Postby Shelly King » Mon Nov 08, 1999 7:05 pm


I didn't realize you were in Missouri. If you're ever around St. Louis on a Monday or Wednesday, let me know and bring your gi.

Shelly King


Postby Roy Bedard » Tue Nov 09, 1999 5:45 am


I always like a good challenge. I'll do my best to clarify my position that "we train for training's sake".

Any undertaking which requires an intense long term commitment has to be nurtured and sustained at some point by the commitment itself.
Let's take losing weight for instance. Experts will tell you that the number one reason that well intentioned people fail to lose weight is their lack of adherence to a proper weight loss program. In other words - most people quit before achieving any results.

In order to understand the difficulty associated with any weight loss program we have to look at the methodology required to effectively lose weight.

Here's the break down. The experts tell us that there are two essential components to a weight loss program. Proper diet and a proper exercise program. If a person attempts to lose weight , and losing weight is dependent on proper diet and proper exercise, then a proper diet and a proper exercise plan must be compelling enough for a person to stick to them. If either the diet, or the exercise program fails, weight loss, the dependent variable, will fail as well.

If the diet is bland,boring, tasteless, or unexciting, within time, a person will abandon it-feeling that it is not worth the cost of "losing weight". A dieter will rationilize their dieting decision, cheat on their diet and then abandon it all together.

Furthermore, if an exercise program is too intense or too demanding - it too will be abandoned,by the exerciser who will decide that the pain of "losing weight" is not worth the value of "losing weight".

For many people, losing weight becomes a life long process beyond their ability to ever achieve. Their life is a continuous cycle of dieting, exercising, quitting, frustration, dieting, exercising, quitting, frustration.

In retrospect, the solution of course is to change the focus from "losing weight" to the components of "losing weight". That of course means that focus shifts to the diet itself and the exercise program itself. These are the independent variables of the equation for successful weight loss. You see if weight loss becomes greater than the sum of it's two parts, then it is bound for failure. The idealistic objective cannot be sustained.

In summary, you must diet for the sake of dieting. You must learn to enjoy dieting by finding nutritious, enjoyable, healthy foods that you can live with. You have to become so creative with dieting, that it will actually take on a life of it's own. You have to immerse yourself in dieting so much that you find yourself talking about it and reading about it. You'll get excited about going to a restaurant and looking at the menu in a whole new way. You'll actually enjoy reading the back of the food containers you buy, and calculating the fats, carbs and proteins. in short, you will achieve a spiritual oneness with it that is self sustaining.

The same goes for your exercise program. You have to develop an exercise program that you really appreciate, one that you can stick to, one that is enjoyable, one that captures you in such a way that for the first time in your life you won't care about completing the exercise routine. All you'll care about is the exercise itself. In time you will immerse yourself in it so much that your friends will call you a fitness "nut" and you will find yourself thinking about exercise all of the time.One day you'll find yourself buying a fitness magazine and your next serious purchase will probably be a great pair of running shoes. Your wardrobe will suddenly be filled with workout clothes and you'll begin to prefer headphones over the home stereo. Your body will not feel right when you stop exercising and your brain will turn to gel if you skip an exercise session. In time, you will wake up to find yourself exercising for the sake of exercise...because you want need it.

In a short time you will also discover weight loss, but not because you intended it. You will realize that "weight loss" is only a by product of these other endeavors you have committed yourself to. You won't be that excited about it because the process you have undertaken has become more rewarding than anything weight loss could have ever done for you. You'll realize what the old zen masters have been saying all along - that getting there is always better than being there.

The desire to lose weight, you now realize is nothing more than trying to get the tail to wag the dog. It is the least important part of the animal but in our lives it is often the focus of our attention.

The martial arts are the same way. Hell, everything is the same way. I will agree there are several draws to a martial arts dojo. One may be to lose weight.You might want to be 'bad' like Chuck Norris, or feel more self confident, or impress the chicks, or attain some level of enlightenment,or ...who knows - and who really cares?

All or any of these things may bring you into the Dojo - but none of them will keep you there. Not for the years it takes to become a "martial artist". Intuitively, you know this. You see people come and go all of the time. Right? Why do they leave? Obviously something attracted them in the first place. Does that something go away? No, it's always there. But the tail can only wag the dog so long.It will tire and naturally it will quit. The martial arts are too demanding, too frustrating, too painful (in your case too expensive) and not worth the price of any of those things casual attractions. If in the process, you don't learn to become a martial "nut" , and appreciate training for its own sake - you will leave. You might stay a little while' but eventually - you will leave. If you train for any other reason, besides the sake of training - your enthusiasm will not be able to sustain itself and eventually you will leave.
I hope you stick around.


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Roy Bedard
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Postby David Elkins » Tue Nov 09, 1999 11:21 pm


You already read my article and it's not even posted yet Image

David Elkins
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Postby David Elkins » Fri Nov 12, 1999 10:27 pm

I just wanted to let anyone interested know that the article to which I referred in an earlier post has been added to the "ARTICLES" section of the forum.

It is a very personal reflection that may or may not coincide with the conclusions that others have reached about their karate.

It was written for a strength journal and therefore will have references to lifting. I hope that you enjoy.

David Elkins
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 1999 6:01 am


Postby herb goldstein » Fri Dec 03, 1999 10:08 pm

Roy, I will begin by saying that your article was very insightful. Once again someone in one of these forums has caused me to have to look deep within myself and question my beliefs. I am 6'0 230lbs and have a pretty high threshold for pain. That being said, reflexively it is not usually my first thought to make opponents "miss". Some of this is because generally the bigger a person is, the harder it is for them to get out of the way. Some of it is because I feel that if I am in on an opponent, when they make their mistake I want to make them pay for it. The combination of size and threshold usually leads me to take the approach of knock down the attack then punish the attacker. I do not at all mind standing toe to toe. (Yes everyone, I know I know-- stow the EGO). I am not used to having someone trading more powerful blows with me so I have found myself in an improper mindset-- don't run from an attack that can't hurt you. My Hapkido Master rides me saying "the wiser man does not even waste the energy to block a feeble attack in the first place". He always preaches how much more effective it is to make the opponent miss you and when their frustration leads to a mistake-- then "finish" it. After reading this article and "More on Power" article from Brat maybe I should listen to him.
herb goldstein
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