Sunday, January 27, 2013

Split toe skin and increased threshold to pain.

This may seem like a weird coincidence for just in the last post I had mentioned about training being injury free and here we are typing out the next post on the split toe skin. Martial Art Training truly is injury free if one follows authentic training methods and steps. The injury I have succumbed to is the lax on my part to be aware of my surroundings.

We started class yesterday, warm up was almost over and was making the students go through a mixed cardio routine. The place where I was standing had a rough edge of the floor tile behind me not realizing I ended up jumping on the sharp edge which split my skin just below my big toe. However did not realize the cut in the skin and kept training and teaching. While walking on the mat I noticed my foot was leaving a wet spot on the black cover of the mats. Looking below found my toe bleeding. There was no pain so I assumed it to be a very small cut and continued training totally forgetting about the toe through out class. It was only when I reached home and took a shower did I realize that my toe was bleeding. After the shower I decided to take a better look at the injury to my utter astonishment the cut was very deep and wide. Am sure a visit to the doctor would have guaranteed a few stitches to fuse the split skin. Being crazy as I am did not visit the doctor just dressed the wound and got going with life.

It is astonishing to see that though the wound was very deep and wide neither did I feel pain or discomfort during training. I do not know if we should account that to the increased threshold to pain or to the concentration level during training or a bit to both of them. I have noticed often that people who train in martial arts have an increased threshold to pain than others. That does not mean that we go about trying to inflict physical pain to ourselves it is just that over time our body gets more conditioned to function at ease even when most others would writhe in pain. 

Anyway tomorrow I shall be back to jogging and training. I do not wait for the wound to heal I believe that I scare the wound into healing fast by training harder. Now that is a crazy approach which I would not recommend others to try unless they have been training with me for quite some time.          

Friday, January 25, 2013

Injuries, Training and Healing.

Very often am asked about injuries by new comers or those who wish to start training in Jukaado. To all of them I always tell that I have been training for the last 28 years and have no injuries nor have I come across anyone who I have trained with or whom I have taught to succumb with any injuries due to training in martial arts.

I would not like to sound biased but in my opinion I am convinced that training in any martial art in the authentic way it was meant to be will not only negate the occurrence of major injuries but will also heal old ones (injuries acquired prior to have started training in martial arts) and will improve your health or totally eradicate ailments from the body. It is this healing energy that makes training in martial arts actually something that people can do at any age. There are so many masters world wide who are way past their 70's and are still like rock and train for hours daily without any major injuries or health issues. May be that is why martial arts is called as A WAY OF LIFE.

This is my opinion that when you train in martial arts it not only improves your physical fitness levels but also works on improving your Chi / Qi energy within the body. This tends to heighten your spiritual self over a period of many years. 

If you do train properly you would never get injured. However there is always a chance of a wrong footing or a sudden off balance which could result in minor sprains and other muscle injuries. When you are faced with such a situation the ideal approach is to give it rest and return to training gradually. Over a period of years at Jukaado we have a good back up for such rare cases of minor injuries too. Some years back a very spiritual monk gave me the formula of an oil made with herbs and spices. I have been making this oil and giving it to anyone who has aches or injuries in their muscles or joints. It has been getting positive results and has healed many. I have great respect for the spiritual monk who entrusted me with this formula and hence do not charge for it and just give it for free. Sometimes I wonder why did that monk give me the formula. I did not have a lot of time with the monk and yet to be entrusted with something that has helped so many is a blessing from the Zen master. The other back up that we now have over the last year is a very good physio. He has been very prompt and accurate in his diagnosis and rehabilitation.  

To sum it up one side of my family has an hereditary case of arthritis of the knee. Being part of this chain and having been running and training very hard for the last 28 years and still not having any form of aches or pains in the knee is what I consider to be the effect of the healing energy of training in martial arts.   

Some eat to live, some live to eat but I live to train!!!!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wonder, Ponder and Release negativity

In life we often come across people and situations which leave us wondering as to - What is this? Is it reality? Can someone be like this? Could something like this really happen? and the list of questions can go on and on. Am no saint nor am I always right. I am just a Human like others who errs just like all do. However at times am appalled seeing how people behave and how certain situations turn out.

I feel that the values of respect, compassion, bonding, honesty with ones own self seem to be dwindling and may be someday will become extinct too. People are becoming selfish, conceited and emotionally disconnected within. With such a scenario I often come across people whose actions or behavior really makes me wonder. Collecting all these thoughts through the day will just be like transferring the negativity from that person or situation to yourself adding to your build up of stress and negative toxicity within the body. Holding on to this negativity is very harmful for us at many levels. Physically it could lead to various forms of ailments. It could over a period of time also lead to increased levels of frustration and rage within the body. At a spiritual level negativity could hamper our growth or slow down our walk on the path of life. It is very important to empty this collected negativity.

