Saturday, March 10, 2007

karate: getting ready to practice with only fifteen minutes

When you are in a hurry and heading out to practice there are some basic steps to consider:
1. Change clothes. If you practice in a gi (karate uniform) or in sweats and a t-shirt, make sure you change clothes before practicing. You want to remember to take off watches and jewelry (especially rings, bracelets and anything pierced). Changing clothes helps prevent injury to your opponent and helps you commit to what you are doing. IF you are wearing a button up shirt for example, it's pretty easy to see that the buttons would hurt a lot if someone were to punch them. Likewise, belts (except for the soft variety) have hard and often sharp edges that can bruise or cut. Last, if you are wearing a nice pair of slacks you probably won't be inclined to kick as high or work as hard as if you were in clothes that were intended to be sweat-drenched and torn.
2. Stretch. Stretching before an exercise can help prevent injury and may help you increase your flexibility. That aside, stretching is an excellent way to help start getting your mind on karate.
3. Warm up. A quick jog, some push-ups, sit-ups, squats, et cetera can also help prepare your body for practice and may help prevent injuries. If you're feeling up to it and have some time before class, do about half an hour to an hour of these kind of warm up exercises to fully benefit from your class experience. If you can do a high kick after an hour of exercise and still have good form you are more realistically preparing yourself for the unforseen encounter.
4. Drink a bottle of water. Some styles encourage waiting until after class to drink, but unless this is your case, it is a good idea to drink some water before class so that you can be full of energy and won't feel thirsty. To make your water intake more useful, any day you have practice you should be drinking at regular intervals throughout the day to fully hydrate your body.
5. Double Check! Before you walk out the door to smash things and rend throats, remember to double check your hair and nails. If your hair is long it should be tied back in a pony tail or even better a tight bun. This will prevent stray hair from impairing vision or getting caught. Your nails should be short and well trimmed.
6. Pack it in, pack it out. If you live a good distance from where you practice you may wish to pack your karate uniform in a bag and take it with you. If for some reason there was an accident on the road or you were to be involved in something on the way to class, your karate uniform may seem intimidating and unfriendly and add to an already stressful event. Changing clothes after class is also highly recommended. Not only for that reason, but also, if you sweat your clothes will be wet at the end of a good practice and allowing your body to heat up and then cool like that can throw your body off and increase the chance of illness. Bring a towel and shower at the first opportunity.
Remember that no matter how soon your class starts (ie, how late you are for class) never speed or drive aggressively. If your school has a "no late comers" policy, you may still be able to benefit by watching the class. Apologize to the instructor and think of ways that you can practice on your own.


Blogger dailyStrats said...

good notes

4:57 AM  
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