Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.


Master Black Belt
Supporting Member
Nov 21, 2020
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During WWII, allied scientists found that when training people in Morse code, the optimal numbers of repetitions was between 9 and 13. Above 13 repetitions led to rapidly diminishing gains and frustration! Less than nine indicated lazy bas**rds (I made that last bit up😐)


Senior Master
Jan 3, 2018
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Repetition is good, much repetition is better. The danger is that after doing it over and over one tends to get lax. Like a good singer or stage actor, each performance must be done with spirit as if it was the first. That's one thing...

But repeating it exactly the same way will not give optimum benefit. A simple reverse punch has perhaps 30-50 or more "data points" that can affect the result. A little more or less hip, how the weight is transferred with the legs, the exact amount of tension or relaxation at each point of the punch, breath control, etc. And each of these have various inflection.

Like cooking, there is a basic recipe that should be followed, but beyond that, experimentation is needed to come up with the exact taste that's best for any particular individual. A little more of this spice, a little less of that, how much time at what temp, how much stirring, and so on. It requires a lot of tasting on the way to your own perfect dish.

The same in MA technique. You won't know exactly what it is until you feel it. It may take 5,10 or 20 years (as in my case) to stumble upon it. (Not that it wasn't excellent to begin with.) It's not what you do, but how you do it. Sometimes it's not a physical thing, but an attitude or spirit that can make that tiny adjustment that yields a big change in the nature of the move. A 1% change can make a 10% difference. All the above, mind you, is just for a single technique!

Some have posted questions on what there is to learn after 5th, 6th or 8th degree black belt. This is an answer.

So, in doing all those reps, they don't have to be all the same. Each one can be a journey of discovery.
A wonderful post!! I've definitely found this to be the case too. Use technique as a template for exploration.

Every now and then there is one that is just... different. It really pops, or it has such a different feeling. "What was it that made that one better/different?" is a question I ask myself alot! And then I do 200 more of them to search it out 🤣


2nd Black Belt
Sep 15, 2022
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During WWII, allied scientists found that when training people in Morse code, the optimal numbers of repetitions was between 9 and 13. Above 13 repetitions led to rapidly diminishing gains and frustration! Less than nine indicated lazy bas**rds (I made that last bit up😐)
morse code is something different though..not everyone has the appttitude for it. I used to know a guy who was in 14 Signal Regt which was an electronic warfare Regt. if i remember correctly he was a "Spec Op". He told me he listened to Russian morse most of the time (Cold war time, BAOR). He definitely was a weird guy & drunk like a fish. was a very clever chap though.


Master of Arts
Apr 29, 2021
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I think do it 50 times a day for 10 days is better than doing 500times a day. Nothing beats persistence and it takes time for the body to adapt to a new move. You just cannot do 1000 times in one day and hope to get it right the first day, it just doesn't work that way. You ever feel when you get stuck, you walk away for a few days and do it again, all of a sudden, you get it?

More importantly, it also depends on what move are you doing. Some stuff are very hard on the body, you force yourself doing in too many times a day, all you get is injuring yourself. I can tell you my biggest regret. I was so into TKD kicks particular side kick. I went to the clase 3 times a week, 3hours before the class and work on kicking different kicks. After 3 years, I injured my back and I had to quit. Hind sight, I should have gone easier, take my time, maybe I'll get to the same point in 3 1/2years or even 4 years instead of 3 years. But I could have kept training if I did not injured my back.

Sometimes, people have to think the LONG GAME, don't do it like in movie that people keep pushing and pushing.

For competitors, it's a different story. They have to push, their career life is going to be short. Who can stay for a long time? So you push and get to the top for a few years, earn the money and you have the rest of your life to recover from injuries!!!!

So ask yourself, are you in it for the long haul or a short explosive but bright career?

Kung Fu Wang

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Sep 26, 2012
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Austin, Tx/Shell Beach, Ca
Sometimes, people have to think the LONG GAME,
It's not important whether you can do it today or not. The important is whether you still can and enjoy of doing it when you are 80 years old.

You should only push yourself up to the 80%. You should never push yourself to the 100%. No matter what you do, don't injury yourself.


Master of Arts
Apr 10, 2008
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We must embrace the concept of incremental gains.
Breaks between drill sets are necessary.
Practising a half-hour each day is better than only practicing all day on Saturday.
Sleep consolidates memories acquired during the day, making them easier to recall.

In the words of a friend, Dr. J. David Stewart:
"There can be no refinement without repetition."


Green Belt
Aug 6, 2022
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Always always tell my instructor that I know my techniques and I don’t know them, but we get to the point where we do the technique’s without hesitation even when called out by name always ask to wait till at least three more months to do the techniques but they promote me anyway!! Ahhhhhh!!!!!!!!! People!!!!!!!!!!

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