How many days a week of martial arts training does it take to make decent progress?

Zombocalypse

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Hello.

I'm a college student right now but I finally figured out some proper schedule for my weightlifting endeavor. As soon as I get into the habit of adhering to that weight training (which will take months), I will sign up in judo classes. My question is... If I can dedicate two days a week of my time training with a good judo coach, how fast/slow will my progress be?

I realize how hard it is to answer the question and how vague the wording of the question is. I'm just here to hear out what you all think.

To be completely clear, I'm leaning more towards being an avid weightlifter who does martial arts instead of an avid martial artist who supplements his training through weights.

Thank you very much.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Depends on what you consider decent progress, what you do on the off days, and how long each training day is (30 minutes is very different than 1.5 hours).

As a generality though, I'd say 2 days a week at an hour a day is enough to make decent progress at the beginning, if you want to be at a hobbyist level for the MA portion. You could do 1 day a week, but progress will be very slow, and I'd recommend doing 1 day training what you can at home (difficult with judo, but getting a grappling dummy and watching basic videos of what you learned can help). Still would recommend that extra day at 2 days, but with 1 the refresher's kinda needed or you'll spend the first few months struggling a lot with the same things over and over.

As you progress though, you'll naturally plateau. You'll have to start training either longer periods (ie: 1 hour class, 1 hour randori each judo day), or add in extra days if you want to get over those humps. Otherwise you'll just sorta enter a maintenance mode level where you're not really improving, but you're not forgetting anything or getting worse either.
 
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Zombocalypse

Zombocalypse

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Depends on what you consider decent progress, what you do on the off days, and how long each training day is (30 minutes is very different than 1.5 hours).

As a generality though, I'd say 2 days a week at an hour a day is enough to make decent progress at the beginning, if you want to be at a hobbyist level for the MA portion. You could do 1 day a week, but progress will be very slow, and I'd recommend doing 1 day training what you can at home (difficult with judo, but getting a grappling dummy and watching basic videos of what you learned can help). Still would recommend that extra day at 2 days, but with 1 the refresher's kinda needed or you'll spend the first few months struggling a lot with the same things over and over.

As you progress though, you'll naturally plateau. You'll have to start training either longer periods (ie: 1 hour class, 1 hour randori each judo day), or add in extra days if you want to get over those humps. Otherwise you'll just sorta enter a maintenance mode level where you're not really improving, but you're not forgetting anything or getting worse either.

Is 1.5 hours of judo training exhausting?

I can do 2 hours (at the very least) of heavy weightlifting with still a little bit of energy left for isolation assistance exercises, but I do wonder if 1.5 hours of judo training would be comparable, more or less. Because if it's just pure technique-work, I can do that just fine. But my energy is super limited so I am not sure I can keep it up if it is as intensive as actual cardio...
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Is 1.5 hours of judo training exhausting?

I can do 2 hours (at the very least) of heavy weightlifting with still a little bit of energy left for isolation assistance exercises, but I do wonder if 1.5 hours of judo training would be comparable, more or less. Because if it's just pure technique-work, I can do that just fine. But my energy is super limited so I am not sure I can keep it up if it is as intensive as actual cardio...
That depends a lot on the school. And keep in mind you probably won't be in control of the lengths of classes.

But if the school does a lot of randori (stand-up grappling essentially), then yes it can. An average class for 1 hour (which I think is more typical for most MAs), from my experience, is something like the below:

Warm ups for 15 minutes. This is done pretty much running the entire time, doing various rolls in between the running, and things like side steps, skipping, high knees. At the end they may switch to walking and doing various foot sweeps in the air as you do. Then some dynamic stretching, rounding out to 20 minutes.

The next 20 minutes will be spent learning and/or going over 3-5 different waza (techniques), along with possibly how they go together. And drilling them. The learning part isn't all that intensive as it's mostly watching and doing yourself slowly without resistance. The drilling definitely can be cardio intensive, since it'll be a bit of trying to get the techs down on people knowing what you're trying to do and giving you a bit of resistance to it (not complete resistance), so it can be rough whether you're the uke (technique receiver) or tori (technique do-er) at first.

The last 20 minutes would probably be randori. How intensive this is depends on how good you are at judo (you learn how to conserve energy better as you improve), and how intense you and your partner want to go. I can get pretty tired and need a break after most times, and get quite sweaty, but your mileage may vary.

If it's 1.5 hours my guess would be most of that time is spent in randori, and some on extra drilling.

Biggest thing that I've seen with new people in grappling arts is not expecting the lack of built-in breaks. You might grapple for 3 minutes with 1 minute break for 5 rounds, which is a lot at first, so you need to learn to speak up and not be embarrassed about sitting out a round.
 

Holmejr

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There is no good answer for you, as there are to many variables. Yourmental and physical abilities, the quality of the school/instructor, the connection between you and school/instructor. Do you just want to get good physically at it or really take in the art and beauty of it. My suggestion is to just do it and enjoy the journey.
With that all said, about 4 years to a lifetime
 

tkdroamer

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- You go to school to learn (2 days a week).
- You come home to train (7 day a week).

The question is how many times do you train at home each day?
Even when I competed, I never trained more than 6-days/week. My brain (and body) needed one full day of rest.
But I fully agree with what you are saying. It is just the way the human body is wired. In terms of learning and retention, it is much better to go the three 1-1/2-hour classes per week classes versus two 3-hour classes per week. Spacing is important as well.
 

drop bear

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The most you can do is generally 6 days a week. Usually about 2 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. And still be able to hold down a job. And recover physically.

