Author Topic: Time Spent Training  (Read 3650 times)

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December 10, 2011, 09:53:51 AM
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Steve

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Recently a friend of mine asked me to teach him a bit of martial arts, and at one point during that practice he quoted something along the lines of "10, 000 hours of practice makes perfect", which apparently comes from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_(book) there. As the book mentions, and as I mentioned to my friend, the amount of time spent on training really applies to any field of skill or study, regardless of where you set the meter at, including magic, psionics, qi gong, etc.

So, for the sake of curiosity, I decided to break down the numbers for how long it would take to reach 10,000 hours worth of training in any particular skill in order to match up with that idiom. I'm not sure whether the idiom cares about how good the training is, but I've always been under the assumption that hours spent training are only counted if they're effortful, solid hours of training.

Let's start off with a well-known training regime in the western world of "martial arts" sports and exercise: 2 hours a day, 3 days a week (Mon, Wed, Fri). I've seen plenty enough dojo's using that kind of schedule, but the exact schedule is kind of moot as we'll see.

2 hours/day * 3 days/week * 52 weeks = 312 hours/year. (or, 6hours/7days*365days=312.86) (Even if we missed a week or added a week due to weird calendar years, that's only 6 hours of difference, which is 1.9% of the total, which makes it mostly moot)

At this rate we can quickly see that it would take just over 3 years to accrue 1,000 hours of practice, which means somewhere around 32 years to accrue 10,000 hours of practice.

That's a looooong time.

Can that be shortened up? Certainly! Let's look at a different training regime, one that's not really realistic for most westerners but would be an ideal training schedule for anyone who doesn't already do it: 8 hours/day, every day. This is more than a standard full time job, since we're including Sundays and Saturdays for a grand total of 56 hours/week.

8 hours/day * 365 days/year = 2920 hours/year.

Wait, what? After all that insane amount of time spent on training and we're still less than a third of the way up to the 10,000 mark? Why, yes, yes we are. It would take 3.42 years of that kind of training in order to reach the 10,000 hours mark.

But that's too excessive for people who are trying to keep down a job, pay their finances, maintain a family, have a social life, or keep other hobbies besides. Surely there's got to be a more realistic training schedule that gets us there faster than 30-40 years, right? Well, how about 2 hours/day, every single day? And then 3 hours/day, every single day. I bet most people would be a lot more willing to try those ones out.

2 hours/day * 365 days/year = 730 hours/year. 10000/730 = 13.7 years of training.
3 hours/day * 365 days/year = 1095 hours/year = 9.13 years of training.

Well, that certainly seems more reasonable. Don't expect too much time spent for other hobbies on top of a job and social life ^_^ But 10-15 years is generally what I've heard quoted from most respectable martial arts sources for how long it should take to reach Black Belt or equivalent status (obviously depending on how many hours/year are put in).

How about 2-3 hours per day, 5 days a week? Of course, you can always do the calculations yourself for whatever training schedule you want.

2*5*52 = 520 hours/year = 19.23 years to reach 10,000 hours.
3*5*52 = 780 hours/year = 12.82 years to do the same.

And that's just on the physical side of things, in the martial arts, which has been practiced in dozens or hundreds of different forms over the past at least 5 thousand years by millions, hundreds of millions, or more people. That's for a discipline which is solidly set out in the world and which many people generally accept as a worthwhile way to spend their time.

Metaphysical pursuits, which have had far fewer people publicly writing about them, while also having do deal with written mistakes and cyphers and purposeful misinformation, and passing along traditions over those same millennium, are not going to be easier (unless your standards are extremely low). If you're seriously looking at psionics, magic, qi gong, or whatever other practice, consider that you're in this for the long haul. :)

So settle down, keep practicing, and make "whatever you do" a Part of your life rather than treating it as a quick fad done for some easy results. Good luck and best wishes to all of us in our endeavors!

~Steve

Mini-update, copied from below so that people don't have to read all the rest of the posts in order to see this one:

And what about individual efforts? For instance, the "I don't fear the 10,000 Kicks you practiced 1 time. I fear the 1 Kick you practiced 10,000 times" expression? How long would it take to do 10,000 kicks?

