The Art of Winning Blog

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Master Lesson Pt. 1

10,000 hours.
10,000 hours of your life.
That’s a pretty big number.

Many people have said that this is what it takes to be a master. A new book called “Outliers” states that people who are highly recognized in their fields have close to or at least 10,000 hours performing and training in that field. Over the years, I have met plenty of people who have said that they have heard and understand this concept. I have also met people who say that mastery can come a lot sooner — at least at 5,000 hours. Either way, I always wonder has a person really ever thought about the reality of that number?

Let’s put in perspective what it would take for a person to actually live this reality. Let’s say you spend 5 hours a day, 6 days a week training in a particular field. That means you spend 30 hours a week doing that particular activity. If you take that 30 hours a week and multiply it by 4 weeks then you have 120 hours a month. Next, multiply 120 by 12 months and you will come up with 1,440 hours a year. Finally, if you multiple 1,440 by 7 years you come up with 10,080 hours. Even at 5,000 hours for mastery you are looking at 3.5 years. Now that we have seen the numbers broken down, let’s be honest about the average American’s life. How often have we met a person who can dedicate 5 hours a day, 6 days a week to training in one particular field. You will probably not be able to think of too many people. Most people you will think of may be able to dedicate 1 hour a day, 3 days a week. If you do the math, then it will take 288 hours a year which means 2,880 hours in 10 years.

Because of this large difference in numbers, you can see that unless a person sets up there life so that their livelihood revolves around their training, then gaining mastery based on time invested in one skill is very difficult. This is why Olympians have no other jobs and sports all stars rarely work outside of training. Think about those you consider masters in something and review what it is they spend most of their time doing. Now that we have broken down the time it takes to gain mastery, another aspect is quality training time. The saying “practice makes perfect” is not completely true. It is like studying and watching television and texting at the same time. Studies have proven the amount of actual information a person will retain while engaging in other activities while studying is less effective and normally more time consuming, than focused undistracted training study time. For this reason, the phrase “perfect practice, makes perfect,” was born. This phrase points to a direct relation of how dedicated quality practice with little distractions will enhance performance in a shorter time. Upon the completion of this brief study of what it takes for true mastery, the next time you say “I want to be a master,” think about what that would really take. This honest perception will start you on the right path to your goal. You can fake it or you can make it, but making it takes time and dedication, not short cuts.

By Hakim Isler

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Winter Warrior Weekend, introduction

Experience a yamabushi style, mind-body exploration of ancient and modern practices of the ninja. In the first weekend of February, Boulder Quest Center will host a seminar and Black Belt Testing. We are in the process of designing the different modules and some current ideas include, long battlefield weapons like naginata and yari, warrior meditations, outdoor training with nature as co-conspirator, and a boundary-exploding hike.

To make this seminar incredible and to pave the way for future awesomeness, we'd like to get your input. We want you to comment on this blog or on our Facebook page with elements you'd like to see at the seminar.

Also, we have a lot of great artists at the dojo and we want you to design our W3 T-shirt! There will be a prize for the winning shirt so start thinking about designs (deadline will be in Dec 2010).

Oh yeah, and if you still have your rock from Kim and Jenn's test, bring it to this event.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

To-Shin Do Martial Arts After 50

Testimonial for Boulder Quest

People ask me why I do To-Shin Do training after all, I'm older. I started right before I turned 50. I guess some people think that if you're a woman that age, you're done learning, and your body is too vulnerable to be that physical. Nothing could be further from the truth! Not only have I become more flexible, my muscles are more in tune and my presence is stronger. I have also developed a sharper awareness, clearer intuition and a confidence in my life that grows daily. I want to encourage anyone to give this practice a try. It will change you in ways that are unexpected and beautifully in sync. It's great for kids, but awesome for adults at any age.
            - Bobbi Benson
              Creative Strategic Director for Peace Together

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Festival 30: Life Giving Sword

We are currently in Dayton, OH for the 30th Annual Ninja Festival. I'm so looking forward to a weekend of great training, connecting with friends, and sharing the secrets of our 900-year old lineage.This year's theme s the Life-Giving Sword which epitomizes the ninja approach to self defense. It isn't about violence or even defending yourself. It is about what you create and cause to thrive in the world. If you can't be here this year, start saving for next year. I'll be using our Facebook page to post great quotes, training anecdotes, and cool pics. I hope you'll follow me there.
Stephen K. Hayes Pro Shop

1501 Lee Hill Road #18|Boulder, Colorado 80304|Phone: 303.440.3647|Email: