Goals & Resolutions

ktadmin Posted in Awareness, Diet, Events & Holidays, Fitness, Recipes and Health Facts, State of Mind, Training notes,Tags: , , , ,
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A few days ago most of us made some type of resolution for the new year.  You may not admit it to anyone but it is there in the back of your mind, something you’d like to change or do different this year.  Call them Goals or Resolutions they equate to the same thing, a struggle with yourself, often a battle of endurance which requires willpower!  The most common resolutions focus on our personal selves, weight loss, getting into shape, attaining our next belt, other involve our careers or station in life, we will focus on the former here but what we will look at applies to both.  The problem with the resolutions most of us make is, they require hard work and effort.  Let’s face it if they didn’t we wouldn’t need things called resolutions or goals!

I don’t normally go in for a bunch of motivational gimmicks but I found this one that actually makes sense, SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely
    (Get more in-depth details about Smart Goals here)

Basically this boils down a combination of “keep it simple stupid” and “being realistic and truthful”.  You can’t change if you set unrealistic goals, like I am going to loose 50 lbs next week, that is setting yourself up for failure, which if simply an excuse not to try.  I have known so many people who take this path, actually everyone takes this path eventually if they are not truthful with themselves.  We can learn a lot from addicts in this regard since it is easier to deny the problem then to deal with the problem.

So how do we get on track with our diet and fitness resolutions?  First keep reading this blog!  Secondly take the baby step method, I remember watching this in the old movie “What About Bob”.  You know what, it makes sense.  Break your bigger goal into achievable smaller goals, take small steps.  It may take longer to achieve your goal but the results will be lasting.  Nothing leads to short gains and long term losses then fad diets and an excessive ‘must have it now’ mentality.  The catch here is to make the goals achievable but useful, don’t be so easy on yourself that you aren’t moving towards your goal!  If you are trying to lose weight and you didn’t lose any last week, don’t have the attitude, “well at least I didn’t gain any!”  If you do, you will be saying “well at least I only gained a pound this week” before you know it.  Be honest with yourself but not easy!  This is training, no wimps allowed!!

I will leave you with this interesting study at the University of Hertfordshire which showed that the people most successful at keeping their New Year’s Resolutions did at least three of the following things:

  • broke their goal into smaller steps
  • rewarded themselves when they achieved one of these
  • told their friends about their goals
  • focused on the benefits of success
  • kept a diary of their progress.

There you have it, simple advice that will hopefully help you achieve your goals, regardless of when you set them…unless…

but you’re not that deluded…are you?

No Atheists on School Boards

ktadmin Posted in Awareness, News, Politics, Religion, Self-Defense, State of Mind,Tags: , , ,
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At least not when a gun is pointing at them!

“He was as close to me, almost, as this camera is and it was pointed right at me,” Husfelt said. “I was trying to turn kind of sideways. … It’s just all reactionary. Who knows what you do in a situation like that? We were all scared and doing a lot of praying, I can tell you that.” CNN

The story of the gunman at the School Board meeting struck me as ironic.  Here we have an institution (School Boards) which typically route out any semblance of religion or religious expression, including the Pledge of Allegiance, …praying.  Of course the article doesn’t say who they were praying to, but I think it is safe to assume it is a higher power.  I wonder if the School Board members were concerned that they might offend someone while they were praying?  It is understood that we do not know anything about these men, they all could be Church going men, but the irony in life is sometimes so striking it cannot be overlooked without comment.

Many dispute the fact that there are no atheists in foxholes Or at the wrong end of a gun… regardless it is doubtful there are any atheists afterwards…

On a more self-defense oriented note, the female board member that reentered the room and tried to disarm the gunman was brave and very lucky.  Luckily the crazy gunman seemed to have a problem with shooting women and let her go.  Her actions may have stalled is shooting spree enough to allow the security guard/retired police officer to get there in time to help. It did not seem that she had any formal self-defense training or martial arts skills, just a purse!  Her situation truly illustrates why everyone should have some exposure to formal training in a defensive art, you never know when or where you may find yourself in need of defending yourself.

Stay safe.

