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The 5 C's of Martial Arts Training Commitment

Written by Warren HO on 8 July 2024

The 5 C's of Martial Arts Training Commitment

Having a goal in your martial arts training can help set up ones training path and commitment to training. Those goals can vary from wanting to be a world-class competitor, to just having something to do every Wednesday evening. What ever the goal is, defining it give purpose and motivation to ones training program.

As the RKC Head Instructor, I have come across 5 types of students which corresponds to their training commitments. I call this the "5 C's of Training Commitment".

CRAZIES - These are the students who will come to EVERY training session that is offered at the dojo. Sometimes it's just Kendo, but others will also come to the other classes of the other arts that we offer such as Iaido and Jodo! They will also attend every seminar, competition and other training opportunities! During the non-dojo training times, they can be found practicing at other dojo's , or even doing some self-training at home! Furthermore, they will watch YouTube videos, read articles and books related to their art, listen to podcasts anything martial arts, etc. The CRAZIES are those hardcore students who want to live, breathe and die the lifestyle of a samurai warrior. They may actually be perceived as being obsessed with their training, to a point where there might be little to no balance with the other elements in their lives. As mentioned, this may be just the the perception from the outside, and may not necessarily be true.

COMMITTED - These students are the ones who are committed to their scheduled sessions at the dojo. Training is a priority in their life, so they plan their life around these sessions and will make every effort to be there. There is of course, those odd occasions where they may not be able to attend a scheduled session due to personal matters, illness or injury, However, this would very rarely happen. They have committed to the journey and have a clear objective they wish to achieve. However, a key difference is that they appear to have balanced their training commitment with their personal, family and work commitments.

Convenient - Students who fall in this category do not have training as a priority in their life at the moment. This could be due to work, family, or personal priorities which will take precedence over their training commitments. They have scheduled the training times in their calendars, however, if anything else comes along, they would chose that over training!

Communal - Communal students come to training for the social aspects - meeting new people, getting to chat to friends made at the dojo, going to the 2nd dojo after training (i.e. the pub), etc. These students are more about the socialising rather than the actual training! Students in this category are highly motivated by others who come to the dojo, but they also require minimal coaxing to do something else in place of training!

Clueless - This is usually reserved for those new to the dojo. They have come in to the dojo not knowing what to expect and just follow the lead of the sensei or sempai, or that of other clueless students! It takes a few weeks for the movements to feel less awkward, or at lest where the screaming (of kendo) doesn't leave them with PTSD! During this period, the student should start figuring out what the martial arts is about, and what it is that they want to do with it! Sadly, there are those non-beginner students that are still clueless as to why they are doing the martial arts.

These are the 5 C's of students and their training commitments that I have come across so far. I think we all go through these these various stages of training commitment in our lives. Other than the "Clueless" type, there is no "ideal" student. Furthermore, it is easy enough to move through these "C" types, depending on the goals you have set yourself, and balanced with the other priorities in your life. The key is to recognise what "C" type you are now, accept it, make peace with it, and just keep training.

Good luck on your journey!


The Ryū Ken Chi (RKC) Dojo train the traditional Japanese martial arts of Kendo and Iaido (sword-based martial arts), as well as Jodo (the art of the short staff), that encourages the cultivation of the human character.

Kendo Kid is also available for children aged 6-12 years old.

RKC DOJO has 2 training venues within Johannesburg - RIVONIA and OBSERVATORY.

Please follow us on our various social media platforms:



Instagram: @rkc_dojo

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