Hours of practice

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Hours of practice

Postby KEND on Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:28 am

On another forum the question came up on how many hours you should practice to achieve a professional level of competence. In my younger more fanatical days I recall practicing 4-5 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, this did not include thinking about it and trying to figure out what I was doing. This also implies quality as well as quantity. I checked out some other arts/physical disciplines as follows

Dance: Sara Matthews is the director of the Central School of Ballet and a former professional dancer. She told Channel 4 News that dancers can only deal with the pressures of reaching the top because they love dancing.“It has to be – it’s too demanding otherwise,” she said. “When I stopped dancing, one of the first things I noticed was that I didn’t wake up in pain every morning.”Professional dancers have often trained for more than a decade before they join a company, with the most intense vocational training beginning at 16. When I stopped dancing, one of the first things I noticed was that I didn’t wake up in pain every morning. SARA MATTHEWS, CENTRAL SCHOOL OF BALLET While training, students will dance between six and seven hours a day. In most professional companies, a morning class at 10 starts the day, and they could rehearse through until 6pm, with breaks. This punishing schedule is usually done up to six days a week.
Piano: I followed concert pianist Stephen Hough’s (@houghhough) Twitter feed yesterday and was fascinated to find him answering questions regarding his practice regime. I thought it most interesting that he generally managed about four hours practice per day. No doubt, he has a very busy schedule and must have to squeeze practising in around many other professional demands. However, he performs at the highest level and pianists are frequently advised that in order to achieve this, they must practice most of the day. Indeed lots do and become reclusive as a result. I confess I was a little like this when I was much younger. Hiding away at the piano working furiously! Many successful concert pianists don’t spend hours and hours practising though – four hours per day is often deemed all that is necessary.
Squash: A typical pro athlete would train around 5-6 hours a day 6 days a week. This might not seem like a lot of hours but the intensity of training is ridiculous. In fact, without sounding pompous, an average fit individual would struggle to make it through one of our warm-ups. Take a particular endurance session of a former world champion squash player (I do NOT recommend trying this at home). His training session would involve getting on a spinning bike with a heart rate monitor strapped around his chest. He’d then start pedalling hard until his heart rate hit 190 beats per minute which he’d maintain for a duration of 10 minutes. This would be followed by a 3-minute break and the cycle would be repeated 6 times!
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby everything on Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:34 pm

it makes sense and at the same time is astounding how rigorous it must be.

the body cannot possibly be fit for that level unless doing that from the earliest age and at the highest level asap, plus with genetic gifts. mentally, you must surely WANT to do that; indeed you probably cannot NOT do it. I feel that way about a football/soccer ball most of the day, every day, but as a middle aged non-athlete, there is no possible way to train intensely at high quality 5-6 hours a day for 5-6 days per week. we can all marvel at the dancers, athletes, musicians, etc. it's surely the same with purely mental endeavors. the top 0.1% are different than the top 1%.
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby Trick on Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:14 pm

I vote for a 5 hour work day with a professional athletes paycheck for all professionals
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby GrahamB on Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:25 am

I think there's a difference between solo practice and partner practice.

In the CMA you can do 5-6 hours a day of solo practice for years and still have no idea what you're doing. lol ;D
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby RobP3 on Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:26 am

Helps to have some idea of what you are practicing for exactly, too. Athletes train hard for their sport but often at the expense of health. In the above cases people are training for a specific performance, even then no one trains at full intensity for 5-6 hours.

For fitness I was once told if you can do more than 45 minutes training you aren't pushing yourself enough :)
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby RobP3 on Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:35 am

GrahamB wrote:I think there's a difference between solo practice and partner practice.

In the CMA you can do 5-6 hours a day of solo practice for years and still have no idea what you're doing. lol ;D


Reminds me of an interview from years back, young writer talking to an old jazz musician. The writer said "You must practice for hours a day?" The jazz guy said "No, I don't practice at all." The writer was amazed "You never practice?" The musician replied "I don't have time to practice, I'm too busy playing."
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby GrahamB on Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:11 am

RobP3 wrote:
GrahamB wrote:I think there's a difference between solo practice and partner practice.

In the CMA you can do 5-6 hours a day of solo practice for years and still have no idea what you're doing. lol ;D


Reminds me of an interview from years back, young writer talking to an old jazz musician. The writer said "You must practice for hours a day?" The jazz guy said "No, I don't practice at all." The writer was amazed "You never practice?" The musician replied "I don't have time to practice, I'm too busy playing."


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Re: Hours of practice

Postby Steve James on Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:12 am

"No, I don't practice at all." The writer was amazed "You never practice?" The musician replied "I don't have time to practice, I'm too busy playing."


Coltrane used to "practice" between sets at a gig. Dizzy said he practiced scales every day because he was still trying to get them right.

People practice/play either because they have to or they just want to. If something inside makes you get up and sit at the piano, you won't look at the clock. If you practice because you want to achieve something, it will be a chore. That's not a bad thing, because having a goal is not bad. It just means that you'll probably want to do as little as possible.

I think the amount of time necessary to achieve great skill will often depend on one's motivation. Everything being equal, more practice/training/playing is better. The one who practices the most has the best chance of becoming the best. It's just that everything is never equal. :)
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby Peacedog on Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:44 am

I think this is where the 10,000 hour rule really applies.

4-5 hours a day of practice for 7-8 years should equal a professional level ability in whatever is being practiced.

This seems to hold true in athletics, medicine and business.

Now whether, or not, the thing by being practiced and the ability gained in the end was worth it, or not, is a totally different question.
Last edited by Peacedog on Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:47 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby everything on Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:38 am

Trick wrote:I vote for a 5 hour work day with a professional athletes paycheck for all professionals

when do you run for office?

GrahamB wrote:In the CMA you can do 5-6 hours a day of solo practice for years and still have no idea what you're doing. lol ;D


haha so true
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby everything on Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:45 am

Peacedog wrote:I think this is where the 10,000 hour rule really applies.

4-5 hours a day of practice for 7-8 years should equal a professional level ability in whatever is being practiced.

This seems to hold true in athletics, medicine and business.

Now whether, or not, the thing by being practiced and the ability gained in the end was worth it, or not, is a totally different question.


It's like this picture from Ray Dalio's Principles, probably. Not everyone can rapidly improve to whatever the "excellent" level is. Most of us simply cannot, even putting in the same hours.

Image
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:56 am

No matter how much practice
Wrong method wrong result
One degree of divergence at the start means missing the target by a thousand miles
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby wiesiek on Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:28 am

so,
direction/construction of the trainings should be flexible to cover more than one target on its way.
Time is secondary,
if
you workin` out everyday... :D
Last edited by wiesiek on Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby Bao on Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:39 am

If you practice to shoot with a bow and arrow 6 hours a day 7 days a week, you would probably build up a very good skill in a few years.

But martial arts is more complicated and deal with many more aspects of body and mind. Just practice is not enough, the question is about how much you practice on what. For your own martial art, if you had 6 hours a day free you could use for choosing any kind of training, how would you train, what would you use your hours to do?
Last edited by Bao on Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hours of practice

Postby GrahamB on Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:26 am

Easy - 1 hour training. 5 hours RSF!
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