When you first start martial arts, everything is new. You learn the format of classes, terminology, and how to get out of your comfort zone. After a while, you’ll gain experience and get into a good routine.

As you’re getting into that routine, it’s worth it to take some time to think about the direction you’d like to take your martial arts practice. Setting martial arts goals can help you maintain your motivation and momentum behind developing a consistent training schedule.


The SMART goal-setting framework can help you set effective martial arts goals. If you’re not familiar with SMART goals, check out these tips on the SMART martial arts goal-setting process:

S: Specific

A lot of people get involved in martial arts because they want to improve their fitness. So A common goal is to “get in shape.” While this is a noble goal, it is much too vague. “Get in shape” can mean a variety of things to different people. To increase your odds of success, you need to clearly define what “get in shape” means to you. Wherever you want your martial arts goals to take you, make sure they are specific and clearly defined.

M: Measurable

In addition to making goals specific, you also want to make sure they are measurable. For example, “get better” is a goal that’s not only vague, but there is no way to measure when you’ve achieved it. What skill or belt are you working on, and how will you measure success?

A: Achievable

Part of the goal-setting process involves finding a balance between knowing what you’re capable of achieving and pushing yourself to new limits. You don’t want to set a goal that’s so easy to accomplish that you wind up less motivated to train. At the same time, you don’t want to push yourself so far that your goal is impossible to achieve. Use your past training and martial arts history to help you figure out what is achievable yet challenging.

R: Relevant

Goals should generally feel motivating and exciting. If you set a goal and discover you’re not excited to pursue it, this could be because it’s not relevant to your current and overall life goals or stage of life. Set martial arts goals that you’re willing and genuinely excited to work toward.

T: Time-Based

Finally, goals need a set timeframe. Give your goals a deadline; otherwise, it’s much too tempting to keep pushing them into the future. Once you have an end date, work backward to come up with smaller deadlines. Treat these mini-deadlines as checkpoints where you can gauge your progress and adjust your training as needed.

Once you’ve completed the SMART goal-setting process, share your goals with your instructor or a fellow student. Sharing your goals helps to increase accountability and your chances for success.

The Way Family Dojo in Magnolia wants to support you in the pursuit of your martial arts goals. To learn more about how to get started with one of our programs, contact us today.