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Found 12 results

  1. This time around, it's time to work on some more Karate to finish out the year. Even though my side thrust kicks have improved, they still need more work on the main focus this time is to make them better. 1 - 10 side thrust kicks or roundhouse kicks a day - five days a week When I kick, my kicks improve but I don't kick enough. Even though it only takes me a short time to do five of them with each leg, for some reason I just don't. This time around, it's time to change the habit of not doing them to doing them. 50 kicks a week isn't much but it is much more than I have been doing lately. 2 - Stance training - two days a week This training is a little harder to quantify but it will consist of any type of moving stance work and static training. I have learned a good amount about stance work over the last challenge and one thing that I found, that I need to work on more is pulling with my front leg when moving forward and with the back leg when moving backward. I try to do this every time I do my kata training but it need a little more focus before it becomes automatic. 3 - Everything else training - three days a week These workouts will consist of the GSP workouts, my hip training circuit, kettlebell / weights or any other form of training or flexibility / mobility workouts. And then I'll be doing splits like him below. Extra credit: Write and publish a blog post at least once per week Near the end of the last challenge, I wrote and published more in one day than I have in a very long time. I want to keep the momentum up and even one blog post per week is a low target, it's better than what has been going on.
  2. The last challenge went well but there is I need some more work to continue on my journey. I don't have a good theme this but maybe I will find one before this starts. 1. Karate complexes - 3 times a week The kicking complexes do work well for me but I have to do them in order to get the benefits. On top of the kicking complexes, I plan to do katas on those days also aiming for 40 katas a week. I am also coming up with some stance training complexes that I will add to the mix once I figure out how to do them. 2. Circuit training - 2 times per week This time around, I am going to do some sort of strength training two times a week. It can be the inhumane burpee, a kettlebell workout or some form of strength work. 3. Active rest - 2 times a week What I have found in the past challenges is that near the start of week three, my training starts to fall off. I seem to be losing my motivation and my body is just tired. To fix this, I am planing on two days of active rest which will include stretching and mobility work. I have a lot of choices to choose from so this should be a fresh way to do something useful but not drain me like the full out training that I was doing six or more days each week. Teaching Karate might also count as an active rest day, since I am not really training but I am moving around. Extra credit - Write 500 words per week This is one of the things that I have to get back into. The last two challenges showed a little glimmer of hope but now it's time to get real.
  3. After three months of fairly consistent workouts, it's time to put my newly added hip strength and mobility to use and focus more on Karate. 1 - More Karate training - Karate class at home each week Ever since one of my Senseis, who is also my Iaido Sensei, retired over two years ago, I no longer have the same amount of fundamental training that I had back then. I am told by my kata coach that my basics are very good but I still feel that need more of the back and forth drills that I used to do in class each Thursday night. With that said, this time, I have to get in that second Karate workout each week at home along with my formal Karate class each week. 2 - Kick, kick and kick some more - Kicks at least 5 days a week Now that my hips are starting to cooperate, it's time to work on some kicks again. Sets of 5 kicks with each leg to start and I will see where it goes from there. 3 - Time to cut the fat Doing all the workouts I did over the last three months really helped me pack on some leg and glute mass but it also helped me gain over 15 pounds and some of that is in my waist. Needless to say, I like the smaller waist and I do feel that I am carrying a bit too much weight even though is has had any impact on my endurance. I'm eating less now than I was before so I am not totally sure where the weight came from but I want to spend the next four weeks figuring out how to take it off. Life challenge - Level up my life I recently bought Steve's excellent book and am about a third of the way through it and I really like what he is saying. I have read many self help books and I went to see Tony Robbins last year but for some reason, I have this big motor and my tires are spinning instead of it taking my life forward. With that said, I want to finish Steve's book and starting implementing what he suggests over the next 30 days. I think I already have my alter ego picked out and now it's time to get going with it.
  4. In my past challenges, I thought that I had good plans in place and simple goals, achievable goals. For some reason, they haven't worked as planned and even though I always start off like gangbusters, around the third or forth week, it seems to fall apart. With that in mind, I am going to throw all the specific plans away and do the plan of no planning. Instead of being detailed and strict with movements and goals, this time is going to be do what I do as long as I do something. My goal of better kicks is still the main focus but it's time to take a different path to get there. 1. Kick every day No specifics here, just do some kicks every day. I can be 1, 10 or 100 kicks with each leg the only requirement is to kick every day. The kick doesn't matter as long as some type of kicks are done. 2. One exercise every day Again, no specific exercises but they have to be related to my hips, glutes, abs or core in general. It can be one or 10 but at least something. 3. Stretch every day A single stretch every day no matter how long it's held, dynamic or static or a full routine, stretching needs to happen. Life goal: Clear my head of what's not needed This is one area where I am struggling and doing something to help me get focused on what I need to focus on and not focusing on what I don't need to focus is becoming more important. Walking, meditation, sitting in seiza for a few minutes or breathing kata could be some of the things to help me get in or out of my head. There may or may not be more to come to the plan of no planning....
