Injuries, IMA, quick fixes, and lack of focus
Since I have had the time (again) due to my knees (again)…and now my right wrist (a victim of Hindu pushups I think)…I’ve been doing some thinking about martial arts, training, exercise, diet, health.
I realized my injury prone time started about 10 years ago… broke my ankle and then blew out a knee, and then another knee and spent a couple years on crutches, using a cane and wearing knee braces of various support strengths. And since then in an effort to get back to where I was with martial arts and health I have been all over the place in order to regain what I had lost and what I was trying to attain, and along the way reinjuring myself much more often than I should have and taking way to long to start listening to my body as it applies to training. Various exercise routines; various strength routines, cardio, yoga Etc. Assorted diets; balanced low calorie, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lacto-ovo-vegetarians, Lacto-vegetarians, Ovo-vegetarian, Pollotarian, Pescatarian (Pescetarian), Flexitarian, etc. And assorted styles of martial arts too; JKD, Sanda, Yiquan/Dachengquan, a dash of Krav Maga, a return to Baguazhang, a return to Wing Chun, even started working with my old TKD and Long Fist kicks at one point. Considered BJJ, MMA, Hapkido, Ninjutsu, Aikido, Judo and even a return to old school Jujutsu of my youth (think early 1970s). I visited some schools I was considering and realized the school and I did not fit, or my schedule did not fit the school or my arthritic knees and hips simply could not sit that way so I did not go further there (but I am still thinking a few months of no gi BJJ would not hurt me…or maybe it would). But after all this jumping around trying other styles I have to admit it did benefit to various degrees, but I really have not gotten all that far, or at least not as far as I feel I should have after all that, and would I have gotten further if I just buckled down and did the work on the styles I know best, like I did prior to the injuries.
When I broke my ankle, I was a Yang/Chen Taijiquan guy and a Xingyiquan guy too (truth be known, and as many know here on MT, I was addicted to Xingyiquan), but even then, I tried different styles to see what I thought. But after the injuries the extensive recovery time with the addition of arthritis, Chen Style is out of the question, some Xingyi postures are difficult and overall Yang Taijiquan and Xingyiquan lost a lot.
I want to say here, that in most cases, I blame the re-injury more on the workout routines I was doing and not so much on the other styles of Marital arts, although I did get a detached retina training Wing Chun, and I did not do my knees any good in the incredibly misguided return to TKD and Long Fist kicks.
I also now realize all of this was trying to shortcut the problem and not put in the needed time and work necessary to achieve my goals; a better understanding of Taijiquan, Xingyiquan and Internal (whatever that really means). I will admit JKD did show me a lot and get me back on the path in the very brief time I trained it, JKD opened me up to a lot of possible applications within Taijiquan, Xingyiquan and even Yiquan (what little I know of it, that I am considering now) that I had not thought of before. Even though this will likely get me taken of the list for the Xingyiquan Christmas party, I see a lot of similarities between JKD and Xingyiquan
But all this looking and cross training hit me in the face in push hands and I came to the realization at the push hands group I have lost a lot of the full body usage and the feel of a “Internal” marital arts guy (internal used for clarification purposes. I do not put a lot into the separation of internal and external).
All of this is a long way around to saying I am looking at a different approach to exercise that is based on my own research that I have been doing as it applies to exercises old guys should consider doing and not doing. On the “Internal, body unity side I am going to start working on some things from Ken Gullette, and some things from Paul Andrews ( Xingyi Academy) and I found a bit of exercise gear that will help me do this. I will talk more about this after I give it a try to see if it does what I hope it will do as it applies to full body unity, fitness and health.
I will still be doing some things with the Total Gym (Don’t want Chuck to come after me if I quit ), just not as much as I was, and of course the treadmill has to return, for fast walking (4mph), not running. Had a physician tell me I should not be running anymore.
Basically, being much closer to 60 than 50 and having a much longer recovery time, limited time to do everything I want to (as has been proven to me by my failure to keep up with the program I designed), and in an effort to not reinjure myself, I am looking to center all of this around Taijiquan, Yiquan and hopefully Xingyiquan (knees still a bit of an issue there), in an effort to improve in these styles and understand them and apply then as it concerning health, fitness and martial arts. With a goal of being a competent, at least what I consider competent, teacher of these arts when I retire in 7 to 10 years.
Additionally: I have located a Xingyiquan teacher who appears to be very good who is 2.5 hours from my house and I have located a Yiquan teacher that is supposed to be very good who is also 2.5 hours from my house. Most unfortunately, they are in opposite direction from my home, one east one south west. Hopefully more on those later.
As for diet, looking back I had the most success and felt the healthiest when I was a Vegetarian. However, I feel, nutritionally speaking, that Flexitarian is the best way for me to go. But red meat is completely out, my old, mostly vegetarian, stomach can’t handle it anymore. Although I am willing to risk it in a good Chinese restaurant
Once I start the Taiji/Xingyi/Yiquan centered workout I will post on what it is and how if progresses
Lastly, there are 2 things that keep popping into my noggin on this, one is form Bruce Lee
If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. - Bruce Lee
The other is Clint Eastwood
A man's got to know his limitations - Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood)
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