Working Out in a Difficult Situation
TRADITIONAL OKINAWAN KARATE
1670 ROUTE 46 WEST ~ WOODLAND PARK, NJ ~201-259-0131

Working Out in a Difficult Situation

So the dojo is closed. Gyms are closed, even some parks are closed or closing. This all adds up to a difficult situation if your trying to work out. Especially if your trying to keep your karate sharp. However, since you were lucky enough to learn a traditional martial art, you possess the knowledge of a work out routine 100s of years old. One that requires no partners, weights or other equipment. Just your mind, body, and a very minimal of space. You know kata.

You see, kata was invented under very similar conditions that we face now. When the Satsuma Clan invaded Okinawa, then the kingdom of Ryuku in 1609, the occupying force put Okinawans in a state similar to martial law, and forbid any of the natives to assemble and practice karate. So those who still wished to practice had to find a way to do so secretly. So they hid the techniques and movements in traditional boon dances, and hence kata was born.

Sounds a little familiar? In a time of social distancing, kata is now more important to the martial arts community then ever before. It allows us to keep practicing our art, while keeping safe distance. It also provides a much needed stress relief and physical movement needed to stay strong while we endure the ongoing health crisis impacting our world.

So please, practice your kata. There is no excuse now. And before anyone brings up lack of space, I live in an apartment the size of a postage stamp, and now currently filled with medical equipment to help take care of Hanshi. If I can find room, so can you. Learn to adapt your techniques in the space that you have, something you need to learn to do in fighting anyway. If you want a lite workout, do each kata once. Heavy workout? Each kata twice, with calisthenics like push ups and sit ups (or Sensei Jean's favorite: burpees) in between. Only know one kata? Do it 15 times. Do them at different paces, slow and focused movement then hard and snappy movements. Twist your hips and for the love of Hanshi squat down, because he says your stances are all lousy. I just asked him.

I hope anyone reading this takes inspiration from it and practices there kata, at least two or three times a week. I know Sensei Tracie and Sensei Larry are talking about doing classes on zoom which is awesome. But I just wanted to remind everyone that they can practice on their own as well. You are lucky to know kata. The BJJ guys are grappling air right now ;) ( sorry couldn't resist)

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