Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Should I continue? I can see no other alternative

So many things happening that make home training even more difficult to accomplish.

Things that I want to do are being put to the side:

- Weight lifting exercises for my shoulders
- working on my handstand
- working on my kicks
- working on my sparring combinations
- working on shadow sparring
- 3 series

Other things are being emphasized:

- Belt rank requirements
- self defense combinations
- kata
- Bunkai for kata
- Bo training
- conditioning exercises

There just doesn't seem to be enough time in the day, nor enough energy in my system to meet all of the requirements being put forth.

I'm feeling an inner stress of dis-satisfaction at what is happening. Sure.. I'm meeting the needs of each moment, and I'm keeping my head afloat.. but wow! It feels simiar to that moment in the movie "The Karate Kid" when Daniel tiredly tells Miyagi Sensei that he finished the work. Miyagi Sensei turns, points out the whole yard and says "All of it?"

I do not have the potential, and freedom of youth to lean upon. I've noticed this fact lately.. I've seen people on the various Martial Arts forums saying things like "I've been training in the Arts for over 25 years now. I started when I was 8 years old." This kind of answer will not ever come from my mouth. I started Karate when I was 39 years old. In 25 years, I'll be near 70 years old. I want to still be training at that time, but I can give myself no guarantees. Now is the moment for me.. I'm only 5 years old in experience of karate, and I only have the present moment to train as much as I can.

There is so much to learn, and my body can progress only so fast without overtraining, and weakening. I cannot dedicate all of my energies towards my training, either. I have to balance the family needs, and life demands within my hopes of becoming the best karate ka that I can be. My teenager needs someone to talk to, my young son needs someone to help him with his reading, my daughter needs to go shopping for new clothes, I need to connect with my husband, I want to visit my aging mother.. and my training time is placed to the side so that I can be a Mother first.

But.. I want to compete in a Kyokushin kata competition now.. while I can.. while I have the strength, and meager skill to be able to share my love for kata, and perhaps inspire others to see the beauty contained within each movement. Not through my youth, nor my fantastic flexibility, nor my strength.. I do not see myself as having these things... but all through my spirit.. for that is what my kata offers.

I can see no other alternative than continuing to juggle the various needs, and demands so that there is balance in my life as I work towards my goal of training in karate to the fullness of my ability. I refuse to let go of any of these important things that I cherish.


Colin Wee said...

These are things I too struggle with occasionally. You just need to be realistic with what you want to achieve. Colin

karateka_jay said...

I also began to study, practice and follow karate-do when I was 39 and while I agree that we don’t have youth on our side we do have experience, maturity and a certain amount of wisdom that just naturally comes with life experience. I can identify with a lot that your are saying. There is definitely not enough time in the day that is for sure. I also train everyday and while there are many things for me to work on, I can only realistically allow so much of my time for them, this is more than likely the case for many karate ka.

What I try and do regarding my training is make a list of all that I need / want to work on. Then prioritize the list, get it down to what I feel are the most important things. Another suggestion would be to select three things, pick one aspect of training that you enjoy the most, one you enjoy the least and so on. Perhaps focus all your energy on these things for a few days and then change it up by adding other kihon, kata or whatever. Again this is only a suggestion.

Keep in mind that karate is among many things a self defense. Impatience is in my view one of the internal enemies that lurks within the minds of many karate ka. A karate ka should always strive to learn and cultivate patience above all else. Mastering this discipline will serve a karate ka above and beyond any technique, tournament or ritual. Be patient in your training, patient with yourself, your fellow karate ka and those whom you encounter in daily life. This is also karate practice and can be worked on every minute of every day.

I wish you the best in your training and in life. By the way, I recently found your blog and have been a visiting often ever since. Thought I would weigh in on this, your most recent post.


Karate ka jay

supergroup7 said...

Colin? It really amazes me that you have to struggle with the same issue occasionally. You have so much experience with Martial Arts. Wow.. in a way, it is both a nice feeling to know that what I'm going through is normal, yet.. it also means that it is unavoidable.

supergroup7 said...

Hello, and welcome Karateka_jay. Thank you for your nice comment. I appreciate the concepts, and sentiments that you place in it.

Yes.. I have made lists.. lots of them. Organized, prioritized, and implemented.. it helps alot. I appreciate your suggestions, thank you.

I read a joke about patience:

"In the supermarket was a man pushing a cart which contained
a screaming, bellowing baby. The gentleman kept repeating
softly, "Don't get excited, Albert; don't scream, Albert; don't yell,
Albert; keep calm, Albert."

A woman standing next to him said, "You certainly are to be
commended for trying to soothe your son Albert."
The man looked at her and said, "Lady, I'm Albert.""

There are some days... some days... :-)

Colin Wee said...

"You have so much experience with Martial Arts"

Yes, but remember the saying for every [Shotokan] mountain there is an equal and higher one? I personally don't think that I've got that much experience, but this is when I compare myself with my betters.

The human condition both hinders and encourages all of our pursuits. I am steadfastly holding on to my vision, yet I too encounter hindrances along the way. Time, illness, injuries, adequate training partners with talent, mentors, motivation, etc.

Karate Ka Jay has some good advice. My own approach is that there are some ways each person motivates themselves. You need to find that particular set of factors that will motivate you in Karate. It is different for all of us.


[Mat] said...

Routine helps,
specific times help.

But yeah, in the end, it's difficult to arrange and well, there's only that much time in a day...

If it paid to train, it would probably be different, no? I bet everyone would train :D (Decently paid, I mean)

Good succes.