All right ninja fans, what is an A.A.R.? Well of course it is the military acronym for After Action Report! Now, one of the best tips I ever started implementing was the AAR. After a training session take a ½ hr or so and sit down and reflect on your session. Whether it was a physical condition session, or martial practice it doesn’t matter, what matters is you tear apart every moment of your training and the performance you gave during it. It is also advisable to bring in your training partner, teammate, coach, or teacher to help you honestly reflect on what you did and how you truly performed.
I have a student who has no idea on how to critique himself. He is a fantastic martial artist but he can’t see that in his own reviews. Over the years I have seen my fair share of students and teachers fail at this type of brutally honest critiquing. This is utilized in the US forces extensively, Olympic athletes utilize this in their training programs, professional bodybuilders, successful business individuals, but sadly not enough martial artists take this on.
I can show you pages and pages of critiques on myself and the reflections and comments of my partners and teachers. It has kept me realistic in my performance and often times humbled when I needed it.(Hey, everyone has an Ego and it can get in the way!!) So take this lesson away with you to your next training session .A.A.R!
Alright now I have to critique my lock picking skills because I am once again somewhat stuck on a particularly difficult picking….Arrrggggh!!