We were challenged this week in class to make ourselves better in the coming week. When I thought about the challenge I asked myself what I would do to become better. More sit-ups, pushups or exercising will sculpt the body. I could join my son and lift some weights—no, that was not for me. My thought was to improve my self-defense.
Often on walks I have to remind myself to have good posture. I do sit at a desk all day (just as I am now…) typing. When we are all slouched over with poor posture we look like a victim to others. When we stand like a tall tree, as our head Sensei would say, with good posture we project confidence. So, practicing good posture is self-defense training.
In response to the challenge, I am going to try to walk a little more and of course practice my self-defense while walking by standing as much as possible like a tall tree.
- If you are not exercising much now, walking is the simplest form of exercise that almost everyone can do.
- The great thing about my walk at the office is that is a free activity.
- It does help me maintain a healthy weight.
- Walking is great for your heart. It enhances your circulation, helping to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that walking briskly for just 30 minutes a day is enough to improve heart health.
- The moderate, low-impact nature of walking is enough to lower pain and improve function for most. (Just be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.)
It is spring in Northern Kentucky where I live. It has been wonderful, in between the rain, to take walks during the day to enjoy nature. On the walks while at the office, I have looked for a place of solitude to work on my self-defense. I have discovered a few places where I can go. I have also noticed that just walking there puts me in a good frame of mind.
While walking on the way to my “quiet” place I start to relax, smile and begin imagining the self-defense moves in my head. Yes, I am fortunate to have a place near the office that is well maintained and nice.
We never know who is around the next corner, so I also try to imagine walking along and being attacked and what my reaction would be. What better way to get into the frame of reference for self-defense?
Our Sensei tells us that we can work on self-defense when we are alone. I was telling the white belts today that our family would go through the moves together. Of course in the busy days of getting ready for the black belt test, we could not always find a time together with a partner so we would practice alone. I would wake up and go through the moves and then move on to other activities. Practicing with others is much better. My wife and son were practicing with me for the same test. I did find that the solo time cemented my learning and allowed for faster recall when we practiced together, and I believe the benefit of practicing together and alone made it easier on the test.
Have you ever looked in the mirror and performed your self-defense techniques? I know I did that too during the “drive” to black belt. It was great to see if my arm was straight or bent in various moves. And yes, it was not always where it should have been. I remember practicing with Sensei Mark P. on the beginning moves for our self-defense and him telling me to keep my arms straight.
What are a few ways you can carve, sculpt and mold a better you in the coming week? Are you able to keep your technique fresh and alive by finding a quiet space away from the busy day to spend 5 minutes going back over the techniques that may save your life? How about we all go for a brisk 30 minute walk and practice standing like a tall tree?
Remember, at the end of the day even the dojo can be a quiet place for reflection. You are looking good! See you in class soon. Please join me in standing like a tall tree.