  5. Just so all of you don't think I am any stranger than you already do, the title of my challenge this time is from an old song named KISS from The Art of Noise that was sung by Tom Jones. It has the words "I think I better dance now" and since I need to improve may stances for Karate, I felt the title would be appropriate. The main reason that I want to improve my stances is because I learned something very interesting at my last Karate tournament while watching all the older folks compete. Most of the senior (over 35 year old adults are called seniors in my club, which I am not too fond of but that's another story) competitors do not have good, low stances while doing their katas. Stances aren't the only important part for winning but if I can lower my stances and still move well, I think I can put a dent in the group of people that always place ahead of me. With that said, it's time to get down to business and embark on another six week journey of pain and suffering fun! 1. Stances the Tabata way three times a week: This is something that I worked on in the past but stopped doing for some reason. I have seen how much this can help after watching one of the kata athletes that I have been training do this and his improvement are incredible. Four minutes of stance training doesn't sound like much, right? I haven't figured out yet if I am going to work on one stance or multiple stances for the time but this needs to be done at least three times a week. My thoughts are front stance left and right, horse stance, back stance left and right and another horse stance and for the last two 20 second sets, one day cat stance and the other day cross leg stance left and right. 2. 1000 push ups a month and a little more: This is something that a fellow former Karate instructor and friend of mine suggested for his personal training clients. He started a Facebook challenge for all his clients and whoever else wants to do it, to do 50 push ups a day (in sets of 10 throughout the day) to make a total of 1000 push ups for the month of November. I should have started this a few days ago but I'm just lazy, like always but I still have 26 days anyway, right? Instead of doing only push ups, I am going to add side jackknifes, glute bridges and some form of ab work. The plan is to do 10 reps of each movement, do a Karate and Iaido kata and repeat for 5 sets. I did a test run of this workout tonight and it was done in well under 30 minutes including some time on the foam roller. 3. Improve my Karate - two parts = double the fun: Over the the last challenge, my overall Karate improved more than it has in some time. My kicks are better, moving from hips is better and my posture is better than ever before. These were all areas that I needed to improve on and I want to continue to step it up further. A. This time around, I am going to continue to do the extra Karate class at home but this time, I am only going to it once each week. Between the formal class, Iaido class, teaching three days a week, the dedicated kata session with my coach and trying to do the extra class twice wasn't allowing me to recover. B. More mobility and flexibility is needed. Doing Cheechoe's hip routine has been a huge help at improving my kicks. I am kicking higher than ever before and I was able to deliver my side kicks with power that I have never had in the past. With that said, I still need more improvement and I plan on doing Cheechoe's routine at least once a week along with Eric Wong's HFS routine twice a week. If I can find a Yoga routine that I can actually do, like the routines on doyogawithme.com, I would like to get in at least on Yoga session each week, no matter how simple. Life Goal: Over the last few months, my focus has sucked to say the least. Simple tasks that should take a short amount of time are taking me days to finish because I can't get my focus. I haven't been writing as much and it seems that my mind is always spinning in all directions. Because of this, I need to start meditating again. If I it's 5 minutes three times a week I will be happy but I really need to get my mind under control again so that I can make my life better and I hope that the mediation will help. Disclaimer: Like all of my challenges in the past, this one is subject to change at any time.
  6. From the title of this challenge, you might have guessed that I am going to be working on improving my kicks again. Even though my kicks have improved a great deal over the last few months, I know that they can be even better. 1 - Mobility: Mobility is still at the top of the list and again, Cheechoe's hip routine is going to be the main focus. I have seen more improvement in the short time I have been doing her routine than I have in years of trying other routines and fixes. I am still going to do the resets because they loosen me up. The goal is to do the OS resets at least five days a week and Cheechoe's hip routine at least three days a week with at least one day in between sessions and not on a Karate class day. 2 - Do 2 full Karate workouts at home each week. Same as last time but this time I want to really clean up my basics. I want to learn to relax, tense and relax all my movements as quickly as possible and the Karate workout that I am currently, which is loaded with basics, is a good place to work on this concept. 3 - Do at least 2 support workouts per week. What I mean by support is glute / leg / core focused workouts with some upper-body thrown in for good measure. Since I hurt my back this last time around, I need to get back, pun intended, to making my body bulletproof. I have a workout structure in mind already and I will share it once I get the details figured out. Life goal: Focus my mind on finding a job. Being out of work for the last 6+ months has taken a toll not only my on bank account but also my mind. I have applied for many jobs, that looked like a great fit, but have often seen no response or the "you have more experience than we are looking for." With that said, I am pulling out all the stops to find either contract work, full time, work from home, freelance work or a combination of all four.
