The passion still burns

All the way up to my shodan I knew I couldn’t cope with the level of mental intensity I had towards karate, I needed it to survive and thrive through my grading. I had ideas of having a break from karate, either completely from martial arts or training in another style briefly (the style and club are my home I could never leave it) just work on areas I’m weak on and to have a break.

I did not expect that my passion and enjoyment (not the intensity) was higher than before, I was playing with kata or weapons or combos everyday, I made sure I did something everyday and covered all the kata I knew.

Now at the moment I have decided to set a minimum a day even when I’m busy or stressed. So one day I’ll at least do tensho/sanchin with sanseru or shisochin a minimum of three times that day, or five times but a maximum of ten times. If I want to make it more of an exercise I’ll add 10 burpees or 5 Solomon burpees per set.

The next day I’ll do Sanzhan, sanzhan kicking (kicking from that stance) and abs a minimum of three times and no more than ten times that day.

I’ll try to do quickflame and other kata at least once a week, and condition once a week until I’m more use to it (I’m not going to rush into it, I’m not in China).

I use tensho for I think it’s a great way to train your guard, sanchin for chi like power, sanseru for power and kicking, shisochin for defence ( at least that’s how it’s affecting my style aggressive defence) sanzhan for power and being subtle with strikes.

I’ll stick with my normal strength training as well, and am doing sprinting at least once a week.

The Chi of Sanchin

I was chatting to a random person the other day, and it so happened that he does muai thai boxing and so we had an interesting chat about our relative martial arts why we love them and other martial arts that we respect.

I find really interesting when martial artists of different martial arts backgrounds get together, we all share that buzz and excitement about the arts, completely open minded to other styles.

What I found interesting was his interpretation to what chi was, using your internal energies to create power. The way he described was more rudimentary then I would of thought of, not saying anything against him he was a highly intelligent bloke, but as training in a purely¬† hard styled martial art I found it both refreshing and couldn’t help but point out that he was really referring to sanchin.

I found it was so obvious yet this muai thai guy with an appreciation for tai chi was describing sanchin on how the mechanics and internal energy develop this power that you can tap into that doesn’t ware you down.

Sanchin is such a beautiful concept, something that is within other martial arts but has such a misconception that most people don’t truly appreciate it until you see a master at work with it.

Living beyond Shodan

Shodan was a huge achievement for me, a life goal achieved an obsession of five and half years built up into one moment. I proved something to myself that day, I faced my fears and even shed a few tears.

My best friend was worried about me, he knew that I need something to focus on and without that focus or drive I could get very down. He was right and is one of the few people to know me so well.

Two or three¬† weeks before my grading I met my girlfriend, an elegant beautiful woman with a quirky side I love. I was worried that it could distract me from my grading, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

I found before during and afterwards I had some to look forward to other than karate, something that was special, it gave me a new strength to get through my grading.

I became more normal in that karate wasn’t the only thing to govern my life, I never went through that big depression I should of gone through knowing what my personality is like. But because of her I have not be as happy since I was in China.

I didn’t realise how obsessed and focused I was until I was chatting to a mate at work today, apparently all I talked about leading up to my grading was training, resting, training not wanting to rest but should, training. Some of the workouts he told me I did were intense, at least I know I trained harder than I realised I did for my grading. It does feel nice to be more relaxed, enjoy my training and enjoy living more.

Karate is a large part of my life, I have to do a bit of training in it a day to feel sane, but I now understand why some karateka struggle with family and karate. Example my mate would rather spend his whole Saturday with his family, which I understood, but I would think you could see them anytime training is special. Now I realise how wrong I was, and must make sure I fit both in to my life.

My girlfriend gives me a reason to believe in a better future, the world is a brighter and more beautiful place with her by my side.

To my love

When I walk with your hand within mine,
I feel like a man,
When you need me to lift or take care of you,
I feel like a man,
When we get lost together,
In a country,
Far far away,
I am not lost as my heart is with you,
During a meal or when you lie on my chest in bed,
I feel lucky as I get to see the real you,
Shining through,
In your eyes and smile I see your two nature’s sparkling to life,
We have found our way,
Through this adventure,
Because we are a team,
Whether it is debating who is right this time with the map,
Or overcoming the car journey,
I don’t need to show off,
Nor do I have to hide my nature,
Which is so rare,
I never felt like I belonged,
From school to rugby,
Despite having friends I feel alone,
My weirdness sets me apart,
Karate was the first place where I wasn’t the only odd one,
China where the darkness left me,
Living a dream,
Mike the first friend to actually get me,
But despite all that I still felt alone,
Until you walked into my life,
I didn’t need to hide myself nor feel alone,
I finally saw how a relationship can be the great adventure,
Usually I need space,
But you are like oxygen,
Flesh upon flesh,
Lips on lips,
My heart to your heart,
Fear often holds me back from the future,
Hence why in karate I force myself to confront its demonic stare,
Right now all I can think of is the now,
With you my love,
I love you My Lady,
Your quirkiness,
Your confidence,
Your elegant grace,
Your sense of adventure,
If my martial arts journey has turned me into a man,
You my love have turned me into a gentleman,
Your gentleman.