Have you made any new year’s resolutions? Common ones are to get fitter, change your eating habits for the better, spend less, and become more organised. Perhaps you’ve got a resolution that relates specifically to karate. But surveys show that most people’s good intentions will have fallen by the wayside after as little as a few weeks! We stand more chance of success if:
- Our goals reflect a deep desire to achieve or change something
- We break down our goals into a series of challenging yet achievable steps, with an action plan and realistic timeframes
- We share our goals with people who will support us
- We regularly review progress and adapt our action plans accordingly.
In karate, the kyu grading system provides a means to measure progress. But while the grades are useful and motivating markers, we need to be careful not to confuse them as being equivalent with systematic goal setting. From grade to grade, take care to think about more than just the desired outcome (e.g. “to achieve my green belt by March 2012”). More importantly, consider the performance level that you’ll need to achieve and set intermediate goals and an action plan to reflect this.
For example, a few corresponding goals and actions for someone working towards 6th kyu might include these: increase fluency of my current kata by doing 10 good repetitions each evening; develop a better range of hip rotation by practising 50 rotations from hanmi to shomen in zenkutsu dachi per day; Memorise the feel and angles for correct kiba dachi and practise holding this position for 60 seconds each day.
So what would you like to achieve in karate in 2012? Why not make a plan now and regularly update it as you continue to improve? Whether your ultimate goal is to get to black belt and beyond, to become a JKA World Championship medallist, or simply to get fitter and healthier through regular training, we look forward to seeing continued progress in 2012!