Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 24 April, 2007
Well, it’s been a week since I did the sensible thing and rolled my ankle. To be honest, not a lot has happened over this period of time – I’ve been icing my foot and Wifey’s been helping me strap it each morning. The biggest problem I had was that, with the foot a bit stuffed, it put a huge amount of pressure on my stump, and by Wednesday I could feel the blood vessels on the end of my stump get pushed to their limit of how much more abuse they could take, and not surprisingly the bloods vessels burst, bruised the end of my stump and its had to scab over to heal itself up. I’ve been taking the leg off at night, using my suave and sophisticated walking stick during the day at work (though I had to head home early on Wednesday last week – ended up taking the leg off at work because it was so sore and left the office at 2pm), and have tried to get around on crutches without hurting my ankle 😉 It’s been a bit tricky, but in the good news – the ankle is all better, it’s just the outer edge of my foot that took the brunt of the fall and waiting on to heal up, and my stump is almost healed up at the end. This is definitely a good thing – it doesn’t sting when I walk now. I’m hoping to get back to karate next week if my foot’s ready (’cause I’m pretty confident my stump will be fine before the end of the week).
Not surprisingly, there hasn’t been much in terms of training happening. I started again on doing static stretching on Saturday night (splits and stuff) and keep my leg in good shape (plus it helps with my knee as well), and I’ve decided to start focusing ony mental training. In a couple of books I’ve read on karate or martial arts in general, the authors have commented on the benefits of mental training. I’ve found that by taking my leg off I can sit in the Lotus position, so I’ve decided to start concentrating on my breathing and focusing my chi. One of the books I read most recently was one of Jyastin-kun’s, and the author referred to a study where a group of athletes divided their training in varying degrees between mental/physical training, with the former involving picturing the execution of their technique mentally in a meditative manner. Apparently the group that spent 25% time on physical training and 75% time on mental “image” training outperformed those who trained 50-50 75-25 and 0-100 on mental-physical training.
In the book on Japanese fighting arts I recently read, I remember coming across something similar, this time a story of how the great Masutatsu Oyama (founder of the Kyokushin style of karate) experimented with two training regimes on two of his students – one was trained purely in the physical degree of karate, whereas the other was given less physical training but was subject to mental training also. At the conclusion of the experiment, the former was better developed physically than the latter, but when the two of them sparred, there was no comparison – the latter soundly bettered his fellow student.
It’s always difficult to differentiate fact from fiction, so that’s why I’m giving this technique a go. I’d talked in a previous blog about the difference my breathing and focusing my chi has made in the past, so since there isn’t a lot that I can do physically at the moment, I thought it would be a good time to work on this side of my training. For the moment, I’m going through my kata in my head while I focus on my breathing, and will continue the same training with going through my regular techniques in my head also. As always, I’ll post up what I find comes about from this. I know there has got to be a way to develop that incredible inner power and technique masters of the martial arts develop despite their height or size; given I’m short and of medium build, I’d say this might be that extra something that helps me become a better martial artist. I hope 🙂
Oh, before I close off – I watched the truly woeful American Ninja on Foxtel last night:
It was soooooooooo funny, I’m not sure if the lead guy actually has any martial arts training – he spent more time rolling around like a stunt man than anything else 😉 And everything blew up, it was cool. Because it was so, so bad. I love 80s action flicks – they’re so shonky! And yes, I subjected Wifey to it – she had trouble breathing when the evil French guy was showing off his army of ninjas training in fluro yellow, orange and blue ninja gis, just randomly jumping and diving and falling around this uber dodgy obstacle course. And I loved how these guys in ninja outfits come running out of the jungle in broad daylight. Because, y’know, ninjas really blend into the jungle scenery in the middle of the day. If the movie had a dodgy pash/shag scene, it would have completed the atypical 80s ninja/martial arts action flick mould. Ah well, I’m sure there’ll be more opportunities for dodgy flicks as we go – Bloodsport is on later this month, and there’s always room for a blog on Showdown in Little Tokyo 🙂