"Hurry Up and Fail", MMA and Practicing Piano

"Hurry Up and Fail" is a quote from the green beret, former MMA fighter, founder of Sheep Dog Response, and American hero, Tim Kennedy. It's a part of his philosophy in training. He pushes himself to the absolute edge of limitations, fails and then when he comes back, he does it again moving the point failure further along. For him, this works in his physical and mental training. See more at

You need to be comfortable with failure if you are a creative person. Making mistakes is a certain and valuable part of the process of making things. If you are like me, I practice more than I perform. It's the nature of the beast. Practicing exposes failures and weakness. Period.

So here's an application that I thought of for practicing the piano.

One of my teachers encouraged me during a practice session to play difficult passages light and fast to the point of making plenty mistakes. This was to be a brief moment in the practice session. Playing light makes sure that muscle memory doesn't grab a hold of any of the mistakes made. Playing fast and as fast as possible, creates the sense of using the whole gesture in a passage. I learned to use my arm as the primary lever in playing the piano with this exercise, for example. It is a way to 'hurry up and fail' testing your speed limits and engage the proper form. I have heard running coaches say that when you run fast, your form gets better at the start of the speed. This is true in this exercise.

There are so many more applications to Tim Kennedy's philosophy in practice and training. Something to think about and discover within.

12 views0 comments