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First class

Intro

So, you are starting martial arts classes for the first time. Participating in a new endeavor may seem scary at first, so here are some tips that may help you get ready for your first class session.

Tips

  • Say goodbye to the way things were. Ask yourself what you would be missing or giving up by training in the martial arts. Are any of those things important enough to keep you from training? Could you give them up or put them on hold? Until you come to grips with what you may be losing, it will be difficult to see all that you may gain.
  • Take a personal audit. Identify what you want to achieve. Get rid of everything that stands in your way and keep training regardless of how frustrated or inadequate you may feel.
  • Put your goals in writing. High achievers have goals and plans. Underachievers live in wish mode. Start with "stretch goals," ones that are both a reach and reachable, so you may accumulate a confidence-building series of small wins. Nothing becomes a goal until you write it down.
  • Use the language of change. Tune into the messages you send yourself. Eliminate "weasel words" such as "I will try" or "I hope I do well" or "I’ll wait and see how it goes” and declare what you will do positively. Switch from saying "I have to" and "I should" to saying "I will." Challenge automatic negative assumptions, such as "I couldn't do that," by asking yourself, "Why not?" Try to neutralize irrational fear.
  • Take baby steps. Think of one small thing you may do today that will make you feel better tomorrow, such as walking a mile or doing some pushups. One daily change, especially if it helps you finish something you started, may change the trajectory of your life.
  • Tackle self-defeating habits. Identify three behaviors that have stopped you from training and change them.
  • Get support. Recruit a friend to encourage you to reach your goals. Surround yourself with positive people who do not make you feel inferior or defensive. Train yourself to tune out the negative words of others.
  • Be your own Monday morning quarterback. Top competitors analyze and learn from each performance. Learn from them and focus on what you did well in class and what you can correct, and aim to do better the next time.

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