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Archive for March, 2012

Mindset

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

In everything you do, whether in kung fu, sports, or life in general,  it’s important to have the right mindset. All too often I see people who show no sign of work ethic in anything that they do. No will to try. Giving up, so afraid to lose. I can’t grasp that mentality, giving up without a fight. They don’t have the Right Mindset.
Former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (Author of the best selling book Lone Survivor) is the epitome of having the right mindset. When ever he entered BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/ SEALs) one of the toughest military training programs on earth, he already had his mind made up. He wasn’t going to let the drill sergeants make him quit. SEALs share that mindset.

For martial artists it’s equally important to have the right mindset. Especially for the more advanced students, particularly black belts. Black belt students are challenged daily to improve their skills and to never give in to the pain that they know is coming on their next test. In the life of a martial artist pain becomes your friend. You have to know you’re going to overcome any challenge that may try to slow you down.
When you have the right mindset you can do virtually anything no matter the difficulty. Sigung Fogg sat in horse stance for 6 hours. How did he do it? I will tell you. Even before he started he knew he was not going to give in to the pain. He had made up his mind that he was going to sit there in horse stance for 6 hours.

Having the right mindset is one of the most important qualities a person can have. All great martial artists, Special Operations soldiers, and athletes share that quality. No matter what you enjoy doing, what you do for a living, or even what physical activities you take a part in, there are challenges in everything. Having the right mindset will help you overcome those challenges.

 

The Fear of Running

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

In Kung Fu we don’t run, we know Kung Fu why would we….

That being said, running is absolutely an essential part of Kung Fu training. Why?

Kung Fu like any other training requires hours of physical activity.  In order to train at a higher capacity your body, and more specifically, your cardiovascular system needs to be able to withstand KF training.  Additionally, the higher the level of Kung Fu the more demanding the training required.  Building cardiovascular endurance can be done in a variety of ways; walking, running, cycling, rowing, and swimming are all examples of cardiovascular exercise.  Keep in mind that training is specific; for example you wouldn’t find a cyclist swimming to train for a race (think muscle memory).  So running is essential for training and running is the best activity that complements our Kung Fu training.

As many students I don’t like to run.  As a matter of fact I don’t like to run unless I’m being chased.  There was a time in my Kung Fu journey that I realized that I wasn’t able to train as hard as I wanted to, I was holding myself back and cardiovascular endurance suffered.  It was decision time, either I just push forward with my Kung Fu training and not run and hope that the endurance will follow or I take the next step in my journey and start running.  All of the excuses in the book were applied; I’m too busy, too tired, too fat, and too out of shape.  My love for Kung Fu was and has been my motivation to run and get in cardiovascular shape; it is what drags me out of bed at 4 AM 4 to 5 days a week to run.

Where to start?  Common question…..  There are so many ways to go and so many things you can do.  There are apps, websites, trainers, etc, etc, etc.  Usually simple is better, especially when you are starting out.  One of my favorites has been the couch to 5K program.  The beauty of this program is that it is dead simple and provides direction as well.  As you advance with the running you can add the Chi Running system which is a great complement.  Benefits of cardiovascular training won’t be immediate but you WILL see the benefits.  You will be able to train longer and train harder with your Kung Fu, you will feel better overall, you can eat more (my favorite), and you will fight better as well.

Keep in mind that cross training isn’t a bad thing.  It can add some life to an otherwise mundane routine.  Running should be the primary exercise modality but some swimming, cycling, rowing, or kickboxing thrown in can’t hurt.  Additionally, weight training is helpful as well but that’s another post.

You can do this.