How important is pushing your limits in MA?

Buka

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Thought I'd start a thread similar to the "How important is contact sparring in MA?'

How important is it to push yourselves, or your students (not newbies) physically and mentally? I know some folks who have trained for a while, but never really sweated through their gi, never dragged their tired *** to their car to drive home, never woke up so sore they could hardly move (not from injury, just from hard work) and never struggled back to the dojo the next night to do it all over again.

Perhaps it's a kinder, gentler Martial Arts world now, I don't know. Any thoughts?
 

RTKDCMB

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Thought I'd start a thread similar to the "How important is contact sparring in MA?'

How important is it to push yourselves, or your students (not newbies) physically and mentally? I know some folks who have trained for a while, but never really sweated through their gi, never dragged their tired *** to their car to drive home, never woke up so sore they could hardly move (not from injury, just from hard work) and never struggled back to the dojo the next night to do it all over again.

Perhaps it's a kinder, gentler Martial Arts world now, I don't know. Any thoughts?

You can't increase your limits if you never push them.
 

Blindside

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I don't think you can grow without testing those personal limits, so yes I try to challenge my students. Though I admit that I don't have fitness as one of my class goals, I really consider that their responsibility, I don't have enough time in my 2 times a week class schedule to do a decent job of getting them fit so I really don't try. Part of that challenge may simply be doing something that they haven't done before, maybe getting out on the sparring floor for the first time or upping the level of contact for more experienced fighters.
 

Tony Dismukes

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It's very, very important no matter whether you're training for self-defense or competition. You don't have to do it every single day. Occasionally it's nice to go slow and just study how to polish some technical nuance. But if you don't push your limits you won't be physically or mentally prepared for any sort of real test.
 

tshadowchaser

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I think a person should learn to push themselves past where they think they can not long go. Who knows some day that refusing to say I can't go anymore may save your life.
How do we know what we can do if we never try.
If a person just says I don't want to do that exercise anymore or says that's to hard I don't want to try most likely they will say the same thing in real life when a problem comes up
 

Dirty Dog

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I think it depends on the person. Not everybody has the same goals, and for some, testing and pushing back ones limits may not really be necessary.
Personally, I know perfectly well that I'll never have the physical abilities I did at 20. Or 30. Or even 40...
But I still try to do the best I can. The limits I try to push now are mostly those having to do with teaching.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I think it depends on the person. Not everybody has the same goals, and for some, testing and pushing back ones limits may not really be necessary.
Personally, I know perfectly well that I'll never have the physical abilities I did at 20. Or 30. Or even 40...
But I still try to do the best I can. The limits I try to push now are mostly those having to do with teaching.

It's important to push limits, but those limits will be different for every person and different for the same person at different points in life. My physical limits are different at 50 than they were at 20, but I'm still pushing my limits (physical, mental, and technical) in different ways on a regular basis.

Pushing your limits as a teacher is certainly a good thing. I've accepted that I'm never going to be an elite fighter or competitor, but I still have hopes of becoming a really good coach.
 

chen yaolong

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I think pushing your limits is very important... you cant grow without taking your training to places you didnt think possible

However, I also think that Gongfu is about consistency... you dont get it from going all out once a week, and then doing nothing else, but from regular training EVERY DAY.
 

drop bear

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It is complicated. I am defiantly an advocate for goal setting. Which is where my view of limit pushing exists. But I don't think everybody needs to be an extreme sportsman either. The balance is generally having to fit real life in a round your training.
 

yak sao

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I think pushing your limits is very important... you cant grow without taking your training to places you didnt think possible

However, I also think that Gongfu is about consistency... you dont get it from going all out once a week, and then doing nothing else, but from regular training EVERY DAY.


I've seen a lot of people burn themselves out over the years by being over zealous. I've also seen those that basically destroyed their bodies to the point that they were pretty much forced to quit.
Yes you should push yourself. that's a given. As others have said, that tenacity might be what actually saves your butt one day. But learn to listen to your body and strike a balance between doing enough and overdoing it.

Even a professional boxer doesn't train like a lunatic 365 day a year. He slowly ramps it up in the weeks leading up to the fight so that he peaks on the day of the fight. Then afterwards, he goes back to training and developing.
Maybe not a bad approach to take.
I think as we were students coming up through the ranks we would do this naturally. As a test approached, we would amp up our training with the goal to be at peak performance come test day.
As instructors who maybe are no longer chasing after the carrot, training can become very routine, even monotonous. Setting goals for ourselves sounds like a good plan, whether it be repetition of a certain technique/form in so many weeks, or what have you.
 

jezr74

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I like to push myself as much as I can safely do. But my teacher tends to have us all dripping sweat at the end of each session.
 

Cirdan

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I think we all need to be put outside our comfort zone for training to have any value. Just going trough the motions for the Nth time without any mental or physical challenge is pure stagnation. As our head teacher used to say, a good instructor is a bit of an A-hole :D
 

ks - learning to fly

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I frequently sweat through my dobok and drag my tired self to my car after practice and wouldn't have it any other way!!
As others have mentioned, failure to push the limits is failing to grow and - personally - I refuse to sit on the sidelines..
 

