Karate and Personal Goals
You aren’t hearing of resolutions from me because I have none. I have changes I want to implement into my life this year, but it has nothing to do with the new year, but rather the fact I’m turning the big 4-0 and think its about damn time I get right with myself.
I decided that I would like to test for my next brown belt this year. This is the belt before I would test for black, should my journey ever take me down that path. In our style of Karate, you do not typically start weapons training until you make black belt, by that time it is felt you have mastered the basics well enough that weapons training will enhance your Karate training. I have been thinking of sword training lately, Iaido to be exact. (I can hear The Great Omnipotent One now... "Why doesn't she just buy a damn gun once and for all!") I think I would like it, but I cannot do so without mastering my basics well enough to take that next step.
That said, I have started to go back to my old training habits, the ones I had formed before my sports injury. I know my limitations now, I know I have a bad Achilles, the arches in my feet are now totally nonexistent, and what I thought might be a small tear in a rotator cuff is probably bursitis, thankfully. Knowing what my weak spots are and fully understanding them, should help me to keep from over training and keep me into more of a cross training mode than I was before.
I am motivated and started training harder this week. It is humbling. Very humbling.
I train with an awesome Sensei. He is one of the best. He is humble, patient, and wise beyond his years. He is young, 32 years old, a Yondan (4th degree), and has been training for 17 years. I have been with other Karate-ka (students) outside of West Palm and they have come to me and said, “Oh! You train with So-and-So Sensei! You must feel so honored. He is the text book of what Shotokan should look like. He is a wonderful teacher.” And they are right. I feel very honored to take instruction from him. I have taken with him for 3 years now and the only reason I have not quit is because of him.
In our dojo, when I walk in and I see some new white belt walking in… I KNOW they are not a white belt. They either have not trained in awhile and are being humble or they are a black belt in some other style and are coming to train with us. How many times have I walked into the dojo to see some white belt look better than I could EVER look? Too many times. So now I know, if I see a white belt, they are not for real, they are just seeking more knowledge...
That is the type of instructor he is. People WANT to train with him.
That said, I always want to please him. I want to do my best, try harder, work harder, train harder because I don’t want to disappoint him and make him feel like he is wasting his time with me. I trust him implicitly. After three years, he knows my limitations better than I do. I can get too self involved and not stop. He has stopped the class and nearly had to catch me as I have almost passed out from either exhaustion, low blood sugar, or both. He watches all of us. But I don’t rely on him for that, that would piss him off, and I am a self reliant person. Each time an incident such as that has happened, I have learned from it and learned what I need to do to ensure it doesn’t happen again; I am learning my personal limitations. It’s I’m just proving the point that he cares about his students, he watches, he is aware.
Last night we had a guest instructor from England. (He sounded very much like Alex!) I knew when I walked in and saw a stranger wearing an actual black belt that this was no kidding for real, someone that was very well respected, as we get those a lot too. He was amazing, but I felt pressured. It was pressure upon myself, nothing anyone else caused. It was my personal issue. I didn’t want my Sensei to look the fool. I wanted to make sure this guest understood that my Sensei was good and we are learning and we are trying. I was a nervous wreck and as we went through our kata (forms in some Martial Arts) I could barely move. I felt rigid. I received an instantaneous migraine, the type I get from shoulder tension. As the class was critiquing me, the only thing my Sensei could say was, “You need to relax. You are too tense.”
The story of my life.
I am back to 3 hours a week of Karate, 1 hour of weights, and 3 hours of cycling, running (elliptical, I can’t do pavement), and hopefully swimming. I firmly believe that what you do to your body today is directly reflected in your health 10 years from now. I don’t like the path I’ve taken within the last 9 months and it is time for a change. It has nothing to do with the new year, but rather the fact that in 10 years, I’ll be 50.