Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: April 2011

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Karate of the mind...and spirit.

I’ve been out of commission for the better part of a month, and Karate has been on my mind the whole time. I really don't like missing class, so I am actually going through Karate withdrawal.

First, a bad cold in early March lasted for two weeks and then turned into a terrible cough, which in turn re-fractured my rib – an injury I originally suffered two years ago. The pain is indescribable. Sigh. I admire UFC fighters. How in the world can they take repeated kicks to the ribs with the force of a semi-truck, and keep going – when I cough and fracture mine, sidelining me for a month or more? Note to self, take more calcium supplements!

So here I sit – trying not to cough, breathing shallow, no sudden movements, reading other peoples Karate blogs with envy, as I anticipate another few weeks of recovery time. Time away from the Dojo = time away from my Shodan training. Very frustrating.

The other day I attempted to very slowly perform Kanku Dai – or at least go through the motions so my patterns are still top of mind upon my return. When that proved too painful, I began practicing Karate of the mind. This is where rather than physically performing the kata, I do it in my mind, and wow, trust me it's not an easy thing to do! My mind wanders and I have to force it back on track by starting the kata over again in my head. It takes a very long time to complete a kata this way.
Admittedly, it isn't quite the workout that doing the physical kata is, but it's the best I can do at this point – and I have to do something. My mind and spirit are willing, but my rib fiercely objects at this time. I need to pay attention to that and take it easy.

Two things I've learned:
  1. Protect your ribs at all costs - even T3's don't touch this kind of pain.
  2. At the first sign of a cough - take Buckleys. It does taste terrible, but it's a very small price to pay.