Martial Arts

7 Ways A Training Notebook Can Help You Achieve Your Goals AND Surpass Your Best Performance

Source: DoD News photo by SSgt Brian Kimball, Public Domain

Keeping a training notebook may sound like a chore, but it’s actually one of the best ways to improve your martial arts techniques. Whether you’re learning taekwondo or karate, keeping a training notebook will help you record your progress more accurately and give you a place to analyze your strengths as well as areas that need work. Training notebooks are an excellent resource for improving your martial arts. They provide structure and accountability to help you track your progress, identify areas for improvement, and develop new skills or techniques. If you’re interested in starting a training notebook for martial arts, check out these 7 tips for how to do so effectively!

What is a training notebook?

A training notebook is a place to record your training sessions and keep track of your progress. It can be used to record anything related to your martial arts practice: what exercises you did, what challenges you faced, what skills you’re trying to develop, etc. While you can use any notebook for this purpose, martial arts-specific training notebooks, like the JIMI Notebook, are designed for recording the details of your martial arts training. They often contain helpful prompts, charts, graphs, and tables that make it easy to record data from your sessions. If you like the idea of keeping a training notebook but don’t want a physical book, consider using a digital training log. These tools make it easy to take notes on your training sessions and create logs, and they may be a better option if you have a lot of training sessions.

1.  Track your workouts and habits

One of the best things about a training notebook is that you don’t need to wait for a session to start using it. You can start using your training notebook to record information about your workouts and habits right away! When you’re starting a new training log, this is a great place to start. Record the date of your first training session, the type of martial art you’re studying, the duration of the session, your school’s schedule, the events you want to go to that year, and any other information that will be helpful when you look back on it. When you track your workouts and habits, you’ll have a better idea of how much time you’re actually devoting to your martial arts practice. This can help you avoid scheduling conflicts between your martial arts training and other activities. It can also help you identify any bad habits that might be hindering your progress, like skipping workouts, not eating properly, or not getting enough sleep.

2.  Record the details of your martial arts sessions

The bulk of your training notebook will be a record of your martial arts sessions. You can use this section to record the title of the session, the date and time you conducted your session, the duration of the session, the martial art you practiced, and the location of your training. But more importantly, is to record the techniques and drills you practiced. This will be very important to have when it comes time to review. You can also use your training notebook as a way to hold yourself accountable to your goals and expectations. If you set goals for the number of hours you want to train, the types of techniques and drills you want to work on, and the areas you’re hoping to improve, keeping track of these things in your training notebook can help you stay on track.

3.  Record the results of your martial arts sessions

Beyond the details of your martial arts sessions, you can use your training notebook to keep track of the results of your training sessions. This is especially useful on the days you spar. You can analyze your performance to see if you pulled off a specific move in a match, your technique improved, the speed of your movements increased, or you showed signs of improvement in other areas. You can also use your training notebook to record the results of specific exercises. If you’re trying to develop new skills or master a new technique, you can use the data you accumulate to measure your progress. If a particular exercise, technique, drill, or strategy doesn’t seem to be working, this is also the place to start troubleshooting the situation.

4. Review your past sessions

The best benefit a training notebook provides is the opportunity to review and visualize the techniques and drills you learned. This form of visualization will help your brain memorize techniques because it allows you to recall the techniques. Otherwise, the only time you will recall them is when you happen to do them in class. With a training notebook, you can recall them whenever you want and wherever you want. And this IS a form of training. Also, keeping a training notebook over a long period of time can help you identify patterns in your training sessions. This is especially useful if you’re competing in combat sports because it will inform you about what works for you in a fight and what type of fighter you are. You can use your training notebook to review past sessions to see if there are any patterns emerging, such as a certain technique that seems to produce better results than others, or a consistent struggle that you need to address. This will help you set good goals, motivate you to achieve them, and inform your fight strategies. Lastly, when you review your past sessions, you can also use your training notebook as a way of keeping track of your progress. If you set long-term goals for yourself, like aiming to master a certain technique or trying to increase your speed in a certain type of exercise, keeping track of your progress in your training notebook can help you stay accountable to those goals.

5.  Analyze the reasons for your successes and failures

Another great way to use your training notebook is to analyze the reasons for your successes and failures. After completing a martial arts session, you can spend some time analyzing what happened and why. You can use your training notebook to identify the reasons why a particular technique worked or didn’t work, why your speed improved or slowed down, and where you saw signs of improvement or lack thereof. This is a good thing to do when you are trying to solve problems with your performance.

6.  Find areas for improvement

When you record your progress in your training notebook, you can also identify areas for improvement. If you notice that your technique is always lacking in one area, you are ready for more advanced techniques or drills, or you do the same moves every time you spar, you can find other techniques to do throughout your training notebook.

7.  Commit to new habits and stay motivated

Aside from putting in all the techniques you learn in class, you can also use a training notebook to record goals, quotes, observations, sketches, questions, or anything else you can think of that will help you improve and stay motivated. Some of the best ways to improve your martial arts skills are to create great goals that motivate you, accomplish them, then fuel your motivation with those accomplishments to create new goals. Include all of your mantras and positive self-talk that help you succeed.

Summing up

Keep in mind that the best training notebook is the one that’s right for you. The tips we’ve covered here are just some suggestions for how to use a training notebook effectively. Training notebooks can be used in many different ways; the key is finding the best way to use yours. If you’re interested in a unique and affordable training notebook that is designed specifically for martial arts, check out the JIMI Notebook. I designed it specifically to help your brain memorize and your body perform martial arts to your true potential.

Make Moves or Meditate

by Danny Indio M.B.

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