By Eileen Lindner, red belt
I practice my Moo Sul Kwan Taekwondo every day. I’m pretty sure we all do – whether we are going over our poomse moves, doing walking drills in the hallway, getting in a few extra sit ups & push-ups, or using Ho-Shin – we all practice our martial art.
However, I don’t train every day. What’s the difference, you ask? Well, to my mind, the difference between practicing and training is huge. Practicing is extremely valuable, and without practice & proficiency, training is difficult. Training is more intense than practice & often is associated with a specific goal: an event or date marking a test or competition.
Practice, to me, is the baseline of maintaining a skill. Practice is repetition – during class, perfecting that new move in a poomse, and then incorporating it into the poomse smoothly so it doesn't look newer than the rest of the pattern. This happens during class, under the watchful eye of your instructor. It really happens at home, when you realize that you needed 5 more repetitions with your instructor; but do it the best you can as many times as you can & go to the next class with detailed questions on foot position, which hand moves first, etc. This practice polishes your poomse so you can start training on it.
Training is challenging yourself after you've been taught the moves – training really makes your poomse come together & enables you to get your moves to the right speed with as much power, focus, balance & control as you have – that day. Training means you’re never satisfied with a poomse. It means you've taken this exercise as your own & you will master it – but not today – not tomorrow – but it will happen – and then there will be another aspect of it to perfect.
Training means you accept that this is a long-term deal. That you will push yourself farther & more completely than any instructor could – and your instructor will recognize that in you & push harder, since that’s what you need to train.
The difference between practice and training is the difference between learning a skill & doing that skill; between being satisfied with good & wanting to be the best you can be.
Both practice & training will bring you from being a white belt, dreaming of achieving black belt – and being that black belt, striving for the next level.