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RW
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 327


PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:04 pm    Post subject: Improving Stamina? / Forging my own Path Reply with quote

Background:

So I've come to the decision that after putting so many years on my art, it's no longer for me.

The school has gone through so many changes, none of them positive:

1) Some fairly toxic students have become obsessed with belt testing. They got to test every time there's a test (roughly twice a year) and when it's testing time they get all giddy and ask other students that they know are not testing "are you testing next week too? " .

All these years I've been able to test "on time" every single time they test as well, despite the fact that I couldn't care less about belt colors because I was simply better than them.

2) But now the toxic student group has elevated the belt-mongering to a new level: They're purchasing "extra lessons" from the senseis on order to ensure they test too. After purchasing many extra lessons to several senseis in the school, I guess the dojo feels obligated to have them test.. cue in the ""are you testing next week too? " stuff.

Several students have left or are considering leaving the dojo because of the toxic ambiance that the belt mongers have created!

3) In a perfect storm kind of way, this time around, just as the belt mongers bought their way into testing, I had to be absent from the dojo for a month because life gets in the way. Sensei, in his infinite wisdom (sarcasm) decided to suggest to me that I don't test because "I'm not ready"... what's really going on is that only so many people can test, and they test slots for my belt were allocated to the belt mongers.

You know where this leads to, right? I realize this is turning into a wall of text so I will make a second post with the actual issue
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RW
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 327


PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The issue is.... these belt mongers (these are grown men, by the way, this is high school behavior!) will start their belt-bullying and will focus it on me after they test and I don't.

It gets too toxic, and the sensei is basically useless, if anything the dojo is to blame for acquiescing this behavior (selling them "extra lessons", having them test because they bought them, allowing the gloating, etc), plus we're grown men.

The main problem is, not going to the dojo for a month has broken havoc on my stamina! I've been too stressed, sleeping too little and burning the midnight oil because of life reasons, I've also been stressed. When you combine this with not exercising for a month (ok a little bit more), the difference is HUGE. As things are right now, I'm at 40% of my stamina and performance.

So I've decided to quit my art. I am very disappointed with the changes in the school, and also I realize now that I should have stuck with a more traditional karate style. I'm far too invested to quit right now, though, so I will stick around until I get my shodan and then quit.

What I will end doing is taking 3 months off because I am far too busy and because I want to avoid the toxic people's belt-bullying. I want to focus on myself and build myself up to become the best martial artist I can be, without any of the silliness.

In this 3 months I will practice (solo) my techniques and get them to perfect form, like they used to be. I will practice my kata, ippon kumite and kihon daily, record myself and perfect things every day. I'll follow my own path and reach a higher level... isn't this what martial arts is about?

This leaves a loose string here... stamina! I won't get it back by doing katas and ippon kumite. I need to find some sort of exercise to get my stamina back, and if possible, even improve it.

What should I do to improve my stamina?

I've thought about running on a treadmill. I am sure it will help, but I don't think it's a silver bullet. Perhaps if I ran slow-fast-slow-fast intervals?

What do you guys suggest?

The idea is that after those 3 months I will come back to the dojo and pick up where I left, with the only difference that now I'll be back at 100% and well, being myself again.
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say I hear most folks suggest running to build stamina. It's true - you can quickly build stamina if you choose to run. I hate to run, however. Being on a treadmill or elliptical is even worse.

Weather permitting, you could hike, snowshoe, ski or bike. If you're near a gym with a pool, I'd really suggest swimming. It's a full body workout, and really easy on the joints.
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5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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RW
Blue Belt
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Joined: 07 Mar 2009
Posts: 327


PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
I would say I hear most folks suggest running to build stamina. It's true - you can quickly build stamina if you choose to run. I hate to run, however. Being on a treadmill or elliptical is even worse.

Weather permitting, you could hike, snowshoe, ski or bike. If you're near a gym with a pool, I'd really suggest swimming. It's a full body workout, and really easy on the joints.


Thanks!

Does running in intervals help?
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JazzKicker
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 07 Aug 2017
Posts: 132
Location: NJ
Styles: JKD, TSD, MMA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doing rounds on a heavy bag is probably the best solo exercise you can do to complement martial arts, as it's the closest. Doing kata, or course, is important for both skills and conditioning.

