Zen-ryo's training log

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inari replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

Hi Zen-ryo,

Would you be able to tell us what you do in your sword class? What sort of sword, what sort of training, what you hope to get from it etc? Just curious.

Inari.
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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

I spent an hour writing a response and meanwhile my login expired (I thought I had marked to stay logged-in).  I'll try again.  I claim that my previous post was concise, complete, and fascinating.  But now I'm tired and frustrated, so you'll have to deal with a rambling, overly detailed, and boring version of the same information  ;).

I study a family system of arts with a sensei who lives in Japan.  The system is called the Shinbukan Kuroda Ryugi.  It was started when one of my sensei's ancestors became the head of four different martial arts 160 years ago.  Since then the head of the arts has been passed down only through the Kuroda family.  The arts are currently practiced as "internal style" martial arts with the focus being on self discipline and developing control over body and mind.

I call it "sword class" because one of the first arts one learns and the one we all practice most is Komagawa Kaishin Ryu kenjutsu.  This art branched off of Shinkage Ryu about 450 years ago (there's an interesting story behind that, but I'll skip it here for brevity).  We mostly practice 2-person kata with bokken (though it's easy to practice one half at a time if you don't have a partner).  In addition to tachi (long sword) we learn jutte (truncheon) and kodachi (short sword).  Some advanced students also learn naginata (glaive), but I'm not sure if this is part of the kenjutsu style or the bojutsu style I will mention later.

We also learn, from the beginning, Shinshin Takuma Yodai Kennichi Ryu Jujutsu, a bare-hand grappling style similar to aikido.  But whereas aikido uses short attack/defense kata, we use long kata where every defense is also an offense and there is a very fluid back and forth between the "combatants".  This art is over 1000 years old.

As students become more advanced they are introduced to Tamiya Ryu Iaijutsu.  There is a more famous style of iaido that is spelled the same in romaji, but uses different kanji.  Iaijutsu was only created about 400 years ago and our Tamiya developed his own style about 50 years later.  What most distinguishes our style is that we sit in tatehiza (one knee in seiza and one knee up in front), a casual style of sitting that was popular among samurai (seiza was formal, crossed legs was for home, and squatting was for farmers).

The really advanced students learn Tsubaki Kotengu Ryu Bojutsu, a long-staff fighting style that began over 400 years ago.  I have also seen some jojutsu (short-staff), but like the naginatajutsu I mentioned earlier, I'm not completely sure which art that is from.  I have heard rumors that a few students have learned a fifth art which is a ki based healing art, but I have never heard sensei speak of it.

I study these arts to develop my focus and my control of body and mind.  I do not study these arts to learn how to win a fight or defeat an opponent, but rather to improve myself and defeat my own limitations.  We do not do kumitachi or randori (unchoreographed fighting), though at times I do wish I had a way of testing my progress and the applicability of my skills.  By the way, I also study aikido and kyudo (archery) for these same purposes, though at the moment I am not attending classes in those arts due to time constraints.

I hope that answers your questions and was not too detailed or boring.  And if you have any questions or would like to know more about something, please feel free to ask.

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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

It was a good thing I took last week off. I came down with H1N1 and wasn't able to exercise at all. Now I'm doing great and ready to go. I did my push-ups and squats today. My push-ups did well. For push-ups, I'm repeating week 2. They were tough, but I did all 55, which is better than the first time I did week 2.

For squats I have moved on to week 3. It was much harder. During week 2 I had been doing a bunch of extra every day. However, this time I was barely able to squeeze out the 108 listed in the program. I guess not being on my legs much last week really let them get weak.

The most surprising was my cardio. Even when I couldn't finish the push-ups a week ago the cardio was easy. But today, I was struggling to breath by the end. Maybe it's the mucous still in my lungs, or the fact that I haven't even done vigorous walking over the past week, but my heart was working over time today. Sometimes, though, after a short break, I find my heart just needs a day or two to get back into things.

If I speak from a good motivation out of sincerity, respect, and love for others, my actions are good, virtuous. If I act from a motivation of pride, hatred, criticism, and so forth, then my verbal and physical actions become nonvirtuous.

