One Thing Right TodayBy Suino, Nicklaus
This article first appeared in the "SMAA Journal" Volume 20, Issue 1.
Are you trying to master a form?
How do you approach learning a new move?
A great way to approach each day in the dojo is to decide to "get one thing right today." Isolate one aspect of your art—a foot position you struggle with in iaido, the rhythm of a form in karate-do, or the hand position leading up to a throw in judo—and concentrate on doing it right.
Pick Your One Thing
Check with your sensei to find out what the proper checkpoints are, make sure you understand them, and try to execute them. Once you get close to the example set by your sensei, practice that aspect over and over until you perform it reflexively. Next time you come to the dojo, run through it a few times to make sure you’re still doing it right, and come back to it now and then in the future to see if you can make it better.
Wait until you can get that "one thing" right before turning your attention to another. You will be surprised at how your foundation moves improve if you take this approach. Since the average student comes to the dojo three times per week, you could get really good at 156 components of your art in a year.
A student who never masters one aspect before moving to another may know more techniques at the end of a year, but the one who gets "one thing right" will be better at the core movements of the art.
Master Your Art at a Martial Arts Organization
Getting one thing right today doesn’t have to end with martial arts. You can improve your whole lifestyle by joining SMAA, a prestigious martial arts organization that teaches historical Japanese martial arts. Contact SMAA here to start your journey.