Thursday, 1 January 2009

Training ?

The kwoon has been shut for a fortnight and I'm getting withdrawal symptoms.I've been to the gym most days but that just isn't the same. It's not that I feel a need to sweat and exercise per se. Of course the gym provides this although - despite having done so for years now - pushing weights bores me and the sauna and steam room are definitely the best bits . I find the gym no more than a necessary evil for fitness and strength maintenance and more generally a corrective for sitting on my arse for a living (if I had a more active job I'd probably just concentrate on the martial arts). In otherwords it's 'training' rather than fun.

I had a conversation about this with an old friend who is a serious distance runner. He's has some injuries which meant an enforced lay-off. We both said that we were missing 'training'. But then we came to talk about it more we wondered if training wasn't a misnomer.

In my case, I'm not training for anything. I don't compete - there's no big fight I'm preparing for. Some people talk about 'training for the street' but that is just macho bollocks - life is too short and if you look you for that kind of trouble you will almost certainly find it. You could say that I train to get better - but at the risk of sounding too zen - it's when you consciously try to improve that you usually end up worse. My running friend does compete, and at quite a high level, but equally much of the time he runs only for the sake of running - without a stopwatch and without much idea of where he's going to end up.

Truth is martial arts isn't really training at all. It's fun, or at least it should be - done simply for the sheer hell of it. Why else would you choose to make it a lifelong pastime? Or anything else for that matter ?

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