This is a hard question to respond to because the answer depends on three factors.
- What do you mean by good?
- What’s your athletic background & experience?
- How seriously are you planning on training?
At Crazy 88, we understand not everyone’s goals are the same. Different goals require different commitment levels. For example, you would only need to train about 6 months in order to out-strike or out-grapple your high school friends or defend yourself against drunk hooligans in a bar. One year of regular training would put your skills above 99% of the population. But if you want to win the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Championships or World Kickboxing Association Nationals, or become a professional MMA fighter, you are going to have to invest more effort and time.
You should compare your martial arts journey to taking a road trip. Some people want to take a more leisurely route and enjoy the scenery. Others want to get to their destination as quickly as possible. Some people are driving minivans, and others are whipping down the road in sports cars. You can decide where you want to go and how fast you want to get there. We will provide the the roadmap, try to make you a better driver, and augment your car as much as possible!
Since opening the school almost a decade ago, I’ve seen students practice for 3 months and reach the same level as individuals who have been training for 5 years. Most of the time, the person training for 5 years is showing up to class once or twice a week, has long stretches of inactivity, and doesn’t feel a sense of urgency. He’s enjoying the scenery… and there’s nothing wrong with that! The quick learner normally has some sort of previous athletic or martial arts background, leads a very ‘clean’ distraction-free life, and trains A LOT. It’s not a surprise that he is improving so quickly. He wants to get to his destination fast!
I believe that potential students are afraid that they might not be able to train enough to see a difference. If your goal is to learn self-defense and gain fighting skills through the martial arts, don’t worry. You will learn more and improve each time you attend. If you train more, you’ll progress more quickly. Simple.
However, if your goal is fitness-related, you will have to commit to training with regularity. For beginners, we recommend training two to three times per week and building up from there.
The other thing to keep in mind is that students often begin with one goal and move onto new ones as they progress. For example, new clients often say “getting in shape” is their #1 goal. A few months later, the same student will now say “winning my first tournament” is the new goal because he enjoys training and has gotten in good shape. It’s actually quite inspiring to see these students find new goals, and keep advancing.
So to summarize, its really hard to answer the question, “How much time and commitment does it take to become good?” without getting a better understanding of the individual client.