Some people study the arts for recognition from karate.. one example could be such an importance being placed upon belt rank. It is wonderful to be noticed for your achievements from hard work, but this should never be a reason to become involved in the arts. To me it should be the benefits, skills, etc. that are the top priority. "All" about the belt ranking is the wrong reason to become involved in the arts. A very incorrect attitude to have. Some people try karate to become a better fighter, some to increase their physical or mental abilities, some do it for relaxation and for the sheer love of the movements of kata. People join the arts for various reasons. I believe that the correct attitude is this--If one loves what they do, then things come more naturally to them. If one understands why they are involved then they have a greater understanding, respect, and seriousness about what/why they are doing. A wrong attitude can fall by the wayside and correct attitude can come in its place if one looks at these things. With correct attitude the martial arts becomes so much more meaningful to the student. The martial artist will be brought into confrontation with their own true self.
A student will face many things about themselves and thus, they will know in their heart the true reasons for which they study.
The mind should be like free flowing water. The water reflects images, and we should be in a state like that of water. We should reflect upon things and see them as they are. If something is dropped into the water then it causes the water to disrupted, ripple or become a wave. Sometimes we get distracted by things in life just as the water gets disrupted when something stops or disrupts its flow. If we get stuck we can try to go around the obstacles and carry on. We can also stop the ripples that come to us such as when we are in a place in our studies where we feel we are stuck with a certain technique or drill. If we let our minds get disturbed by waves or ripples we can not think as clearly or do things as correctly as we would like to do them. When the mind becomes still then we can think and see things more clearly and then we can better meet any obstacles in our studies or in our lives.
Speed is something that comes over time. It is better to perfect technique and then let the speed can come later. In our minds we can improve upon techniques such as punches, kicks, blocks, etc. sometimes by just closing our eyes and picturing ourselves doing the correct technique and focusing on it. Often when I have students do this, their skill is increased. This also works well for kata technique. You can also picture yourself sparring well and you give yourself positive input alone with it, it can help with the jitters that sometimes come with the fear of an upcoming competition, as it seems to sometimes help with confidence.
A clear mind works better then one that is cluttered with doubt and fears.
If you have trouble with balance when you are in a certain stance for example, a crane stance it can help a great deal if you stare straight ahead at some object that is not moving. This centers you and keeps you from swaying so much. Your mind focuses more on the object and less on you trying to stay in balance, therefore, your stance can be in much better balance by this sort of focus.