Well, this past Sunday I decided to do 50 punched with each hand, and 50 kicks with each foot to see how long it would take and if it were feasible. I haven't really trained for the past 10 years, so I wasn't able to do the full 50 kicks with each foot; I only got to 30. But for all four limbs, it took less than 15 minutes to do them all. Obviously there are many skills which require a lot more than the secondish of throwing a punch/kick, to go through a single iteration; this begs the question of "are iterations more important, or is time spent on them more important?" and to that question I don't have a general answer.

But! 10,000 punches. If you did 50/day, it would take 2 days to do 100, 20 days to do 1000, and 200 days to do 10,000. And make sure to stretch, because that's a lot of work for the muscles!

If you wanted to bring it down to 20/day, it would take 5 days to do 100, 50 days to do 1000, and 500 days (1.3 years) to do 10,000.

And, the same as the first post, you can rework those numbers for your own training schedule. And this isn't necessarily "Mastery", by the way. The author of the book in the OP describes the "10,000 Hour Rule" as something to be done to gain success in a field, or something along those lines. So you're not "done" when you hit those 10,000! But realistically speaking, you'll have lost count long before you do reach it, and by that time it will have become so ingrained as a part of your being that you'll just continue doing it naturally anyway ^_^

~Steve
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 09:30:36 AM by Steve »
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 11, 2011, 12:13:28 AM
Reply #1

MariusAnil

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Vegetius said victory depends on your discipline rather then your strength. Polyphasic sleep could be used to extend your normal conscious time by 6 hours. 30 minute power naps every four hours would do it(initiation into this practice is a little difficult as you are training your-self to sleep more efficiently). This way you could fit in that 8 hours of training/skill building(or more) without much impact towards your daily life. But again this 8 hours of training have to be deep practice with all your focus and attention towards pushing the envelope and going where you are not comfortable.

Me personally I would use cycles like 2 days of "rest" for every 5 days of hard training. on the 2 days of rest I would still do 2 hours of soft training.(What!? Over training is detrimental. We ain't robots ya know!)

(2days x 52weeks=104days) (365days - 104days=261) (261days x 8hrs=2,088) (104days x 2hrs=208) (2,088hrs + 208hrs=2,296)(10,000hrs/2,296hrs=4.35yrs)

It would take 4.35 years If you did it this way. though I personally have been training(martial arts) 2 hours daily for 5 years so I have 3650 hours clocked in. If I hit this routine now it would take me 2.76 years for me to achieve "mastery". Tempting heh heh.

P.s. Though this theory is not taking into account eureka moments that leap frog development a couple months to a year. We all have those sparks of genius.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2011, 12:19:44 AM by MariusAnil »
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December 11, 2011, 01:51:49 AM
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mrblack

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I was just discussing this with an apprentice of mine because he seems to be so fixated in
"hacking" magick and finding the nugget of information that will lead him to fast-tracking
into the magickal superhighway.

Told him he's wasting his time but he is adamant and stubborn *shakes head*.....
hepaby!

beyondchaosmagick.wordpress.com <-- journal
thehollowones.wordpress.com <--collective

December 11, 2011, 03:10:15 AM
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INFINITE LIGHT

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A state of being. Simple being something and holding it

There's nothing to do but to be they say. Let's say you stay awake for 12 hours a day and you hold that state of being. I MEAN SOMETHING LIKE I AM happy and hold that state of being forever.

Or choosing a new you and bring it.

It would take 833 days which is two years three months to create a MASTERED NEW YOU..

So even if you were just changing your life philosophy and how you dealtnwith it it would take time to master.



It's funny I used to play video games and I would see that since you get more fights you get more experienced. I was good enough to see the skills of others and I would notice that at 10,000 matches taught (I wasn't even paying attention to this rule this was in 2004 2005) the person would get competent. Even if I won their technique was SOLID after that many matches. They knew everything they could do knew there opponent and had a non sloppy technique. From there they would win or lose based on mind games alone.


Mine is not a better way Just another way
I am by no means a master just a student
what I value is not the only thing that is to be valued.
And my way is not the only way
JESUS IS LORD!

