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Found 7 results

  1. Continuing on with the momentum from the last challenge, this one is going to be similar. Setting goals for the entire challenge is working better for me than setting weekly goals. Karate training: Kata and stances - 12 times The kicking training has been working well and I am going to try and apply it to my kata and stance work. For these to count, I have to do at least five katas that day or 10 minutes of focused stance training. Kettlebells and kicks: 700 swings / 200 side thrust kicks The kettlebell swing has become a staple in my training and the swings with side thrust kicks in between seems to be working better than what I have done before. Potluck workout: 12 times This part of the challenge gives me some room to explore some other workouts. I really want to start playing with the trap bar more and even get in some focused upper body and maybe even some band work. Extra credit: Publish four blog posts Writing has been hard lately but I am going to make myself do it this time around. I know that I don't have to write a novel each time but it still has to be useful to count.
  2. I learn something new with each challenge and I want absorb what is useful and discard what is not. I think Bruce Lee said that an it worked pretty well for him so why not follow in his footsteps but create a path of my own. That's a Zen riddle if I ever heard one. During the last challenge, my knee thought it would be fun to derail my carefully planned workouts and made me spend a bit more time in my chair than I should have but it was still a lesson. With that in mind, I will train in the moment this time around, doing what can be done with the tools I have to work with. 1. Beach body workout - 12 times I am finding some interesting mobility workouts in the Beach Body programs. With Yoga, Pilates and some other decent movements, I think it will help make these hips work even better. 2. Karate training - 50 focused competition katas and 300 side thrust kicks I am still planning on a return to competition but I need to focus on my kicks and katas again if I plan on stepping back on the tatami. The katas are feeling pretty good overall and the kicks are still improving so it's a good time to do more of them. 3. Quick mobility drills - 16 times I have found a handful of quick mobility and flexibility drills that are helping my knee, my hips and lower back. They take between 5 to 10 minutes and they feel really good. Extra credit: 6 blog posts Using the momentum that I gained over the last challenge getting all four blog posts, it's time to raise the bar and shoot for 6 over the next four weeks.
  3. In my past challenges, I have focused on goals for each week or even days at a time. For example, 50 katas a week or 10 kicks a day for five days and it seems that I do good for a week or two or three and then it goes downhill. Seeing how those challenges have turned out, this time around I am going to focus on goals for the entire challenge instead of daily or weekly goals. Since I couldn't really find any gifs of JCVD that fit my goals, him kicking the bad guy from Timecop seems appropriate. 1 - Kettlebell with kicks workout - 14 times Since the kettlebell with kicks training is going well and I am seeing great benefits from it, the new plan is get in 14 kettlebell workouts in four weeks. I would like to do this workout every other day and if I see myself falling behind, I can always catch up. 2 - Karate stance training - 10 times One of the most important things in my Karate training is great stances and I know that they have to improve if I want to be competitive again. My stances are lower than they have ever been but moving forward without bobbing up and down and keeping my posture has eluded me. The plan it to do katas while focusing on the moves between the moves and time on the floor is the only way to improve them. 3 - Mobility or Flexibility - 10 times I feel a little more sore than usual with the cold weather lately and I know that some focused mobility and flexibility training will help counteract the problem. I have a lot of programs to choose from and getting them in before doing the stance training should help that too. Extra Credit - Write four blog posts I am still behind on my writing but the old flame is starting to flare again. Four blog posts isn't much but it will end up being more than I have published in the last six months.
  4. The last challenge went pretty well overall and I made a lot of improvements so I'm going to do it all over again. Like Bill Murray in Groundhog day, I am going to keep doing it until I get it right. 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. The Pavel programs have been working well so I am going to focus most of this area on those. 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. I have over 50 days in a row doing meditation each day. Life goal: Rekindle the writing fire Writing has been working so far so good. I haven't published anything yet but I wrote more in the last four weeks than I did in the last two years.
