Archive for fitness

Why Practice Tai Chi? By: Sifu Herb Parran

Posted in Health, Internal Arts, Taijiquan with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2014 by Combative Corner

Herb Parran Tai Chi 2Tai Chi is practiced by ten percent of the world’s population and is vastly becoming the most popular exercise in the world. Tai Chi is a valuable tool for improving health in a corporate setting. Companies see that Tai Chi improves productivity by helping employees to be happy, relaxed, and creative.

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese art, in the beginning it was purely used as a martial art. It was also a guarded family treasure passed down from generation to generation. Now many all over the world practice Tai Chi for health, relaxation, stress reduction and a state of well-being. There are many styles of Tai Chi, the most practiced is the Yang style. Other styles include Chen, Sun, Wu and Wu Hao, however the principles are the most important. Tai Chi is an internal art practiced slowly to gain balance, endurance and flexibility. Its form is a continuing motion from one posture to another.

Herb Parran Tai Chi 3Tai Chi differs from most arts because people of all ages can practice it. Many people with disabilities and illnesses practice Tai Chi as therapy. No one is restricted from practicing Tai Chi, and yet Tai Chi can benefit the fittest athletes, just as it benefits elderly arthritis sufferers. Tai Chi has no belt or ranking system because the benefits of Tai Chi can be felt and not seen.

By practicing Tai Chi’s relaxed movements every day, we allow the muscles to release tension on the bones. Tai Chi recognizes that the body always wants to be in most healthy posture possible.
Guidelines about fall prevention in older people from the American Geriatrics Society recommend tai chi balance puts less stress on the body throughout the day and you will find that you have more energy as Tai Chi practice improves your balance. According to a balance study conducted by Harvard and Yale University, Tai Chi practitioners fall and injure themselves only half as much as those practicing other balance training. For aging Americans, the simple act of falling can be fatal; it is the sixth largest cause of death for older Americans.

Other Benefits of Tai Chi:
• Boosts the immune system
• Slows aging process
• Lowers high blood pressure
• Increases breathing capacity
• Reduces asthmatic issues
• Alleviate stress responses & stress level
• Aids senior citizens to improve mobility
• Improves balance & coordination

Sifu Herb Parran
314-397-2560
www.TraditionalTaiji.com

The Rhinocerus in the Living Room

Posted in Health, Miscellaneous, Nutrition with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2013 by chencenter

DISCLAIMER: Everyone’s dietary needs are different based on a number of factors including lifestyle, diet, medications and more.  To find out if these* (i.e. diet, etc.) needs are met/need changing, consult your doctor – and better yet, read the scientific studies and make an informed decision regarding your personal health & wellness.

lunas-living-kitchenThis article was originally published on my YourTherapy website to introduce my friends, family and clients to the changes I was (and still am) making with my diet.  It has been a couple of months since then, and now, I’d like to share it with my CombativeCorner family.  I want to make it clear that I’m not trying to “convert” anyone to a particular diet, because I am also a believer that “variety is the spice of Life.” However, I do wish to fuel your brain and stoke your awareness to “healthy, nutritional eating” and to reinforce what you already know- that “greens are good” and the majority of people are not getting enough.

THE RHINOCEROS IN THE ROOM, whether at a dinner party, family function or even posting on Facebook, seems to be diet & nutrition.  Especially here in The South (which really isn’t any different from any other U.S. state), they look at you like you’ve got a spike growing out of your face when they find out that you don’t eat animals.  When they find out that you don’t eat dairy either, [which is what veganism IS]- most just laugh and wish you well on your insane quest.  Some people stamp you as “holier than thou” crusaders, while others think you either made up the term or just really into science fiction.

It’s pronounced “vee-gan.” And although Jenny and I have chosen this lifestyle & diet, we understand that it’s not for everyone and certainly, everyone is entitled to their own opinions – especially when it comes to health.  A problem remains, however, that a lot of opinion is based on myths, years of mis-education & conditioned eating habits.

As someone who cares about his students, clients, family and friends… As someone who is concerned with the state of the World (North America, in particular), I’d like to offer this article as an insightful reference for anyone interesting in improving their health and happiness through diet.

