The mental part of physical exercise

I’ve come to the part of my taekwondo training where the mental aspect is becoming very important, and the depth of the importance of the mental aspect is starting to become apparent. Obviously, it takes mental toughness to make it to class, practice at home, or push through a grueling sparring match. Also obvious is that our forms and one-step sparring have a sequence of moves that has to be learned. What is not so apparent at the start is the mental aspect of executing each technique. Techniques have a preparation, execution, and follow through. Applying a lot of force throughout each technique actually gets in the way of the execution. Rather, the main force should be applied right before contact so that the strength will be most effective and efficient. Also, all the pressing thoughts get in the way of any kind of technique.

So that’s where I am now. Conditioning so my body can be fit to do what I ask it to do, practice so it will remember how to execute technique, and calming the mind so it will get out of the way when it’s time to deliver the payload.

The “best buy” in public health for the West «

I spend over $200/mo so my family can have a common physical activity/sport we all do together (taekwondo). This in addition to the occasional mountain hikes or walks through the Biltmore estate we carry the children on. It’s the best money we can spend right now behind basic survival.

Some of the earlier epidemiological studies were done on the effect of exercise on heart attack rate in Britain. This was one of those results that passed the “interocular impact test” (smacks you between the eyes): no minuscule effect which has to be heavily powered to see.

Though done in the ’50s, those studies are as important today as ever. The Stats blog has the scoop.

Exercise update

Still going. Belt testing is in two weeks. I feel ready now, but then comes the first test: patience. Keep practicing what I know. Become intimate with the moves. Slow them down, and understand the technique very well. That kind of depth of knowledge is going to help at the higher belt ranks.

Exercise update 4

I did 5 hours of taekwondo this week, including 2 hours of sparring and even some jiujitsu. I also did an additional hour of running.

If I keep up this level of activity, I will have succeeded in my exercise goal beyond my wildest dreams.

Exercise update

Well, the third part of my new year’s resolution (yeah, remember those?!) — blogging — hasn’t gone so well. Neither this blog nor my professional blog over at Realizations has gone so well, at least in terms of frequency of updating. It’s not that I don’t have things to say, but, let’s just say that I’m out either doing the things I intended to journal about or paying the price of not getting laid off in a nasty economy. I’m thankful for that problem as opposed to the other side.

After kicking around the idea for a year, I decided to get back into taekwondo. (Ok, so pun intended.) As it turns out, my wife dropped by the local taekwondo studio a few weeks ago and really liked the place, so now 3 out of our 4 family members are going. About 28 years ago, I stuck with it long enough to get an orange belt, and now I’m starting over. This will give me a chance to refine technique and unlearn some bad habits established a while back (not necessarily as part of my childhood class). It also gives me a chance to practice beginner’s mind, which I can stand to practice far more often than I do, and if I get really creative I can figure out how to apply the principles of Anusara yoga to the practice. And the black uniforms rock.