  5. Like 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.
  6. I first want to thank all my friends here who stuck with me along my past challenges. I also want to apologize for not being the most consistent person when it comes to replying to all of your challenges and updates. I want to share something with many of you that I normally do not share in public. Last year was a total toilet flush for me. For every good thing that happened, I feel that there were 5 bad things that came into my life. It all started when my full time position was dissolved in February of last year. When that happened, I had big dreams of making it as full time freelance writer and IT consultant but sadly, after 11 months, I am only a little farther ahead than when I started. I researched and studied everything that I could get my hands on but I wasn't able to gain any traction except for a few side jobs doing consulting. Needless to say, that put a great deal of stress on my mind and not only did it make my mind cloudy, it took a toll on my workouts and training. My main goal was to do things that help others. The main reason that I have volunteered teaching Karate for the past 8 years is because it feels good to help others without expecting anything in return. I was hoping that my writing would be another way to do this but I am lucky to get a handful of readers each time I publish a blog post and it's hard to sell services or affiliate programs when no one is listening. The biggest kick in the pants was having the Typhoon go back to full time work after 20 years of being a stay at home mom. This is one thing that I never wanted to have happen but it was either that or end up loosing the house and everything that I worked for over the 30+ years. This was also the first year that we had holidays without some close relatives that passed away and that too was heavy on mind. I understand that things change but I also realized that somethings will never be the same again. There were a few good things that happened, one of them is the Typhoon and I getting our 1st Kyu rank in Iaido and my son finally found a job that he likes. I am also grateful to have my parents and the Typhoon and my son but I feel that I haven't been towing the line like I should be and have done for in the past. When I get in this state of mind, I have tendency to find other areas to keep my mind off the bad stuff and my workouts do a great job of that but they also take me into a state of over-training that ends up making my body shutdown and lets my mind get flooded with all the crap that it normally keeps in check. The last few weeks of last challenge was proof that I was pushing my body too hard and it made me shut it down for almost three weeks. With that said, 2015 is going to be different. I need to use fitness to it's fullest and dig deeper into yoga and meditation to clear my mind while still getting into the best shape of my life without burning out. 1. Get simple with complexes by doing some form of barbell complex at least 3 times a week. I need to improve my fitness and mobility levels and I am thinking that barbell complexes might be the key. I dabbled with barbell complexes in the past but I never really got into them. For some reason, I started doing them the other day with the 45 pound bar and it felt really good. My son happened to be around when I was doing them and I talked him into doing them with me so I hopefully have my favorite training partner working out with me every time I do them. The complex that I am doing is 6 sets of decreasing reps down to 1 rep with 8 different movements consisting of deadlift, stiff leg deadlift, clean, push press, front squat, bent over row, barbell curl (switching grip after bent row) and push ups. For those who haven't done these before, you start with 6 reps of each movement on the first set, then 5 on the second set and continue dropping the reps until your last set is 1 rep of each movement. It only takes a short time to do them but it really gets the heart and muscles pumped. 2. Karate and Iaido is still a priority. My Karate has improved a great deal over the last few challenges, especially my kicks (thanks to CheeChoe!), but I still need more improvement. This time around, I am going to set the bar higher by doing CheeChoe's kicking routine 4 times a week. I also want to continue doing the Tabata static stance training 4 times a week. My at home Karate class has gone a long way at helping me when I am in my formal, weekly Karate class and I still want to continue doing it at least once a week. 3. Rest the body and the mind. Even though I am still going to be doing a good amount of training, I wanted to come up with a way to keep moving while resting. My thought is to do some Yoga at least three days a week. I never really got anywhere with Yoga in the past, because it was really painful, so I found a book called Remedial Yoga that is supposed to give the benefits of Yoga without doing the advanced moves that I cannot do yet. Life goal: Free my mind. I tried to do the mediation during the last challenge but I really didn't do it enough because the mental chatter kept getting in the way. This time, I want to meditate at least 5 minutes a day 5 times a week with hopes that it will clear my mind and allow me to focus on improving, instead of focusing on what will happen if I don't improve. As always, everything is subject to change as the weeks go along.
  7. 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.
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