Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stepping It Up

It's been very hard to be consistent lately with MMA classes and other workouts. Last week was my 28th anniversary and my son's birthday; I've worked both last weekend (made it to Saturday class, guiltily) and this weekend (missed Saturday class, guiltily).

I will boost my classes to four a week; Monday, Wednesday and, on Friday, two classes in a row, to try and build conditioning more. I'm going to schedule an hour out of work to be at the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On Sunday, I'll try to find something to do at home. I know this will be very tiring initially, and work and life will interfere. But you set goals, and you shoot for them.

My main focuses are 1) health, and 2) getting better at MMA.

Point 2 is simple: In striking, I need to move more, especially laterally, and relax a bit. In grappling, I will be taking two classes a week, which should help me really learn more techniques, at the muscle memory level; there too, I need to relax more, my sensei says. Another focus, picked up from a friend at work who used to do Gracie jiujitsu, is to either give the other person no space, or to take any space he gives me.

My Saturdays will be free. I'm hoping this means I can spend more time doing things with family. My Saturdays have been very hectic.

It would be nice to have a Saturday where I don't have to work. Pray for a slow news week.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


I told my wife the other day that I felt like my entire career had been spent NOT preparing for my current job. Her response really caught my attention: She said her image was of the young guy she married, taking her on a canoe trip, being excited about the whitewater rapids we were about to head into. I'm excited by challenges--even if at times I feel like I'm going to drown in them.

Now I'm thinking of challenging myself in martial arts.

My job has been extremely demanding, time- and mind-consuming, but I feel like I'm getting a handle on it. At my MMA school, the schedule has changed, right at the time when I'm feeling like three classes a week just isn't enough.

Now, rather than take any "core" classes that are very focused on conditioning, I'm planning on taking two stand-up sparring and two grappling classes, for a total of four a week.

In grappling, I simply need more practice to get more techniques in muscle memory. In sparring, I need to learn how to move better (forward, sideways, not back), and to develop more combinations in muscle memory, which again will take repeated practice WHILE sparring. (These classes do provide a real workout, and I am trying to supplement a couple of days a week at the office gym.) I really want to improve in both areas.

I'm also going to talk with my sensei about whether to take steps toward the second degree. I don't know if I want to commit to that while my job still is very demanding, my daughter is preparing to leave home to go to school, and I need time with my wife. But it's a challenge I want to consider at least.