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Shotokan

Shotokan learns to train with an open mind

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The last challenge was a mind opening learning experience for me and I hope to continue that in this challenge. Even though Shotokan is the style that I have trained for over 16 years now, the time away from the Dojo has given me the opportunity to find and learn some different ways to move my body and still get the results I am trying to achieve. This also gives me a good amount of content for a blog post too.

 

1. Close all three rings on my Apple watch for the entire challenge.

Technology can be an interesting motivator.  Using the Apple for the last few years has driven me to workout more than I used to before I had it.  It has three daily goals which include Move which shows the number of calories burned while moving. It has Exercise, which shows the number of minutes that some type of exercise is being done and Stand which is standing for at least a minute an hour moving around. I currently have it set for the following: Move: 600 calories, Exercise 30 minutes and Stand for 12 hours.  These are the same settings that I used for the last challenge and it was a good balance of being able to reach the number and still force me to workout even if I don't feel like doing it.

 

2. Kick the WaveMaster three times a week.

One of the new things I learned during the last challenge was doing a Taikwondo side kick is better for my body than a Shotokan side kick.  Changing the position of my stationary foot puts my body in a better position for power and height than the Shotokan side kick that I have been trying to improve for the last, well since I started training.  Five to 10 kicks with each leg for front, side and back should be enough for me to continue to improve without making my legs too sore to train.  I learned that if I do full out side kicks too many times in one session, it takes a toll on my legs but it is fun.

 

3. Get back to meditating every day.

After reaching a long time streak of 1250 days of straight meditation, I missed one day and then it went down hill from there.  I used to do it every night before bed and I missed one day and the streak was broken.  It does help me sleep better and I feel more rested when I wake up so I need to get back in the groove.  I was doing Headspace but I recently found a discount on Calm and want to try to see if it works as well.

 

Extra Credit: Publish a blog post!!!

Enough said.

 

 

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I like that you've found different ways to move that suit you better. Styles are supposed to be methods of expressing oneself, not something to sublimate one's self into. Crossing over into another style is a good start to something; I invite you to try more. :)

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5 hours ago, Kishi said:

I like that you've found different ways to move that suit you better. Styles are supposed to be methods of expressing oneself, not something to sublimate one's self into. Crossing over into another style is a good start to something; I invite you to try more. :)

Isn't that the great thing about Martial Arts.  No matter how much you learn or how long you do it, there is always something to learn.  My Sensei that retired in 2013 used to always tell me just move.  He didn't say form or style was unimportant since he was teaching the style specific for our club but he often mentioned how he transferred much of his Iaido training to his Shotokan training.  I started working on a kata call Sanchin from Gojo Ryu, which is a very internal kata, that focuses on posture and body awareness.  I have also started learning the use the Jo, which is a good teacher to help my movements fluid instead of rigid.  I am not abandoning my Shotokan style but I am looking for better ways to supplement my Martial Arts training that allows me to move better and also keep me from getting some of the injuries from forcing my body to do things it really isn't made to do but also give me the same results.

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Day one:

 

Good training day.  It started off with some early morning kata and then a nice walk with my wife and mom.  A band workout tonight went well.  It's a simple routine for two sets of 15 reps which includes:

 

Squats

Deadlifts

Bent over rows

Straight arm pulldowns

One are standing rows

Bench press

Fly

Side raises

Front raises

Pull aparts

Triceps pushdowns

Curls

Standing plank

 

The bands bring a different feel to the workout.  I used to discount them because they aren't weights but the bands do a good job keeping the heart rate up and the variable resistance makes it feel much different than the weights.

 

All three rings are closed for today on the Apple watch:

613 active calories

51 minutes of training

13 stand hours

 

Some meditation will finished off the day.

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Day two:

 

Today was mostly kata. Early morning kata and evening kata.  Some meditation will finish it up.

 

737 active calories

44 minutes of training

15 stand hours

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Day three:

 

Today started with kata and then tonight a little more kata and my kicking workout.  Front kicks, side thrust kicks, back kicks and roundhouse kicks all for 10 with each leg.  There were some extra kicks in there but I just playing around.

 

786 active calories

56 minutes of training

14 stand hours

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On 9/13/2020 at 11:14 PM, Shotokan said:

I started working on a kata call Sanchin from Gojo Ryu, which is a very internal kata, that focuses on posture and body awareness.

 

Yes sir. I'm familiar with Sanchin. Mostly because of all that time I spend nerding out over RKC-style kettlebell work. :D Although, correct me if I'm wrong, doesn't shotokan have its own version of that kata?

 

On 9/13/2020 at 11:22 PM, Shotokan said:

The bands bring a different feel to the workout.  I used to discount them because they aren't weights but the bands do a good job keeping the heart rate up and the variable resistance makes it feel much different than the weights.

 

Yes sir! Bands have a lot more to give than I personally gave them credit for. Ross Enamait in his book Never Gymless explores a lot of different usages for them and speaking for myself, I'm using them to deload some movements so that I can get a lot more out of them. I'm definitely on Team Band now. :D

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I used bands years ago. I might be tempted again. I love bodyweight intellectually, but, I dunno, I'm feeling like there's no noticeable progess. Sometimes I just wanna flex my biceps a lot.

