The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur

-Vince Lombardi.

Training in difficult times

Our president has asked all of us to resume our normal lifestyle in spite of the recent tragedy. Training as usual in difficult times is part of keeping your normal schedule. Recent events have been stressful for everyone; however, those who are martial artists have the opportunity to train through their stress.

When well-known martial arts competitor Steve Anderson visited our karate school several years ago he urged students to adopt his training strategy known as FIT which stands for frequency, intensity and time. Although this idea is often mentioned, it is important to think about what it really means in practical terms. We only benefit from training when we apply it to our own life.

Frequency means attending class regularly and consistently. It means making a training schedule and sticking to it, even when you’re busy or you’re bored or you’re tired. Otherwise, it’s not truly training, it is “as you like it”. Whether we like it or not, life has to be accepted on life’s terms, and training through our various life situations helps to prepare us to deal with those same situations.

Intensity means putting out 100% effort 100% of the time:

during warm-ups, during pairs techniques, during sempai duties,

during basics; in all your actions. Be present. Be focused.

Breathe out strongly on the extension as you execute your techniques.

If you ever need to use this material , you better know it very well.

It could save your life. Remember this when you practice everything.

Time means “to everything there is a season”; everything takes time, rushing through the kata does not signify that you know the form.

One of my most talented instructors, Sensei George Sfetas, was a perfectionist, especially where kata was concerned. He would videotape himself performing kata and then ask his students to critique it. Never satisfied, his goal was nothing less than excellence. When I met him in 1975 he had already been training for fifteen years, yet he still wanted to improve What is your goal for yourself?.

In these uncertain times, we need to be prepared

The author of “The Little Prince”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery once said:

“The one thing that matters is the effort”.

What is the quality of your effort?

Training is one way for you to make a difference,

in your life and in someone else’s.