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION…

helped greatly in the direction of our diet and we hope that it will help illuminate the importance of a plant-based diet for you.  We’re not saying that you can never have meat, dairy or oils ever again – but it is important that everyone has a firm understanding of the benefits and risks associated with any form of health choice.  Each statistic, research finding, quotation will be cited at the bottom of the article. And remember,

“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” (James S. Gordon, MD, 1)

HITTING SOME HIGH POINTS

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

-Thomas A. Edison

foodplate-large“…We have an unpresidented opportunity in history to live happier than ever before.  We don’t have to become demented, have a heart attack, get strokes and we can dramatically reduced the risk of cancer… Permanent results only come from permanent changes in lifestyle and diet style.” (Dr. Joel Fuhrman, 2)

“The same foods that inhibit fat on your body, stop cancer in their tracks… It’s not just calories in, calories out, either – it’s the bio-chemical effects that these foods have to prevent cellular growth… When you eat a lot of animal products, it promotes insulin factor 1 (IGF-1) and that promotes fat storage, dementia, aging, and cancer.”  (Dr. Joel Fuhrman, 2b)

WAS MANKIND MEANT TO EAT MEAT?

Irrelevant. Anybody can go back and forth with this question.  What did God, nature, evolution intend? When it comes to health, longevity, and overall wellness, we need to look at recent scientific evidence and make an informed, personal decision – period.  If you continue to eat meat after reading this article, I would hope that you opt for meat like: salmon, talapia & haddock which are have some of the lowest levels of mercury as well as beneficial Omega-3; and deer meat (venison), organic chicken, or bison, which are some of lowest in saturated fats.  If you’d like to dive more into this question, here’s a link I enjoyed. | Powered by Produce | Another interesting link examines the digestion of cellulose.  | Dartmouth Journal of Science |

“Every 30 seconds on this continent, Canada included, someone grabs their chest and falls over with a heart attack… When you send this (the report) over to a pathologist and you get them to analyze it, the report always comes back ‘saturated fat & cholesterol.’  It’s animal fat.  The pathology report never ever ever contains the words ‘remnants of broccoli, rice & tofu.’…The good thing is that when you stop eating animal fats, this stuff (plaque) melts away, off the artery walls and the arteries can open up.”

“Animal fat comes in 3 flavors in the N. American diet.  It comes in the form of red meat, the yoke of hen’s eggs, and it comes from cow’s milk…(regarding cows milk) There is absolutely no reason to run butterfat through your bloodstream at any time… cow’s milk is for baby calves!  You have no more need for cow’s milk than you do for giraffe’s milk, horse’s milk or rat milk.”

(Dr. Michael Klaper, 3)

WHAT IS THE DIFF. B/W PLANT & ANIMAL PROTEIN?

Plant-Protein-VS-Animal-Protein“While the precise mechanisms need to be elucidated, animal and epidemiological studies, as well as the brachial artery tourniquet test, confirm that animal protein accelerates both atherosclerosis and cancer, whereas plant protein does not.” (Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., 4)

“I don’t especially like dwelling on the finer structural and functional characteristics of animal and plant proteins as being of great importance. Rather, my views are more along the lines of asking what are the consequences–both biologically and socioculturally–of our enormous reverence for protein, especially our unreasonable reverence for ‘high quality’ animal protein. It is on this path that I find some unusually significant gems.”  (Dr. T. Colin Campbell, 10)

DO VEGETARIANS/VEGANS GET ENOUGH PROTEIN?

“Ignorance sickens and kills people.  Misinformation leads to disastrous outcomes.  People with serious health problems like heart disease, type-2 diabetes, MS, and inflammatory arthritis that can be easily resolved by a diet based solely on plant foods.  However, advice to make this dietary change may be withheld from you or a family member because of the erroneous fear that such a diet will result in a greater catastrophe, like a nutritional collapse from protein deficiency.”

“Since plants are made up structurally sound cells with enzymes and hormones, they are by nature rich sources of proteins.  In fact, so rich are plants that they can meet the protein needs of the earth’s largest animals: elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes, and cows.  You would be correct to deduce that the protein needs of relatively small humans can easily be met by plants.” (Dr. John McDougall, 5)

DOES THIS DIET GIVE ME ENOUGH VITAMINS?

134992626-1024x759“A multi-vitamin is a reasonable way to be sure to obtain the full spectrum of vitamins, but my preference, especially if one is easting copious amounts of green leafy vegetables, is to limit supplements to Vitamin D as needed to maintain blood level in the normal range and Vitamin B12.”  (Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., 4)

“[Esselstyn’s Recommendation] for those with a plant-based/vegan diet comes from Vit. B expert (Dr. Neal Bernard) at the Cleveland Clinic: Take 1000 mcg of Vit. B12 a day.” (Dr. Neal Barnard, 6) Preferably sublingual and before meals/on empty stomach (for better absorption).  (Dr. Ralph Carmel, 11)

“Vitamin D (the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’) assists in the absorption of calcium and promotes bone mineralization, which may prevent or slow the progression of osteoporosis. It also helps to strengthen the immune system and protect against a number of serious diseases, including rickets and osteomalacia. Research suggests vitamin D may also provide protection from hypertension, psoriasis, several autoimmune diseases (including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis), and reduce the incidence of fractured bones. In addition, growing evidence has demonstrated its important role in defending against cancer (studies link a deficiency of vitamin D to as many as 18 different cancers).” (Dr. Andrew Weil, 7)