December 11, 2011, 10:03:26 AM
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MariusAnil

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I was just discussing this with an apprentice of mine because he seems to be so fixated in
"hacking" magick and finding the nugget of information that will lead him to fast-tracking
into the magickal superhighway.

Told him he's wasting his time but he is adamant and stubborn *shakes head*.....

And that golden nugget is experience. Doesn't matter if you are a genius without experience you could become like Icarus.
Life is energy with purpose.

December 11, 2011, 02:56:08 PM
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kobok

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Thanks Steve, a thought-inspiring post.  I tried to estimate the total metaphysical arts training I've put in over the years, and found it a difficult quantity to even estimate (because it is a fraction of time, rather than a full time job, and thus is more prone to errors on estimation).  But this still reveals two important things:

1)  It reveals a meaningful way to think about the magnitude of training time required to gain something analogous to mastery in the metaphysical arts.
2)  It points out that to gain the rate of mastery and improvement that most of us desire, we need to put in sufficient time that it accrues in the desired time frame.  I think most of us feel like we practice less than we should, but this gives us an idea of how much less.

But let's be clear about those 10,000 hours.  This does not include just practice, because it does not apply to just practice in OTHER areas either.  Study, knowledge, discussion, and contemplation about the arts should also make up some fraction of those 10,000 hours.  One does not achieve mastery in any art by simply trying to do it over and over again.  One can only achieve basic competence in that manner.  Gaining well-rounded mastery over any art requires spending serious time studying and understanding the principles at work in the art in question, and the 10,000 hours includes this time as well.  We reflexively rail on "armchair practitioners" here a lot, because there are a number of people who spend time ONLY doing this, but in reality mastery requires time spent reading, studying, and discussing in balanced combination with practice.  I can say with complete confidence that my time spent reading journal articles about parapsychology, AND my time spent in this community discussing the metaphysical arts, have contributed in significant and tangible ways to my development and to my practice.
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December 12, 2011, 08:04:29 AM
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INFINITE LIGHT

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I agree with the able post COMPLETELY!

It's not just about the practice it's a whole process in work!

Mine is not a better way Just another way
I am by no means a master just a student
what I value is not the only thing that is to be valued.
And my way is not the only way
JESUS IS LORD!

December 12, 2011, 08:26:03 AM
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Hellblazer

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It's also the quality of the effort rather than the quanity that matters as well. 10,000 hours of quality work is better than doing something half hearted for 10,000 hours.

December 13, 2011, 06:24:17 AM
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MariusAnil

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though I personally have been training(martial arts) 2 hours daily for 5 years

Your not the only one heh heh. I also try to incorporate softness into my hard movements to improve their economy.

*whispers* why did I quote my self?... again.
Life is energy with purpose.

December 15, 2011, 09:28:08 AM
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Steve

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Mini-update:

And what about individual efforts? For instance, the "I don't fear the 10,000 Kicks you practiced 1 time. I fear the 1 Kick you practiced 10,000 times" expression? How long would it take to do 10,000 kicks?

Well, this past Sunday I decided to do 50 punched with each hand, and 50 kicks with each foot to see how long it would take and if it were feasible. I haven't really trained for the past 10 years, so I wasn't able to do the full 50 kicks with each foot; I only got to 30. But for all four limbs, it took less than 15 minutes to do them all. Obviously there are many skills which require a lot more than the secondish of throwing a punch/kick, to go through a single iteration; this begs the question of "are iterations more important, or is time spent on them more important?" and to that question I don't have a general answer.

But! 10,000 punches. If you did 50/day, it would take 2 days to do 100, 20 days to do 1000, and 200 days to do 10,000. And make sure to stretch, because that's a lot of work for the muscles!

If you wanted to bring it down to 20/day, it would take 5 days to do 100, 50 days to do 1000, and 500 days (1.3 years) to do 10,000.

And, the same as the first post, you can rework those numbers for your own training schedule. And this isn't necessarily "Mastery", by the way. The author of the book in the OP describes the "10,000 Hour Rule" as something to be done to gain success in a field, or something along those lines. So you're not "done" when you hit those 10,000! But realistically speaking, you'll have lost count long before you do reach it, and by that time it will have become so ingrained as a part of your being that you'll just continue doing it naturally anyway ^_^

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 01, 2015, 05:11:39 PM
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Rationalist

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I hope you guys won't mind me resurrecting this ancient thread. It has recently been mentioned here, and I felt like adding a few things.