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8 hours ago, Kishi said:

Yes sir. I'm familiar with Sanchin. Mostly because of all that time I spend nerding out over RKC-style kettlebell work. :D Although, correct me if I'm wrong, doesn't shotokan have its own version of that kata?

There is a Shotokan kata which is similar in principle but different in techniques.  In Shotokan, we have a kata called Hangetsu which is an internal kata to a point but there is a mix of slow and fast techniques.  With Sanchin, all techniques are slow and based on the breath from what I can tell.  There are two main benefits that I am seeing from Sanchin are posture and connection. Hangetsu does have moments of connection and posture but some of the moves are more dynamic and less precise.

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Day four:

 

I am seeing a pattern, which I really don't mind at this point.  The day starts with some kata and then night time comes some band work and some more kata.  Today was kata in the morning, some light band work, kata and stretching at night. 

 

682 active calories

30 minutes of training

15 stand hours

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Day five:

 

Started the day with kata again. Only about 10 minutes of morning training but it's turning into a good workout.  Tonight was kicking night and it was another good workout.  I only focused on slow kicks on the air in the past but hitting something seems to be helping me improve.  I am guessing that ultimately I will be doing both but for now I want to focus on hitting.  Oddly, I did throw a few punches and somewhere I found a lot more power than before.

 

The formal meditation is not going as well as I hoped but I am doing some relaxation meditation each day before bed.  It does seem to be helping me fall asleep faster but I think the stress from work is starting to wear on me a little more than before.

 

690 active calories

41 minutes of training

13 stand hours

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Day six:

 

Morning kata training again.  This is turning into one of the better habits that I have formed. I really get my head cleared before leaving for work and I think it is helping my body be more relaxed throughout the day.  Night time workout was some bodyweight work, bands, dumbbell work and farmers walks.  Some meditation with Calm will finished off the day.

 

643 active calories

51 minutes of training

13 stand hours

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Day seven:

 

For some reason, my workouts usually fall short on the weekends.  This weekend wasn't the usual.  Saturday was a great Zoom class working on my favorite kata. Lots of good training and a lot of output.

 

882 active calories

83 minutes of training

13 stand hours

 

Day eight:

 

Another great Zoom class working on kumite, moving from the center and lower body instead of the upper body. A short walk too added to the movement for today.

 

635 active calories

61 minutes of training

13 stand hours

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On 9/17/2020 at 12:32 AM, Shotokan said:

Day four:

 

I am seeing a pattern, which I really don't mind at this point.  The day starts with some kata and then night time comes some band work and some more kata.  Today was kata in the morning, some light band work, kata and stretching at night. 

 

682 active calories

30 minutes of training

15 stand hours

 

I'd pay attention to those patterns, I usually see them as opportunities to play on my strenghts. Way to be consistent this week! 

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Day nine:

 

Another good start with kata this morning.  I am having some problems with my neck and after I get out of bed, it hurts for while.  By the time I am out of the show, it starts to loosen a little but during the morning kata, it starts to feel better.  It's been bothering me off and on for about two months now but it comes and goes.  Either way, the kata helps get my posture right and it carries throughout the day.  I am a little behind on my kicks and mediation but I think I can make up for the kicks this week.  Overall, I think my Karate techniques are getting better now than all the time I have been training. One advantage of training on Zoom classes and by myself, I am not fighting to get my body into positions that hurt it like I do in class.  My hips and lower back are better and I think I am recovering faster from the hard training than I did before.

 

626 active calories

47 minutes of training

16 stand hours

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Day ten:

 

Today started with kata.  I would like to have the same feeling when I workout at night as I do in the morning.  My energy and my body seem to be aligned in the morning more than at night lately but work has to be done.  My other workout was more functional in nature.  I spent about an hour moving containers that were stored in my crawl space under the house.  Some kata and a little dumbbell work finished off the night.

 

648 active calories

33 minutes of training

16 stand hours

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Day eleven:

 

Kata in the morning and some more kata with my core workout from before. 

 

648 active calories

33 minutes of training

17 stand hours

 

Day twelve:

 

Kata in the morning with two Grokker workouts at night. I need to get back into doing the mobility workouts again.

 

787 active calories

32 minutes of training

16 stand hours

 

Day thirteen:

 

Kata and kicks in the morning and two more Grokker workouts tonight.

 

735 active calories

46 minutes of training

16 stand hours

 

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Day fourteen:

 

Great workout day.  Two Zoom classes and a lot of good training.  This was one of those days where my body was doing what is was supposed to do.

 

1112 active calories

135 minutes of training

13 stand hours

 

Day fifteen:

 

Another good workout day.  Three Grooker classes, my core workout and some suitcase carries along with a little kata.

 

626 active calories

57 minutes of training

14 stand hours

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12 hours ago, Kishi said:

Sounds like your body's got the memo in the past couple days. Good to hear! How's the neck doing?

The neck is so much better.  I had a hard adjustment with my Chiropractor on Saturday and he cracked something that made everything loosen up.  Thanks for asking.

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Day sixteen:

 

A simple but good workout day again.  Kata in the morning is pretty standard now and the night workout today was two Grokker classes along with some suitcase carries and halos.

 

605 active calories

44 minutes of training

14 stand hours

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