This Halloween support the local Treat Strike as a way of not eating candy and junk food. Everyone love Halloween candy but does the candy really love you? (even though Halloween isn’t a real holiday) Halloween begins the Holiday season which brings with it a plethora of foods and goodies that are anything but helpful to your training or your waistline. Moderation is the key, however, when it comes to sweets there is a certain addictive quality which makes our bodies crave more and more. Anyone who has cut sugar and sweets from their diet for a time and then had some can attest to this. So perhaps this season you can start out right by supporting the Treats and respecting their Strike!
At some point in our lives we all have to watch our weight. I was blessed with a great metabolism and could literally eat anything for most of my life. Time, work and life have slowly changed that and in doing so changed how I view food. For some people this is a struggle they have for most of their life. It is also a problem that women struggle with more than men due to the way our bodies differ. Regardless of when or how you begin to “watch your weight” or what your motivation is, the struggle is the same for all of us.
I for one do not diet. Mostly I do not think it is necessary unless there are underlying medical conditions like diabetes. By diet, I mean eating special foods or eliminating certain foods (aside from junk food). I do believe in portion control, something most of us know nothing about. We eat like Lions, meaning we gorge ourselves until we can not eat any more, for guys this is often a rite of passage. Women do this too, the proof (sorry ladies) is easiest seen in pregnant women who love to tell everyone they are eating for two, even though the second person is the size of a quarter…
Often we eat when we are thirsty because we cannot tell the difference between thirst and hunger. A good tip is to have a glass of water the next time you are hunger and then wait a little bit, you might just forget you are hungry! So those are my big tips, drink water and eat smaller portions.
Since I have never had a weight problem and do not consider myself an expert I thought it a good idea to include a different perspective. Enter, Marina Kamen. I have never met Marina, though I have exchanged a few emails with her manager and found her video interview a refreshing perspective. Marina is a normal person. What I mean by that is she isn’t so rich that she has people cook for her, take care of her kids, clean her house, etc. She is normal, like us. She has also overcome a weight problem and stayed in incredible shape. But don’t take my word for it listen her, here, this is one of three segments but it says a lot I think everyone can relate to.
Refreshing, no? This is why I do not diet, plus life is to short to feel guilty all the time! It boils down to the basics: Eat less, burn more. Eat to live, instead of living to eat. Weight control is just basic math, addition (eating) and subtraction (exercise). SO don’t only practice your Martial Arts at the Dojo, practice at home too! Those are my thoughts for now, hope you found something useful! Let me know if you did.
You can find out more about Marina Kamen and her products here.
The brothers praised a monk before Abba Anthony. When the monk came to see him, Anthony wanted to know how he would bear insults, and seeing that he could not bear them at all, he said to him, “You are like a village magnificently decorated on the outside, but destroyed from within by robbers.”
– St. Antony The Great (Anthony of Egypt is the Patriarch of all the Desert Fathers and of all Monks.)
I Love this quote, it demonstrates that Abba Anthony was a tough character who could not stand for fake people and people who did not know who they were. Sticks & Stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you, that is the point being made in this quote, words are harmless to those who know their worth. That last part, “words are harmless to those who know their worth” is a slight play on words, there are two ways to read it, both are correct.
I leave the rest for your reflection and comments.
Let’s start with a laugh, I like to say I’ve never met a board I didn’t like…
ZD YouTube FLV Player
Well anyone who has attempted to break a board has experienced this at least once! Lose your mental focus, feel fear or uncertainty, lose your physical focus and that will probably be you jumping around screaming!
Focus, this is the real trick in the Martial Arts or any fighting art, to much focus (see above) can be a bad thing. While you may gain power you lose your situational awareness. Instead of focus you need to train to stay relaxed, aware of your situation and fluid, this will give you the ability to react without the time delay of planned movements. When I spar I rarely look at my opponent, in other words I do not focus on the person I am fighting. Instead I relax my focus and heighten my awareness of the entire sparring situation, taking in their whole body or multiple attackers. This is almost the opposite of what most students are taught when breaking boards. Yet relaxing your focus can accomplish the same thing with the benefit of not getting tunnel vision. You are simply putting your fist or knife hand strike to a defined spot, past the object, regardless of the object.
However I’d like to end by saying I have never met a board I didn’t like…
When a Wise man thought about the depth of the judgments of God, he asked, “Lord, how is it that some die when they are young, while others drag on to extreme old age? Why are there those who are poor and those who are rich? Why do wicked men prosper and why are the just in need?”
He heard a voice answering him, “Keep your attention on yourself; these things are according to the judgment of God, and it is not to your advantage to know anything about them.”
– From The Life Of St. Antony The Great (Anthony of Egypt is the Patriarch of all the Desert Fathers and of all Monks.)
How does this help us as a Martial Artist? As a Christian it always amuses me how God gets blamed for everything yet credited for little. We see things from our own perspective and assume omnipotence. The funny thing is most of us don’t even know ourselves and what is in our own hearts, let alone to be in a position to judge the justness of a given situation. Instead we should be focused on our actions and the state of our soul. How often does a student look with envy at the abilities of another student thinking they are naturally better than themselves. Unknown to them are the countless hours this student with “natural ability” practices. What St. Anthony was driving at is, in focusing on things we can not control, we take away from time that could be spent in perfecting ourselves. That is not to say we exclude thoughts of others, but that we do so without envy, we take lessons from the world around us without letting the events distract us from perfecting ourselves. Instead, we to often use lessons from the world to justify our current selves.
This might sound a little high minded but it is the essence of Martial Arts training, perfection of ones self. Unfortunately unlike the above passage, Martial Arts training deals with the perfection of your mind and physical self. Many mistake Martial Arts training and this sense of perfection for religion. The broadening of our senses through training can give us a feeling similar to that of a higher connection, it is a false connection. Unfortunately many are willing to deceiving themselves as this false religious feeling elevates them to the station of God, even though they believe it a connection with some larger Universal force or power. This is the trap of many pursuits, Martial Arts, Higher Education degrees, any practice which expands the powers of the mind and body, yet neglects the soul.
I will leave you with that to ponder, to comment upon, and hopefully, to stimulate awareness.