The way of the cat

Anyone who has a family cat knows they are masters at doing precisely what they want; they eat, sleep, play, maintain and relax. They know the optical place to hang out in your home and have their schedule that fits their needs.

I think we can learn a lot from cats about how to navigate modern life and pandemics etc.  

As a martial artist, I started informal boxing at age 13 and had already been training in judo for some time. I journeyed through ten boxing matches, four Muay Thai matches, quite a few challenge/Vale Tudo matches, and hundreds of full contact stick fights in the Dog Brother format (fencing mask and good sticks). I have been grappling on and off since 1976, Judo, Wrestling, and BJJ for MMA.

Nothing unusual here for the period and for someone who wanted the challenge and to road test what he was being taught. Every coach will have a training regime for each art he is in; I used to back up training with hill running, sprint training, Rugby, yoga and powerlifting and right up into my late forties, it served me well.

Most of the long-term injuries I carry are not from martial arts training but my regular and freelance military career. Two high-speed pursuit crashes one helicopter crash, lots of small bits of shrapnel and other sharps, countless big bangs (shockwaves) near me and head impacts.  

I was always a reactional martial artist and coach, and when I shut down my school in 2005 and retired from teaching members of the general public, I was crippled.

I had a year or so off from training and thought about what I wanted to do, I know I wanted to research a few arts, and I also know I could not or did not want to keep up my old training regime.

I started looking at what other older coach did and found some of the posts by Dr Mark Cheng helpful. (2) Dr. Mark Cheng | Facebook

I now have a central theme that runs through my training and health maintenance; I try not to create unnecessary tension or “friction” in my body. I leave something in the tank, and I make sure I get enough rest between sets and training sessions. I no longer take hits to the head, and when I am grappling, I am very conservative with my energy and careful who I wrestle with.  The art I study has yoga-like short forms that are good for general health and remove minor injuries or tension.

I try to emulate the attitude of a cat; I take care to maintain and relax and enjoy life at the same time. There is a mental aspect; I try not to get triggered on martial arts forums, and I don’t feel I must put things right or challenge people.  

The results are excellent, and I feel a lot healthier than ten years ago, and this attitude has crossed over into my working life. I do less, am more relaxed and get promoted more.  

I am not a health expert, just a long serving martial artist and coach, but I recommend considering how you are training and what the central theme is running through your life. It’s all cool but worth considering and planning.  

All the very best in your training, stay safe.

Published by killickoffroadarts

Martial Artist, Adventurer and Privateer. Writer and Peace Activist. Duen de casa.

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