As I looked back on 2012 and thought about all the great experiences I had, I realized that one of the best things I came away with was a new-found love of running. I had started running purely for practical reasons originally. I was being considered for a stunt doubling role for a local film, but they asked if I could lean up lose a few pounds in order to better match the skinny actress. I had only a few weeks to do it, so I started eating uber-healthy and took up a rigourous training regimen with a variety of forms of exercise, including running. I never really enjoyed running, but I recognized it was the best form of cardio with which to lose weight fast. (more…)
Even Master Ken gets into the holiday spirit! We at Pacific Wave Jiu-jitsu don’t simply hand out belts as Christmas gifts (there are better sales on Boxing day!). Hope you are all having a restful, rejuvenating holidays season. Happy holidays, everyone!
On this fine Christmas Eve morning, I woke up with a plan. I was going to do my first solo 10km run, using the 10km race mission in Zombies, RUN! This would be my Christmas gift to myself. I’ve been working up to doing the 10k race mission over the past few weeks, increasing the lengths of my weekly long run, but I still knew I would be “feeling it” when I did the 10km.
I decided to do the pre-run yoga sequence in the Yoga for Runners iPhone app to warm up for my run then off I went. I was happy the roads were completely clear and it wasn’t raining nor was it very cold. It was a perfect day for a run. After I made it to the 8km mark, I was definitely feeling it in my muscles and joints, but I pushed on. I even increased my speed a little at that point, wanting to see how close I could get to doing the 10km in 1 hour. My final was 1 hour and 4 minutes. Not bad, I thought to myself. As I finished my cool-down walk, I knew I needed a good stretch so I finished off with the post-run yoga sequence from Yoga for Runners, which was perfect for stretching me out after the long run. I then made a protein and fruit power shake and brewed myself a nice cup of Rooibos tea. This was my Christmas gift to myself. (more…)
This is a classic joke that points to the need for practice to achieve mastery. But is pure physical practice the most efficient and effective way to improve in the martial arts? Studies on the use of visualization as a part of physical skills training suggests that simply practicing may not necessarily be the most efficient way to “get to Carnegie Hall”.
A study made by Research Quarterly took a close look at the effects of mental practice on improving skill in sinking basketball free throws (as written about in Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s book, New Psycho-Cybernetics). Here’s what happened (excerpted from Maltz’s book): (more…)
The colder winter months are upon us and with them comes an increase in the spread of illness. While a regular regimen of exercise is an important component of maintaining a healthy immune system, people are often unsure of when it is okay to exercise or train after having been ill. Below are a few questions to ask before undertaking exercise while sick: (more…)
As a martial arts school owner, I have to keep my first aid kit well stocked. The two most commonly used supplies are band-aids and medical tape. Lots of students get minor joint injuries to fingers and toes, not necessarily on the mats, but they do want to keep training and in order to do so, they need to tape them up to keep from re-injuring them. As a result, we go through a LOT of tape. (more…)
Sparring is a useful training tool. It allows you to work on your reflexes, distance and timing (as outlined in this blog post) , while adding a live element to your martial arts training. That being said, when sparring for training purposes, we never do so at full power and intensity without regard for our partner. There are a number of reasons we try to exercise control.
One reason is safety. If you’re sparring with someone and you get a clear opening, yes, you want to take advantage of it, but you don’t want to knock their block off, potentially knocking them out and causing them injury. Getting hit at all is more than enough feedback for the person to realize their error. Another reason is practicality. If your partner gets injured while sparring then they have to take time off training causing you to lose a training partner (or vice versa if you’re on the receiving end). Also, if the person is fairly new to sparring, they won’t learn as effectively through the “sink or swim” method due to the high levels of stress imposed from being constantly hit. And, of course, sometimes you or your partner are just feeling a bit off physically or mentally and are just not as sharp as you usually are when sparring. (more…)
I hate running. Hate it. With a passion. Stationary biking is only slightly better since I can watch TV while I do it, but there is only so much cardio I can squeeze out of biking without attending a spin class. Running really is a necessity, especially with an upcoming physical test, so anything that motivates me to go out running is good.
My knees aren’t the greatest, and a doctor student of ours, who is also a triathalon enthusiast developed a running program for me to help ease me into running. It failed. Not because it was a bad program, but because when I’m running, I want to listen to music, find a rhythm, and not stare at my watch.
I guess I lack the discipline for running.
So earlier this year I tried working her program into the Zombies, Run! iPhone application, hoping the video game and story elements would help prod me along. I was still stuck looking at a watch, trying to get my interval running in, while listening to the story and avoiding zombie swarms. I eventually fell off the wagon before the program took root.
Training in a martial art can bring a lot of good to a person’s life, from physical benefits like improved coordination, balance, agility, endurance, strength, etc. to mental benefits such as increased confidence, discipline, personal awareness, mental clarity and focus. Today I’d like to look at a training benefits that is both good for the body and mind; the reduction of stress.
There is a lot of talk in the media of modern western society about how stress levels have been going up over the years. It’s widely recognized that these stress has adverse affects on our health, leading to or exacerbating physical conditions, including heart disease, obesity, headaches, backaches, gastro-intestinal problems, etc, as well as mental conditions, including anxiety, panic attacks, depression, addiction, etc. (more…)
While everyone loves to think that getting into the mindset to train is as simple as entering the dojo, the fact is we live busy lives. We’re constantly thinking of this or that, trying to juggle school, work, kids, relationships, etc. Our minds are a jumble of thoughts and emotions, and training without mental focus is likely going to get you punched in the head. So here is a list of steps you can take to help clear your mind: