Practice and Sacrifice..

As an instructor I have been lucky enough to teach at events across the UK, Europe and the U.S..

One of the key questions that I’m asked is:

“How do I get better at..  ”

Ok, the end of the sentence might vary but the basis of the question is always the same.

I reply with one word:


Whether you are a student who is struggling with a grading or a competitor working towards their next tournament, the answer is the same


It’s not rocket science, if you want to play guitar, then you need to play guitar.

If you want to improve your kicks then practice kicking

If it’s martial arts in general then get to class and TRAIN.

There is no quick fix, martial skill requires repetition.


I have been training over 30 years, it has cost me a small fortune and probably a couple of relationships, to get where I am.

I have missed important events, birthdays, weddings and funerals.

And I’m sure I’ll miss even more in the future.

It has been said I’ll be late for my own funeral cos I’m too busy teaching or talking about class.

But it’s who I am and those close to me get it, they might not understand but they get it.

After all, it’s the choices I have made that makes me who I am.

There is not a month of the year I am not traveling to seminars, competitions or teaching.

I make no apologies or ask forgiveness.

Martial arts is my life..

But I also understand the other side of the coin.

Not everyone shares my feelings or level of commitment. But if you aren’t prepared to put the work in, don’t expect success.


It is harder to train every night, than please partners by staying home.

It’s harder to maintain fitness and cut weight for competition than go out socialising.

It’s easier to watch your team playing football than make classes.

But when all is said and done, it’s your choice and you’ll do what you do.

So back to the question that was posed at the beginning..

If you want to improve then you need to TRAIN.

No excuses, no stories, no bitching and start making class. There are no short cuts or secret techniques.

Only TRAINING and PRACTICE will deliver the results you want.

I love a beer with friends but no beer has ever given me the buzz I get from success.

One last thing before I go..

Someone I respect deeply for their commitment to their own training, told me that the Gracie’s had a saying above their door:

“SACRIFICE – Giving up something good in the pursuit of something better”

See you at class..


2 thoughts on “Practice and Sacrifice..

  1. G says:

    Excellent post. The history of those individuals attributed with being ‘successful’, is riddled with tales of having to make choices/sacrifices. To have dedicated 30 years, including countless ‘sacrifices’, is the quintessential example of the difference between a ‘hobby/interest’ and a ‘life-long commitment/ passion’.

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