Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: Karate of the mind...and spirit.

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.


  1. Hi Karen, hope you can get back to training soon, I'd hate to miss so much especially as my shodan testing is in 10 weeks! Mental karate is a good thing to practice to keep things fresh and a good discipline in itself to help keep the mind focused. Karate is never far from my mind also. All the best :-)

  2. Thanks for your comments Sue. Like Felicia's comment to your most recent post - "Listen to your body. If it's telling you to rest, then do it!". It's time for me to listen, the last thing I want is a recurring injury to get in the way of my progress.
    Best of luck with your training and I'll be following your blog for updates.
    Take it easy.

  3. Buckley's. :o) My choice of torture any day! Hope you're on the mend & feeling better! You'll be back at it in no time!!! Enjoy your 'new Canadian'! xxxx