Possibly one of the best workouts you can have today.
One of the biggest things I have always loved about doing the martial art Choi Kwang Do is that in order to make progress you have to focus on nothing else but you and what you are doing.
I don’t think that you get this fully immersive training experience with any other form of adult fitness. Whether you are running, swimming, cycling or playing football, rugby or even netball you will never be completely focussed on just you. These team events bring their own benefits, the joy of winning or the camaraderie from an epic failure, but unless you are the top performer your efforts can oft be lost in the melee of everyone’s else’s efforts.
With a Choi Kwang Do class the only thing you are lost in is your own efforts and trying to do the absolute best you can. To start with every move is alien so simply moving forward and backwards suddenly takes great focus. Then your confidence quickly rises and as a man all you want to do is hit stuff as hard as you can. I’m even told than the odd woman might also have this urge, but I think in most cases the ladies just like to be as precise and accurate as possible.
In time this seems to reverse. As the power generated from a perfectly performed technique far out weighs that of a blunderbuss approach of the average man just trying to hit as hard as he can.
As you progress through the ranks and spend more time you never get bored of what you are doing. As long as you have time to switch off and focus on you for an hour or two no matter what you are doing and no matter what stresses you have that time can really clear your mind. Added to that the endorphins are released and you can leave class fully energised and ready to face another day.
I often start our classes and my own training going through our patterns. At white belt this is a very simple set of moves which can help relax the arms, back and hips. When you have been training for a while an entire set of patterns will not only work on every muscle in the body, it will help all of your joints and help focus the mind on a great aerobic workout.
Because these are pre set moves which you will get to learn you simply slip into gear and start focussing in on every move that you are doing. Even now that I have been doing CKD for 10 years I still focus on every pattern that I do. From my white belt pattern, just;
making sure I shift correctly,
making sure my hand is in place,
making sure my shoulder lifts,
making sure my hand is out in front of me
making sure my hand follows my body across,
making sure my elbow lifts above my head,
making sure my hand rotates to the outside and on and on………..and that’s just the first move!
This line of thought continues through every single pattern, every single move and will stay with you all the time. You will even find yourself practising your shift with your work colleagues, by the kettle, whilst waiting for the bus. You might get the odd strange look. But its worth it.
The buzz you get when you get it right and you feel your body connected and working together. I will never forget the first time I worked out how to lift my shoulder. Not my arm, not my neck, just my shoulder. Sounds simple, try it!
As an average sportsman who loved the physical activities and competing in sport, but as an average sportsman I was rarely picked. The benefit of CKD and practising in class or at home you are not competing. You are challenging yourself to what might become a life long passion. All of a sudden you find yourself doing other activities you never thought possible, as your energy levels grow your endorphins flow through you n a daily basis and you just want to train that bit more.
The other benefits are that you don’t even need to be fit or flexible to start with. As you are only competing with yourself you need to be willing and able to push yourself to perform at your best. Everyone around you will support your efforts and help you get better. We don’t compete against each other, just for ourselves. When I started I was about 6 stone overweight and smoking 20-40 a day. I also couldn’t sit on the ground and touch my knees. Some years on I never feel better than when I have finished a training session.
So it doesn’t matter how old you are or how unfit you are, today is the best day to start since yesterday.
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So, do you have a little time for you?