86,400. This is the number of seconds in a single day of your life. There are only two choices you can make within every second: make progress or make excuses. Having studied Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) for a number of years, I have come to discover the power of intention used in conjunction with the words we select and, ...Continue reading
Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan karate, emphasized that every practitioner must seek perfection of character. In order to accomplish this, it is essential to obtain a clear focused mind in pursuit of a mental and physical state harnessed for perfection. When learning and practicing karate, particularly as it involves both physical and mental tasks, one must first start with the mindset of discipline. In karate, attending to the work of the mind is a discipline that can be practiced both in and out of the dojo.
According to research from the University of Bern presented at the 2009 European Congress of Radiology, athletes participating in intense sports possess a higher rate of hip osteoarthritis and an earlier onset of this disease compared to the general population. It has also been found that a correlation exists between the early onset of osteoarthritis and femoroacetabular impingement, an excess of friction in the hip joint.
This has been adapted from my blog at http://shotokankaratedo.org.nz/2011/08/20/never-complain-never-explain/.
Occasionally, prior to class, I get approached by a student who proceeds to describe in great detail an injury or ailment they are carrying and without meaning to sound heartless I find myself thinking, "Why are you telling me this? I am a karate instructor not a physician. If you are that badly injured, don't train." I suspect the reason for the upfront explanation is that we all know what is expected of us in a training session. It requires effort and commitment. That being the case, why come and ask me for a permission slip to take it easy for the night.
Modern martial arts are something for people to show off their athletic prowess in sport fighting, board breaking and dramatic self-defence demonstrations. It keeps the parents happy by providing a challenging activity for the kids; it fosters discipline and builds self-esteem. When the world witnessed spectacular terrorism of a few men armed with box cutters who managed to subdue planeloads of passengers; the reality of the types of issues normally faced by the Israelis began to manifest themselves globally. Many started to ponder exactly how they would cope with a weapon threat, and how they themselves could use simple tactics to facilitate escape and to use weapons of opportunity in their environment.
It is important to identify the purpose of the training in the martial arts in order to ascertain what really drives and motivates us to train. It is not really the antagonism of combat or the sweat of the training routine rather it is about the emotions that the practice of martial arts elicits. To delve into the Zen philosophical purpose of why we train we have to look at the factors that drive us emotionally on our journey. It could be the feeling of security, health and wellbeing, personal growth and development, comradeship or maybe status or recognition; it all varies from one individual to the other.
Walking around leafy Rotorua doing my letter drops promoting my martial arts school I was watching the trees swaying rhythmically in the wind. It dawned on me every moving object has an intrinsic rhythm as it alternates in speed and acceleration. In my mind I pictured my martial arts techniques and the recurrence of action and reaction and realized that without rhythm how stiff, hard and ineffective the techniques would be. Rhythm is what makes us sensitive to the timing, distance and changes in our fighting environment.
Many people want to learn how to meditate. There are many different techniques that you can learn, but you need the right setting and circumstances in order for you meditation to be the most effective. Here are seven of the ways to prepare yourself for meditation.
Throughout history, shamans and other wise men and women of knowledge have possessed the power to journey deep within to tap the universal source of information and wisdom. Shamans have always known that the answers we seek can be found within. Bypassing the stumbling blocks of the outer, material world, they perfected techniques of accessing higher mind levels to find answers, gain insights and achieve profound understandings.
I admit it - I took breathing for granted for a large portion of my life. It was one of those bodily functions that just happened. I didn't think about it. And I certainly didn't pay much attention to it. Then I stumbed upon yoga and meditation and now I'm more aware - and appreciative - of my breath than ever.