Sparring Notes

ktadmin Posted in Awareness, State of Mind, Styles, Training notes, Video,Tags: , ,
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I have been working with my students to improve their sparring skills this month, it’s a great hot weather activity! Sparring can be a tough skill to perfect since everyone wants to jump in the ring and mix things up. Sparring is a very dynamic activity but it can be broken down to individual skills which can be perfected. A short list of these skills include: technique, stamina, focus, and self-awareness. As with any skill technique is paramount to success. Put on some boxing gloves and get in the ring doesn’t make you a boxer, the same is true for Martial Arts sparring. To often I’ve witnessed students at competitions degrade their technique to wildly slapping and kicking.

Sparring matches are won by staying in control. Control comes from confidence and technique. Confidence is something people have to find within themselves. Technique is somethings an instructor can help you perfect. I won’t delve into technique specifics as they vary from style to style, but form is critical to minimizing your vulnerabilities and maximizing your opportunities. Stamina comes with the practice and perfection of your form and technique. As we get older we need to add additional cardio-conditioning! 😉 With good technique and strong stamina you are well equip to win most matches simply by outlasting your opponent.

Focus is perhaps the more difficult thing to learn, as focus is probably the wrong word to use, since you need a lack of focus when sparring. Say what?!? If we focus on our opponent we forget about our surroundings, this may be OK in a sparring ring, but in a real fight that can be fatal. More importantly though focusing on your opponent can lead to signaling your movements. When I spar I typically spar primarily with my peripheral vision, this allows me to “focus” on movements as they occur not a specific movement. Let me give an example: if someone fakes a move with their left, then follows through with the real attack with their right… If I am focused on the person, then my focus will shift to the left fake, when the right comes in, I will have to realize it, shift my focus and then react. If I am focused on the situation, using my peripheral vision then I can more rapidly react to movements in my “sphere” of focus. Basically it reduces the thought process drag that comes from thinking to much. Relax your mind and your awareness becomes more basic, instinctual and reactionary. Hopefully that makes sense, I’ll be happy to clarify any of that.

Self-awareness is probably the most ignored part of sparring, though it is the direct result of good technique training and peripheral or sphere focus. When we spar it is important to be self-aware of your vulnerabilities. It is the only way you can truly improve your art. When you begin sparring your instructor will tell you what you are doing wrong. You should take this instruction as an opportunity to train yourself to find these corrections before you are told of them. The next step of course is correcting the problem, not always that easy. For example, two of my students where sparring and one would lean her head froward after a particular move. Her opponent realized this and he exploited it, with a downward strike to the head. A very bad way to get hit, a fight-ender. After the first hit, I pulled her aside and told her what she was doing. When she did it again I saw her realize it after it was to late. The third time her realization came a little sooner but still to late. Frustration was her enemy on the last point. She has the first part of self-awareness down and is now struggling with correcting the problem. It is a process, no different then learning your first martial arts technique.

I am including these videos for two reasons, first they are awesome! Secondly, they each demonstrate important aspects of sparring. See if you can figure out the importance of each video and post your conclusions in the comments section… Enjoy and pay attention!
[zdvideo width=”400″ height=”226″]http://karatetraining.org/weblog/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Gorgeous-JackieChanAwesomeFight.flv[/zdvideo]

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQa7tlZZ_lM

Looking forward to the discussion…

Nervous yet?

ktadmin Posted in Articles of Interest, Awareness, Training notes,Tags: ,
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Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I’m from, this shouldn’t be a problem….

This really caught my eye because it is so true!  Unless you are a practiced public speaker getting up in front of a group of people, even people you know can be a stressful experience.  Why?  Because, every time we speak in a public forum we put ourselves up for examination and potentially ridicule. Yet if we all feel this way then why should we feel so much personal anxiety?  Confidence.  Not confidence in public speaking, but confidence in what we are about to say.  Our thoughts are just that, our thoughts, when we share them we expose part of ourselves.  This is fairly easy when conversing with another person, it is intimate and comfortable.  But add a few people to the mix, especially strangers and it takes the easy out of it.  We begin to worry about how we sound and what people will think, if we will make a mistake, or if anyone will be interested.  So what is the solution?  Be confident, well I can say that but it doesn’t usually help…Duh!  Actually one of the best ways to conquer this fear is to listen.  That’s right, learn to listen.  If you are listening to those around you, they are more apt to listen to you.  If you are listening you are not worrying about what you may or may not say, removing much of the stress.  Listening gives you a better grasp on the situation at hand making you more confident when you speak.  Listening the confidence builder…who knew!