Feeling like I'm making some progress

Discussion in 'Beginners Corner' started by Orion Nebula, Mar 2, 2019.

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  1. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula Yellow Belt

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    I've definitely been making progress in the past 5ish weeks in many ways. My stamina has gotten better, posture is slowly improving (but still needs work), I can do techniques that really eluded me in my first few weeks, I'm not stomping around as much.

    I know that rank isn't as important as some make it out to be, but it does serve a purpose for me, and that purpose is to serve as a sort of flag or marker that I'm making progress along my journey. It's nice to earn that next belt because it's an acknowledgement that yes, I am getting better and I'm learning more.

    So it gave me a big confidence boost yesterday when my sensei told me what I needed to do for my first test and had me go through the sequence of techniques a few times. The next test isn't for several months of course, but I'm happy that I'll probably get to earn my first colored belt soon.

    On a side note, testing for Shotokan seems quite different than my old style. For my test, I have to memorize the order of the techniques I'm being tested on and perform them in sequence. In my old style, I was given a list of things I had to know (along with the Japanese words for them). On test day, I'd be asked to demonstrate a random selection of the techniques (and they'd use Japanese to make sure I had learned the name). Perhaps this is more related to the fact that the Shotokan test is done at a regional seminar, unlike my old school which did their tests in house (and thus they didn't need to see every single technique performed since they already knew I could do it).
     
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  2. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Congratulations on your progression. The key to martial arts success is perseverance. Just keep plugging along and you'll be fine. Every dojo and style has their own rank and promotion requirements. Have fun with it.
     
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  3. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    That is very good news. I encourage you not to get too distracted by the old vs. new testing comparison. I have heard more than a few people get so hung up over it that it gets in the way of their progression. Do the work in front of you and you will go great. Remember, any test is what you make it. It can be memorable in a good or a bad way. Either can be a motivation, but I prefer the former.
     
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  4. KenpoMaster805

    KenpoMaster805 Purple Belt

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    Great im Happy for u Congrats
     
  5. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula Yellow Belt

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    Thanks everyone! I am of course trying to block out elements of the past. There are several things we did differently in my former style that I can remember, and so far I've found it best to forget about it and focus on what's being asked of me now.

    One other question if anyone can chime in - what exactly does it mean when you are told that you have a good course of action? Twice I have ended up as the only student to come to class, each time with a different instructor. With the focus on me alone, I obviously get way more feedback on what I'm doing. When we do side snap kick drills, we usually do horse stance -> crossover step -> side snap kick. Repeat. Both instructors, during these two solo classes, somewhat incredulously told me that I have a good course of action for this series of movements. I know this is a positive statement, but what exactly does it mean?
     
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  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Glad to hear you're chugging along, ON. I'm looking forward to hearing more of your progress over time. There are a lot of possible reasons for the difference in testing - not the least of which is what the instructor likes to do (in the case of the in-school testing).

    As for "good course of action"...I'm as lost as you are. Since they both used it, I'm guessing it's a turn of phrase they picked up from their instructor?
     
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  7. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    Great to hear that you are working hard. I am not familiar with the phrase but if I take it literally I can picture it meaning you motion for the crossover kick is fluid and correct. You body posture is in the right position and you "course" is straight for the "action", in the case the side kick. Just a WAG though. When you find out let us know.
     
  8. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    I’m glad everything’s going well. The way to look at it all is just try to be a little better than you were last class. There’s going to be times when that’s hard to see.

    As far as the comment by both instructors, I’m not sure. Next time they say it, just ask.
     
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  9. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula Yellow Belt

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    I've managed to forget to ask about the good course of action for a week straight. One of these nights...

    So there's a hiking trail nearby that is described as moderate by hiking folks. It's about a 3 mile loop. It has steep sections, and to get to the trailhead, it's also a short walk up a steep forest road. I've hiked it before, but I usually have to stop for a break after maybe a minute on the road (and continue to take many breaks throughout the hike).

