Ohmigod. Yesterday's class was SOLID. It was tough and challenging and just plain HARD. I am mad at myself for not being able to keep up to some of the routines. I cannot believe that after years of doing this I am still struggling with some of the workouts.
I love martial arts. Actually, if I wasn't so focused on endurance sports, karate and kickboxing would have been it for me. It gives me such a rush! And to be able to let it rip at the end of the class... aaah pure bliss.
I used to be a real karate/kickboxing junkie. I took up kickboxing when I first started working just because I had all the extra energy that needed to be released. It's not as poetic as karate, but it was just fun. It was all about kicking and punching combos and believe it or not some of them would tire you out you'd scream for your mother. It's funny because I was good with kicking in karate but in kickboxing I prefer the boxing part.
Kickboxing especially works when you're having a bad day - especially if you're having a bad day. The whole stress just melts out when you pound and pound the bag. We usually do about 7 sets of punching combos and in between would have to do endless amounts of crunches and situps. And you have to do it fast and while boxing you have to sort of shuffle with your feet. Guys love the boxing part more than the kicking. You would see them channeling all of their energy just to pummel the bag while dancing around. It's a great rush. I also love it when I get to do the kicking when the instructor's the one holding the pad. I get to give it my all and not worry about having my partner toppling over (girls are significantly weaker than guys and usually when we do kicking you would see girls either toppling or shifting to the sides due to the repeated kicking)
Why I like karate so much is because it's an art form. Martial arts, especially one that goes back to the olden days, always have with them their own ritual and school of thought. Karate, in all its viciousness, is a relaxing form of martial art. Unlike kickboxing where you just let it rip, karate has procedures and stages and they have to be done with utmost respect and discpline. My type of karate is called shito ryu, which is different form the wildly practiced shotokan in malaysia. It's a faster, speedier version than the hard and stocky shotokan. Also because most of the dachi (stance) used in Shito Ryu is the Cat Stance (nekoashi dachi), which I find totally neat and not because I'm a cat lover. Shito ryu also focuses on leg strength. There would be days where we would just spend an hour doing various versions of front squats! I remember a time when we had to squat for full 5 minutes. Of course we cheated. Also it's a version that considers kumite (sparring) as essential. I don't really like this part. I always get nervous when I have to spar. I always lose out because I'm just not fast enough.
It's like 10 days or so to the SCKLM. I haven't been running at all since Sundown. I signed up for a 42k but I think I'm going to give it a go and run as long as I could until I feel like it's enough. I don't mind not finishing it as long as I could run with friends. My dad would be doing a 10k there as well. It's high time for him to get a new pair of shoes. Any suggestions? I'm thinking of getting him a nicer better pair but I need suggestions as I've only been using Reeboks and one sole New Balance in my life. What's a good sturdy pair of running shoes for 58 year old uncle who only runs mostly 10k? He's like me, a moderate supinator.