- 14th Dalai Lama

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inari replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

It's almost definitely the after-affects of H1N1. I had this in July and it hit my lungs pretty hard. I stayed somewhat congested for three weeks. Don't push yourself too hard or you might relapse.
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Jax replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

Ditto. If you aren't careful you can also scar your lungs and then you'll be stuck with underperforming lungs like mine, which sucks. 
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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

Thanks for the warnings.  I'm going ahead with the program, so hopefully it won't be too much stress.  I don't think this little bit of exercise with a little mucous will be enough to scar my lungs, but since no one can really say how much is too much, I won't do any extra exercise this week (I can't make sword class due to the holiday anyway).  I'll also do a lot of deep breathing exercises.  That should help clear my lungs a little to prevent relapse and scarring.

Anyway, yesterday chin-ups and sit-ups were a lot easier on the cardio. It's the squats that really kick in the cardio and today was very difficult again.

Yesterday:
Chin-ups (with chair): 6, 9, 7, 7, 8 (1 less than the program).
Sit-ups: 15, 18, 11, 11, 19 (5 more than the program).
Today:
Push-ups (on knees): 14, 16, 12, 12, 18 (1 more than the program).
Squats (with arms out and toe-raises): 27, 34, 21, 21, 34.

Those squats were so much tougher than 2 weeks ago. I'm not sure if it's the week of little use of my legs, if it's my lungs, or if my quads have just been getting an easy work out while the program caught up with my level and now they're finally having to work hard.

If I speak from a good motivation out of sincerity, respect, and love for others, my actions are good, virtuous. If I act from a motivation of pride, hatred, criticism, and so forth, then my verbal and physical actions become nonvirtuous.

- 14th Dalai Lama

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Jax replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

Honestly, I don't know what causes it either.  I was sick a lot, but no one can tell me when they went downhill because they weren't doing spirometry tests until a few years ago.  I'm sure after this week you'll feel a lot stronger in your lungs and you'll have a better idea of what is more tired.
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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

Holidays will mess up your routines, won't they? I never did exercise on Friday or Saturday. Though I didn't really need the physical rest, I definitely needed the mental break and time with family that caused me to miss my planed workouts.

Sunday's workout went fine, except that I looked at the wrong column for my chin-ups and did smaller sets so I threw in and extra one. I wound up with 5, 6, 4, 4, 7, 11. That's 37 total, which is exactly how many I did Wednesday, and 4 less than I had intended to do (if I had followed the correct column).

Yesterday's sit ups were: 15, 18, 12, 12, 21 (3 extra).

The cardio on the push-ups and squats was a little better today. It's still a good workout, but not the struggle I was having earlier. Push-ups were: 16, 17, 14, 14, 17 (3 less than the program). Squats were: 30, 38, 27, 27, 40.

If I speak from a good motivation out of sincerity, respect, and love for others, my actions are good, virtuous. If I act from a motivation of pride, hatred, criticism, and so forth, then my verbal and physical actions become nonvirtuous.

- 14th Dalai Lama

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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

Yesterday got messed up and I wound up missing my planned exercise. So yesterday was an early rest day and I'm just going to count today as an extra day on the beginning of week 4.

I've also realized something that seems obvious now. When I haven't quite reached the total set for the day I have just stopped and noted it. But starting today, if I don't finish the last set, I'm going to do an extra set to finish it off.

So chin-ups were: 8, 11, 8, 8, 8 (should be 11 so an extra set of) 5.

And sit-ups were: 17, 20, 14, 14, 27 (7 extra, so no extra set).

Sword class later today.

If I speak from a good motivation out of sincerity, respect, and love for others, my actions are good, virtuous. If I act from a motivation of pride, hatred, criticism, and so forth, then my verbal and physical actions become nonvirtuous.

- 14th Dalai Lama

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Jax replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

Interesting strategy, it'll probably work.  I guess I don't have the patience to do that many sets.  I got sick right when I was going to start back up on my sets, so I have to wait another day before starting up.  I'll try doing more sets though.  I felt I was getting more accomplished with 2 slightly smaller sets than just one set.  Perhaps I'll actually go to that website and see what they recommend.  I've just been making it up as I go. :-)

Good dedication!  Do you feel stronger?
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