Once you have been practicing martial arts for a significant period of time and have mastered the fundamentals, increasing the speed of your skills will probably be your next goal. Before you begin focusing your martial arts training on speed, there are a few important factors you should consider. This is because if you jump too quickly into speed training, not only will your results suffer, but you also risk creating bad habits that will be tough to break.
The first and most important consideration is that you hold off on speed training until you have completely mastered the proper techniques and fundamentals. You need to be able to perform the skill without hesitation or thought, because if you want to be as fast as possible you can’t spend any time remembering the correct mechanics. Proper form is important because if you want to increase the speed of a skill, but are performing it incorrectly, your potential for speed development will be limited. In addition, this may also cause you to develop bad habits that will hurt your martial arts training in the long run.
The second most important consideration, which is often overlooked, is whether the skill you want to improve is conducive to speed training. Not every skill is designed to be performed quickly. Furthermore, practicing certain skills will help you increase your overall speed, and as such those are the ones you want to be the focus of your speed training. If you spend your time on developing the incorrect skill you won’t be getting the best return on investment for your time spent.
When you first begin martial arts training, speed should be the last thing you are concerned with. Instead, you want to be practicing the basics as slowly as possible, with a focus on proper mechanics and technique. Once your ability to perform skills becomes second nature, then and only then should you start focusing on speed training. Once you start working to improve your speed, remember to be patient and whatever you do don’t sacrifice technique in order to increase speed.