Paul Kilduff Many people start out in the martial arts. Some don’t make it past the first class while others train for many years. Some students may achieve into the brown belt ranks, and others will achieve into the black belt ranks. The reasons people stop training are as vast as the reasons people never quit. Many believe that people either quit or continue to train. However, there is a third gray area of martial artist out there among us. These are the self-proclaimed students. I’m not calling them self-proclaimed because they didn’t at one point earn their rank. No, I’m calling them self-proclaimed because they claim to be a martial artist, but don’t train on a regular basis and sometimes not at all. They may occasionally attend class or events and that’s great, but they rarely if ever participate. Why is this a problem? It’s a problem because your Martial Art skills like most other skills are perishable. Without constant practice and continued learning your skills become dull and a shadow of what they once may have been. You may confuse techniques in a kata and may loose the ability to properly demonstrate at full speed. Some martial artists haven’t realized it, but their art is a perishable skill that must be continuously renewed through practice and training. Experts in other skill-based fields recommends regular training time to both improve and maintain accuracy and the skills needed for proper task execution. Why do some people in the martial arts feel that we can somehow escape the natural order that affects every other skill-based task? Continue to practice and avoid the trap of complacency.