Running is can be versatile, too, if you program it. Start off at an easy pace and distance and build up a base, then work on speed/shorter distance in one session, longer and slower in another. Intervals are very good when you're first starting, jog a few minutes, then walk, etc.

Your school sounds more competitive and clique-ish than a fun environment. The guys "buying extra lessons" may be jerks about rubbing it in, but if they really are putting in extra time and paying for it they're presumably earning their rank.

Try to take the long view and realize that taking a month or more off is no big deal. There are plenty of things in real life more important than a karate belt. Just about everything, actually.
One of my old instructors used to say "See me know, or see me later" about people who came and went. What he meant was, you have to show up and be dedicated to make progress, but if you can't, don't make excuses, just come back when you can.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27837
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Running intervals can be helpful, if its done right. I'd recommend running stairs, if you can find a nice stadium to do it in. Otherwise, as JazzKicker mentioned, rounds on the bag is probably one of the better ways to do things. You can even do katas different ways to help with stamina. You can do it once through really slowly and with tension, then you can do it be really blasting the moves out as fast and hard as you can. Technique will dip, but you can work on that in a later set.

Now, with all that aside, I'm really sorry to hear about the state of your current school. That really sucks. I think you've got a good plan, though, with a goal to reach, so see it through. What do you plan to do after you quit the school?
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Fat Cobra
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 14 Jul 2018
Posts: 177
Location: Fort Drum, NY
Styles: Ryukyu Kempo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Look at the exercises from this site (can be found on Pinterest too).

Quick, requires little room and little to no equipment, but extremely challenging (and super hero themed, which I like):

www.neilarey.com

Go to the workouts section of the website. I personally like the Daredevil and Batman workouts!
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Head of the Shubu Kan in Fort Drum, NY
(United Ryukyu Kempo Alliance)
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RW wrote:
singularity6 wrote:
I would say I hear most folks suggest running to build stamina. It's true - you can quickly build stamina if you choose to run. I hate to run, however. Being on a treadmill or elliptical is even worse.

Weather permitting, you could hike, snowshoe, ski or bike. If you're near a gym with a pool, I'd really suggest swimming. It's a full body workout, and really easy on the joints.


Thanks!

Does running in intervals help?


Probably!
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5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JazzKicker wrote:
Doing rounds on a heavy bag is probably the best solo exercise you can do to complement martial arts, as it's the closest. Doing kata, or course, is important for both skills and conditioning.



This is actually how I do my cardio at home!
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5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2380
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of exercise physiology studies have shown interval training to be highly effective in improving VO2 max (aka how good your cardio is) and burning fat. Itís probably the most effective approach.

People automatically assume running when discussing intervals. Running is probably the simplest way to do intervals, but itís certainly not the only way. Interval training is all about getting your heart rate up to near maximum, staying there for a set amount of time, then dropping your heart rate to a moderate rate. Exercise physiologists will argue times of each phase, but thereís no study Iíve seen that states specific times as hands down the best/most effective.

Doing rounds on a punching bag is an example of interval training. Think about it - youíre alternating high intensity and low intensity. High intensity during the rounds, and low intensity between rounds. Yes, most people rest between rounds, but their heart rate is still elevated.

Google target heart rates and interval training times. If youíre heart rate and times are the same, I donít think it matters what youíre doing - running, swimming, rowing, heavy bag, etc.

Personally, Iíve found hitting the heavy bag has given me the best results. I donít get bored with it, and I can easily control where my heart rate is at.

Last thing - if youíre serious about heart rate training, get a monitor. Polar chest straps are the exercise physiologist standard IMO. You can get one for about $80 that transmits to a smart phone. The watches such as Fitbit are good, but theyíre not that accurate once your heart rate is up there. With either one, you can monitor your heart rate in real time and adjust your intensity accordingly. Taking your own pulse would be very accurate, but itís not very convenient when youíre in the heat of the moment.

If you really want to get in shape, be efficient as possible, and get the best results, tracking your heart rate is where itís at. Thereís very little room for error compared to ďrunning hard then jogging.Ē Rate of perceived exertion (RPE, or feeling like youíre getting a good workout) isnít very accurate, as studies have found. High level athletes who know their bodies very well are better at it, but most people think theyíre working harder or not as hard as they actually are.
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