Martial Artist Runners


I'm not progressing (Read 348 times)


    Any tricks to get better at karate? I haven't really been progressing lately. I know the main thing is to practice, but it's hard to find the time, and when I do, I don't know if I'm practicing correctly. Any suggestions?
      Hi, Gig. You're talking really general here. Let's get specific. How much are you practicing now? Are you going to class? How often? What are you practicing at home? What do you mean you're not progressing? Can you be more specific? Have you spoken with your teacher about this? "Any tricks to get better at karate" is kind of like asking "how can I run faster?" Gotta know where you are now and where you want to be before you can figure out how to get there! Just immediately, I notice you've been very consistent with your running. You don't track your karate here, do you? Have you thought about logging the time you spend practicing here on your RA log? I've done that with taekwondo, using class descriptions as "routes." It helps me 1) balance my training time and 2) stay accountable for all sports I like to participate in. MTA: feel free to look at my log and see if it gives you any ideas.

      Roads were made for journeys...

        Perhaps training a different way will lead you to the same result. For example, I had problems with making a clean cut through the bamboo. This is bad because if I do it completely wrong my expensive sword might chip, so my sensei suggested I hang long strips of newspaper on a tree and practice my cutting on these strips. Many strips later, my technique improved and the bamboo cuts were much cleaner. If you're shadowboxing, a valuable trick is to visualize your opponent so you're not just swinging at air.

          Hi. I'm back. It's been a busy few weeks. Thanks for the feedback. Tracking my practices is a great idea because that's what got me to be consistent in running. The tricks I was looking for--I pretty much meant how to get myself to practice. I go to class three times almost every week, but I almost never practice outside that lately. I used to be good about shutting myself in a conference room during lunch once or twice a week, but that's been supplanted with working through lately. I was kinda looking for how other people carve out time. Applying running strategies--tracking, planning, varying, etc.--is probably the way to go.
            There are people who rarely practice outside of class. I'm one of them. That's one reason I try to go to class often. Wink There are people who eat/sleep/live/breathe martial arts constantly. I don't see anything wrong with either approach. My thoughts are that you have a relationship with martial arts that you come to define over time. What does it mean to you? How much importance does it have in your life? Those questions will help you answer what at first glance seems to be a motivation problem. Are you trying to make martial arts into something it's not for you? Are you perhaps feeling burned out? Are you bored? Just overwhelmed with outside stuff that it's spilling over into your practice? Having a personality difficulty with someone in class? This seems like it would be a good time to get back in touch with what you really think and feel about your training. Have you tried taking a complete break from martial arts and seeing if you actually miss it? I know I miss it when I do that. It takes me a while, but I always end up coming back. Blush You might also consider a different time for practice if you used to be able to use a conference room and now don't feel able to. How about running to a park somewhere, practicing a little while, and then running home? Unused tennis courts make pretty good substitute dojos - they're nice and flat and relatively hard (though not impossible!) to trip over. Blush

            Roads were made for journeys...


            Husband and father of 4

              Hi Gig, I don't know the style you train in but I found that kata (forms) are great suppliments to a run. May I suggest doing forms before or after your short or mid-distance runs. Pick one form for the week and before each run do two at 1/2 - 3/4 speed. It's a nice warm-up. Do the same at the end of the run. Don't go full speed just reinforce the muscule memory and consider the applications as you do the form. At the end of the week you have studied/practiced a form 4-12 times outside of class. The acumulative effect over a month or so is significant. Just a thought... it's something I've found helpful.
              Find the fun.


                I agree with the other posters...especially about talking to your instructor FIRST...but I would add some running-related wisdom.


                (Lately - My running has greatly enhanced my MA teaching and practice.)


                1 - Definitely track your workouts, and (as in running) set some specific (non-promotion-related) goals.  e.g. - Set the goal of improving your balance or leg strength through 10 minutes of rope-jumping a day.


                2 - Try to break the pattern of your MA class workouts, similar to the way we vary our running training.  Focus in on a particular area each time you go to class. (e.g. - Form on Monday, Power work with a bag/target on Wednesday, Stretching on Fridays.)  I know that you don't have much control over what actually happens in class, but you CAN add fifteen minutes to your class (before or after) to focus individually on these things, or do them at home before or after.


                3 - Ask for permission (if necessary) to cross-train, with weapons or on matwork.  Attend an occasional advanced class if you can. Often this adds depth and intensity to your "normal" class. 


                4 - Use running as an excuse for some outdoors martial arts training. Instead of your usual route, go through a playground and do some forms and stretching.  Outdoor practice can add energy to your forms.

                5 - Last and most interestingly, running has taught me more than ever before to be aware of my breath and my posture.  You'd be surprised how quickly MA improves when you return to your breath.


                Walk (or RUN) in Gentle Strength


                - CB