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John Boswell 11-04-2003 10:46 AM

Pushing your limits during training
 
I have a few questions for those of you who have been in similar situations before:

SITUATION ONE - Physical Limits: First one was at a seminar, I was training well the first day but eventually reached a point where I felt physically wiped out/ slightly dizzy/ unsure. I didn't want to hurt anyone or myself and I really felt like the longer I stayed on the mat, the more of a danger I was than anything else. Granted... I had been off the mat for a couple months prior to the seminar, but still... was a bit unsure of whether to keep going or not.

SITUATION TWO - Mental Limits: Had a bad night at home, fiancee' was upset with life in general and that rubbed off on me as I'm... walking out the door. (felt guilty about that) SO... I'm in class, working on technique and my mind goes blank. I called "time" and told my Sensei I really wanted to sit out doing anymore technique and that I would take ukemi at least, but that I just couldn't concentrate enough to participate and DO technique.

SO... all this is in my head, yet there are a various schools of thought that encourage "pushing through" and "push your limits" etc.

Any veterans out there have advice on what physical limits to push? How?

Mental limits to push or overcome? advice on how that's done? :(

Looking for feedback on this one, please. Thanks!

:ai: :ki:

Ron Tisdale 11-04-2003 12:11 PM

I think its most important to push the mental limits...less danger there, and often more benefit. The physical limit pushing is important when you are basically healthy and in shape. After a layoff, especially, I would be cautious about how and when I push against feeling physically ill (I'm over 40, so there are legitimate health concerns). I would expect someone in their 20s to have different limits, of course.

I think the marines (or some military group) ask the question 'are you hurt or are you injured?' You push through being hurt, but when injured, assess the injury before further training so that you don't damage yourself. Its often not as clear when it comes to coming back on the mat after a layoff...

For what its worth,

Ron

Conrad 11-04-2003 02:30 PM

Would not consider myself a veteran, but I do have a couple of thoughts for you.



As far as physical limits are concerned, sometimes you really need to pushing through that stuff. You might have to do some endurance trainig out side of class...such as running, hiking, biking...etc. However, if you are dizzy or filling extremly light headed, take a break get some water and resume when your ready. With that said though, I think a big part of pushing thru physical limits, is to have a strong understanding of your mental limits. Don't let your mind talk your body out of improving its physical status. I will use the memory of summer-two a day football practice(not as hard core as marine training, but tough all the same). When doing laps aroud the field in the hot sun...I can remember thinking of so many excusses to stop running, but you press on and finish, and it pays off in the big game. Or in our case, on the mat during a seminar.

As for your second situation. Well as a married man, I'll just say this: that kind of thing is going to happen every now and then, even after your married....part of life and it goes both ways. Advice, well try to focus, leave your personal stuff off the mat...and if that doesn't help, take ukemi for an entire class(works for me). If nothing else, you can work out some frustration. Nothing like break falls to clear the mind and the sinuses:-). With all joking aside, it is imporant to have a clear mind before steping on the mat, so maybe try some focus meditation or some ki exercises to release that bottled up mental energy.

Good luck and train hard.

Jason

mj 11-04-2003 02:50 PM

I pretty much agree with all that, in the first case you should have sat at the side of the mat for a few minutes at least.

Aristeia 11-04-2003 03:43 PM

Re: Pushing your limits during training
 
Quote:

John Boswell wrote:
SITUATION TWO - Mental Limits: Had a bad night at home, fiancee' was upset with life in general and that rubbed off on me as I'm... walking out the door. (felt guilty about that) SO... I'm in class, working on technique and my mind goes blank. I called "time" and told my Sensei I really wanted to sit out doing anymore technique and that I would take ukemi at least, but that I just couldn't concentrate enough to participate and DO technique.

I don't know about anyone else but for me this is one of the real benefits of training. No matter how bad a day I've had when I hit the mat it's a different world and I can lose myself in the details of the art and everything else just kinda fades away for 90 minutes.

sanosuke 11-04-2003 07:51 PM

Quote:

SITUATION TWO - Mental Limits: Had a bad night at home, fiancee' was upset with life in general and that rubbed off on me as I'm... walking out the door. (felt guilty about that) SO... I'm in class, working on technique and my mind goes blank. I called "time" and told my Sensei I really wanted to sit out doing anymore technique and that I would take ukemi at least, but that I just couldn't concentrate enough to participate and DO technique.
sometimes overcoming our mental limits is much harder than overcome our physical limits, but in my case, one of the reason for going to dojo for training is to relax myself from my problem a bit, thus the training itself is the means of overcoming my mental limits. but if you can't concentrate on doing technique, just make yourself as uke. in my experience everytime i fall on the mat my mental problems felt like lifted bits by bits.

