Monday, August 4, 2014

Christie's Karate Tip of the Week: Aim for Flexible

Writing Contributor: Christie McGowan
Student at Choe's HapKiDo of Loganville

Last Tip
Tip #6: Be Patient

. . .

Training update: I am not too much of a newbie anymore. With the karate world, although I have many more new experiences to come, I don't feel too new anymore. On top of being around for several months, I have gone from no uniform, to uniform, to earning school patches, to passing the first belt (white!), and now to anticipating the yellow belt test. But now there are more people signing up for HapKiDo, more new students! I admit, I do miss inhabiting the last spot in line (everyone stands according to belt rank), but it is amazing watching new students jump in on their first day.

However, with each day in training, I still pick up ways to improve in this martial art.

Photo (vglounge.com)
This picture is from here (Sprichie.com).

Tip #7: Don't underestimate the power of flexibility!

On one hand, being flexible in life involves time management. Depending on the situation, the success of a flexible week relies on how much control a person has. If it is not from having too much free time, then certain events are negotiable or adaptable. Regardless, deciding on what to do with time requires decision making – how much can a person handle without snapping? 

On the other hand, having the body be flexible is hard work, but it pays off. While increasing muscular strength and muscular endurance are necessary, sometimes flexibility is overlooked. However, with all types of exercises, stretching is important: it allows a person to prepare the body for the physical work, and it increases the body's capabilities. To start intense workouts without stretching is like eating one large meal, a person could get injured. That is why it is best to pace the amount of work, from eating to running to even writing.

From training at Choe's HapKiDo of Loganville, students see how working on the body's flexibility is relevant to performance. For instance, it increases the height of kicks, but it also improves the technicalities of them. One kick in particular requires the knee to be able to touch the shoulder before the kick. Technique like this is a reason to want to increase the body's flexibility.

In a way, flexibility is an underlying strength that accompanies all movement. It is a slow and quiet process, but adding music in the background shifts the mind into a new zone: a person is able to exercise while meditating!

For more information on Choe's HapKiDo karate classes and kickboxing classes, visit: http://www.loganvillekarate.com/index.php.



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