Meditation Point #43

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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Only in solitude do we find ourselves.
— Miguel De Unamuno

The hardest thing to do for most people is to sit quietly and do nothing. If you have never tried it, you should but you have to do it right. To truely know solitude place a hard (wooden or metal) chair in the center of a quiet room. Sit in the chair with good posture and your hands on your knees. Now clear your mind or quiet your mind may be a better way to say it. See how long you can stay like this with a quiet mind before you being to feel restless or distracted. Repeat. You have begun your journey to knowing yourself. Most people have a hard time with this exercise. If you think about it that means they have a hard time spending time by themselves! Good luck.

The Meaning of the Brown Belt (3rd – 1st Kyu)

Sensei Posted in Training notes
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Similar to the synergy of the purple belt, brown represents the beginning of coming together of all belt colors. The brown belt not only understand the physical movements of their art but is beginning to see and understand that which they were not directly taught. At this stage you have begun to learn how to learn! In this the brown belt moves beyond the understanding and mastery of the required movements. The brown belt symbolizes the beginning of understanding of the inner self. All the emotions including fear and anger are coming under the control of the practitioner. A higher level of consciousness is also beginning to form which provides perspective in many situations. This is demonstrated in the growing ability to teach and mentor other students. The ego is almost gone in these situations replaced with a calm observation that helps them see the class from the students perspective. The progression through the three brown belts signifies the final perfection of the students inner self, their mind and their physical abilities. These final steps of the journey are the most difficult because they are step fraught with inner battles. Despite the difficulties, the reward is great.

What would Chuck Norris do?

Sensei Posted in Fun Stuff
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If Chuck Norris was down and out on his luck, what would he do to raise some cash?…

A Homeless Chuck Norris

Be Realistic

Sensei Posted in Training notes
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The hardest thing to do in the world is to be realistic. We all want to be the best, the biggest, the most successful. Truth be known, we can’t. Even if we can be it won’t last. So why try?! Because we can be OUR best and that is all that is important. Now the hard part is to know when you are being your best, when you are slacking off and when you are being to hard on yourself. Once you know this you can begin to motivate yourself correctly. I know all you slackers out there are thinking, “Great! I don’t have to try until I figure that out!”. Guess again. The way we learn these this about ourselves is by striving to be the best, yes we have come full circle…almost. The point I am driving at hear is that in your quest to be the best you have to be willing to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and say “well that didn’t work” and immediately try again (or once your injuries have healed). Unfortunately it is often to easy to excuse away our failures by believing that is our best or by blaming them on things outside our control. This is nonsense AND the path to failure and self-loathing, not the life many would choose willingly. So what are you supposed to do?
Use your time wisely. Train in your idle moments making them positives instead of negatives. Stop making excuses!! Look objectively at your efforts and performance to see where you can improve. Remember that we all slip because we are not perfect, the important part is to stop the slip before it becomes a fall! Beating ourselves up over these normal occurrence is a negative exercise that perpetuates our desire to fail. Yes desire to fail, most don’t recognize it but we often fail out of fear of success, but that is another article I will write later… If you are just starting, start slowly, realistically. If you’ve been training, know your limits and push them if possible. Above all remember that while we want to be the best of the best, if you are the best you can be then you already are among the best of the best! And by the way I am writing this as I just finished wasting 4 hours I can never recapture that could have been used in a much more constructive and positive way.

Baked Chicken Florentine

Sensei Posted in Recipes and Health Facts
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Try something new for dinner tonight and have a healthy meal at the same time…

    Ingredients

  • 16 oz. boneless chicken breast
  • 2 cups chopped frozen spinach
  • 4 oz. canned sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup nonfat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh, grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. oreganov 3/4 cup liquid egg substitute

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts (you should have about four pieces). Defrost and squeeze dry spinach; drain mushrooms thoroughly. Combine spinach and mushrooms with ricotta cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese.
Coat a baking pan with cooking spray and spread with the spinach mixture. Mix breadcrumbs with rest of Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and oregano in a plate and place liquid eggs in a bowl. Dip each chicken piece in liquid eggs, then roll on breadcrumbs mixture to lightly coat both sides.
Place chicken on top of spinach mixture, spray lightly with cooking spray and bake 40 to 45 minutes until chicken is cooked. Serve. This recipe makes four servings. Each serving is one chicken breast with spinach-cheese mixture.

    Nutritional values per serving:

  • 310 calories (90 from fat)
  • 10g fat (5g sat)
  • 100mg cholesterol
  • 620mg sodium
  • 15g carbohydrate
  • 3g dietary fiber
  • 4g sugars
  • 42g protein
  • 130-percent RDA of vitamin A and 35-percent RDA of vitamin C

Meditation Point #42

Sensei Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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Let us try to recognize the precious nature of each day.
— The 14th Dalai Lama

This is one of my favorite quotes at the moment (no pun intended). To often we get caught up in the turmoil of life thinking of the past or the future. Most people miss the now completely because of a fixation on the past and/or future. Their apprication of the now is reserved for a sunset that catches their attention or some similar focus grabbing event. If we work at it our lives can be filled with special sunsets that keep us focused on the now, the present. Like anything in life worth attaining it takes work to train yourself to live in the moment. So train hard and perhaps you will notice the beauty of the dew on the morning grass instead of thinking about what went wrong yesterday.