Firstly, as has been mentioned multiple times, quality is very important. There's a huge difference between doing and practicing. For example, there are many people who have thousands of hours of driving under their belt, but how many of them could actually go anywhere near the limit on a racing track? If you do a Google search for "deliberate practice", you'll find quite a few things about how to make practice matter.

Secondly, I think the specific skill being learned is also important. Take learning a language. Depending on what your native language is, there are languages which will be harder for you, and languages which will be comparatively easy.

And thirdly, it's important to realize that this 10k figure is for world-class performance. How many of us are trying to be world-class? There are multiple principles which suggest that interesting results can be achieved much sooner than this. One of them is the Pareto principle, which says that 80% of results come from 20% of effort. Of course, the numbers will vary widely in different situations, but there often is something to it. Also, there's the law of diminishing returns, which I'm sure many of you are familiar with.

In fact, there are people who hack skill learning, and have managed to acquire some skills very quickly (at a very basic level, of course, but that's kinda the point). For example, there's a guy called Josh Kaufman, who presented a TED talk about this topic, and also wrote a book about it. Here's the TED talk:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgBikgcWnY

Then there are people who are hacking language learning, like Benny Lewis and Gabriel Wyner, and can already speak multiple languages quite well (although I'm not sure if Gabriel is truly a hacker, since his method is more about quality than quantity).

So really, it all depends on how good you want to be. And come to think of it, maybe the world needs someone to hack metaphysics, and get interesting results in a much shorter time than usual? Or perhaps is it something that can't be hacked, or, of it can, shouldn't be?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2015, 06:23:19 AM by Rationalist »

December 05, 2015, 06:39:08 PM
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Steve

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Quote from: Rationalist
Firstly, as has been mentioned multiple times, quality is very important.
Well of course quality is important, but you need to do 10000 hours of practice/training/whatever before you can say you've done 10000 hours of Quality practice/training/whatever ;)

I mean, after all, nobody goes "YEAAAAHHH! I'm only going to do QUALITY TRAINING! Every single hour I do is going to be the best it could ever be!". It would be nice if every single hour could see you putting in the best performance possible, except then you'd only be practicing when you're at your best. And how often is that? So instead of waiting around for those moments when we're feeling our best, we also get some benefit out of training when we're not at our best :)

Also, when I used to do martial arts, I specifically trained when I was definitively not at my best; when I was tired/exhausted, hungry/thirsty, sick, had headaches, drunk, muscles sore, etc. Reason being that there's generally two scenarios when you get into a fight: you and the other person both agree to it, or you get jumped. People who are going to jump others don't wait for the others to be at their best, so I felt I needed to be able to fight even if I was in terrible condition. And that made a *world* of difference in my capability in every situation other than when I'm at my best (reinforcing what's there, rather than only pushing the limits further).

Quote from: Rationalist
And thirdly, it's important to realize that this 10k figure is for world-class performance. How many of us are trying to be world-class?
Well, true. But how many want to be the best they can be? We don't always have a definable goal, and my original intent was never to tell people that they need to adhere to this 10,000 hours thing. Just wanted to crunch numbers to give people the realization that magical practices aren't a quick 6 week course (for those people who are wondering why they've been practicing for like a few weeks or even years and aren't grand maguses already).

I will check out that ted talk though, see what that's about.

~Steve
Mastery does not occur when you've performed a feat once or twice. Instead, it comes after years of training, when you realize that you no longer notice when you're performing a feat which used to require so much effort. Even walking takes years of training for a human: why not everything else?

December 06, 2015, 12:37:46 AM
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Mind_Bender

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My Bagua instructor told me the best way to do qigong is to never go past 70% or you will end up wasting what you worked towards; qigong is about longevity of skill not pushing your limits like sports or real life combat situations. Jason Feruggia, the author of 'Fit-to-Fight', says to not go past 80% of your skill 80% of the time, to only exceed to maximum capacity at the end of your training 'season' (he trains fighters and athletes, so these training seasons are anywhere from 6-12 weeks at a time with a 1 week break between training seasons of 6-8 weeks, and up to 2 weeks of rest for 8-12 weeks of training - I personally don't follow this time table, just an example) as a test of strength and skill, and this is usually done in the ring or on the field; you know, competition takes all you've got to win!

