to achieve is to hold the Horse Riding stance with correct form and a relaxed mind for five minutes. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

The two pillars of kung fu are force and combat application. A useful goal for martial artists to reach in developing force is to hold the Horse Riding stance, with correct form and completely relaxed, for five minutes. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

Blind and haphazard training will get you no where. You have to know exactly what you want, why you want it, how you will get it, and when you plan to arrive at your goal so that you can be as time- and cost-effective as possible. Most of us aren’t exactly immortal; why not do the best we can to get what we want?

Here’s a post from 2013 April I wrote on the G+ Martial Artist forums:

I’ve lately been chatting at the cafe with a personal trainer and nutritionist about our training regimens and our goals. Her goals are to trim her physique and endurance (as a personal trainer and future nutritionist, her body is a “living advertisement” to future clients as a testament to her skill) whereas my goals include improving my striking power and agility, as well as my ability to use kung fu patterns in sparring and combat. She runs and practices with weights very often, while I practice typical kung fu force training like stances, circle walking, and practicing my combat applications to smooth out my imperfections. I’ll admit, she is by far the better looking of us, but I think I am the better fighter and have far simpler training requirements.

Combat application is at the heart of all martial arts. And yes, that's me getting tapped on the face by my grandmaster whilst learning Baguazhang. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Combat application is at the heart of all martial arts. And yes, that’s me getting tapped on the face by my grandmaster whilst learning Baguazhang. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

What about you guys? What are your goals, either for martial arts or life in general? Do you incorporate things from outside of your “martial arts exercises” for your training goals? Have you run across exercises that you really feel complement things inside of your martial arts training? What about exercises that you feel contrast with your martial arts goals?

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