Sunday, July 20, 2008

Relaxed training in the backyard

My daughter and I decided to enjoy some time training together in the backyard. My other daughter, the aspiring recording arts person, caught it on video. I edited her footage down to a few minutes for your entertainment.

We are kicking at a pillowcase filled with a heavy woolen crocheted afghan tied onto the kid's swing set with a white belt. Sure.. it's not the most refined equipment, but it was inexpensive, and handy.... and actually fun to kick at.

We were chased out of our dojo by the build up of mosquitoes as the evening descended.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Parents banned from being spectators

Just recently this year, in my province, parent spectators have been banned from watching their children compete in the sport of Lacrosse.

In British Columbia, the lacrosse league implemented a "Silent night" where parents were not allowed to clap, yell, or cheer during the competition.

In Los Angeles, coaches are held responsible for the behavior of the fans of their team in Youth Basketball.

In Soccer, "Several soccer coaches are dishing out lollipops to rowdy parents, with firm instructions to keep their mouths shut until the candy has dissolved. "

In Northern California, the city of Roseville will require parents of children in municipal sports leagues to attend lessons in sportsmanship.

There seems to be developing a general lower tolerance for unruly parents in the sporting areas.

Will this type of thing happen at Martial Arts Tournaments?

I have seen unruly parents at various Tournaments. Will we be seeing a similar ruling in Martial Arts as we have seen exhibited by the Lacrosse League? I'm talking about the rule of banning spectators from attending. I can't see that happening as the tournament would loose profit in this manner. Each competitor brings in a registration fee, and usually at least one, or two spectator fees.

I have seen "closed" belt rank tests where parents were not welcome to watch their child testing for the next rank. I don't understand the reasoning behind this from an onlooker's perspective. I have yet to see an unruly parent during a belt rank test. But then, I don't know what happens after the test. Perhaps the parent becomes upset that their child did not pass their test while another child succeeded.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Training and painting

Here are a few pictures capturing the many hours that I've spent in the past week on the activity of painting. I swear I will enjoy the result when I'm done, but the day to day hours of repetitive activity can wear out on a person. I've been putting in 5 to 6 hour days just scraping and painting on my own. In these pictures, two of my daughters came and helped me with the garage. I was astonished how much more difficult it is to paint stucco. It's like one has to fight for each 4 inches of painted space! I'm doing this alone so far because my husband's vacation doesn't start until next week. To be honest, I am trying to get as much as I can done before he goes on vacation so that his whole summer isn't spent working hard on the house.

I still train in karate. I take little breaks every 2 hours of painting to stretch out my legs, and do jumping kicks on a little makeshift "toy" that I made for myself out of doubled pillowcases filled with wool crocheted covers, and tied up with a karate belt to my kid's swingset. I'll try to capture what that looks like on video.. ha ha ha.. It must look strange, and unusual.

I've attended a couple of sessions of Yoga. I am amazed at how similar it is to Karate with the emphasis on proper breathing during movement, and on good posture. But then I realized "Doesn't almost every physical activity have this emphasis... like pilates, golf, dance, skiing?" Well.. perhaps it doesn't focus on proper breathing as much as karate, and yoga, but I bet you that deep diaphramatic breathing would help with those activities also.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

It's been awhile

Yes.. I haven't posted for almost a good month now. I'm so extra busy lately with a house filled with kids on summer vacation, and working towards improving my house/garage. I've been scraping down, and washing down the walls of my home to get ready for painting. So many hours, and hours of dedicated time to prepare for improving the look of my house!

Also, There has been a wedding in my relatives that I needed to prepare for, and attend. I had to spend hours shopping for nice clothes, and making sure that we were ready for the event. We went to 12 different stores to find our matching dresses, etc.

Karate: To my surprise I haven't slacked in this regard, I've managed to find time to practice my Bo, my nunchucks, my kata, my basics, my conditioning, and work on the research for the essay that I need to write for my next belt rank test. Yes, my online computer time has suffered for all of this.. sacrifice has to happen somewhere.. also, I've had less time to play any video games.

Latest Karate musings:

Motivation: Where does it come from? What causes people to invest themselves into a good cause, or a positive life choice, or a healthy habit? How can we support others in their good choices so that they continue in that direction?

I believe that the key to longevity is that these people are willing to look at reality. They open themselves to the possibilities of an activity, and also to the challenges, and responsibilities, and they embrace the whole package.

Karate, for example, involves the whole person. ( At least, in my opinion.) It isn't just that one hour at the dojo a few times a week that will create the karate ka that is desired, but an ongoing investment into the Art. It isn't just the movements of the techniques that make them work, but also the commitment of the mind, and spirit into the action.

Can Karate training be a "past-time hobby" that is put aside, and picked back up after summer vacation? I guess so.. however, I would say that this would mean that the person is willing to begin their training again from the start. They would have to renew, rebuild, and remember what they had achieved months earlier. Personally, I shudder at this thought. It has taken me so much pain, and commitment to gather what little I have now that I do not desire to put it to the side. I know that I would be quite saddened to realize that I had forgotten, or lost what I had gained. No.. I want to build on what I have so I chose to continue training on my own during those moments when summer holidays makes training at the dojo more difficult. In fact, I'm going to expand, and study into my Art to even improve over the summer so that when classes resume, I'm even MORE ready to take on the challenge.