Monday, January 30, 2012

what we like and what we need....

Inevitably, when it comes to training, there are aspects we all enjoy more than others. However, we all tend to suffer through the areas we don't like as much to better ourselves all around.
I'm not a fan of weapons (defense I appreciate, but I'm talking about weapons for combat). That said, I often find myself practicing with them.
So here's how I look at it:
- it could happen that in desperation I pick up an object to use in a life or death situation.
- it makes me better understand the attacks so I improve my defense in the process.
- it can't hurt my coordination skills.

I guess this is how I spin it, anyway.
Kata is another area where I do this sort of reasoning with myself. A bit of kata I think is valuable... I think we all can figure out reasons why this is so. However, I find too often I get bogged down in so many forms of it that my head spins like a top.
But what if I only practiced what I like? Would that improve my skills to the level I want them to be at? While sometimes the answer feels like it should be yes, I still trust my teachers, and try to focus on the good that can come from doing the things I don't enjoy.

Monday, January 16, 2012

kids class...

I find myself on Saturday mornings handing my trust--and my son--over to a Sensei of a karate class. I love watching my boy, who is four-and-a-half, and his enthusiasm each time he attends. I respect the Sensei and think he is great with kids.
But it is very strange sitting on the sidelines for me. Not the martial artist side of me, but the parent.
Here are some samples of what goes through my mind (none of which I would have ever imagined myself worrying about, or dwelled upon when I was a child):
- letting him learn etiquette and proper behaviour on his own
- worrying the mats aren't straight and he'll bump his head (and other injuries)
- having trust in his training partners, who are all older than him (but still kids)
- and, of course, him enjoying himself each time
It's funny, because, if I had my gi on, and weren't wearing my parent hat, my perspective would likely be entirely different. I'd maybe push him harder and worry less.
And while that time will come, some day, I really am happiest just watching him. It just takes getting used to a wee bit.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

good thoughts....

Journeyman's post, here, syncs in well with my last post on defense.... it combines defensive and offensive thought.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Defensive drills...

I spend too much time dwelling on how good my offence is. That is, in my mind, I focus on progression in terms of how successful my attacks would be in a specific situation.
Funny, since I practice a defensive form of jiu-jitsu. So, I've decided I need to spend more mental time on understanding my level of defense, and understanding the progression of my skills in this respect.
It reminds me of a couple of drills I have done in the past. One is setting up a sparring situation where one person can strike, and the other may only defend. This exercise can hone one's defensive skills and boost your confidence when it comes to evading attacks. You will also find many openings you might normally have overlooked due to utilizing extra patience. Both blocking and footwork will be crucial.
The second drill is almost the same as the first. However, the defender sets up a "wall" or "fence" with his/her hands held high in a defensive position. While your partner throws light and varied strikes, you must keep your hands in the same continuous position (think boxing), blocking strikes by footwork and torso movement alone. Surprisingly, a small percentage of strikes actually get through. This exercise also boosts defensive confidence and teaches economy of movement.
Taking away the attack refocuses your thinking process, and in my case, brings me back to the gentle art of defense.