Friday, March 18, 2011

Thoughts on daily training so far

Now that I've been going for a couple of months, my thoughts and attitudes to daily training are changing. 

Organisation of time is so important - without my weekly schedule, I would waste each session by frittering away my time wondering what to do next.  But more organisation is needed within session.  Without someone else to motivate me, I need to break my sessions down in more detail so I can actually get maximum benefit from what I am doing.  How to push myself well beyond my comfort zone without anyone else there (either to push me by direction, or through competition) is still problematic to me.

One side-effect of my daily training is that I find I now have the time to iron out flaws in what I am doing; a change from only training a few times a week, where I am mostly concerned with learning new things.  One thing I am trying to avoid, however, is doing to much of anything on autopilot - I am attempting to train mindfully.  This is having a flowover effect in my training during karate lessons, where what I am working on by myself is not necessarily what is being worked on in class, and yet I am loath to change what I am focusing on, because I am seeing the benefits of it. 

Another side-effect that I didn’t initially expect, is that I'm actually working on fewer things, not more.  I expected to be going through all the kata I know on a regular basis (13 + the beijing 24 + baduanjin), but I am mostly concentrating on 4 of them:  tensho, sanchin, sanseru, happoren, with more than half my kata time spent on these.  The majority of the rest of that time has been spent on saifa and seisan.  I just seem to be ironing out problems better using these kata, and the few times I am practising the others, they seem to be improving parallel to my improvements* in the more practised kata.

The hardest thing is not getting out there and training, it's trying to train with all the bloody mosquitos around!  With all the rain that Melbourne has had this summer, and with the Yarra and Wetlands less than 100m from our back garden, I have spent most of the last couple of months trying to fend of the little bastards.  Every step in sanchin has been accompanied by a small cloud of them leaving my ankles momentarily only to descend again as I settle in to place.  Thank goodness with the cooler weather, they seem to be diminishing in numbers.

*by improvements I am talking about power generation, body structure, flow of technique, weight distribution and not about how it looks - that improves as a corollary of the other things

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