I personally follow a way to get rid of all this negativity and clear my mind, heart, body and aura of all this negative build up. When am left wondering with such absurd behavior I ponder a bit over the situation putting myself in the shoes of the person whose behavior appalls me. Sometimes it could just be situations in life that makes them behave like this or it could be the way they are brought up or even the people they interact with daily. Pondering about situations will reduce the level of negative built up. After pondering a good session of meditation will cleanse the body, mind, heart and aura of all negativity. 

Life will bring with it all shades of colours some we may like some we may not but it is the process of growth as a person that makes us appreciate all these shades of colours like a beautiful rainbow in the sky.

Most people tend to get to rigid in their process or methodology of meditation. In my personal opinion meditation is the process of setting free and connecting with the spirit within. Being very rigid about this beautiful process may not make you truly connect within. It is easy to get disillusioned and egoistic about the depth of ones meditation. I feel once you truly understand meditation one could achieve a deep meditative state by even admiring the dew drops on the petals of a wild flower while still being physically present in the now. 

You do not need to sit cross legged or facing a certain direction and all the other preparatory procedures I have heard and discussed with many who meditate. In my opinion you can meditate even with your eyes open. You just need to be able to connect your heart, mind and spirit and you are meditating. Once you have truly understood meditation and its beauty you could reach to deep meditative states within a few seconds. 

Am not saying that am right nor am I saying that others are wrong. It is just my perception or view. This works for me and keeps me balanced and cleansed of all negative toxicity around. What matters at the end of the day is to release the negativity and break free from the shackles that try to bind down our spirit, our conscience and our emotional connection within.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Train to adapt, Train to survive.

I often ponder on the purpose or authenticity of my training. Why do I train in martial arts? What drives me to train and try out training routines which many call insane? 

I like to consider it to be the work of Karma however I keep my training very realistic and aimed at adaptability and survival. After all these are the 2 traits that go hand in hand. One can not survive without adapting to the change around them.

It is great to be able to run a full marathon or even a half marathon but it is training to survive that allows one to run 21kms then be able to do 50 burpees and spar with 5 partners or more. We all prefer a nice cozy mattress to sleep on but it is equally essential to train to be able to sleep on uneven ground or a rocky surface and wake up to trek or jog for 3 - 4 hours without any sort of discomfort. A warm bath is something most can not do without but I suggest one to train to have bath in ice water. These are just a few sort of things I do off and on to train my body to adapt and survive in any situation it is put in.

I feel such training over a period of time conditions the body and mind to be ready for anything that is to be. It makes you mentally tougher and when the mind is tough and does not break down then the body will follow.

However I should mention that one should not attempt such training unless they are being supervised or guided by an expert in survival training or they have a very high fitness level or they are a (insane) Jukaadoka.

Today's Workout - 

5 sets of skipping each set is of 10 minutes.
10 sets of plank variations each set is of 5 minutes.
10 sets of leg raises each set is of 100 repetitions.
10 sets of bicep curls each set is of 20 repetitions.
10 sets of shoulder press each set is of 20 repetitions.
100 repetitions of knee kick with each leg.   

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday is our FUNDAY

Prateek described our Sunday training in the most appropriate words - "Sunday is our Funday, we jog over hills today".  It is nice to hear such words from people who train with me makes me feel that they are truly enjoying the workout I put them through. A fun filled jog in nature makes you feel one with nature. We spotted a few peacocks and their footprints along the way however being a Jukaadoka I would have preferred a crocodile or a bear to wrestle up with. There is nothing better to condition with than nature itself. The total distance of our jog was about 10km. It is a hill terrain jog where we run over 2 hills and involves lots of trail running too. 

 The beautiful reflection of the tree and hill on a very still water body with the sunrise in the background.
Was hoping a crocodile would suddenly lunge out of the water for us to wrestle with like in the movie "Lake Placid". 

The complete city was covered in fog today only the last few floors of the tall building in the distance are above the thick layer of fog.

We came across real big footprints of a peacock. The Vibram's are trying to compete with the peacock footprint. 

                                           Taking in the view of the breath taking sun rise.

                                           Jukaado V/S Wild.

                                          Prateek and myself - The Vibram Warriors. 

                             Team Jukaado members - Anil, Prateek and myself at the sunrise point.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

House Full at Jukaado Today.

Today the stage area where we have our Jukaado class on Saturday was full. We had full attendance today. It could also be because of the new students that have joined. The best part is these new students started with the camp and after the troubles at camp they have most happily joined our class. Some times students train and enjoy class but they never return after camp. So at Jukaado we believe if a student lasts and returns after our camp they will last and continue training.

It is always nice to have so many around you to train and have fun with. We did a lot of aikido based self defense techniques and some judo break falls and throws.

Even though the day was busy and tiring as I was teaching at school from 9am till 1pm but seeing the stage filled with students I was charged up and super energized and the result was a great class. I have this strange approach if I am left with just 1 student or with many students I get super excited and the result is heavy training. 

Did not train today in the morning as had to be at school early but did 1000 counts of skipping at class before starting the class.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Importance of Traditional Martial Art Camps.

