Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Continuing the Journey

A few weeks ago, I wrote about re-starting my To-Shin Do training. I thought that perhaps a good way to stay motivated and keep up with my training would be to blog about it here.  So, if you keep an eye on this particular topic, you'll hopefully see an update now and then.  It's not meant to be a "brag-reel," even though it might sound like one .. it's just a way to get my thoughts out and maybe hold myself accountable.  And hey, if it manages to get one of my devoted readers interested in martial arts, that would be a nice bonus.

Anyway, the journey got off to a rough start. I was not actually able to start until last Thursday, a week after I had planned.  Tonight, I won't be attending class because I've got the Martian Death Flu or something. I hope I feel even slightly better by Saturday so I can go to class that day. Sometimes I wonder if the universe enjoys screwing with me like that when I commit to doing something that's going to be challenging anyway.

The one class I have attended so far, though, was really good!  I got a good work-out, managed to not get hurt, and even learned a few things. I was actually surprised at how much of the stuff my body just remembered to do, even though I hadn't thought about it for a couple years. We concentrated on various ways of applying a choke-hold, and getting out of one.  I was once again reminded that as physical as this art is, it is still mostly mental.  Let me explain.

As is usually the case when I'm learning something new, I screwed up the first few times I tried the technique. It felt difficult, un-natural, and ineffective. However, once my instructor pointed out what I was doing wrong and my mind was able to apprehend the science behind it and allow me to correct the mistakes, I was surprised at how physically easy it actually was!  The real challenge was not having the physical strength to brute-force something - in fact, using my strength with incorrect body positioning and alignment proved difficult and futile. The hard part was comprehending in my mind what was actually happening and how to respond to it. Once that part clicked, the technique itself became easy, natural, and yes .. very effective.


  1. So I woke up Saturday morning coughing up green crud. Yuck! This thread is becoming less "Efpophis on Getting Back Into Martial Arts" and more "Efpophis Trying to Get Over Being Sick."

    Anyway, I didn't dare attend class for fear of spreading whatever disease this is to my fellow ninjas. Looks like I'll have some make-up work to do at some point. It's annoying because this is exactly the kind of thing I didn't want to have happen - a motivation-killing illness right as I'm trying to get back on the bandwagon.

    Oh well .. it is what it is, I guess. As soon as I can breathe again without wanting to cough my lungs out, I'll be back.

  2. ARGH! So last Thursday's class was .. pre-empted .. by a Detroit Tigers game. See, the dojo is walking distance from Tigers stadium in downtown Detroit, and there was apparently a pretty important home game there. Mind you, I can't stand baseball and I could not care less about the Tigers.

    The problem was there was no place to park. Well, there were a few places, but the attendants wanted $40 and up for me to park there. I drove around for 45 minutes trying to find a place to put my car so I could go to class with no luck. Frustrated, I went home instead, cursing Detroit and the Tigers the whole way.