Zen-ryo's training log

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

The extra sets have to do with physiology.  Just using a muscle to exhaustion is not the most efficient way to increase the muscle.  At the very least you should do a warm up set, a push the limits set, and a cool down set.  But if you look at the 100 push-ups website, you'll see that they actually use a medium, heavy, light, light, heavy pattern.  So for me, on those days when my last set doesn't reach the goal they set for me, I'll add an extra "cool down" set.

As for whether I feel stronger...  I'm not sure how you mean that.  I am able to do more of the exercises without getting as tired or sore.  But I haven't noticed any difference in my daily life.

Except that sword class was miserable today.  While I find that sword class has helped my legs be stronger, I also found that there are a bunch of other muscles that aren't getting worked out in my squats and that weren't happy with my almost 2-week break from sword class.

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

Actually yes, I was asking about the daily life stuff, like sword class.  Or even simple things like carrying your groceries in the house.  What about your posture?  Any improvements that you can see?

As for your leg strength, I suggest doing lunges.  Or even doing some of the stances, just go a bit deeper, hold them a bit longer.  You'll get that focused strength that you want for sword work in no time.  I'm surprised by the schools that don't just torture students with stances like we did in karate. lol  Sure, it sucks but you definitely get stronger!
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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

Wow!  I really haven't looked at my training journal since December?  Interesingly, Jax's entry never showed up as new post.

As for your leg strength, I suggest doing lunges.  Or even doing some of the stances, just go a bit deeper, hold them a bit longer.  You'll get that focused strength that you want for sword work in no time.  I'm surprised by the schools that don't just torture students with stances like we did in karate. lol  Sure, it sucks but you definitely get stronger!


Problem wasn't that we don't use deep stances, it was that I hadn't done any in over two weeks.  I had assumed that my squats would keep the legs in good shape, but discovered instead that my sword stances use some muscles that the squats didn't.  Those muscles were mad at me for not using them for so long and they made sure I knew it!

But the reverse is now true.  I fell out of the program that I was doing, but have been much more consitent about sword class.  And the reason I came to my training journal has to do with the reason why.  My sensei will be coming to Chicago in a couple of months for a seminar and I had a dream about it.  Since I don't usually remember my dreams, I don't keep a dream log, but this one I still remember in detail.

My sensei always brings a few of his top students from Japan with him, so I have made an offer to have one of the students stay at my house.  In my dream I had a Japanese student and an American student staying at my house (though it wasn't actually a house I've ever seen in real life).  I was making breakfast for them in the morning and realized that we were running late for the seminar.  Next thing I knew I was entering the dojo (though it wasn't actually a dojo I've ever seen in real life) and I was late, but the seminar had not yet begun.  I went to appologize to my sensei for being late and found that he had considerably aged since last I saw him.  He had shrunk, his skin had wrinkled, and he seemed to hardly be able to hold himself upright.  Though I knew it was my sensei, I could not recognize him (I think I knew for sure it was him because of how the other students were acting around him).  I remembered a story that another student had told me in real life that they had visited him recently and thought he was getting even faster and stronger.  But it didn't make sense with what I was seeing.  I paid my respects and tried not to show my disappointment and confusion, but for the next couple of minutes I wandered around the dojo dazed and confused.  Then the dream ended.

I'm not looking for any hidden meanings, but though it was an interesting dream, made doubly so by the unusualness of remembering so much detail.

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

I enjoyed my previous efforts to keep up with my journal, but then fell out of the habit and have not been here in over a year.  In that time I have also done a terrible job of keeping up with my training.  So I thought I would come back and try again.

A large part of it is that things are not going well at work.  I have made some bad business decisions at work and they are coming back to haunt me.  I may not be able to save the business, but I'm working hard at it.  The result is that when I am not at work, it is hard for me to get motivated to care for my physical body.  I always feel like it is more important to either do work or care for my spiritual needs.  My physical needs are the least important and are losing out.

However, I have decided that I am setting a terrible example for my son and for the other members of Chicago Jedi.  Thus I am going to begin attending sword class and Aikido again.

On a spiritual level, I am involved in something that I find quite interesting.  It may not be very applicable to living as a Jedi, but I'm looking forward to it very much.  The leadership of my church is working through a new program about how to talk about ones beliefs.  Christians seem to go to extremes in sharing their beliefs.  Either they are overbearing and sound like they are trying to convert everyone or they prefer to just keep their beliefs to themselves and not share much.  I tend to fall into this second category.  This program was designed to teach us how to share our beliefs in open casual conversation without trying to convert anyone.

As for specific Jedi activity, I'm working right now on fund raising for Multiple Sclerosis research.  While not directly Jedi related, the Chicago Jedi as a whole are participating in this.  Please feel free to donate to our team main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Walk/ILDWalkEvents?team_id=250649&pg=team&fr_id=16795 .  Or even better yet, find a similar event in your area in which you can participate.

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

That's very interesting Jeremy. Perhaps you can share what you are learning about communicating beliefs?  I know I'd appreciate it.
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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

So today I did Aikido.  It kicked my butt!  I got dehydrated and had to take a few "catch my breath" breaks.  It's going to take a few classes for my heart to get used to that level of activity again.  However, I did remember all of the techniques we did today and my rolls weren't bad at all.  I also quickly remembered all my old problems that I had been working on.  I stayed for sword practice, but I was the only one there and I was exhausted, so I only ran through all the kata in about 20 minutes and called it quits for the day.

Tomorrow we will try to see if we can make another class after church.  That's always hard because I have so many responsabilities at church, but I'm going to make a concerted effort to get out in time to attend Aikido.

Meanwhile, I'm excited to be going into holy week.  The Passion has deep meaning for me and we have some special events planned at the church this week.  Since my wife's spring break is always during holy week, we usually take a vacation and I have to study the Passion on my own.  So I'm excited to be home this week and able to participate at church.

Other than that, just trying to keep up with the housework.

Zen-Ryo

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

I always preferred Easter. It's more joyous.  The theme of rebirth is a powerful one, especially in the Midwest when the weather is in fully in spring.  It doesn't have the same feel in the south. 
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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

Easter is good and a definitely a lot more fun.  But we're usually back from vacation for that.  And though I really feel the important message is the one of hope that the ressurection brings, I think the message of brotherhood and sacrifice in the Passion gets downplayed too much and needs to be incorporated more.

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

Do you mean in sacrificing one self for the good of others?  Or Jesus's sacrifice specifically?  Because there's a lot of focus on the passion (thanks to the movie, more so).  But there's usually less talk about sacrificing for others.
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zen-ryo senshi replied the topic: Re: Zen-ryo's training log

Both.  Good Friday has an important reminder of how our sins need to be paid for and why we need a savior.  But it's Maunday Thursday that gets me most excited.  The command to love one another and to be servants to each other should be the central themes of living out our lives as forgiven sinners.

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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