Malcolm Gladwell is famous for writing Outliers: The Story of Success and frequently mentioned that it takes 10,000 hours for anyone to become an expert in anything. By this logic and assuming you take 2 hourly martial arts classes a week, you’ll become a master in approximately 96 years! Becoming ‘advanced’ will take less than half that time so it only requires the best part of half a century! It should be obvious that to progress from beginner to advanced; you’ll have to devote considerable time and effort to practicing outside of your classes.
Hard Work, No Shortcuts
You could spend decades studying a martial art and never become an expert if your heart is not truly in it. Is it possible to become an expert in a short space of time? Absolutely, but don’t believe there is a shortcut to excellence, because such a path does not exist. You can become an expert in any given martial art within a couple of years if you completely and utterly dedicate yourself to it. Bruce Lee used to train for hours on end, 7 days a week! Not everyone has this level of determination but rest assured, you will only become an expert if you have thousands of hours of practice.
Is There a ‘Quick’ Path?
We mean quick in terms of years to attain advanced status, but this still requires immense devotion to your chosen discipline. You must be intensely focused for every second of every class you take and bring this focus home with you. During your free time, you will read up on what you have learned and set aside a considerable period of this time to practice. You need to improve your diet and lifestyle, because advanced status and beyond only comes to those who pay attention to the finer points of martial arts.
Quality Beats Quantity
Yet all the hours you spend training and studying will count for little if the instruction you receive is subpar. You will only learn so much by taking classes with experts. If you want to progress to the highest possible level you are capable of, you need to seek out a master. Six months worth of training with a master is worth six years training with an expert. You will not only learn new moves and techniques, you will finally learn intricate details to improve your existing maneuvers that only a master could spot. Once you progress at a faster pace, you will gain confidence and this alone will subtract months off the time it takes to reach the advanced stage.
Keep in Mind
It is essential that you dedicate your life to a style that suits your purposes. As most people take martial arts classes for self defense purposes, choosing a martial art and style suited for real-world combat is your best option. You can choose traditional styles only if your aim is to gain more exposure to the martial art in question. If you wish to progress from beginner to advanced, you will have to believe in what you’re doing or else it will ultimately end in failure. Practically no one has ever become an expert in anything without hard work so improve your work ethic and you will flourish.