Danny T

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Thought I'd start a thread similar to the "How important is contact sparring in MA?'

How important is it to push yourselves, or your students (not newbies) physically and mentally? I know some folks who have trained for a while, but never really sweated through their gi, never dragged their tired *** to their car to drive home, never woke up so sore they could hardly move (not from injury, just from hard work) and never struggled back to the dojo the next night to do it all over again.

Perhaps it's a kinder, gentler Martial Arts world now, I don't know. Any thoughts?

I feel I am doing a disservice to my students if I do not press them physically and mentally. The human animal is rather amazing and is capable of doing some amazing things. Being pressed to the wall and breaking through is important to anyone who is working to defend themselves or others as well as those who want to fight. To understand they can continue even when they think they can't. It is a process that some take time with and has to be done slowly over many sessions. Others may take only a few sessions.
 

PhotonGuy

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Thought I'd start a thread similar to the "How important is contact sparring in MA?'

How important is it to push yourselves, or your students (not newbies) physically and mentally? I know some folks who have trained for a while, but never really sweated through their gi, never dragged their tired *** to their car to drive home, never woke up so sore they could hardly move (not from injury, just from hard work) and never struggled back to the dojo the next night to do it all over again.

Perhaps it's a kinder, gentler Martial Arts world now, I don't know. Any thoughts?

To me its very important. Ever since I was a white belt I've pushed myself hard and would work up a sweat in class. I know the feeling of having a sweat drenched uniform and seeing the mirrors of the dojo all fogged up from all the perspiring of all the people. I know the buzz of endorphins from hard training. There were times when I would regularly throw over three thousand kicks in a single workout, I've stopped doing that due to recent circumstances but I plan to start again when I get stuff straightened out. After workouts I've had my legs cramp up from all the working out and that is no fun I can tell you. So I would like to say, train hard, have fun, but be careful and don't hurt yourself.
 

MJS

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Thought I'd start a thread similar to the "How important is contact sparring in MA?'

How important is it to push yourselves, or your students (not newbies) physically and mentally? I know some folks who have trained for a while, but never really sweated through their gi, never dragged their tired *** to their car to drive home, never woke up so sore they could hardly move (not from injury, just from hard work) and never struggled back to the dojo the next night to do it all over again.

Perhaps it's a kinder, gentler Martial Arts world now, I don't know. Any thoughts?

Nice thread topic! :) Yeah, I was one of those guys who would go to class, put on a dry gi, and leave with it just as dry, or maybe slightly damp. I'm fortunate that at my current school, I'm soaked with sweat, exhausted from the workout, drag my tired *** to my car to drive home, left class sore and woke up the next day feeling just as sore! Good times! :) My teacher pushes everyone. Sure, he'll give some slack to the newbies, but the folks that have been there a while...he pushes us. Sure, if we get a bit winded, he doesn't mind us stopping for a moment, but he's always there encouraging us to keep going. I might not have the flexibility or stamina as someone half my age, but screw it...I'm there to learn and get better, so I always do my best to give 110%.
 

PhotonGuy

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Nice thread topic! :) Yeah, I was one of those guys who would go to class, put on a dry gi, and leave with it just as dry, or maybe slightly damp. I'm fortunate that at my current school, I'm soaked with sweat, exhausted from the workout, drag my tired *** to my car to drive home, left class sore and woke up the next day feeling just as sore! Good times! :) My teacher pushes everyone. Sure, he'll give some slack to the newbies, but the folks that have been there a while...he pushes us. Sure, if we get a bit winded, he doesn't mind us stopping for a moment, but he's always there encouraging us to keep going. I might not have the flexibility or stamina as someone half my age, but screw it...I'm there to learn and get better, so I always do my best to give 110%.

Good for you. It sounds like you made a really good switch to the school you go to now. Gotta love those sweat drenched uniforms. And be sure to drink lots of water if you're going to work out like that.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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I try to live on the edge in the Martial Sciences and be outside my comfort zone when training. Pushing your limits is a sure fire way to make gains in your skill set, teaching abilities, etc. I try to not settle and just keep working at it day after day! I particularly like it when I come across some thing I have not seen before and that often inspires me to push the limits a little more! ;)
 

tifire

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It's kinda hard to know your own limits both physically and mentally. Pushing your limits day by day gradually will get a better training experience and understand what the limit really is. For me, I don't want to break my legs or something.
 

WaterGal

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I think it's essential. If you don't grow and improve, both in terms of physical fitness/ability and in terms of personal character, from studying martial arts.... what have you gained, really? And pushing yourself, and being pushed, are how you grow.

Edit: Also, being pushed isn't always about physical exercise. It can also be about personal growth - dealing with your own ego or insecurities or how you relate to other people. Confronting those things in ourselves can be much harder than doing 10 rounds of sparring or 300 roundhouse kicks.
 
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