Monday, April 16, 2007

On my own

I had a dream last night that I was at the dojang working on forms during class, and I was almost completely unable to do the forms. Each time I'd start a form, my arms and legs would just get weak, my moves would get sloppy, and I'd forget the moves.

I think that dream was a sign. I haven't worked out since Monday's class.

So I went over to work on forms by myself today.

I don't like to work out alone. It's hard to get a good workout when there's no one to push you! But Brian, my usual workout partner, had a meeting, so there I was, alone. I didn't feel completely sloppy and inept--the way I did in that dream. But I know that my strength, power, and precision are just not what they were a couple months ago. My stamina is lacking, too. By the end of the workout, I was just walking through the forms, too tired to put everything into it.

Maybe this is going to be a new challenge in my martial arts journey. People have told me before that it's harder to stay focused on improving when you're a black belt. We black belts need to help teach, and we don't have the constant pressure of tests to keep us going. My next test is in 10 months!

So here's the question: How can I stay focused and fit and continue to learn and grow as a martial artist over the next few months? I have a goal of doing all my forms once a week, but I've done poorly with this goal. I also want to work on sparring, but I can't make it to Wednesday's class for a while, and that's when we practice sparring.

How do you other black belts out there manage it?


Anonymous said...

In my school, there is no defined curriculum to go from 1st to 2nd degree black belt. Like yours, black belts are also expected either to teach one or more classes, or to assist in teaching during a class. Sometimes I feel like I've demonstrated white, yellow and orange belt forms a million times, but don't feel that I'm getting a good workout myself.
Try to workout with another black belt as often as possible. Even if it's only for 15-20 minutes after regular class. My school also tries to have black belt class twice a month. Or add something new to your routine -- like nunchucks or bo staff, if your school offers it. From your descriptions, it sounds like Master Hughes is a guy who would like to know he has a black belt whose still eager to learn!
Kicker Chick

Gordon White said...

Don't Training plateaus just stink?

Back in November, BBM put up a fitness challenge, so I decided to make a goal of doing all of my forms 100 times each between then and July, when I plan to attend the Kukkiwon instructors course. In addition, I posted the spreadsheet of my count on my blog for the world to see, this was very motivating for me, having an event, and a goal (100 reps)and essentially keeping a journal about it.

The argument would be "you will rush through to get your reps in, and it won't be a useful exercise." I have found the contrary to be true. Knowing I have the course coming up (where I will be under watchful eyes) and valuing my precious training time, I have really been digging in to my forms, and rediscovering them. It has made me a better forms instructor as well.

Hope that helps, good luck!