The same applies for the everyday fitness enthusiast and martial arts fighter, except instead of going full out in competition you are training for a specific goal and each season is to surpass the last goal (endurance, power, evasion, tactical advantage, et cetera). The reason why he says you should not go to maximum capacity is due to muscle failure being bad for form which is unhealthy in the long run (look how many professionals martial artists have injuries later in life, not all which are due to the competition but to pushing themselves too hard in training). You have to push yourself hard and explore your maximum output to excel, but not every session. Often times we forget about that one key factor in gaining ability - relaxation. You must let go so the training can become part and parcel of your being, otherwise, what are you training for? Training just to train will burn you out, goals give you a plateau to rest at and feel accomplished.

What is world class but to become the best at what you do so you can teach others a skill you value as a part of your very life force? You don't have to be famous but you should know how to use your skill in multiple scenarios. Mastering a technique is not just about the technique in training but how practical it is various situations. You can have fighting technique, but if you never spar full contact with another human being you will never learn to use it in a real way. You can practice forms for 20 years that are said to develop defense against multiple attackers, but if you do not have people randomly attack you you will never know how to react with calm awareness, proper alignment, and devastating technique. This doesn't mean to go out and pick a fight with a gang, but to put as much reality into your training as possible. I think this is where religion differs from magic; religion has one put faith into something and to depend on that something and if things do not go the way you intended, all is well because is just part of the plan, where practical magic makes us look at where we went wrong: did I not banish properly; was my mind not really in the moment; were my emotions wild; was I distracted? The more we practice a set of techniques the more we can discover which ones work for us in what situations and which ones we can discard. This is why I am a big supporter of the 10,000 technique philosophy. Even if it doesn't, train like your life depends on it, this way you will know the ways of eating bitter and feeling accomplished when you eat that proverbial hamburger with fries, a salad and six pack of your favorite beer with good friends...
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December 18, 2015, 11:12:09 AM
Reply #13

Rationalist

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Also, when I used to do martial arts, I specifically trained when I was definitively not at my best; when I was tired/exhausted, hungry/thirsty, sick, had headaches, drunk, muscles sore, etc. Reason being that there's generally two scenarios when you get into a fight: you and the other person both agree to it, or you get jumped. People who are going to jump others don't wait for the others to be at their best, so I felt I needed to be able to fight even if I was in terrible condition. And that made a *world* of difference in my capability in every situation other than when I'm at my best (reinforcing what's there, rather than only pushing the limits further).

I'm not an expert on deliberate practice by any means, and much less on martial arts, but practicing martial arts when you're feeling less than great for the purpose of being able to defend yourself in any situation sounds very deliberate to me. Many armies around the world train like this. That said, I would think that keeping a little practice time when you're at your best would be useful to push those limits.

You can have fighting technique, but if you never spar full contact with another human being you will never learn to use it in a real way. You can practice forms for 20 years that are said to develop defense against multiple attackers, but if you do not have people randomly attack you you will never know how to react with calm awareness, proper alignment, and devastating technique. This doesn't mean to go out and pick a fight with a gang, but to put as much reality into your training as possible.

I agree. You get better at what you practice. So if you practice forms, you'll get better at forms (assuming you practice correctly). If you practice defending yourself against random attacks, then you'll (hopefully) get better at that.

I think this is where religion differs from magic; religion has one put faith into something and to depend on that something and if things do not go the way you intended, all is well because is just part of the plan, where practical magic makes us look at where we went wrong: did I not banish properly; was my mind not really in the moment; were my emotions wild; was I distracted? The more we practice a set of techniques the more we can discover which ones work for us in what situations and which ones we can discard.

Interesting way to look at it.

This is why I am a big supporter of the 10,000 technique philosophy. Even if it doesn't, train like your life depends on it, this way you will know the ways of eating bitter and feeling accomplished when you eat that proverbial hamburger with fries, a salad and six pack of your favorite beer with good friends...

I'm not sure I understand this :confused: