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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: Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:53 am    Post subject: Learning to relax? Reply with quote

Every time I have participated in my martial arts class, the instructors (in each style) tell me I'm tense. My coworkers tell me I'm tense, as does my wife. My chiropractor recommended I go in for a deep-tissue massage. The masseuse beat the hell out of me and said I'm really tense!

Any advice at how to learn how to learn to relax? I've tried breathing, meditation, etc.
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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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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2402


PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
Every time I have participated in my martial arts class, the instructors (in each style) tell me I'm tense. My coworkers tell me I'm tense, as does my wife. My chiropractor recommended I go in for a deep-tissue massage. The masseuse beat the hell out of me and said I'm really tense!

Any advice at how to learn how to learn to relax? I've tried breathing, meditation, etc.
Good topic singularity6!

Maybe a way to learn how to relax, is to understand the importance of why.

Through tension and relaxation is how muscles work to make us move; similar to pedaling a bicycle as one foot is adding tension the other foot is relaxing, propelling the bicycle forward.

Unnecessary tension inhibits blood flow, something like driving with the hand break on in a car or driving with one foot on the gas pedal and the other on the breaks.

Relaxed muscles move more freely than tense ones, improving ease of movement and range of motion.

Relaxed muscles can reach further and move faster, while tense muscles are slower and cannot reach as far.

Training muscles to relax helps to make them more pliable and flexible, which in turn helps to reduce injuries and improving movements that can be potentially painful.

It is far easier to tense a muscle than to relax it.

Therefore minimize unnecessary tension in all of your body movements and actions.

Holding a pen too tightly when writing will cause a cramp in that hand, only use the necessary amount of tension to get the job done.

Attitude and thoughts can cause unnecessary tension, changing thoughts that cause tension to thoughts that promote calmness and harmony are recommended.

Practice counting backwards from one to ten, with every number breath calmer and slower, with practice it becomes easier to relax.

The more relaxed you learn to become the more tense the people around you will seem to be.

Take an inventory of the traumas and resentments, hatred, and anger that can accumulate during one's life and learn to let them go.

Foods that promote relaxation as opposed to foods that can cause anxiety, need to be considered.

Overall lifestyle contributes to most unnecessary tension in the body, listening to what your body is asking for and it's needs is important.

Learning to live a happy and productive life doesn't happen over night, nothing of any worth is easy, so while you are waiting for it to happen, practice smiling and laughing, these are natural tension release valves.

If you need a massage it's too late!

If you need any type of remedy to relieve tension, then it is too late.

Learn to catch and release tension right away, similar to fishing, this way you are not accumulating unnecessary rigidity.
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catlike
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 07 Jul 2016
Posts: 41


PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I know I'm tense, I know how to stop it. Purposefully tense all the muscles in your body for a second, then relax everything in order starting from the top, or the bottom. This could take a few seconds, or you could meditate on it for longer.

One of my issues is not realising I'm tense. So for that you should make a habit of de-tensioning at set points. I started doing this before a kata (at Yoi), but to be honest, you could do it both before and after every move during Kihon if you wanted.

Works for me, I know it's not going to work for everyone though.
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2402


PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We as martial artists, utilize the whipping motion in some techniques, this is not possible without relaxation and sudden moments of tension.
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2207
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Learning to relax? Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
Every time I have participated in my martial arts class, the instructors (in each style) tell me I'm tense. My coworkers tell me I'm tense, as does my wife. My chiropractor recommended I go in for a deep-tissue massage. The masseuse beat the hell out of me and said I'm really tense!

Any advice at how to learn how to learn to relax? I've tried breathing, meditation, etc.


People relax in different ways, for me it is to do Karate or listen to music (Rarely do I combine them). Whereas for you it might be something completely different.

Often people are tense for reasons that they may not be conscious about or they are fully aware of. But for some reason they can't seem to offload those reasons, or there is just a lot on their plate that makes it difficult to relax.

When I see students who are tense, i like to make them relax by getting them to laugh and have fun. Which works like an absolute treat, because they realise that is what they were missing.

For you i'd recommend taking time off (if possible) for yourself and do what you enjoy with the pressures of everything else in your life. Often this works for those who have multiple sources saying the same thing in regards to being tense (among other things).

But obviously that only works if you are able to financially take some time off + also have the annual leave to do so.
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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 Jul 18, 2017 5:26 am    Post subject: Re: Learning to relax? Reply with quote

Nidan Melbourne wrote:
singularity6 wrote:
Every time I have participated in my martial arts class, the instructors (in each style) tell me I'm tense. My coworkers tell me I'm tense, as does my wife. My chiropractor recommended I go in for a deep-tissue massage. The masseuse beat the hell out of me and said I'm really tense!

Any advice at how to learn how to learn to relax? I've tried breathing, meditation, etc.


People relax in different ways, for me it is to do Karate or listen to music (Rarely do I combine them). Whereas for you it might be something completely different.

Often people are tense for reasons that they may not be conscious about or they are fully aware of. But for some reason they can't seem to offload those reasons, or there is just a lot on their plate that makes it difficult to relax.

When I see students who are tense, i like to make them relax by getting them to laugh and have fun. Which works like an absolute treat, because they realise that is what they were missing.

For you i'd recommend taking time off (if possible) for yourself and do what you enjoy with the pressures of everything else in your life. Often this works for those who have multiple sources saying the same thing in regards to being tense (among other things).

But obviously that only works if you are able to financially take some time off + also have the annual leave to do so.


Thanks for the response and the advice!

I teach for a living, so I'm "mostly off" from work until the end of August. Yes, that helps immensely. My issues may stem from what I went through growing up - I was never very coordinated, and typically failed miserably when attempting anything physical (outside of art.) I was also bullied quite a bit. While those issues aren't immediately prevalent in my life, I still have some mindset issues that I need to work on.
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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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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2207
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:36 am    Post subject: Re: Learning to relax? Reply with quote

singularity6 wrote:
Nidan Melbourne wrote:
singularity6 wrote:
Every time I have participated in my martial arts class, the instructors (in each style) tell me I'm tense. My coworkers tell me I'm tense, as does my wife. My chiropractor recommended I go in for a deep-tissue massage. The masseuse beat the hell out of me and said I'm really tense!

Any advice at how to learn how to learn to relax? I've tried breathing, meditation, etc.


People relax in different ways, for me it is to do Karate or listen to music (Rarely do I combine them). Whereas for you it might be something completely different.

Often people are tense for reasons that they may not be conscious about or they are fully aware of. But for some reason they can't seem to offload those reasons, or there is just a lot on their plate that makes it difficult to relax.

When I see students who are tense, i like to make them relax by getting them to laugh and have fun. Which works like an absolute treat, because they realise that is what they were missing.

For you i'd recommend taking time off (if possible) for yourself and do what you enjoy with the pressures of everything else in your life. Often this works for those who have multiple sources saying the same thing in regards to being tense (among other things).

But obviously that only works if you are able to financially take some time off + also have the annual leave to do so.


Thanks for the response and the advice!

I teach for a living, so I'm "mostly off" from work until the end of August. Yes, that helps immensely. My issues may stem from what I went through growing up - I was never very coordinated, and typically failed miserably when attempting anything physical (outside of art.) I was also bullied quite a bit. While those issues aren't immediately prevalent in my life, I still have some mindset issues that I need to work on.


Well we are here to support you if you need people to talk to! I have always had tremendous respect for the hard work Teachers put in day in day out. Especially how hard and stressful it is for you and others to get through to the next generation.

Being Bullied when you were younger takes a long time to get through and work through everything that happened. I'm 25 and was bullied in Primary School and part of Middle School, in which i'm still working through things.
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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 Jul 18, 2017 1:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Learning to relax? Reply with quote

Nidan Melbourne wrote:
singularity6 wrote:
Nidan Melbourne wrote:
singularity6 wrote:
Every time I have participated in my martial arts class, the instructors (in each style) tell me I'm tense. My coworkers tell me I'm tense, as does my wife. My chiropractor recommended I go in for a deep-tissue massage. The masseuse beat the hell out of me and said I'm really tense!

Any advice at how to learn how to learn to relax? I've tried breathing, meditation, etc.


People relax in different ways, for me it is to do Karate or listen to music (Rarely do I combine them). Whereas for you it might be something completely different.

Often people are tense for reasons that they may not be conscious about or they are fully aware of. But for some reason they can't seem to offload those reasons, or there is just a lot on their plate that makes it difficult to relax.

When I see students who are tense, i like to make them relax by getting them to laugh and have fun. Which works like an absolute treat, because they realise that is what they were missing.

For you i'd recommend taking time off (if possible) for yourself and do what you enjoy with the pressures of everything else in your life. Often this works for those who have multiple sources saying the same thing in regards to being tense (among other things).

But obviously that only works if you are able to financially take some time off + also have the annual leave to do so.


Thanks for the response and the advice!

I teach for a living, so I'm "mostly off" from work until the end of August. Yes, that helps immensely. My issues may stem from what I went through growing up - I was never very coordinated, and typically failed miserably when attempting anything physical (outside of art.) I was also bullied quite a bit. While those issues aren't immediately prevalent in my life, I still have some mindset issues that I need to work on.


Well we are here to support you if you need people to talk to! I have always had tremendous respect for the hard work Teachers put in day in day out. Especially how hard and stressful it is for you and others to get through to the next generation.

Being Bullied when you were younger takes a long time to get through and work through everything that happened. I'm 25 and was bullied in Primary School and part of Middle School, in which i'm still working through things.


Heh, I'm pushing 40. I'd say I'm mostly over it. But every now and then, symptoms show up in weird, unexpected ways.
_________________
5th Geup Jidokwan Tae Kwon Do/Hap Ki Do

(Never officially tested in aikido, iaido or kendo)
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Alan Armstrong
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 28 Feb 2016
Posts: 2402


PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey I'm 60 but don't feel a day over 59.

Another suggestion on relaxing, or the lack of, for many is related to poor sleeping habits.

Sleeping in some awkward positions can cause serious stiffness and alot of unnecessary tension.

Sleeping on one's back with a low pillow behind the neck and another pillow behind the knees are preferable.

A little relaxing type stretching out before sleeping is also advisable to release some unnecessary tension from the day.
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