When most martial arts were formed the practitioners used to stay and train together. This would result in a minimum of 6 hours of training daily. With times changing and martial arts spreading all over the globe this practice was difficult to keep up with. There are still a number of martial arts schools like that in the world. Nowadays there are many classes where one can go and train for say 2 hours 3 times a week. It is these kind of classes that require a traditional camp system to forge the qualities of a martial artist into the students.

If one only goes to a class and trains for say 2 hours a class and 3 -4 times a week then they will learn to kick, punch, throw and lock but they will never become martial artists. A martial artist is not just a person who knows how to fight. Any street brawler can fight. A martial artist is a person who lives by the code of BUSHIDO and has developed control over his body, mind and spirit. 

When you are at a traditional camp for say 5 days or more your body, mind and spirit are challenged, broken and then forged into martial artists. The camp is a very challenging experience where all stay together and train together for 6- 10 hours a day daily. Care is taken so that the younger students do not get over exhausted. The students get disciplined, learn to manage with and resolve whatever situation they are made to face, work like a team, build confidence levels, develop strong will power and a tough mind and lots more. After the few days it is only the mind pushing the body to train more and the team work of all encouraging each other to push harder to complete the training. 

This can not be achieved within a regular class. Have seen many who train well break down at camp and many never come back to class to train ever again. It may seem hard but it is not so hard and with attending  more such camps the students further improve as wonderful martial artists. 

I have been blessed by wonderful instructors who have instilled the importance of camp into my training pattern right from a very young age. Have tried to do the same for my students and train them the authentic way. A camp takes a lot out of me as an instructor. A lot of my time, effort and nonstop alertness to check on any vital signs or symptoms from students on their exhaustion levels, a loss of income from the numerous classes and personal training clients and lots more. Still the joy of having a group of students with you training far surpasses all the monetary loss. However I do feel sad when I see a trend of students / parents of students not sending students to camp. In schools sometimes I get asked by parents - " what great things will they learn in 5 days?" " Why waste so much money for 5 days?". A camp cannot be easily explained in words it is an experience far beyond the physical realm. It is the building block that transforms a person and their outlook to life. If only a few students sign up for the camp it becomes difficult to pay for the bus and other ancillary requirements. When very few sign up for camp it  results in me having to shell out money from my pocket for the bus charges etc.  If this trend of students avoiding camps continues I would sadly be forced to close down the authentic form of Training Camps. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The year has begun and so has the training.

Have started my training officially from today. Once again the 4 - 8 hour daily training routines have begun. I enjoyed the few days of rest but some where I felt some thing was missing. I guess once the body gets used to the very intense high levels of training the body and mind miss the pains of workout. One of our senior and wise students calls these small spurts of pain or shock as Jig and he says " Jig is thrilling". Those who may not be training in severe conditioning like us may not understand Jig but I shall try to explain it. Jig is the sudden shooting current or shooting pain that sometimes even travels up the spine or through the limb that is being conditioned. It has now become part of the vocabulary for Jukaadoka's. 

Not experiencing Jig for few days I started to miss it. We had our 1st class of the new year today and we started it with a good session of conditioning. This year we will push the level higher. Aim to reach the ability to be able to train non stop for 48 hours without any rest in between. This year am sure the senior students of  Jukaado will achieve this feat with ease. For this task the regular training will be pushed to a more intense level. Class is going to be more fun (pain and sweat)  now onwards. 

It is nice to have found another student who will stay and train in the crazy ways of Jukaado. A good way to begin the new year by adding another family member. 
Today's Workout - 

300 kicks ( mawashi geri) with each leg with wearing a 2kg ankle weight on each leg.
500 sit ups with the 10 kg sand bag in the hand.
500 squats
300 knee kicks ( hiza geri ) with each leg. 
45 minutes of skipping. 
500 knuckle push ups.
500 tricep dips.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Growth and more insane training at Jukaado in 2013

A New Year has begun bringing with it loads of hope and positivity. The last few months brought about a radical change in my training routines pushing the bar many notches up. Seeing the intense workouts that I go through often people wonder if am getting younger rather than getting older. Well am just trying to follow the footsteps of the legendary Okinawan masters who seem to be defying age for sure. I would be pushing my training levels a lot higher this year.

Jukaado has grown a lot in the last year and people the world over are getting to know about it. I have received a few mails from martial artists who would like to acquire the affiliation for Jukaado in their country. Some of them are planning a trip to train in Jukaado. It would be nice to get Jukaado an exposure in many countries internationally. That being said it also put more emphasis on me to keep tweaking and  fine tuning my training with every passing day. Have lots of plans on training routines, once have tried and tested them on myself a few times then the students shall face it too. 

We will be having our Shodan and Nidan examinations in May 2013. Have lots of planning for that, some already have started taking shape while some parts are just a bit sketchy at this stage. It is going to be a fun filled 5 days where time will stretch like eternity and aches appear at the speed of light.

Wishing all a Fabulous New Year. May this year inspire all to be better humans and TRAIN TILL THEY DROP!!!!