Quote:

SITUATION ONE - Physical Limits: First one was at a seminar, I was training well the first day but eventually reached a point where I felt physically wiped out/ slightly dizzy/ unsure. I didn't want to hurt anyone or myself and I really felt like the longer I stayed on the mat, the more of a danger I was than anything else. Granted... I had been off the mat for a couple months prior to the seminar, but still... was a bit unsure of whether to keep going or not.
'was a bit unsure of whether to keep going or not'. John, there's nothing worse than injury caused by overwork. Pushing your stamina/endurance might cost you weeks or even months due to injury, but if you take a break for a while maybe you just cost a day or two,but you can keep on training for following weeks and months.

John Boswell 11-05-2003 08:59 AM

Quote:

Pushing your stamina/endurance might cost you weeks or even months due to injury, but if you take a break for a while maybe you just cost a day or two,but you can keep on training for following weeks and months.
That's a good point. You would think it'd be obvious, but if it were, I wouldn't have been asking. Thanks for bringing this up.

As for the first part, many of you have said you just step on the mat and leave the world behind... or something to that extent. Well, I wish it were so easy. If anyone can break down into simplier steps on just how one can do THAT... it would be apprechiated. My "world" seems to haunt me wherever I go. :(

holmesking 11-05-2003 10:00 AM

Two cents from a (relative) newbie:

I think its important to recognize and accept physical limitations, and the effects of ignoring them.

Physical discomfort-to an extent-is one thing. "no pain no gain".

At the same time, fatique, lightheadedness, any condition that prevents you from being aware and focused on what you are doing can be plain dangerous.

We do a lot of things in training that are potentially dangerous. Training in a state where physical limitations prevent you from being safe (ie not being able to respond quickly and alertly while doing ukemi) might not, imho, be the best idea.

Fatigue, lightheadedness, cramps, etc... are often signs that your body is trying to communicate something to you--heat exaustion, dehydration, etc...

Don't ignore your body's warnings just to get in a couple of extra reps.

-Holmes

akiy 11-05-2003 11:51 AM

From my own experience at least, I run up against my mental "limitations" far sooner than I run up against my physical ones. Usually, when I work through my mental "limitations," I can keep going much longer physically than I had thought before.

-- Jun

SeiserL 11-05-2003 01:19 PM

Dirty Harry, "Its a wise man who knows his limits."

There is a time to push through your limits and a time to respect them. Training, physically and mentally should help to expand our limits but pushing too hard will hrut us and others and is only a sign of macho foolishness.

Always train with wisdom, not ego.

Janet Rosen 11-05-2003 02:03 PM

Quote:

Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
Usually, when I work through my mental "limitations," I can keep going much longer physically than I had thought before.

-- Jun

I've been finding this to be very true. My mind tells me its time to sit down before my knee tells me its time to sit down. So I've been telling my mind, just one more technique, then if the knee hurts, its time to sit down for real. And most classes I end up not having to sit down.

However....yes, the body messages should be taken very seriously in order to avoid injury.

Nick Simpson 11-05-2003 02:38 PM

I always find mental limits harder to push than physical ones ( Im always up for pushing my physical limits, but no matter how hard I train/run/swim/lift weights, randori always kills me :p ). Ive only ever really had a problem once though, I was too angry to train because of personal reasons and I knew that I would either end up injuring myself or someone else because I couldnt think clearly, so I sat that session out and just watched.

ajbarron 11-05-2003 08:19 PM

At 52 I find the physical is just starting to impede the mental....so I start with the mental and when that is tired move to the physical...let the physical get tired then revert back to the mental.

I can keep going all night.

(how many can say that!!!!!!!)

Abasan 11-05-2003 10:25 PM

"Mental limits to push or overcome? advice on how that's done"

I find sometimes that training alone (gym work, cardio etc) is sometimes more difficult then compared to working out with a partner. Its not as if the partner has to give you moral support verbally, it is enough to see that the partner is exerting himself and that you join him doing it. Sort of like a mini competition.