  7. The actual quote from Firefly is "You're like a trained ape. Without the training." but I want to be better than that and be like the trained ape that actually has the training. Main quest: Like all of my other challenges, my main quest is to improve my kicks. To be more specific, my side thrust kicks have always been my main goal but I need to add roundhouse kicks to this goal because they need help too. 1 - Mobility: Cheechoe's hip routine is going to be the main focus here but I also want to add the resets to make my hips work better. The goal is to do both of these at least 4 days each week.2 - Back to basics: Do 2 full Karate workouts at home each week in addition to my Karate class. Before the Karate workout do a strength movement and at the end of the workout do a core/ab movement. (modified 8/14/14) 3 - Karate specific: Total of 1000 kicks and punches per week. Life quest: Spend more time with my wife Spending the time walking with the Typhoon and doing something fitness related while doing it really helps put my mind in a better place and it also helps loosen up my hips. Walk 5 days a week.
  8. It's time for me to get focused on not being focused. Mushin or no mind is something that I have been searching for but has eluded me for many years. I finally had a taste of mushin last year when I competed in kata at the Karate nationals and I have only been able to have that same experience, a few times, just recently. It is the feeling of doing something that you are so focused on, you do not see of hear anything around else around you. It is as if you are all alone, almost outside of your body but performing at your peak. If the building you are in was to all down around you, you would not notice until you are finished with what you are doing. 1 - Focus all my training efforts on making my katas better! When life starts to go down the toilet, I have always turned to my Martial Arts training to bring me back from the dark side. It has kept me sane in the past and I know that it will help me get through the issues I am dealing with now. With that said, all the training that I do needs to make my Karate and Iaido better. I will come up with a workout plan and do those workouts at least twice a week. I am going to focus those strength workouts on my hips, glutes, upper back and forearms. I will include my other bodyparts too I need to focus on the former. I will also continue to work on my katas every day like I have for the last two years but I want to add two additional "hard" kata training days along with the training that I get in my Karate class. 2 - Flexibility! It seems that I have been working on improving my flexibility since the first challenge and even though it has improved a great deal, I need to be more consistent. The HFS routine has really taken me to the next level but there are days when I just don't feel like doing it. For this challenge I plan on using the HFS as much as possible, at least two to three days a week but I also want to work on yoga for full body flexibility and some more focused hip work. I always do at least one stretch each day but I need to get serious if I want my Karate and Iaido to improve. 3 - Find a job! Being out of work for two months now has given me a lot of time to reflect on what I want to do going forward. If it's a job in IT again, freelance writing, building blogs and websites, consulting or a combination of all of those, I need to get more traction on getting some income. Even though I have many years experience, maybe too many, the job search hasn't gone the way I thought it would and I need to think outside the box to get some money coming in. 4 - Meditate.... This is one area that I really need to get into. I used simple meditation in the past and it really helped but I keep coming up with excuses not to do it. The goal here is to mediate for at least five minutes a day. These four goals are a bit open ended but that is normally how I do it. I will increase the focus as the days go on but I know that this challenge will be one of my greatest challenges. I am ready to do battle and these goals better be ready for a serious butt kickin!
  9. These challenges have been awesome for me and I think this is going to be my sixth challenge so far. I have found that I start out really strong but somewhere near the fifth week, something comes along to slow me down. That fifth week has been riddled with injury, illness, job loss or some other excuse to keep me from finishing as strong as I want. Because of that, I am going to consider each and every day a new beginning and a new end. Instead of working up to a six week peak, I am going to live in the moment and enjoy every workout that I do. I don't need to peak and reach the end, instead I want to enjoy each and every workout for what it is. That way each workout becomes a stop along the way and what I did the day before or will do the next day doesn't matter. 1- Six weeks of intense HFS.: Knowing how much the Hip Flexibility System helped my kicks since I started doing it, this time I want it to be the main focus of this challenge. I am able to kick higher and better than ever before and now I want to raise the bar so that I can increase the height of my kicks. I know that doing HFS at least four times a week would really help but I am going to do what I can and not set a fixed goal. This will include the other parts of the program that include the core workout and SMR work. I will also work on any movements that contribute to my kicking success but again with no fixed plan. 2 - Add an additional Martial Arts training day each week: Even though I had a dedicated kata training day each week, I need to dig down and find the answer to training, for real, outside of the dojo. I am going to declutter my home dojo and hang up the pictures of my Sensei's to motivate me. At least one extra hour of training at home is what I want to do this time. It's only six extra hours over six weeks, right? 3 - Write a book: Even though I wrote a lot of blog posts last time, I need to get a book published. Getting my first published book will give me the momentum to publish more books, including my kata books. I have no excuses this time and if I don't get that first book finished in six week I expect a public brow beating from all of you.
