Monday, 24 January 2011

Black belt training

This post is in response to Sue's question about my preparation for Shorinji Kempo shodan grading. Check out her full blog 'Countdown to Shodan', here.

I wanted to outline my approach to my impending dan grade exam. The way I'm looking at it I need to follow two broad aspects of training which then break down into more categories.

The main aspects for focusing my preparation are:
- body
- mind

Seems a bit noddy doesn't it but I then break this down further:

* Physical fitness: am I fit enough in key areas of stamina, aerobic capacity and strength.
* Technique fitness: I define this as being fit enough to execute the techniques themselves well enough without flaking out.

I think these two are subtly different. I want to work on general fitness by running (especially fartlek to exploit explosive energy) and light weights / stretching for general toning. Technique fitness will be the ability to execute techniques over and over again and I will be practicing this in this manner.

Of course doing so also helps me remember my techniques which brings me on to the next section of 'Mind':

* memorize techniques (repetitive training)
* train on memory recall
* examine in great detail techniques I haven't done for a while: which stance is it? which pin is used?
* Breathe! More meditation and deep breathing to help my blood oxygenate and yoga for relaxation and flexibility.

Shorinji kempo is very different from Tang Soo Do in that rather than learn mostly kata the emphasis is on learning lots of paired techniques which means (for me) in depth learning and memorizing of details....

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Sports injury: Supraspinatus tendonitis

I've been out of training this week because of my shoulder pain. I eventually went to the doctor to check what I could do to self treat it and she explained I probably have Supraspinatus tendonitis (sometimes called rotator cuff tendonitis): an inflammation of the supraspinatus tendon. Tendons attach to bones and I can feel it acutely at the point in my shoulder where the joint is, especially when I raise my arm above my head or try to move it behind my body. BBC Health says that: "overuse is ...a common cause", and I think I might have aggravated it by doing a very wide lat pull down.

Here's a decent article outlining treatment, management and rehab

Hey! Take care out there!....

Thursday, 6 January 2011

First post Christmas training session

Tonight was the first training slot after the Christmas break and I have to admit that during the holidays I took every occasion to eat well. Such was my consumption though that when I actually got down to exercising this evening I sweated chocolate.

It was good to be back but curious to see how such a little time away from a consistent training regime led to a feeling of being a little out of sorts. Moves didn't feel quite so crisp and my muscle 'memory' seemed to be rusty.

I'd better get in shape and back on track as this year is mostly preparation for shorinji kempo black belt. This means getting fit and knowing my stuff as thoroughly as possible. Going into a grading well prepared helps me relax and really show good technique.

So these are my aims for the first half of the year and these will help shape my martial arts activities.

Anyone else sorted their goals for the year?

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Weapons as training aids

This short video clip shows TO and MH using weapons to see how classical techniques feel when 'extended'. I found this particularly useful in training as it made us work harder at the technique but also gave back some insight into the inner workings of body mechanics and tai sabaki. Foot work became essential as feedback from touch on our arms was taken away. Despite this we could 'feel' with our bodies in 'cutting' into the technique.