Mental state- six months to prior to Enter the Shodan.

The last six months prior to my Shodan were definitely a mental challenge, I struggled to keep writing on my blog my thoughts were becoming so much more personal that I could barely tell mike how I felt when dealing with karate. Although mike could sense it, I would go between having the belief I could do it I had trained hard enough and long enough, to I am out of my depth it was getting harder and harder to focus.

I could easily tell a Journey with my sparring, back in November I mentioned I did something stupid and therefore I found it hard to kick and workout my legs, my sparring therefore went backwards in a way to being flatfooted relying on punching and Sanchin to get me through a round.

Then I learnt tensho with it I discovered more openings, I gained confidence in my fighting prowess and discovered I could use knees again.  It was about this time that I was mainly doing strength training as my outside dojo training along with Sanchin, tensho and Sanzhan. I wasn’t coping too well and mike had to snap me out of this state of only training what I liked to train.

My fitness shot through the roof about three months prior to the grading and I realised I had peaked too soon, I was also going to too many sessions for the last few months and so had to scale back so that I could keep learning. I realise now that I was stepping down the volume and increasing the intensity without realising it.

It was at this period that I was able to be light on my feet again, they were focusing on light footwork in the dojo and I was practicing it at home, my distancing in sparring improved a lot.

Then six weeks before the Shodan grading my elbows had been starting to flare up, I knew if I didn’t train around them I would get tendonitis in both elbows before my grading, but that I needed to keep training in order to pass my grading. It was at this time that the mental pressure although I was now ready for it was draining me and I had less energy to recovery and push myself, I felt very sluggish.

So I decided to have a break from strength training, just work on getting my 100 pressup’s once a week, I devoted my efforts to swimming (mainly butterfly for its power), burpees and practicing only things I needed, especially anything I hated to do like basics and lot and lots and lots of kicking, especially jump kicking in the last three weeks.

I was trying to mix the ways I sparred before and after China, to evolve in the way I could fight with mixed results. Right up to the last days before summer school I was training what I needed and swimming, I prefer swimming way more to running and I treated like sprint sets, occasionally doing a mile here and there.

Which was why I was surprised come summer school that I was buzzing with energy and felt like my fitness had returned, the pressure of months was off, now was the time to prove myself.

Several weeks after my grading I can now reflect upon this time, I accidentally followed a periodization scheme of training, general, specific, competition and now coming out of recovery. Terry told me the other day that I looked really trim (well for me), more of a swimmers build than someone who dabbles with weights and could be slightly podgy.  I have noticed that my fitness levels have been really good the last few weeks despite feeling sluggish which I have only recently shaken out of.

I have been training for enjoyment, swimming enabled me to be fitter more explosive (butterfly) and trim down for my Shodan, I want to go back to strength training as it is important to improve but I need to be sensible about it.

Now is a time for experimenting and evolving.

Keep training, never give up. OSU.


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