Feel depressed, try and attempt a few handstands!

I have been feeling like a zombie recently, work drains your essence and it only allows you to have enough energy to focus on one or two hobbies outside of work. I know i shouldn’t get depressed, I am healthy and with my family but all the things I want to do and try, all the social stuff that always seems to be out of my grasp. I want to be a writer and write stories, but i don’t even have the mental energy to do that, lead alone read books and novels which helps to increase not only your imagination but also your vocabulary.

With my karate grading coming up I have stopped taking alcohol ( I only drink once or twice a week) which normally takes the edge off things, I didn’t even realise that I needed it, which means it is a good time to stop drinking for a while.

Injuries have made it harder to train, and i do love strength training and karate training, but i need to let my imagination be unleashed, people have always tried to insult me by saying that i am a dreamer, but to me that is a compliment. The greatest aspect of my personality is my dream or child like qualities or mindset. Even though that I am now 26, even 17 year olds think that I can act more childish then they are at times.

This may seem like a random detour, and it is the way i think, i just to one thing to another which have a small connection  but i could  never do handstands. Even when I tried out Capoeira for a while, I struggled with it, and when I started barstarzz like training, I couldn’t do it, and I didn’t try, I knew that even though i was getting stronger i couldn’t do it.

Then this week I was early for karate training, and I decided to have fun trying them with a big blue crash mat. It took the fear that I have with them (I have very heavy feet, so i tend to crash hard) and for 1/2 an hour I was just having child like fun practicing and failing them, I was surprised on how good a cardio workout it was, and how could my shoulders felt, but i was just having child like fun in pushing my boundaries, my limits.

I wanted to do it prior to yesterdays session, but Judo had booked the room and we ended up in the dance studio. I didn’t trust myself well enough in there to try it out. Today i felt even worse, once I get in a black mood, it is very hard for me to overcome it, its my day off and i can’t even write!

Then before during and afterwards, i decided to have fun and to play with handstands. I kept playing and the more i did it the better i got, some were up for a few seconds, I accidentally walked a few feet on my hands, I even did two mini partial handstand pressups before collapse  It made feel really really good. I wasn’t needing the big blue crash mat, the more i was practicing the better i got. I had to rest every so often because my shoulders got tired.

I never thought about doing handstands could be like some form of meditation to make me feel alive again. I was playing the tune deshi bassa (batman the dark knight rises, rise up), it get gave me such a lift, it was a great workout but i didn’t attend it to be one I just needed to have some child like fun and push my limits.


Grading, a journey towards.

Well practicing skipping and doing my own drills is starting to pay off I believe (cross fingers or touch wood, depending on what you believe) my pad work was much better in the session, my arms were much quicker and looser which may be due to the fact that i did less sanchin this week and have focused more on cardio (8 weeks and 1 day till the grading).

So after thursday’s session i felt really good, and on saturdays double session they asked for requests and i asked for three punch drill which lead into conditioning. The Daniel from china would of relished at the prospect, but my conditioning has gone, and it will be a 2 month journey of hell to get it back, Sempai’s punches seemed to go through me, and his thigh kick which he put NO effort into it, no strength speed or power, just dropped his body weight sanchin style and it nearly made me drop. But he did tell after all the pain in how the raised and dropped his kick at an angle, and his grounded leg completely relaxes which combines the full body drop onto the thigh, his girlfriend also a Sempai did not like him teaching me this trick.

Then we did some sparring, and I have noticed that when I fight south paw, I am much longer ranged then when I spar in the orthodox stance, which is much more close quarters and in your face, old school brawler Daniel if you will. Whereas when i am in south paw I seemed to switch personality, using techniques i acquired in china, and learning to fight longer range since last year at summer school when i was outmatched by a guy going for the same grade as me who could keep me at bay and kick me willy nilly in the face. Most of the other people I faced that day I could dominate to a certain extent, but not him. It was one of the few times where I just smiled at how awesome and easy he looked to kick my ass. I later found out that he previously did taekwondo and is a personal trainer, which spurred me on my year long journey to develop the kicking aspect of the way i fight, which has lead me to be longer range.

