Have you ever wanted to stop training when you were tired, sore or it was getting confusing or becoming a chore?
I have many times!
However the most rewarding training sessions that I have ever had are the ones where I pushed through those feelings of soreness, exhaustion and doubt and completed every push up, punch, kick and Kata.
I also finished them to the best of my ability, this created an amazing feeling of self achievement and self esteem.
In my years of competition training I was up early doing my endurance and speed training which normally consisted of some form of run or sprint session. Needless to say these hard sessions were not my favourite, I would of preferred to be sparring and running through Kumite drills!
The endurance and explosiveness I needed for top level Kumite required serious sessions in conjunction with my skills, there were many days, actually most of them that I would of preferred to ignore my alarm clock and roll over and continue sleeping!
My first amazing Sensei Geoff Spice gave me some great advice – “If your training is becoming a chore then it may be time to stop”!
I never stopped, I chose to make the most of these workouts and looked at them as an essential part of my day, all I had to do was to make sure that I started the session and my determination to do my best would ensure that I never took a short cut or finished early.
It was this dedication to finish what I had started that is the major reason for my international success as an athlete and now it is transferring into the success of my athletes that I am coaching!
Also the high fitness level that I have maintained is solely due to this diligence that I displayed when I was younger – my resting heart rate now at the age of 47 is still in the low 40 beats per second, where it was when I was at my peak in my 20′s! Actually to ensure accuracy of print I just paused my keyboard work to check, its pumping at a consistent 43!
Many of my students kindly refer to me as a FREAK, I simply think of it as fortunate. I was very fortunate at a young age to have discovered a wonderful lifestyle of martial arts a lifestyle that has continued to help me for over 3 decades.
During this time I have had the privilege and pleasure of training thousands of Karateka, and I always learn something new and exciting from each one of them.
We have a special Nidan in the Dojo at the moment, his name is Garry Maher. I refer to him as young Garry due to his youthful age of 71! Garry entered the Dojo in the 6th decade of an amazing life where he had recovered from numerous knee reconstructive surgeries and even open heart surgery!
Everytime that Garry would come into train, which was usually 6 days out of 7 I would always enquire on how his day was going. His reply was always the same and it has stuck with me, its goes something like this: “its a great day – its simply a decision when I wake up!”
So the gem of knowledge that I have learnt from Young Garry is simple but very rewarding, it is only a decision! You can decide from the start of your day or the start of your next training session for that matter how it is going to be! Will it always go to plan? Does anything ALWAYS, NO but you can make that simple decision to give it your best effort and I guarantee that you will finish feeling satisfied, rewarded and very proud of yourself.
During your training in the Dojo or even in your lounge room with this website all that I ask is that you decide to do your very best and EARN the rest that will follow.
It will result in a lifetime of rewards, much more than just a few martial arts skills!
So until my next post, decide to enjoy your training.
Yours in Karate do,
Wayne MacDonald SHIHAN