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  1. The last two challenges have been a great learning experience for me. Finishing challenges with success sure beats failing. Even though my goals aren't what many would consider world class, being able to complete the goals I set out to do has given me the drive to continue improving. It also proves that my body and mind isn't cut out to train balls to the wall each and every day. I am not looking for maximum results with minimal effort. Instead of training harder and harder, I am learning to train smarter and focus on the movement that give me the most bang for buck. 50 katas a week This has worked well for me in the past and I am seeing more improvement over the last two challenges than I have in years of training. Focusing on what everyone else is doing hasn't given me the greatest results over the years but the 50 katas had and I will continue to shoot for the magic 50 each week. I do want to focus a but more on my Shotokan katas overall but I am still going to include my Iaido katas too. 50 side kicks a week with each leg Now that I have more movement in my hips and better pelvic alignment, it's time to put rubber to road and kick it up a notch. This will consist of side thrust kicks and roundhouse kicks. I am training more technique and proper body alignment and will work on power and speed when the time is right. Tai Cheng three times a week / Body weight workout two time a week. I would have never thought that this would have some much impact, not only on my Karate and Iaido training, but also on my posture and my ability to work my muscles correctly. My Sensei always told me that if you improve your posture, your Karate and Iaido will improve. Needless to say, he was right and I should have listened to him years ago but better late then never, right. All of the other things that I tried in the past did help me improve but they only focused on the hips and all time, I should have been focusing on the the body moving as a unit instead of just the hips. Another thing that I should have listened better from my Sensei were some simple words he would tell me all the time in class. He would say "with the body" meaning and strike or technique needs to be done with the entire body not just a couple parts. I have taught this to other over the years but, until now, I didn't apply my own advice to myself. The body weight workout is focused on the hips and lower body along with upper body movements to tie it all together. Life goal - Spend an hour each week working on my first product offering for my business I have a job that I like and a good boss but I cannot see myself working for someone else for the rest of my life. The sum of this goal is a five year plan but I need to start now so that when five years is up, I am working for myself as a consultant. I have done this very thing, for one my consulting clients, for many years now and it's time to expand and start helping others with a service that they need at an affordable and easy to execute process. Extra credit - Meditate for five minutes a week This is one area that has been toughest for me. Even two minutes a week has been a challenge in itself but if I can get in five minutes of simple meditation each week, I will be happy. My mind is always racing and I know that I need to settle it down or it's going to come oozing out my ears. I know five minutes is week is a little weak but it's a goal none the less.
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