    The weather was nice today so I went out. For the first time ever, I walked up that road without stopping. On the trail itself, I did take breaks, but far fewer. On steep sections, my old pattern was usually to push myself uphill for maybe 40 seconds, stop, walk for 10 seconds, stop, walk 10 seconds, stop, and so on until I reached the top where I would often be so out of breath that I'd need to rest for 5 minutes. Today I needed maybe one quick break in the middle and once I hit the top, I'd keep walking (albeit slowly).

    Karate has definitely improved my cardiovascular fitness as well as encouraged me to stop giving up when it's hard. I'm still getting wiped out in class, but it takes longer!
     
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  10. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the update, ON - sounds like some nice progress! I think this is the kind of measurement that really matters. This means you're getting healthier, and will be able to do more, enjoy more, and live longer. Good work!
     
  11. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    That great news. There is nothing better than confirmation! Keep up the good work.
     
  12. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    Good work. Now think diet.

    As soon as that weight comes off every thing else gets easier.
     
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  13. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula Yellow Belt

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    I'm already on top of that. I've been working on the diet since before I start training. It's coming off slowly. Well, actually at a perfectly normal rate, but I keep comparing myself to a person I went to college with. They weighed a little more than me and started going for 4-5 mile walks in the morning before work and have changed nothing else but have lost twice the weight I have. Oh well. Every journey is different.
     
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  14. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Make sure you’re being consistent with how, or better yet when you’re weighing yourself. Your weight can fluctuate quite a bit during the day. I weighed myself one morning the way I’ll say below. Ate my usual breakfast and drank my usual amount, and went to the doctor. I was 11.5 lbs heavier. Seriously. Not that I are and drank that much (Hot Pocket and almost a full Camelback bottle of water), but that, my clothes, shoes, keys, phone, etc. in my pockets and jacket on all added up.

    Weigh yourself first thing in the morning after you’ve gone to the bathroom, wearing nothing, and before you eat and shower. Your scale doesn’t even have to be extremely accurate, it just has to be consistent.

    You get these jackass places like Weight Watchers that have people weigh in at whatever time during group meetings. Then people will wonder why their weight is all over the place. Stupid, and they know it. Completely inconsistent, but they’re out to make money.
     
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  15. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    well he is clearly putting more effort in ? you only early thirtysomething, you should be able to go from slob to a semi reasonable athlete in 8 weeks. my sister who is 55 and hasn't exercised since she was 15. has been doing the couch to3k challenge and in six weeks she has gone from slowly jogging for 5x1 minete in3k to running the whole distance in half an hour and she has lost a ton of weight, she set her mind on doing a 10k race by late summer, I'm betting a) she does it, b) your still finding excuses by August
     
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  16. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    Do you know @Orion Nebula personally? If so, you MAY have an excuse for such an opinionated response. If you do not know him/her, that is just a totally stupid and arrogant response. Not helping at all. Dude, for all you know he/she has no legs.
     
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  17. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Everyone’s different. And everyone is starting at a different place and trying to get somewhere else at a different pace.

    Can he do what your 55 year old sister did? Maybe. Can he? Maybe? Should he? Maybe.

    Or maybe not. It’s his journey. He’s obviously started, which is far better than everyone who says they’ll start next week.
     
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  18. Orion Nebula

    Orion Nebula Yellow Belt

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    I totally do this already! But it's great advice!
     
  19. jobo

    jobo Senior Master

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    he is complaining that his progress isn't as fast as his friend, but then points out that his friend walk 10 times as far as he does in a week, most people could see that there may be a connection between effort and progress
     
  20. dvcochran

    dvcochran Master of Arts

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    It doesn't work that way. Weight loss and fitness are not linear for all people across the board. If I knew why it is harder for some to lose weight I would be a trillionaire. Claims from Weight Watchers and the like that anyone can lose xxx pounds in xxx days is just that, an advertising claim, aka typically a lie.
    I enjoy hearing about @Orion Nebula 's progress. It is inspiring. Whatever it takes for someone to stay motivated I encourage. Don't piss on the parade.
     
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