Setting up a practice system is an essential part of good training. In fact the most essential part of that system is its regularity. Generally the individual who practices more consistently over the long-term will see larger gains over the sporadic practitioner.
I know many students when they first set out to build a practice schedule, their excitement leads them to setting a much higher bar than may be wise. Even how they choose to attend classes often succumbs to this verve. It can be easy when you are first consumed by a new passion to attempt to fill every nook and cranny of free space with the activity. However this often leads to burnout.
Consistency is Key
The best advice I can give is to do less than you think you can do. It’s more important to set a small and consistent habit than try to chase a much larger one off the top. This may seem under-ambitious, however nothing precludes you from increasing the time you spend at something once you have a few weeks or months under your belt. In fact you may find that having the regular and consistent base gives you a fallback position.
I am a big fan of the five minutes per day training commitment. The many resources on DuelloTV will easily take you through five minutes of sword movement!
- Watch a few course topics, or watch this week’s apprentice training videos
- Practice those topics according to the practice notes
- move and flow along with one of a few hundred drills (longsword, rapier, sidesword)
- Watch a bit of webinar or livestream, then devise a plan for integrating that content into your practice
A five-minute commitment is small and easy to keep up. It doesn’t prevent you from practicing more but if you do intensify your study and then suffer a hiccup—physical or psychological—you can always scale back to your five-minute base. Yes, to really make great gains you’re going to need to put a lot of time in. However, you’re going to be more successful at putting in that time if you establish a consistent rhythm that you can keep steady matter what.