Whether it's at home or in the training hall prior to class, you must first decide what it is that you intend to accomplish. What particular aspect of your training do you intend to improve? If you don't know, you're not moving towards any goal, per se... and what you'll probably accomplish won't be much more than an aerobic workout. But if you want to develop real skill, you must focus on one thing... whether it's improvng your front kick, sharpening the timing of your reverse punch, increasing your flexibility with a certain type of stretch, tweaking a particular form... you have to KNOW what it is that you plan to accomplish!
Many times, students have approached me and said something like, “How can I concentrate on just one thing? There are SO MANY areas of training that I have to improve!” That's true. But you can only focus on one thing at a time.
Imagine a magnificent dinner placed before you. There is a huge variety of dishes, from succulent meats to vegetables to exotic fruits to delicious pies... how do you eat it? Do you try to put it all in your mouth at the same time? If you did, you'd taste nothing special. You really wouldn't enjoy the meal at all. No...you take a bite of one particular dish and savor it! In this way, you enjoy the meal and come to fully appreciate each item. And so it is with training.
There are many, many aspects to training. But you cannot stuff them all in your mouth at once! Select one and savor it. Yes, it's going to take some considerable time before you finish the entire meal. And when you do finally complete it, another one is laid before you! And you begin again. And again and again.
But with each meal, the dishes become more exotic – the flavors are more subtle and fine. You learn to appreciate them at a deeper level. You can experience flavors and textures that you'd never noticed before.
This is the meaning of gongfu (“Kung-fu”); “A fine skill that is achieved after much effort over a period of time.” Take your time. Enjoy the meal.
So, let's begin again...what are you trying to accomplish in your training today?