The Importance of Timing

Timing is one of the most important factors in determining the success of any endeavor we set out on doing. Be it in business, martial arts or life in general, the concept of the right timing has long been lauded for its contribution to any success. As much as it is elusive, it is also responsible for key inflection points of a success story.

A skilled stockbroker learns to read the patterns of the markets to turn a profit on even the most marginal companies by “striking the iron while it’s hot." In a similar way, a martial artist learns to read the patterns of his opponents to either neutralize their attacks or to initiate an attack.

You make your own luck
We’ve often seen many a football striker tapping in an easy ball that’s crossed into the penalty box. However, we tend to overlook the effort on the striker’s part to “be at the right place, at the right time” in order to capitalize on that crossed ball. It is mindful to note that for every goal on a crossed ball, there are dozens of missed attempts or passes that never materialized.

If any one of the players fails to perform his/her role successfully, the move will not work. All the different parts of the team must play a critical role with the correct timing in order to produce a successful strike on goal. Although there is always the factor of “luck” involved in life, the obvious importance of hard work, diligence and perseverance is hard to overlook.

Apply with care
Learning the right timing to apply certain moves is critical. In Muay Thai, it is the difference between knocking someone out and getting knocked out. You also don’t apply maximum force all the time in BJJ in order to avoid the the risk of gassing out during a bout. You must know when to capitalize on the prevalent situation. Skillful application of power and grace on top of sound execution of technique will allow you to come out “on top” at the end of the day.

There is always a window of opportunity to act, and this critical period within which to strike is usually very small. Any hesitation on your part will detract you from delivering effective and efficient strikes or moves. In addition to that, it will often result in a small delay, enough to make you miss the timing. This is often the knockout blow in martial arts, in business and in life. Having said this, any hesitation can be minimized by constantly practicing good fundamental movements and extensively rehearsing reflex responses to any situation.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Being very well versed in what you’re doing helps a great deal in getting you to do things fast (efficiently) and well (effectively). Achieving this state is easier said than done, as it involves a great deal of practice before it becomes second nature to you. You will then not need to think about the actual execution of the move when you need it. In essence, it will become one of your “tools” that you can use at any time desired.

An analogy for this would be like learning mathematics. Upon mastering elementary arithmetic like simple addition and subtraction, we can then apply those skills as tools to deal with much more complex problem sums; akin to mastering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) moves like the conventional triangle choke before learning its variations, or Muay Thai punches, elbows, knee and leg strikes before proceeding to put them together in numerous combinations. It is a natural progression that as we master more and more things, we are able to learn and apply more complex (and perhaps abstract) concepts to what we are doing.

In summary, the importance of right timing must never be overlooked, and although we might not be able to directly influence the right timing on everything in life, we can always strive to prepare ourselves as best as we can so that we can capitalize when the opportunity arises.

Evolve Mixed Martial Arts® is Asia's premier brand of MMA academies.  Evolve MMA ranks among the best academies in the world for Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Mixed Martial Arts.