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Shotokan's time to put the polish onThis challenge is all about taking what I gained over the last two challenges and putting it all together. I had 10 weeks of solid training and two weeks of wind down and now it's time to clean up and polish my katas for my competition in 12 days. This is going to be a simple challenge with some small but important goals. 1. Put the final coat of polish on my kata. 25 per week With less then two weeks to go, I am not going to make any big changes to my kata. Power and speed are at their peak and now some small adjustments are needed to clean it up. 2. Mobility training. Keep the body moving and pain free with four mobility workouts per week I think I will get more than four each week but at least four is the goal. 3. Meditate with the focus on relaxation. Keep the muscles and mind relaxed three times a week I still meditate each day but some extra focus is needed on keeping my muscles and my mind in a relaxed state. I have some old meditation tracks that I found that I used to do before Karate classes and it helped keep my head in the right place. Three a week should be easily doable. Extra credit: One good blog post. Since this hasn't been going well, the number target is lower but it has to be one good blog post. I have something in mind already and now it just needs to be typed.
Shotokan focuses on weaknessesLike my good friend The Rock says I have found the main thing that has kept me from improving all the time I have been doing these challenges. It's not a total lack of focus but lack of focus on the areas that I need to improve. I have improved a great deal since I started doing these challenges almost five years ago but I am not where I want to be. The main problem is, I have been searching for the magic potion that will improve my kicks and my stance for Karate but even though they both improved, they aren't good enough. I like doing the workouts that did over the years and even looked forward to them but it's time to do the things that I don't enjoy. The reason that I don't enjoy doing the things I need to do is, to be honest, they are hard and I suck at them. I guess that nothing in life is free and if I want better kicks and stances, I need to focus on kicks and stances. Focus area #1: Stances and kicks five times a week Since these are the areas that I need the most improvement in, they are going to be the main focus. 50 kicks a week for each leg, especially side thrust kicks and both stationary and moving stance work. The kicks will be done slowly, since doing them slow is harder than doing them fast. The stationary stances will most likely be timed and the moving stances will be done slowly for reps. Focus area #2: Flexibility or mobility five times a week Stretching and mobility does help when I do it and I have enough programs to keep me busy but I just have to do them. Five days a week is going to be a little hard to hit but if I want to improve, I have to do it. Focus area #3: Don't loose what I have - glute and hip workouts twice a week I do not want to loose the improvements that I made and there is a lot of value in workouts that I have been doing. I am pretty sure that twice a week will at least maintain the gains I made and it should not overload my stance and kick training if I keep the frequency low. Extra credit: Meditation five times a week Using Headspace has really been helping and it helped me come up with the idea of working on what I need to improve instead of just working. I need to training smarter and harder and I think the meditation is helping. Life goal: Rekindle the writing fire When I started writing, almost 12 years ago, I did it with the intention of making it my full time living. After doing it for more than a few years and realizing that it wasn't working as an income source, I started writing for the joy of it. Over the last two years, I haven't done much writing and it certainly feels like something is missing from my life so it's time to get the fingers moving on the keyboard.