“…Another concern is that many vegetarians may not have ideal levels of all essential fatty acids. Fish supply two conditionally essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA) that have been shown to have beneficial effects, offering protection against both heart disease and aging of the brain. To assure that vegetarians get sufficient levels of these omega-3 fats, people on vegetarian diets need to consume foods such as flax seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts on a regular basis…  Some individuals may still not have optimal levels of long chain omega-3 fats, even with the consumption of a well designed vegetarian diet utilizing these seeds and nuts, therefore I recommend vegetarians and those not eating fish regularly consume a DHA+EPA supplement.” (Dr. Joel Fuhrman, 2c)

MORE ON VITAMIN D

“The sunshine acts on the skin and converts cholesterol into this very essential vitamin called Vitamin D.  That’s where you get the vitamin D; the sun… admittedly too many people have low vitamin D levels – this is because people often wear too many clothes, they stay inside an office building, more dark-skinned people have moved North, like New York or London – so their skin requires a greater intensity of ultraviolet light because their skin has adapted to the Equator environment.”

“50-90% of people (vegans-carnivore’s alike) ‘flunk’ the vitamin D level test…. Most people flunk because of current standards.  The response of the doctor should be ‘You should get more sunshine!’ – but that’s rarely communicated to the patients.”  (Dr. John McDougall, 5b)  |video link|

GOOD EATING REQUIRES DEEP POCKETS

Eating well costs more.  This is both true AND false.  It has been my observation that the majority of Americans have horrible habits: fast-food, emotional, and television eating (to name a few).  I’m guilty of this also (just the last two!).  However, consider the price of a burger combo at any of the various fast-food chains; an average of $5.50.  Preparing food at home might require more time, and the price may be comparable, but the true cost is in the calories, fat, and sodium which takes approximately 4 hours for your liver to “clean up”.  This, on a continuous basis will leave you feeling sluggish, cause weight gain and possible digestive issues – not-to-mention it paves the way to illness and disease.

An interesting thing I picked up while watching the documentary film Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, is the body feels satiated much easier with less (calories) when it comes from foods that are micronutrient-rich.  Micronutrient-rich being: vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans & legumes.  Macronutrient being; everything else. (see image to the right) food comparison stomach

Remember that fast-food average of $5.50?  With that amount, you could swing by any grocery store and pick up the ingredients to make a juice, smoothie or salad.  Cut out fast-food for the month, take the money saved and put it towards your health.  Yes, it takes some forward planning, but as my mentor, Rener Gracie says, “…unless they (people) actually feel the impact and translate it into their own Life, they don’t fully understand… Technique, patience, control – efficiency on the highest level… People always say ‘It takes too long, it takes too long.’ NO! You’re not patient enough.” (Rener Gracie, 8)

“Spend more, eat less. Americans are as addicted to cheap food as we are to cheap oil. We spend only 9.7% of our income on food, a smaller share than any other nation. Is it a coincidence we spend a larger percentage than any other on health care (16%)? All this “cheap food” is making us fat and sick. It’s also bad for the health of the environment. The higher the quality of the food you eat, the more nutritious it is and the less of it you’ll need to feel satisfied.”

“Shop at the farmers’ market. You’ll begin to eat foods in season, when they are at the peak of their nutritional value and flavor, and you’ll cook, because you won’t find anything processed or microwavable. You’ll also be supporting farmers in your community, helping defend the countryside from sprawl, saving oil by eating food produced nearby and teaching your children that a carrot is a root, not a machine-lathed orange bullet that comes in a plastic bag. A lot more is going on at the farmers’ market than the exchange of money for food.” (Michael Pollan, 9)

WHY SHOULD I CHANGE? MY HEALTH IS GREAT

“No one escapes in the end – eventually the traditional western diet guarantees some form of disease in all of us.  While it may not be heart disease at the moment, eventually it will be or hypertension, diabetes, stroke, obesity, gall stones, diverticulitis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, or a greater likelihood of breast, prostate, colon, ovarian and uterine cancers.  Even erectile dysfunction and dementia.  The world famous Framingham Heart Study now approaching its 60th year looked at 1,000 people at age 50 who had normal blood pressure.  They looked at the same group at 70, and 90% now had high blood pressure.  But there is something you can do now to stop the cascading events that occur in the body and lead to disease.  You can change your diet and begin safeguarding your health for the future.”  (Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., 4)

APPEARANCES: DO YOU LOOK HEALTHY?

