Heavy Training

This isn't just a post about training hard in martial arts -- though it is about that -- it's about training hard when one is very overweight. In the past year, I've lost clothing sizes even faster than I've gained belt ranks, and thinking back on the process, much of it was non-obvious. So, tonight I'd like to collect some of my thoughts where they can be seen by other overweight martial artists and their teachers and ukes. If you can stand and walk, you can start training in martial arts. I spoke to my sensei last summer about two martial arts sessions I'd been asked to lead at a local nerdcon. I was having a major case of imposter syndrome, being only an orange belt at the time and overweight to boot. Sensei chuckled and said he couldn't think of anyone better for the job. "As a general rule, the people who most need to study martial arts never will. Nobody in a room full of computer geeks and gamers is going to listen to a word I say, but you speak their language. They might listen to you." Sensei was right on both counts. The face of martial…

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For anyone who ever doubted that martial arts study teaches kids hard work and discipline.

Today's mail brought a very nice card from my son's and my old Sensei and his wife asking how we've been since we moved, and whether we'd found a new place to study karate. I wrote a short letter in return, letting them know that our new city is treating us well, that we found a great new dojo (which I'll post more about later), and mentioning my son's new found diligence in practicing each day. My son drew a picture for Sensei's wife (a great lady who also helps with karate classes). I asked whether he'd drawn one for Sensei, too. He said "No, Senseis don't want pictures. Sensei will like this," handing me a second piece of paper. It read: Dear Sensei, I do my job at karate every day. and was signed at the bottom.…

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