The 5 Minutes Per Day Practice Regimen

In light of our upcoming Online Collaborative Longsword Course, I thought it would be a good occasion to revisit this post on the five minutes per day practice regimen. Rhythm is the most important thing to cultivate on the path to mastery. Whether you leverage this course or simply get started with your own practice ritual, start making those little steps.

A Little, Everyday, Becomes a Lot

Everyone knows if you want to get better at something, you have to practice. However, making time in a busy schedule can be super-challenging. It's easy to have the intention to practice but then not actually get around to it. The next thing you know you're back at your swordplay/dance/yoga class and you haven't done anything you'd hoped to since the week before. This can get demotivating fast, especially when you feel like every class you're having to learn the same thing over again.

This is why I recommend the five minutes a day practice regimen!

That's it. Commit to practicing for five minutes each day. This is a tiny amount of time and it's easy to cram in anywhere. Even when you're about to crawl into bed and you realize that you haven't practiced yet today. What're five minutes? Going to bed at 12:30 or 12:35 is really an irrelevant difference, so you might as well take five minutes to practice some movement, stand in a few different positions, or even visualize something new you're trying to learn.

Don't Make Ambition a Barrier

I think we all easily fall prey to ambitious goals when we set practice plans around things we're passionate about or have a strong desire to learn. I know many who set out thinking "I'll practice 30 minutes or one hour every day!" Then they miss a day, then two, then the intention is lost.

  • Five minutes doesn't preclude you from doing more—it just helps you break the inertia of doing less.
  • Five minutes helps you stay mentally close even if the time between serious practice is physically far.
  • Five minutes of real-time honours your commitment more than hours of good intentions.
  • Really allow yourself to celebrate that five minutes every time you take it, even if it seems small.

So start your five minutes today. It takes nothing to start, so why not get up and do it. Trust me it'll feel good and you've practically finished already!

Devon Boorman is the Co-Founder and Director of Academie Duello Centre for Swordplay, which has been active in Vancouver, Canada since 2004. Devon’s expertise centres on the Italian swordplay tradition including the arts of the Renaissance Italian rapier, sidesword, and longsword, as well as knife and unarmed techniques.
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