  10. I can't believe this is my fifth 6 week challenge. I made some of my best progress during the last challenge so this one is going to be somewhat along the same lines. Daily exercise and three full workouts per week: I am going to continue to do at least one exercise per day. The trapbar deadlifts did a lot for me last time so they will still be big part of this six week challenge. I also plan on getting in three full workouts each week which will consist of five to six similar exercises, a Turkish getup & kettlebell swing routine or a specific core workout that is related to the Hip Flexibility Solution. Hip Flexibility Solution three times per week: The HFS system has helped me improve my kicks more than any other flexibility routine that I have done in the last nine years. The goal is to do it at least three times a week if not more. Add an additional Martial Arts training day each week: I formally do Martial Arts training twice a week but I feel that I need more. I was as my best when I was doing two Karate classes and one Iaido class each week but since one of my Sensei's retired in August, I have only been training one Karate class a week along with my Iaido class. Because of that, I need to come up with my own Karate class that I can do at home and get close to the benefits that had when I had the second formal Karate class. Write more: I wrote a great deal of blog posts during the last challenge but this time, I need to keep up with the blog posts and also get my book finished. I need to work on my book at least three times a week during this challenge and get the pictures taken that I have been putting off for a long time now.
  11. This is my fourth 6 week challenge. I made great progress on my last 6 week challenge but now it's time to fine tune my workouts and get more specific. Daily glute or core workout: I did this during the last challenge and I plan on doing the same this time too. I am still going to do at least one movement per day but I have to do at least one set of trapbar deadlifts each day. This is one exercise that seems to work my entire body, except for pushing movement. I hope to add a core movement and a pushing movement too but I have to at least do the trapbar deadlifts every day. I have already been doing the daily trapbar deadlifts since the end of the last challenge and I really like it. I have been using 145 pounds for at least 6 to 12 reps, depending upon how I feel each day. I am hoping to get the point where I am doing sets of 6 to 8 with 300 pounds but I am willing to take my time to get there. Foam roller, tennis ball and other pain maker usage: Trigger points in my glutes are still a major pain in the butt so I am going to continue to use the foam roller, stick or my deep tissue guys each day to bring them to there knees or wherever they belong. I work at least one area each day, mostly my glutes but my quads and calves are mixed in there too. Leg raises and static stance training at least three times a week: Side and back leg raises and knee raises to the front are in the plan this time. I need to continue to improve my range of motion and also get my strength up in the hips so the leg raises are the part of the attack plan. I also want to improve my Karate stances and static stance training is in the route that I plan on taking to do it. These will be done at least three days a week, hopefully more. Cut my gluten intake by 80% or more: This is something that I have been trying to do for some time now and I think this time, I can do it. It should help with my Crohn's disease and I am hoping it will make me feel better overall and keep the inflammation in my body at bay. Write more: Last time, my goal was to write at least 750 words per week and I did at least that but now it's time to bump it up to 1000 words per week and I want to publish at least two blog posts each week.
  12. All right, kids. It was pointed out to me that all the other guilds have mini-challenges. And it is supremely uncool that we don't have one of our own. I've got some other things that I've got in the works that I'm gonna have to post up later on in the week. But to start with, let's go ahead and do something kicky. Because, you know something? We all of us did TKD when we were kids. Let's hearken back to those golden days... by doing 500 Kicks This Week! And... that's it. No, really. You can do any kicks that you want. Front Kick, Side Kick, Back Kick, Roundhouse Kick, 720 Degree Crescent Kick whilst whistling the South Korean national anthem, whatever. Do 'em fast, do 'em slow, on a bag, in the air, suspended from wires, wherever, whenever. Just do it. And stretch after. Because you don't want to pull something that shouldn't be pulled. For the record, I know that some of us out here are grapplers. Nothing but love for you guys. Why should you do this? Because kicking is a hell of a conditioner, and who doesn't love conditioning? Let us post here from today through to Sunday. Whoever completes this challenge gets to add 1 to a stat of their choice. If you're working power, you put that in strength; if speed, you put it in dexterity. Or split it up. It's your choice. Let's kick some ass, monks!
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