Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Ok, so I know that I'm not training to be a shaolin master, or compete in Ninja Warrior or the UFC and wushu isn't even an Olympic sport, so I shouldn't feel compelled to train 7 - or even 4 - days a week. I'm not looking to make a career or compete in kung fu. This means I have the rest of my life to train and don't need to be in a hurry to master something if I would rather take the night off and do... whatever normal people do on a night off.

But what if I want to train that much? Today, there was nothing doing at work and I thought I would slip out for another double, just for fun. But in debating it with myself I came to the fairly rational conclusion that I was already sore and I had already trained S/M/T, and I didn't want to be beat for L2, or worse, injure myself over-training right before the retreat.

Talking with Richu, he once told me if you're crazy enough you can train through pain. My pain tolerance is low I guess. When something hurts I can't be a stoic and I'm paranoid about injury having thus far avoided anything serious. That makes it hard for me to determine when I actually DO need a break. Around day 4 when the muscles are throbbing and joints are aching I think I need to give them a night off to rebuild and recover, even if what I want to do is go to class. Logic and the study of human physiology say this is reasonable and wise. My embittered and stubborn ego says it is weak and complaining and I should suck it up and train harder if I want to get stronger. Everyone else trains through tiredness and soreness and I am just being a martyr... Where's the line for fanaticism?

But seriously, I am struggling with finding the balance that works for my mind, my body and my ambitions. I WANT to be able to train more without feeling like a lead weight, but the class after a night or two off feels so much better than the fourth night in a row. But if I take nights off how will I ever get stronger and be able to train those day classes on a whim without worrying about a potential over-training injury? I can't afford a full time masseuse and chiropractor like a professional athlete. and I don't want to be a professional athlete. But I don't want to be an amateur either just dabbling around. I know that if I want to excel I have to do more concerted training outside of class, but I don't want to be an all consumed workout-aholic. I do have other interests... Stop laughing. I DO. They're just not as interesting... Oh well, as we say, train harder. Just do it. More chi. And so on.


  1. Amituofo,

    Its funny you bring this up because I often think of my ambitions and goals for training are to imporve and to master the movement since I teach Kung Fu. In fact I was thinking on this subject just today when I was walking up the stairs and I realized how much more I needed to work to get to where I'd like.

    On the second half of the post...before I post my thoughts about how often training should be done, I want to ask you how you feel about your progress. You've been going to the Temple for quite some time now and are immersed in Lv. 2 alongside of being a have a grasp of what your body has gone through after several experiments of training intensities...most people even begin to subtly or greatly change their schedules/way of life just so they can meet and keep up with their training habits that they feel work for them.

    So my question is...when do you feel like you progess more; after several classes non-stop or after a more relaxed training schedule? If you feel like you are able to get more accomplished by taking a few days to rest and recover after a long and strenous training period, then that is the most effective way for you to train.

    Personally... I progress the most when I take Mon/Tues/Thrus/Fri/Sat classes and break Wednesdays and Sunday. The one day break lets me relax somewhat and then still maintain my hype. But it is different for everyone. You are not a bad student if you are smart about your training.

    Hope this helps/brings in another perspective

    Shi Heng Zhan

  2. I have a different dilemma. I want to train 4 times a week. But which days of the week? It was easy when I could only train on Tuesday, Thursday and weekend. Now I have all the options. I don't want to miss any level 2 classes because they are fun. At the same time, I don't want to only train level 2 because I feel level 1 classes help maintain my stamina and I started liking teaching.

    Another dilemma is where and what to eat after all these classes.

  3. As much as I love duck and pork soup from Marco Polo, and as much as I love hanging out with the peeps, I find I feel best after training if I don't eat a heavy meal. Something light and protein-y like eggs or some sort of hearty smoothie sits much better on my stomach. Lots of carbs and meat right after class, while delicious, usually make me feel blech later on.