I began my traditional martial arts training in September of 1997. My Sensei’s school was located in Alexandria, Indiana. For me, martial arts was the right fit from the very first punch. It wasn’t long until I was training at his school four days per week. I eventually ended up with a key to his school, where I would meet other students on Fridays or Saturdays for additional training and sparring. In addition, I purchased a heavy bag for my home and a stretching machine to gain better flexibility. So basically, I trained every free minute I owned, whether it was during regular class time, or working out at home. Additionally, I spent a great deal of ‘me time’ practicing forms/kata. I became a full time martial arts student. My Sensei, Mr. Davenport has had a training center for nearly thirty years now. He has promoted around fifty people to rank of shodan/black belt. I proudly state that I broke and still hold his record for fastest to achieve black belt, as it took me three years and three months. The reason I was able to reach black belt so quickly in his tough dojo was because I put at least twenty hours per week into training. Granted, I did not have kids during this period, nor did I have any other after work hobbies or obligations. That’s because martial arts was my hobby and obligation. The point to this entry is to state that not everyone can nor will follow the same path I did/do with training. Not everyone has that kind of time. I don’t either anymore, however I still manage four to five tough workouts per week. My major point is that we have two quickly growing programs, and within the programs we have a large amount of new yet passionate students. Some students learn every new technique/drill/form quite easily, while others might struggle with new material. Regardless, if you truly want to maximize your training and your skill level, you must spend a few hours per week training yourself through the curriculum. This is the truth path of any martial artist. That he/she takes the guidance of a martial arts teacher and puts that guidance to use in the classroom and within their own training time. Again, martial arts has become my livelihood and my life. All of my students either have professions or go to school. Their time is limited. But, ten to fifteen minutes a day practicing kata, practicing round house kicks, punches, ect… will go a long way in any students growth. It’s also important to mentally think about your training, setting goals, and meditating about the art.