Extra training

Lately, I've been working on kettlebelll routines again to help me strengthen my shoulder to ease some of the discomfort I have been having lately. This is on top of me playing basketball. Basketball is definitely for myself, with the results being a help to my sword training, but kettlebell is directly for my sword training.

I must say though, I've been pushing conditioning days more frequently. Some of you guys have never gone through any of the conditioning days, and even if you have, it's not as bad as it was when it was just myself, Dan and Henry.

Usually conditioning days are exercises that help focus on your core and the correct muscles to use for swinging a sword. Sometimes to help accentuate a concept which can be taken back into basics. Sometimes it's just about strengthening your joints. It is also an indicator of how well your training is coming along. Are conditioning days getting easier or are they still as tough if not tougher?

Now, outside of class, how many of you do extra work? Extra practice? Im not asking members of the dojo to look like the guys from 300 or anything, but if your goal is to learn swordsmanship, shouldn't we focus on improving our physical self as well as the mental and technical parts of the technique? If you're getting tired during gekken, or not as strong, not as fast, shouldn't you do more to improve that outside of class as well as during class? What do you expect to improve just practicing for 1.5 hours twice a week. The people who really get far in this are the ones who do the extra work, not just the work that's given to them.

To be fair, not everyone in class has a hardcore mindset and they're fine with learning at the pace they're going. But if you're not happy with where you are in your training, or if you feel like things are getting difficult, YOU have to be the one to make the extra effort.

Remember, the teacher is 10% and the student is 90%. So I hope you're willing to do your 90%


This pretty much applies to anything I think. I've always been a believer that one should ALWAYS go beyond what is instructed, and supplement what they learn with whatever they need to make it better. For an artist, it's going to the museum and looking at art...for a computer engineer, it's about reading about the latest technology...etc...

Not that I can say I always follow this advice (i.e. laziness) but certainly since I've literally had a lot of time to sit and think...I think it's definitely a concept worth revisiting :)

But good stuff.
Carlos E said…
I can vouch for what happens when you show up to Sang Sensei's class out of shape... I figured I'd visit an old friend and practice - he tried to KILL ME! (Kidding!) Seriously though, things I KNOW are "simple exercises" wore me out after not practicing for a while, and my technique sucked because of it.

One of my primary arts is mated to the sword so I know the importance of balance. Unless you do the basic exercises and do them outside of the dojo as well, you will NEVER have "balance."

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