16 December, 2012

Fitness and Training Schedule

This is a post I meant to get around to fleshing out earlier, and now it feels a little out of date.  But I think the other blogs I link to are great resources and additional food for thought, so here is an abbreviated and modified form of the post I had intended to make.

I have been reading a sort of trend recently in blog posts and ideas.  I notice this once in a while - everyone seems to be thinking the same thing, or at least along the same lines.  I am myself no different, having a lot of food for thought after the grading.

At any rate, here are some posts are the importance of regular daily fitness and practice:

Course Plotted

It makes me think about doing Sanchin thrice a day, plus another kata to boot.  The problem is, since the grading, we have been focusing on new Chinese forms, othewise I would have my hands full with Suparinpei (probably the longest and most complicated form I have ever seen).

But I also want a softer result, so I have been thinking about Tensho, Bafa (a Chinese form I have been doing the last few years, with a strong similarity to Tensho - if I had a video of anyone but me doing it, I would post it), or Qigong three times a day, plusa kata like Kururunfa.  But then I realized I should just alternate between all forms.  This has also got me thinking about the order in which we practice our kata, and those used in other schools.  Perhaps another post on this in the future...


Again the importance of flexibility and relative bodyweight based strength.  I prefer to focus on calisthenics and yoga-like movements when I do my own workouts.  I used to do more of it, but for the last year I haven't quite found the time to do this regularly.  Its something I want to start up again with my missus - perhaps the local YMCA would be a good route.

Current Workout

Solo Training Regimens

Here are some good examples of regular training schedules.  I need to look at what basics I want to work, how often, and then ensure this is a part of regular training.  I think people tend to forget the basics when practicing, or at least I do.  I tend to work forms when I have time, but a good session of basic techniques wouldn't hurt.  This also raises some ideas for me in regards to why some techniques are not in our kata - answer is obvious - they came after!  So begins my quest to create a form where I can practice these techniques not in the core set.

Junbi Undo

I need to include some karate-focused health/fitness and conditioning into my own regular (outside of class) workouts.  Not just simply calisthenics.  This comes back to modifying my workout to include conditioning drills, but this usually means I need some equipment.  As I mentioned, I prefer minimal equipment.  Plus living in a condo limits the equipment I can have.  Perhaps a portable makiwara-type pad that I can tie to a tree and use at the park?  This bears further consideration and research.  If others have an idea, please pass me along a hint. ;)

Kitchen Kung Fu

Last but not least, I need to set a better regime for nutrition in place.  After the grading, I have relaxed my training a bit, and I felt somewhat lacking.  It doesn't help I had a recent birthday and my mom decided it was a great time to give me homemade, real cream, cake to take home.  As a rule, I don't normally allow myself much in the way of sweets at home, so I will be less tempted.  I have since tried to reduce all other forms of sweets that I partake in, but the Christmas season provides no end of opportunities to cheat.

*sigh* At the very least, I will start eating oatmeal for breakfast, ensure I have my daily apple/fruit, and focus on veggies for lunches and suppers (I find it easier to base my meals around vegetables to decrease the amount of poor choices I make).

01 December, 2012

Learning from other styles

Been reading a couple of books I got for my birthday.  All about Masami Tsuruoka and his karate and budo practices.  These weren't books I had asked for, so I was surprised to find out about him and his style of karate.  Not only was he the first karateka in Canada, but despite our difference in styles there is a lineage link between myself and him.  Which has got me thinking about the different styles of karate and how just by changing forms an experienced karateka can change "styles".  As Funakoshi is known to have said, there should be no styles of karate.  They are all the same at heart, despite forms. (Heavily paraphrased).  This gives me some hope in my own study of forms from other styles, as well as in other arts altogether.

Anyways, unexpected information, ideas - they come from everywhere.  One should never reject something entirely as a new source of information.  Look with open eyes, try to understand, then take what you like and discard what you find not useful for now.  You can always come back, or find something else.  This is the path to making your own martial style.

This was brought to the forefront by an article from Karate By Jesse:

20 (More) Things About Karate You Ought To Know

The points the really resonated with me:

1. Follow the old masters, but never let your lineage, style or history be a excuse to stop learning new stuff. The past is a place of reference, not residence.
7. When you’re a brown belt, you believe only half of what your sensei tells you. When you’re a black belt, you know which half.
18. What other people think of your Karate is none of your business. A tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep.
 Those are just a few.  Really, the whole list was great and I can't recommend his site enough.  Some nice articles that really got me interested in exploring my art, and others, in different ways.

I appreciate the condensed wisdom of one or two lines that sum up a feeling, style, art, method or philosophy.  It gives me something to work backward from, and to dig into.  Sometimes the simplest things are those where you can find the most depth.