Asian Chicken with Sea Vegetables and Noodles

Sensei Posted in Recipes and Health Facts
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O.K. I’m hungery again! Here is a recipe that is pleasing to the eye, taste buds and training regiment.
Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
Tender natural chicken breast marinated in an Asian-inspired blend of tamari, lime, garlic and ginger provides the centerpiece for this savory stir-fry of broccoli, red pepper, shiitake mushrooms and arame. The arame contributes a sweet, mild flavor to the dish, making it a perfect choice for the sea vegetable newcomer.

    Nutrition Info Per Serving (8 oz-wt.):

  • 320 calories (80 from fat)
  • 9 g total fat
  • 1.5 g saturated fat
  • 38 g protein
  • 23 g total carbohydrate (2 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar)
  • 90 mg cholesterol
  • 230 mg sodium
Serves 6
Ingredients

    Marinade

  • 2 TB Bragg liquid aminos (or tamari)
  • 2 TB freshly squeezed lime juice (1 to 2 limes)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 11/2 TB peeled, coarsely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
    Stir Fry

  • 2 packages (2 oz each) transparent noodles (mung bean noodles, Saifun, or Harasame)
  • 1/3 cup dried arame
  • 2 TB canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely sliced
  • 3/4 lb broccoli crowns, separated
  • 1/2 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, discard stems, thinly slice caps
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and julienned
  • 1 bunch green onion, both white and green parts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup sunflower sprouts or bean sprouts
    Preparation

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast, cut into 11/2-inch strips

Preparation Directions
Reminders:
Soak the arame with enough cold water to generously cover — it will triple in volume. If fresh shiitake mushrooms are not available you can substitute them with dried. About 1-ounce of dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted, equals a 1/2 pound of fresh. Simply soak the dried shiitakes in a bowl of water for 1/2 hour, drain the liquid, and proceed with the recipe.
To prepare the noodles and sea vegetable:
Soak the noodles in a bowl with enough hot water to cover them for about 5 minutes. Test the noodles. They should be al-dente. If more soaking time is needed, continue to retest every few minutes to desired tenderness. Drain noodles and set aside. In a separate bowl, soak the arame with enough cold water to generously cover. It will triple in volume, add more water if needed. Set aside.
To prepare the marinade:
Whisk together the tamari, lime juice, garlic, ginger, coriander, sugar and pepper flakes in a medium bowl until well blended. Place the chicken in the marinade, coating it completely. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.
To prepare the noodles and sea vegetable:
Soak the noodles in a bowl with enough cold water to cover them for about 15 minutes. In a separate bowl, soak the arame with enough cold water to generously cover. It will triple in volume, add more water if needed. Set aside.
To prepare the dish:
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat, add the onion and sauté for about 2 minutes. Lift the chicken out of the marinade, reserve the marinade for later use. Add the chicken to the skillet and sear until just browned, about 4 minutes. Add the broccoli, mushrooms, bell pepper, green onion, reserved marinade, and 1 cup of water. Stirring frequently, sauté until tender and bright in color, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the arame, discarding the liquid. Add the arame and sprouts to the skillet, toss to incorporate. Serve immediately accompanied by the noodles.

Rising Stars, those Up and Coming Martial Artists

Sensei Posted in Announcements & Press Releases
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KarateTraining.org is excited to announce the begining of a new service to the Martial Arts Community! In the coming week(s) we will begin to present Interviews, profiles and updates on some of the rising stars in the Martial Arts Community. In addition to performing Interviews we are also making Gallery space available to each rising star so you can see them too! Check out the Up & Coming Martial Artists section in our Gallery. If you know a Martial Artist that you think should be featured drop us a comment or note and tell us who they are and why, we’ll be more then happy to take it from there. If you want to perform an Interview we will be happy to post it as well and give you full credit.
Who knows, perhaps the next Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan could be featured here…at least we’ll be able to say we knew them when! Check out the interviews of each person in the article section, coming soon.

Help Wanted

Sensei Posted in Site_News
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I am looking for people interested in writing about the Martial Arts, Fitness and Training. I need assistance in two areas, here in the blog and in writing articles for the new article section I am completing. I would like to feature articles about every style and obviously I cannot be an expert in every style! (I wish though!) This is a great opportunity for someone looking to build their resume, build a reputation, hone their communication skills, or just to be in on the ground floor of what I hope will one day be the premier Martial Arts web site (a tall order but one worth pursuing!). I will maintain editorial privileges on all submissions however for those who prove professional and accurate writers. I ask for help because the burden of developing and maintaining the site is often daunting but a mission I am committed to, so fear not this site will continue to grow. 🙂
To all you readers and visitors…THANK YOU…you keep me motivated and focused on my goal!