No matter what skill level you are at in martial arts, you can reach a point where your training seems to be going nowhere and the improvements are scarce. Your body’s ability to adapt to regular training methods is what causes the plateaus that happen when you keep training.

This is a sign that some adjustments are needed in the training programme and mindset of the student. Small changes and a small amount of effort will restart progress and help the practitioner get over current and future plateaus.

Change the routine.

Implementing a new approach to training will stimulate the body and mind to adapt and adapt to the new changes taking place. If you’re handier with your right hand (70–90% of the world’s population is right-handed), take a new approach and do most of your training on your left side.

Another way to pause your workout is to start from a backward position or a position you rarely find yourself in. A student in a high-profile discipline may want to start cornered against the ropes and work their way to the centre of the cage. If you are a wrestler, start in a less favourable position and work on your counters and breakaways. You know

the difference between goals and challenges?

Setting achievable goals gives us something to strive for and should be incorporated into anything we want to excel at in our training. Taking on a personal challenge will make you work harder than you normally would and force you to think and act differently to achieve it. Goals are achievable, while it may take many attempts to meet a challenge if it has already been achieved.

Some examples of goals are: knowing the detailed details of a particular position, practising a technique for a large number of repetitions, or simply getting more time in training. The primary goal for students in many martial arts disciplines is to attain the rank of black belt. Taking on a challenge could mean ranking #1 in the league, or instructing a person to get a black belt. A good challenge is a surefire way to break through a training plateau.

Go back to fundamental techniques.

Recording too many details and techniques at once will become overwhelming and shut down the entire learning process. Return to basic positions and drill the fundamentals to provide muscle memory and help you master the movement. Once you’re proficient in the position or move, add in a few new techniques and you’ll find it less confusing.

Position training is the best way to work on and absorb the specific aspects of a position. Time out the positions at 2-3 minute intervals and focus on mastering that one position, be it standing, on the floor or against the cage. Finding out the details of a position gives you the options to counter or control an opponent’s move.

Don’t let plateaus frustrate or hinder your martial arts training. Changing a regular routine will prevent the body from adjusting and help keep your mind engaged and active. Taking a break from training shouldn’t be the only option to get your martial arts game back on track.