If I'm out of breath and tired, I grit my teeth and keep at it. All the while reminding myself that Osensei said don't train like tofu.

Jeanne Shepard 11-05-2003 11:25 PM

Did O Sensei really say that?!!

Jeanne

ian 11-06-2003 06:21 AM

Unfortunately when attacked we are rarely at our best (often tired, drunk or busy doing something else) - spirit forging is about doing what has to be done, and training when you don't particularly feel like it or pushing yourself harder is great spirit forging,

Ian

Abasan 11-06-2003 09:50 PM

Jeanne,

He did but i paraphrased it. Its in the book where there's this collection of essays from reknown aikidoists, like stevens, dobson etc.

osensei had two chapters in the front followed by 2nd doshu.

I can't exactly remember the title, that's why i'm elaborating like this. aikido and new age warriors or something like that.

Anyway.. tofu was definitely mentioned.

Bronson 11-10-2003 02:27 AM

Quote:

Ian Dodkins (ian) wrote:
Unfortunately when attacked we are rarely at our best

One of the local Uechi-ryu instructors says "you're only as good as your worst day".

Do you think you'll be attacked when you're walking upright with both hands free in the daylight on level ground? No way! You'll be attacked when you're carrying groceries in one hand and using a crutch with the other because your leg's in a cast, while walking the dog, trying to get your keys out and answering your cell phone, while on an icy hillside in the dark. So you better train for that day.

Bronson :D

Abasan 11-10-2003 03:49 AM

"Do you think you'll be attacked when you're walking upright with both hands free in the daylight on level ground? No way! You'll be attacked when you're carrying groceries in one hand and using a crutch with the other because your leg's in a cast, while walking the dog, trying to get your keys out and answering your cell phone, while on an icy hillside in the dark. So you better train for that day."

Heh Heh, reminds me of one remark that was often talked about by this UK self defence teacher.

He said that a lot of ppl get attacked when they are doing their business in the stalls. The modus operandi is that, once you have your trousers between your legs, one guy will grab your legs and pull you out of the door (stalls with openings below) thereby giving you a solid knock on the head (hopefully thats all). And whilst you're still grappling with the notion that you are naked and feeling crappy with your head knocked to bits, the other guy mugs you.

I wonder what kinda aikido move we'll be doing to get out of that?

Nick Simpson 11-10-2003 09:05 AM

How about the " dont use stalls with gaps under the doors waza " ?

Ron Tisdale 11-10-2003 09:10 AM

Kind of funny, but I do know aikido instructors who have addressed this issue, and related ones.

It would kind of leave you in a vulnerable position, wouldn't it?

Ron :)

kung fu hamster 11-10-2003 09:26 AM

and even if you could manage a technique, would you still feel like 'protecting' those people?

:)

aikidocapecod 11-10-2003 10:05 AM

If we go to the dojo, practice technique, but ignore O'Sensei's prime objective, to live within the laws of the universe, have we learned anything besides technique? We could just as easily attend classes in techniques with Smith&Wesson.

Aikido, to me, is a life lesson in self control. I am often asked by new students if Aikido is really effective...can you really hurt somebody with Aikido. I always say to them, why do you want to hurt somebody?

Bronson 11-10-2003 11:53 AM

Quote:

ahmad abas (Abasan) wrote:
He said that a lot of ppl get attacked when they are doing their business in the stalls.

In Dave Lowry's excellent book Autumn Lightning, he tells a story of his sensei coming in on him while DL was using the bathroom. His sensei then told him that to be ready for an attack while doing your business you should always sit and pull one leg completely out of your pants. That way if you need to move suddenly you won't get tripped up.
Quote:

Larry Murray (Larry Murray) wrote:
I always say to them, why do you want to hurt somebody?

I by no means want to hurt anybody, but I would rather be able to cause pain/injury and choose not to than be unable in the first place (check my signature).

Bronson

aikidocapecod 11-10-2003 12:00 PM

I have seen your signature in other posts,,and it is great!! Also, I had learned from reading some of your other comments that inflicting pain on others is not something you would look forward to.

The line in Mr. Lowry's book is an excellent point. It teaches one that she/he must be ready in all situations. Aikido teaches self awareness. That one must be ready to reidirect an attack at any time from any direction.


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