One of the problems I'm facing is proportioning my time between general fitness training and specific karate training, particularly the stuff on the black belt syllabus. Over the last couple of weeks I've moved from doing mainly fitness training to doing mainly karate training. This is because there is so much to cover and I need to make quite a lot of progress in certain areas, particularly in some of the kihon (basics) which are very detailed and prescriptive.
A kick can't just be any old kick it has to be a super high-quality 'Marks & Spencer' style kick. Well some of my kicks are only 'Tesco' quality at the moment (some may even be 'Budgens'). No disrespect meant to these supermarkets - they operate in different customer markets but you get my drift.
So how do you get from Budgens to Marks & Spencer with your kicks? Well it's just a case of checking your technique is correct and then practice, practice, practice. So this is what I have been doing. Lots.
However, spending much of my home training time practising basic kihon has meant that I don't have a lot of time to follow my general fitness program so I have had to prioritise and double up where possible. So instead of shadow boxing for endurance training I now go through all 12 of my kihon combinations several times. Believe me, when you are putting all your power and effort into performing these you really work up a sweat and get your heart going!
I am still doing squat training, balance training and the push up challenge on a regular basis and I try to do the flexibility exercises at least twice a week. The push up challenge has actually become the most constant exercise in my week. I have been following the program with almost religious zeal and I'm making progress. On Saturday (the end of week 5) I managed 120 push ups divided into 8 sets (with 30 done in the last set). However, I didn't do so well with the exhaustion set - I could only get to 35 whereas I needed to get to 45 to move onto the next week of the program. So I am repeating week 5 again this week. But hey, 120 push ups in 15 minutes (with short breaks between sets)? No way I could have done that a few weeks ago!
So, where to go now? I think I will be reviewing my training aims and re-planning my program a bit to reflect the need to spend more time practising specific karate techniques. I need to be thinking about by ippon kumite techniques (1 step sparring) and self defence techniques as well as continuing to practice kata and kihon. However, strength, fitness and flexibility are also important so I still need to fit this in somewhere.....
Keep you posted. Happy training!