The 80/20 Rule To Martial Arts Training: Stop Wasting Your Time

Applying the 80/20 rule in your martial arts training will not only save you time, but you will also progress faster. The goal is to identify what makes the biggest and least impact in your training in order to prioritize your time and attention for a greater outcome.

I briefly mentioned the 80/20 Rule in my previous post: Get The Most Out Of Your Training – Martial Arts

8020 Martial arts training

Also known as Pareto’s law, the 80/20 rule states that roughly 80% of the results comes from 20% of the causes. For an example, 80% of business sales comes from 20% of the clients. The 80/20 rule can be applied to anything, today you will be applying it to your martial arts training.

“The goal is to find your inefficiencies in order to eliminate them and to find your strengths so you can multiply them.” – Tim Ferriss

Making the 80/20 Analysis in Your Martial Arts Training

The first step to the 80/20 analysis for your martial arts training is what do you want out of it. Self defense? competition? fitness? having fun? or how to apply a specific technique?

Identify the 20% that meets your goal the most. Below are a few questions you can use to identify this 20% of your training:

  • What would you do to get the most out of your training if you only had 30 mins to train? How would you do it?
  • If you could only spar 3 rounds , who would you spar with? how hard would you spar?
  • If you only had time to work on 3 different techniques, what would they be?
  • If you only had time to do one drill, what drill will that be?
  • If you have to prepare for a fight in 2 months, what would you do?
“One does not accumulate but eliminate. It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.” – Bruce Lee
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

When applying the 80/20 analysis to your martial arts training you, the goal is to hack away the excess and narrow it down to the bare essentials that will increase your bottom line.

Once the bare essentials are identified, create a training plan your willing to execute. Create timelines to measure and manage your progress. Re-analyze and modify as necessary. Below is one example on on how I applied the 80/20 law to my martial arts training:

30 Minutes a Day is All It Takes – The Heavy Bag

I was able to narrow down specific movements on the heavy bag targeting the following 30mins a day.

I always have a plan when i use the heavy bag. Each 3 minute round I work on two specific combinations aiming for a total of 40-50 reps per round with 1 minute rest in between. Each combination has a minimum of three strikes and at least one defensive movement (snap back, weave, or slip).

Each repetition is initiated and finished using footwork with 100% effort in speed, explosiveness, and power. Once achieving the repetition goals I’ll sit and throw random punches and kicks with no pauses until the round is over.

Each round I am throwing 200-300 strikes, totaling 1200-1800 strikes for 6 rounds within 30mins. While working my legs, footwork, distancing, power, speed, endurance, and defensive movements that I’m also anchoring into my nervous system using jedi mind tricks (visualization – check out this article for more info). Also the non-stop intensity eliminates any slack through out the heavy bag session, optimizing my time spent.

Applying the 80/20 rule to my martial arts training has brought me clarity and focus. It helps me prioritize whats important and eliminate what is not. I was first introduced to the 80/20 rule by Timothy Ferriss’s Book Called The 4-Hour Workweek. Check It out

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I personally believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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6 Replies to “The 80/20 Rule To Martial Arts Training: Stop Wasting Your Time”

  1. JcCee

    I think this concept would go good with my fitness routine. I am limited to how much time I can work out so I need to make sure I am using my time wisely. My husband is interested in martial arts training so I will be letting him read this also.

  2. Elizabeth O.

    This is so informative. I’ve never tried training for any kind of martial arts but I’ve always been fascinated. I admire people who go through the training because it requires a lot of strength and discipline.

    • Allan Jardin

      You should definitely try some martial arts, i recommend jiu jitsu or boxing. jiu jitsu is great for the smaller or “weaker” person. teaches you how to use leverage and technique to overcome a bigger opponent. highly recommend for everybody.


    Understand the 80-20 rule. Eighty percent of your successes will come from twenty percent of your activities. Eighty percent of a business profits will come from twenty percent of its customers. Do not be afraid of firing people in the bottom 80 percent. Sometimes you need to cut off a hand in order to save the body is an old saying and in a martial arts school, many times it is better for the school to get rid of certain students and parents because they can be a like a cancer and destroy the morale and attitude of others. Pick you teachers and students well, and your life as a teacher will be much more blessed.

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