The guys who diligently do this tend to get pretty good. Pretty quickly.

People suggest issues like burn out. But I think it is more about almost every activity wind's up being better than dedicated martial artists or professional fighter.

People who love the process can tend to do a version of this indefinitely.

Once you start doing this sort of bulk hours training. Proper conditioning and nutrition coaches become important as well. It becomes more important that you are not wasting training time rather than less at this volume.
 

tkdroamer

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The most you can do is generally 6 days a week. Usually about 2 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. And still be able to hold down a job. And recover physically.

The guys who diligently do this tend to get pretty good. Pretty quickly.

People suggest issues like burn out. But I think it is more about almost every activity wind's up being better than dedicated martial artists or professional fighter.

People who love the process can tend to do a version of this indefinitely.

Once you start doing this sort of bulk hours training. Proper conditioning and nutrition coaches become important as well. It becomes more important that you are not wasting training time rather than less at this volume.
Agree. When I think back on the crazy schedule I had when I was competing, I wonder how in the world was I able to keep it up for so long.
 

Hanshi

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Is 1.5 hours of judo training exhausting?

I can do 2 hours (at the very least) of heavy weightlifting with still a little bit of energy left for isolation assistance exercises, but I do wonder if 1.5 hours of judo training would be comparable, more or less. Because if it's just pure technique-work, I can do that just fine. But my energy is super limited so I am not sure I can keep it up if it is as intensive as actual cardio...



A single definite answer is near impossible. Each individual has their own specific talents and needs. But with that being said I'll give this general answer. Over the long haul my students had to do a minimum of 2 one hour classes each week just to keep progressing and not fall behind. Obviously those who put in more time in the dojo progressed faster. A sort of "rule of thumb" (and I hate rules of thumb) is three classes, one hour each, every week to not stagnate periodically and progress smoothly.
 

KenpoMaster805

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2 days a week is great you can make a great progress and it depend on how many technique you learn in your class our we learn 2 technique when we go the teacher well teach technique 1 and 2 then the next day we come he teaches us technique 3 and 4 in my sytem in kenpo karate we have 24 technique on each belt so ya

you can make any progress when you come 2 times a week its good
 

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The most you can do is generally 6 days a week. Usually about 2 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening. And still be able to hold down a job. And recover physically.
Crikey匈d be wheelchair bound, jobless and continually crying sobbing after a couple of days of that! 喫 Do you have a big S on your chest?
 
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Zombocalypse

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Crikey匈d be wheelchair bound, jobless and continually crying sobbing after a couple of days of that! 喫 Do you have a big S on your chest?

My thoughts exactly. I was once in a weightlifting program that had me squatting very heavy weights two hours per day, every single day. I thankfully didn't get hurt, but I acquired tendonitis on the knee before the fourth month. At the fourth month, I celebrated being able to squat heavier than my younger years and called it quits. I'm never doing it again despite the great improvement. Tendonitis is painful and who knows what kind of severe acute injury I would've experienced had I pushed it even beyond?
 

Christopher Adamchek

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over years of teaching, ive seen the biggest difference between students that train once a week and those that train twice a week, so if you can put two days in - go for it.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I train 4 times a week for 2 hours now that Im in my 50s. I used to hit 3-4 hours a day 4 or 5 times a week and 2 hours on Saturday, I also had weight training twice a week in addition. I did that for many years.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Hello.

I'm a college student right now but I finally figured out some proper schedule for my weightlifting endeavor. As soon as I get into the habit of adhering to that weight training (which will take months), I will sign up in judo classes. My question is... If I can dedicate two days a week of my time training with a good judo coach, how fast/slow will my progress be?

I realize how hard it is to answer the question and how vague the wording of the question is. I'm just here to hear out what you all think.

To be completely clear, I'm leaning more towards being an avid weightlifter who does martial arts instead of an avid martial artist who supplements his training through weights.

Thank you very much.
Do it more than you dont do it and you will become it.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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My thoughts exactly. I was once in a weightlifting program that had me squatting very heavy weights two hours per day, every single day. I thankfully didn't get hurt, but I acquired tendonitis on the knee before the fourth month. At the fourth month, I celebrated being able to squat heavier than my younger years and called it quits. I'm never doing it again despite the great improvement. Tendonitis is painful and who knows what kind of severe acute injury I would've experienced had I pushed it even beyond?
Weight lifting and MA training are different.

- You lift weight because you force yourself to do it.
- You train MA because you enjoy of doing it.

My teacher once told me that there was a double heads weight bar on the ground in his teacher's house. It was so heavy that everytime he looked at it, he hated it (my teacher was a strong guy).

I have a 220 lb rock in my front yard that I used to move it around for training. Today when I see it, I also hate it.
 

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Oily Dragon

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On the other hand, one throwing class can be enough to require a few days of downtime. Even a couple real sparring sessions a week...stick a fork in, they're done.

I think the whole "I have to fit x days in this week" plan is silly. Life intrudes. Unless you're training for a comp, there are more important things than going to any class 6 days a week. I know people who spend their lives in a training hall...they can't even clean their own homes.

This week I'm dealing with the aftermath of tending COVID victims. No mats, no gym, just weighted rings and double shot put dancing. That's to maintain what little skill I have left. Home training is free too.
 
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