Clear the Mind
Clear your mind before training so you are not distracted. On a physical level, this will lower the risk of injury to yourself or others due to your not paying attention. On a technical level, you will not miss any information you may need to perform a technique properly. If you practice a technique improperly, you will just have to learn to do it properly at a later time. Also, clearing your mind of all problems during training may give you a new perspective on the problems after the training.
Spar Black Belts
New students always seem to be afraid to spar with black belt; they seem to think the black belt will hurt them. Actually, the odds are much greater that a fellow color belt will hurt them. Black belts have years of training under their belts, they know how to control their techniques, and they do not have to beat up on students to prove their abilities. Whereas, color belts are inexperienced, have little control of their techniques, and sometimes feel the need to hurt the other person for getting the best of them.
If you spar a “true” black belt, you will find that many times your attacks get through and that you are able to block many of the black belt’s attacks. This is not because you are a great fighter. The black belt permits this to happen, praises you when it does happen, and probably will tell you how to make it better. Then, before the sparring session ends, the black belt will set up the action to let you know where you really stand. This will be done without comment and you will not be harmed, but you will be aware of whom the black belt is and who the color belt is, and that you have much to learn.