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Training Out-of-Doors…

If you’re lucky enough to be living here in Beautiful BC- you know as well as I do that the gods of ‘good training weather’ are about to awaken from their deep, rain-soaked slumber.

There are a-great many places to train here in Vic when the dojo is unavailable or…when you just want to train outside. Personally, I recommend training outside whenever you can…I feel it is one of the more beneficial ways to train the martial arts. The uneven ground trains stabilizing muscles, the fresh air gives you more energy, and yep…no clock on the wall. Here are some things to keep in mind when training outside…

Pick a good spot for your dojo. Consider a spot that has a fair amount of seclusion…you’ll want to Kiai strong and not disturb nearby residents. You may not feel comfortable at first with onlookers so if you must train in an area with them, bring a training partner for support. Pick an area that has an active sport schedule like a soccer or softball pitch. The people around are more likely to be used to shouting/outdoor activities and training.

The ‘trample factor’ will need to be considered as Karate training will take it’s toll on any type of organic ground and the last thing you want is to ‘ruin’ the area for others. Consider what to wear. I recommend wearing black gi pants with your white gi top and belt or at the least…the black gi pants w/old long sleeved shirt. If you decide not to wear your Karate Gi, you may find you have more of a ‘casual’ attitude towards the training and, in some cases, require more focus.

Shoes or no shoes? If you decide to go without shoes you will want to incorporate a grounds inspection into your start-up/warm-up routine and complete a thorough scan of the training area for undesirable debris. If you prefer to train in shoes, I’d recommend getting a snug-fitting pair of Kung-Fu Shoes with an outdoor sole from china town or Kata Trading – but, of course, bare-foot training on dirt is one ofmy favourite things to do!

I hope you learn to enjoy outdoor training as much as I do…Some of the most memorable classes I’ve had were outside under a HUGE oak tree I called “Grandfather” (most of the students who trained under that particular tree just called him “Gary”), but every time I pass by that particular spot…I always think back to the mornings of sweat and grass-stains – some classes that went 3-hours ’cause we lost track of time-some classes which had kids mimicking us in the nearby field……maybe it’s time I pay Grandfather a visit.

Sensei Mitch.

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Categories: The Knowledge Pool
  1. tamarasheehan
    March 9, 2008 at 7:07 am

    Sign me up, if you feel like you want company. The weather’s just right.

  2. thr33n0r
    March 29, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    I know my home training dropped off precipitously when the weather became inhospitable over the winter. I’m seriously looking forward to the time when my ‘spot in the woods’ has thawed sufficiently for me to resume my morning visits.

  3. sempainicky
    April 6, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Yeaaaaah! I’m with Tam… I’m ready for outdoor training anytime. In fact, call me up if you want outdoor kata practice, anyone.

    I went to the park near my house today to do think about my essays, and it was, of course, impossible not to train once I was there. It’s so easy to feel the energy when you’re surrounded by living things.

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