Let us suppose one starts Karate training. All contents of his training are new and fascinating. His body aches from muscle pains, but his muscle grow bigger and stronger than before. His punches become more powerful than a day before. His kicks get higher and higher day by day. His body is more flexible than the day one when he started his training. His improvement is visible and obvious. He wins against his friends who started training around the same time as him in sparring training. He has a fun going to his dojo for his training.
One day, he finds that he is not improving his skill at all. His punches do not get stronger as before or as he wishes. He has difficulty kicking higher. He cannot win his friends as before. It seems to him everything he does is not improving his skill. He feels that his skill level is aggravating instead of improving. It is depressing. The training are not as interesting as a short time before. He feels his feet heavy in walking to dojo. He fell into a slump.
Quite unfortunately, the curve of one's skill improvement is not smooth up trend. It is rather combination of relatively high straight up, complete flat, and a little bit down. When one continues to train, he experiences all these. It is nothing like climbing steady uphill. One can imagine the trend to be close to walking up steps. It is very close to walking up steps, which has long flat area before reaching the next up step. It is still not exactly like walking up steps.
The closest experience to one's skill improvement is climbing a mountain. Those who has climbed a mountain must have experienced that both ups and downs come in turn in climbing a mountain. Although one is climbing a mountain, the climbing process is not just continuing climbing up. One needs to go up first. After a while, he needs to go down. Then he will up again. He will come across a long and flat road continues for hours. The one will eventually climb to the top after painful walking of ups, downs, and flats.
Slump time is the process of walking down hill or flat road in climbing mountain. The noteworthy is that walking downhill or flat road is an important process of mountain climbing. One cannot reach the summit without walking this downhill or flat areas.
Slump time plays an important role in real improvement. It is the time for preparing next giant leap. When one feels he is in a slump, he should train and exercise more than other times so that he could jump higher than before, when his time comes. If one want to leap higher, he needs to crouch lower.
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