That martial arts tournament or belt test you’ve worked so hard for is now finished. Apart from taking some time for rest and recovery, now is a great time to review your performance and set some goals for your training.

What I find really helpful is a self-reflection exercise called “glows and grows.” Specifically, a glow is something you’ve done well at a particular training session or event, and a grow is an area that could use improvement. The activity involves writing down two glows and two grows after every division, belt test, and even training session. Once you’ve done this, you can turn those grows into intentions and actions.

For example, a glow could be, “I sparred with intensity.” And a grow could be, “Even though I performed well, I did walk into too many punches.” From that grow you could come up with an intention such as, “I will work on my defense for my next event.” And then you can come up with a training plan that will help you do this.

Often after a tournament or belt test I spend far too much time focusing on how I feel about my performance (whether positive or negative), and end up getting stuck in these happy or disappointed feels. This activity helps me put my performance into perspective by acknowledging that every performance involves BOTH mistakes as well as successes. And by objectively assessing both, we can boost our confidence AND keep moving forward in our training.

I talk about the “glows and grows” activity in my latest podcast episode and video. You can listen to the episode here, as well as wherever you prefer to listen to your favourite podcasts. You can find links to all the major directories on this page here.

Episode 9

Show Notes for Episode 9

After the emotional ride of a martial arts belt test or tournament, we sometimes get caught up in our feelings and thoughts about the event. Whether we dwell on our mistakes or revel in our successes, we risk stagnating if we spend too much time focusing on these feelings about our performance. Join me in this episode as I explain a helpful activity that we can do after every tournament and belt test, and even every training session. This activity can help us improve our confidence and devise a plan of action so we can keep moving forward towards mastery in martial arts.

Thank you for joining me on my martial arts journey, and in the exploration of all the ways we can perform better in life and martial arts.

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Try this activity after your next training session, belt test, or tournament. Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section below. 

Recommended Resources

You’re reading A Self-Reflection Exercise for Improvement in Martial Arts by Sabrina Bliem, originally posted on The Karate Shrimp. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Karate Shrimp on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!