Sunday, June 29, 2008

Impractical Practice...

I was thinking about this yesterday and thought it would make an interesting post. The comments/responses should prove interesting and educational for all of us.

Because I am a busy mom who also works full time and is involved in community groups, church groups, PTA, etc, I don’t have a lot of large blocks of time to practice my martial arts. (Although I try my best to make time!) So, I try to incorporate it into little time crunches throughout my day (and life). If you’ve read my Kata post, you know I practice martial arts in the bathroom at work when nobody is in there with me. (The bad part – I have to have phone relief to use the restroom at work because I answer the main lines. I bet they think I’m constipated a lot of the time because I’m gone so long! Gee, it just occurred to me - I hope nobody from work reads my blog or I’m busted!) Below are just some of the ways I find to put my martial arts into practice in what some people would consider unusual circumstances.
I’d love to hear some of yours as well…

  • Okay, I already said it – I practice kumites, katas, kicks, knuckle pushups, whatever in the bathroom at work. (When I run out of room on the katas, I just push the stall door open and continue or back up a little bit and continue. (Safety note: Much easier to do this in summer when I can just kick my sandals off and do this bare footed. In winter, with socks – too slippery and easy to fall on the tile floor! Thank goodness our bathroom floors are very clean.)
  • I also practice the above things in my kitchen, my bedroom, my living room at home. Same process with backing up and continuing.
  • I balance on one foot while watching tv at home (there’s a small tile section right inside my front door where I do that – good view of the tv from there. (But I lock the front door in case someone comes in unexpectedly and knocks me off balance.)
  • I balance on one foot at in the kitchen at work while waiting for my lunch to heat in the microwave. I also practice katas there. The soda machine’s shiny face provides my own little practice mirror. (I really wish I had a big mirrored area to practice all the time. Just my little soda machine glimpses seem to help.)
  • I do knuckle push ups and triangle push ups (for the triceps) off the wall in the kitchen at work while waiting for my lunch to heat up in the microwave.
  • I try to balance on one leg while brushing my teeth and blow-drying my hair. Now that is a challenge! I’m usually not very successful at that one.
  • When standing from a sitting position, I try to not use my hands and try to use the center of my gravity more.
  • When going up steps at work (3 flights often throughout the day) I try to also use my center of gravity.
  • I don’t remember in what martial arts book I read this, but when opening doors, use your core strength rather than your arm strength. When I remember, I try to do this.
  • I read anything I can get my hands on about martial arts. Books, magazines, websites, blogs…You name it, I’ll read it. I try to have a m.a. related book with me at all times so I can learn while waiting in line rather than just wasting my time waiting in line.
  • I watch documentaries, movies, again, you name it, I’ll watch it.
  • I do a breathing/meditation/energy technique taught to me by one of our school’s teachers, whom I admire very much. It is from a book called “Your Hands Can Heal You” by Stephen Co. I have only done this one exercise from this book and it is very powerful and lets you see how you really do possess energy. I have the book and want to read it and apply its principles, but it is not one I want to rush and just never seem to have the time/place to sit and read it uninterrupted where I can really understand it. New goal for self: Read this book and truly learn and understand it’s teachings!
  • And then we have the visualization that I also spoke of in the kata post. I probably use this technique more than any other. I can do this anywhere, anytime, provided I am not distracted from what I need to be doing. Just visualize it and then try it when I have the opportunity to perform it physically. (Currently, I’ve been working on that for a jumping front snap kick and when I do it physically, it is getting better, but I have a lot more work – both visualizing it and physically practicing it to go.)

    Anyway, I’d LOVE to hear some of the ways you put your martial arts into practice in impractical / unconventional ways / places!

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