The jounery never ends, there is always something to improve on, I just need to keep focused.


Trying to find my balance with martial arts, within my life

Yin and yang, yang and yin. No this isn’t another poem, but it could always inspire one. You need to find balance in everything you do, with work, your passions, your duties and your family and friends. You need to find a balance with your passions so that you can have more than one hobby and a balance within your your chosen martial art.

This could end up as a rant on several other aspects of my life, and they all end up in full circle coming to yin and yang, but I want to focus on my martial arts hobby in this post. Every time I notice an area I need to focus on, I train in in that aspect and area to improve it, for example on how to improve using my hip to deliver more power and speed into my kicks, and letting me use the momentum to go for back roundhouse kicks.

I have had relative success in this area on my kicking skills, my high kicks have improved, and I can deliver more power into my roundhouse kicks. however because of this I over deliver on the kicks and when I kick the pads or spar with someone I can only do one kick and have to reset slowly for another roundhouse kick as I have trained my self to go with the momentum. So now I am finding myself having to train on the punching bag to fire more thigh kicks at rapid succession to fix this, and I need to be aware not to lose the momentum and high kicks I gained from training in another area.

I also noticed that my footwork and evading ability has improved since I started skipping, however to fix my shoulder I have been stretching and strengthening it, which although has made great progress and I can do alot more with it, my punches have dramatically slowed down almost back to how I use to punch.

Which leads me to my next point, so far this year I have trained with a more Ju mindset and it has given me advantages and disadvantages, and as I am healing I need to find the right balance for my own Go and Ju aspects or characters within myself. It is the same with all aspects of our lives, with strength training I need to balance the inner animal with quiet tranquil meditation of yoga, the same with my social life my family life and the dreams I want to be a reality one day.

I need to find my Go and Ju or my yin and yang.

Music and writing

It is really fun to write fantasy to the Lord of the rings soundtrack, it really does help you to become immersed into the world that you are creating. I have started my next warden Chapter, the journey to the Wardens court.

Pumped for karate

It felt great yesterday being able to be thrown, and to throw others to the ground. Especially when it came to facing off against one of the big lads (i’m 5 11 and 13.5 stone) and it was fun to throw him to the floor with just technique, and I felt really alive when we had the attacker with boxing gloves, and I had to do takedowns it brought me back to my rugby days and I got really psyched to smash him to the floor. I haven’t felt that side of me in training for a while, so it was really good to feel the inner beast roaring with excitement (metaphorically, I didn’t roar in the dojo!)

I brought my weighted skipping rope to class so that if I can’t do an exercise, I can just skip and it made the fitness sessions even more sweaty. It was the first time I felt like I can be ready for my shodan ho grading in june, as I can avoid or adapt the exercises that aggravate my injuries.

The last part of the session we were paired with a blackbelt to work on our kata’s, and I now know where I need to improve in saifa, seiunchin and shisochin I feel like I am stepping in the right direction.

Sorry this post isn’t as deep as usual, it just feels good to be able to train again, and train for summer school.

Sanchin workout

One of the best workouts i have was when I did Sanchin kata followed by pull ups after every set, but this time I slowed down and focus on tension and oh boy did my body feel amazing afterwards. It was also reassuring that I can do sanchin kata again with full tension without hurting my shoulder as long as I do a pulling exercise afterwards to balance it all out. I discovered this when I did sanzhan and then bent over rows immediately after each set.

Which I suppose what this year has been all about, because i haven’t been able to just train to my default settings, I am having to learn more control, flow with both karate and strength training. It has taken me 26 years to become sensible, well at least slightly sensible.

A light

It has been nearly ten years ago,

Since you were cruelly taken away,

And the vultures striped us of our memories of you,

The memories stored in photos, artwork and other knick knacks,

Everyone has something,

A photo or two,

A piece of artwork,

The only thing I have is the lamp that you always had by your side,

It is my small way of honouring your memory,

So that you can keep shining a Light in my world,

Een in the darkest night.