Training:  Too Much -- Too Little!

July 2004

Volume 7 Issue 7

Aibudo Kanji

A Martial Arts Rarity!

     Any professional martial artist is a rarity by themselves, but something came to me this week, that I really hadn't thought of before.  I have been blessed with something that I don't believe happens very often, within life itself and/or particularly within the arts.  Ed Parker and I share, in one way, a rarity.  What is it? Some question isn't it?  Even if you aren't personally knowledgeable of myself, our system or my lifestyle, there is a rare occurrence, that Parker and I share.  Have you come up with the answer yet?  Let me ask you this…….How many martial artist have their son's follow in their footsteps?  How many son's work with their father's in a family business?  How many son's train with their father's in the martial arts and within the same dojo?  How many are able to do that, when personalities are involved and have to be dealt with?  When it comes to the father, he has to deal with the thought that the son might become better than he is.  Well, I eventually hope so!  The son has to deal with competing with his father, without his pride breaking up the relationship.  That is a tremendous battle of which is much more than any confrontation that the son might face within the dojo, tournament arena or the street.  There are two entirely different personalities competing and complementing each other at the same time.  Two "prides" bucking "head to head" in unison and support.  Doesn't seem right in one way and entirely correct in another.  What a legacy to leave and live by.  I have truly been blessed by being a part of the martial arts and having a son accept his father as "Sensei".  A three time Sempai/Kohai!  Think about it.

A Shrinking "Respect"

     Respect is something that is come by, either directly or indirectly.  If you work with someone week by week over a period of years, you develop a respect that is sometimes lifelong.  You might disagree at times, but the respect is there, regardless.  There is also the situation where you have a respect of someone for what they have accomplished, without knowing them personally at all.  You don't know or understand their personal quirks, their family or their lifestyle, but you respect them never-the-less.  Now in both cases, there are things that come up that can erase that respect entirely.  It can happen in an instant or over-night.  Sometimes it's of a major nature and other times it might appear to very small to an outsider, but I just had a personal respect reduced this past month.  It probably seems like a small thing to some, but an indirect respect I have held for a particular individual since the early 80's, is somewhat reduced at the moment and probably for sometime.  Our system is directly tied to this individual in another system and probably without this person, our system wouldn't exist today.  That said, what could happen to dampen the respect this individual surely has earned.  Well, I'll tell you the short story.  I receive an e-mail from an old student of this individual and he didn't know how to contact him.  He found his name on our website and asked if I would pass along a message.  I looked up the address, copied the e-mail and mailed it, along with a short comment and question.  The indirect respect for this person was "snuffed" when they didn't have the courtesy to respond to me or the "old" student.  Sad!!!

Picture of Shihan

     Training in the martial arts is like life.  If you do anything too much or too little, it can be destructive.  Just like life, if you spend too many hours on training, you will not only "burn yourself out", but other of life's necessities will suffer.  If you train too little, your desire and improvements will be retarded and you'll probably just be wasting valuable time that could be used more productive elsewhere.  A martial artist's life needs to be balanced, by working on your life and the arts at the same time, with neither suffering as a result.

     In the beginnings of my martial arts training, I worked and studied to the extreme.  All I had on my mind was "karate".  That's really not healthy.  I was sore all the time, as the body didn't have time to "heal" between training sessions.  When I could have been doing something productive at home, I was training, either mentally or physically.  I was actually detached from life for a while, until I finally realized that over-training was actually reducing my desire to train and things that I should have been doing at home wasn't getting done.  Injuries became a common place, just because the body never had time to "relax".  You can see, what I mean when I say the arts are just like life.  Without a balance, you can over or under-do anything.  With a steady and scheduled training regimen, you are able to absorb what you learn, relax and do it again.  If you attempt to "jam" 2 weeks into one, you will probably have very little long term memory of what you did.  There is just too much too compress and that's the problem.  Compression, takes decompression to work and you just don't have the time.