Realism in training goals

exile

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Something came up in the GMAT thread on plateaus (and what, if anything, to do about them) which seemed to me to be worth pursuing as a separate discussion topic, although it's clearly related to the issue of plateaus. What I'm curious about is, how do you determine what realistic training goals for yourself are? Lack of realism might take several forms:

• Trying to accomplish certain objectives which are simply outside your physical capabilities. It's one thing to work on developing a decent side kick to an attacker's upper body; it's another entirely to expect that as a brand-new, middle aged trainee you are ever going to be able to do a `vertical split' side kick which you can then hold in the extended position for 90 seconds.

• Trying to accomplish what would a reasonable objective in an unreasonably short time. It may be reasonable to aspire to break a thick stack of pine boards with a knifehand strike; it's not realistic to assume that you are going to be able to do this after your first six months of training.

• Trying to reach goals that require a certain amount of sustained practice by using a training program which only has you working on them once a month or so. If you're attempting to master the performance of a complex kata, and you only haul it out of the locker every six weeks to work on it, the odds are good that you're never going to get it.

And so on.

The flip side of course is the motivational comeback, `You never know what you can do till you try to do it', and there's also a certain amount of truth in that as well. So my question is, how do you determine for yourself what is a realistic training objective? And as followup questions,

Have you ever had doubts about whether your goals were in fact realistic?

If you do have such doubts, how do you go about trying to decide if those doubts are well-founded or not?
 

newGuy12

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Have you ever had doubts about whether your goals were in fact realistic?

If you do have such doubts, how do you go about trying to decide if those doubts are well-founded or not?

I had doubts about a specific training method once. My SabumNeem told me to train to do a speed breaking technique with the side kick, yup chagi. I asked him how to train for it. He told me to kick a cardboard target held by a parter at hip height, and to do many repetitions every day.

I doubted that this would work. I had no confidence in what my Teacher had told me, and it shames me to admit this. But it is the truth. I did however, practice in this way for many months.

The time came to try it out, on Testing Day. It was successful. I was amazed. I should have never doubted.

Our perceptions of what is "realistic" can be flawed. Even people of advanced age can attain good technique! I have seen this myself!
 

terryl965

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Have you ever had doubts about whether your goals were in fact realistic?

If you do have such doubts, how do you go about trying to decide if those doubts are well-founded or not?


Ok lets talk about me for a moment, almost a year ago I was diagnosed with some bad health issue's and mentally I was devastated. After almost 10 months of physical and mental rehabilitation I'm ready to train again.

The downside to this simple can I expect myself to do the same things as before Yes. Will everything fall back into place NO. What I mean by this I currently wiegh in at 276 lbs. a year ago I was at 218 lbs lighter and more agile. When I eventually get back around 200 lbs will I expect myself to be like before no. It took me 42 years to be at the place I was, I'm looking at a realistic goal of three years and even with that, how much is up to the mind body and soul. My determination will be there but if for a minute I forget about those other three elements I'm back at sqaure one. All three needs to be developed at the same time and they all must co-exsist withen reality of each other.

I hope this makes sense and goal and expectations are one thing but realism is for sure.
 

Xue Sheng

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The downside to this simple can I expect myself to do the same things as before Yes. Will everything fall back into place NO. What I mean by this I currently wiegh in at 276 lbs. a year ago I was at 218 lbs lighter and more agile. When I eventually get back around 200 lbs will I expect myself to be like before no. It took me 42 years to be at the place I was, I'm looking at a realistic goal of three years and even with that, how much is up to the mind body and soul. My determination will be there but if for a minute I forget about those other three elements I'm back at sqaure one. All three needs to be developed at the same time and they all must co-exsist withen reality of each other.

I hope this makes sense and goal and expectations are one thing but realism is for sure.

Actually it makes a lot of sense

Have you ever had doubts about whether your goals were in fact realistic?

Yes and I eventually learned to figure out which were and with were not, but it was a rather long and painful lesson.

If you do have such doubts, how do you go about trying to decide if those doubts are well-founded or not?

I listen to my gut
 

zDom

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Our perceptions of what is "realistic" can be flawed.

I agree.

I remember at about orange belt I could do jump kicks and I could do spinning kicks, but I couldn't seem to do a jump spinning kick. I was a bit depressed, thinking I "just didn't have it" and would never be able to do them.

But I kept training and, soon enough, was able to do some really nice jump spinning kicks. Remembering that helped me trust in my training and to be patient when it came to stuff I couldn't do yet.

On the other hand, as I age I can see my ability to get heighth and hang time on my jumping/flying kicks degenerating and am accepting that a day will soon come when I may not be able to do them at all :(

Mortality sucks ;)
 

tshadowchaser

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I may be a overly simplistic person but I have always studied with the simple intent of learning more. If I am shown a technique and I know I am physically incapable of doing it I may try it anyways just to see how close I can come to it , however I most likely will never believe I will someday be miraculously be able to do it. I will come as close as I can to doing it but accept my limitations.
I have a project (seminar) in mind that I want to attend next year with a certification possible at the end of the week. I know that physically I may not be able to withstand the strenuous work outs and may not be able to grasp all that is required to get the certificate however I want to try and I know I will come away with more knowledge that I started with. The knowledge is what I am going for and if I get the certificate great, if not I will still have met my goal of learning more.
 

still learning

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Hello, Many of us as beginner students of the martial arts....look at the black belts or Sensi's....and wonder if we can reach that goal..?

One lesson learn was ....staying with it...never give up...always show up for class....practice and train hard...the goal of earning a Black Belt...can be achieve by anyone.....if you want it!

As a beginner student, with hardly any role models to follow...in the beginning? ...looking to earn a black belt...seems so far..far away...

My, Son and Daughter....do not see it as a difficult matter as we first saw it...if "Dad can"...they know this goal can be reach...

Once you reach you first Black Belt....looking back....worth it! and anyone can reach their goal too! (you also realize...still tons more to learn...just another beginning in your steps of learning the martial arts)

Another unexpect goal...was learning other arts too....Shotokan karate, Kempo, and Judo....( opens the mind...) for learning more..

One never will know where you will end up in your training...each will experience their own paths....of learning....

ONLY YOU CAN MAKE IT REAL! .........Aloha ( that is all I buy at Wal-mart...black belts...leather too!) ...no brown pants for me!
 

Em MacIntosh

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As I don't make expectations if I can help it, I'm seldom dissapointed. I am by no means an underachiever. I try. I do what I can and if I'm sweating, I'll pat myself on the back for that. If I feel it was inadequate, I'll give myself one specific thing to work harder on next time. You don't learn to protect yourself so you can undervalue yourself, that hurts your confidence. I make little goals every day, goals for every week. I don't go beyond that. When someone's in the hospital and doesn't want to eat much, you give them the same amount of food on a much bigger plate. I think all the realism you need beyond common sense is that somebody will always be stronger/faster etc. than you are and to just do your best and trust in your instructor/peers. Don't feel bad about not being the best. If you are the best, don't tell anyone or somebody will take it away from you.
 
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