• Karate,  Life

    The COVID19 Shutdown Marital Arts Workout

    by Well, what I’m striving towards, anyway. There are still a few bits missing or building. I joked in the time we were winding down to close off the building completely, that if the shutdown went on long enough, I’d come back in the best shape of my life. At some point not long after I left the building on the last day, and long before we thought it might be more than a few weeks, I decided that wasn’t going to be a joke. I’ll never have the cardio fitness I did at my peak as a long-distance runner, especially since I’m not allowed to run anymore because of…

  • Karate,  Life

    Karate

    by So with all of this extra time, what am I doing? Well, I did mention that there were a bunch of lists of a bunch of different types of things that I wanted to get done while I’m off with most of the rest of the province (by today’s press conferences, that’s being boiled down to essential services, whatever that means to our current government. Occupying a significant place on one of those lists is martial arts. My primary art is karate. I’ve been studying it for a solid ten years now and I don’t see that changing at any point in the future regardless of my life situation.…

  • Karate,  Life

    100 Kata Day

    by So at 0600 Okinawan time today, it officially became karate day. Celebrating this can be done in any number of karate-related ways that make you happy, but the big event is the 100 Kata Challenge, inspired by the ancient adage, “Train hard 100 times.” Now, having been to observe a significant black belt grading on Friday night and yesterday spent the day in Ottawa for our federation’s semi-annual gasshuku (gathering) for seminars and to help judge/referee tournaments and competitions, I have a lot of things that should probably get taken care of today. Finding two+plus consecutive hours to perform a kata 100 times in a row. I might, with sufficient…

  • Karate,  Reading

    What I’m Reading: Martial Arts After 40

    by I don’t really talk about it a lot on here, but it’s no secret I train in karate, and have been for about four and a half years now. It’s also not a secret that I’m in my forties, and while I trained for six months or so just before my son was born, I didn’t take up karate seriously until a little while after my 39th birthday. Four and a half years on, I’ve learned a lot and definitely ramped up my fitness level, but I’m not ready to start feeling my age yet, so I’ve been trying to expand my personal definitions of what I need to…

  • Karate,  Life

    The Belt is Brown

    by We had a grading at my karate club recently. Every grading is important, a benchmark to test yourself and make sure you are where you’re supposed to be. It can be an exciting, and occasionally stressful, event, depending how you feel about performing in front of an audience. Because there is an audience. Family shows up to watch and it’s usually the biggest class you see every three months. But demonstrations at the end of class are a frequent teaching tool anyway, so there shouldn’t be too much performance anxiety, right? I can’t speak for other clubs, so I’m not sure if we do things differently or not, but…