On this subject, I do not have to defer to the experts.  Looks can be deceiving.  We know this!  Someone who looks healthy might kill over with a heart attack at any point.  How can someone who drinks bourbon and eats pork bellies live to 109 and a fitness guru like Jack LaLanne can only make it to 96?  There are too many factors to consider here and everyone’s body is different – inside and out.  Now for the ‘out’, the exterior, the view that the world sees and to which they respond – external ‘beauty’!

Of course ‘beauty’ is subjective, but if we were to go with what society deems attractive, it would just so happen to be that those celebrities most devoted to a plant-based diets are high on the ‘Hot List.’  In no particular order: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Portia de Rossi, Olivia Wilde, Orlando Bloom, Alyssa Milano, Anne Hathaway, Emily Deschanel and Kristin Bell.  Some do it for health reasons, like Bill Clinton (who went vegan after heart surgery) and others did it well before it became the ‘trendy’ thing to do, like Betty White (currently at age 91) – she’s been vegan for over 30 years.  But whatever the reason, I think it is insanely wrong to link a vegetarian/vegan diet with poor appearance – if anything, it aids in their appearance and youthfulness.  For a massive list of celebrities musicians and athletes, here’s a link. |HappyCow|

HOW DO YOU KICK THE HABIT?

“With any habit, three weeks is a magic period. It allows you to feel a bit of the benefit. You might doubt it at the beginning, but after three weeks, you notice your weight is coming down, your energy is better. It also gives your taste a chance to change. For example, when people change from whole milk to low fat or skim milk, they hate it at first—it tastes watery. But then after some time, they taste whole milk again and it tastes like heavy cream.”  (Dr. Neal Barnard, 6b)

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

Changing your diet, especially ‘radically’ changing your diet is obviously going to be difficult at first.  The ‘magic period’ is a transition period and some people will conquer this phase easier than others.  You’ll certainly have cravings, and there will be social pressures imposed on you – but remember “permanent results only come about by permanent changes in lifestyle and diet style.”  Another obstacle that you may encounter is gas, bloating and diarrhea.  This is natural!  As your choice of diet changes, it’s only realistic to imagine that the internal environment of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract will change as well.  Once you get over this hump, your body will be more efficient and you’ll truly be able to FEEL the difference.  I lived a relatively health life before switching to a vegan diet and even I could notice a major difference – particularly in my mental clarity, muscle/pain recovery time* and energy levels.

Written, Researched & Compiled by:

MICHAEL JOYCE

*Stay tuned for my upcoming article relating nutrition & lifestyle with pain management and muscle recovery.

Michael Joyce is a licensed massage therapist (NC#6096), self-defense instructor (Out-Foxxed™) and is a health & safety enthusiast.  He has a BS in Exercise & Sport Science and stays on top of the current research; particularly nutrition and exercise performance. He and his wife Jenny went vegan in February of 2013 after watching several great documentaries including Forks Over Knives, Vegucated and Food, Inc.

Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Sources:

Gordon, James S. MD. 1 – Quotations Page. Motivational 5/15/2013.  website [link]

Fuhrman, Joel PhD.  2 – Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. Documentry Film. (2010)

Fuhrman, Joel PhD.  2b – The Dr. Oz Show. Originally aired Sept. 18, 2012

Fuhrman, Joel PhD. 2c – Online Library. What You Need To Know… [link]

Klaper, Michael PhD. 3 – Foods That Kill.  Lecture/Documentry (1993)

Esselstyn Jr., Caldwell B. PhD. 4 – Interview. HeartAttackProof.Com

McDougall, John, PhD. 5 – Newsletter vol.6, no. 4 (2007) [link]

McDougall, John, PhD. 5b – MCD Sunshine & Vitamin, YouTube video [link]

Bernard, Neal, M.D. 6 – (PCRM) http://www.nealbarnard.org/ [link]

Barnard, Neal, M.D. 6b – Article: SmartPlanet by Melanie Kaplan [link]

Weil, Andrew, M.D. 7 – Supplements & Herbs. http://www.drweil.com [link]

Gracie, Rener 8 – Renergy Sandwich 2.0 video. [link]

Pollan, Michael 9 – Six Rules For Eating Wisely. Time June 2006

Campbell, Colin T. PhD. 10 – Animal vs. Plant Protein.

Carmel, Ralph PhD. 11 – HappyHealthyLongLive.Com

Twitter Link CC bFB Facebook Link CC b

Living 100 Years: Re-Learning to Breathe

Posted in Health, Internal Arts, Internal Development, Peace & Wellbeing, Qigong, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2012 by chencenter

The famous comedian George Burns was once asked, “What’s the secret of Life?” … of which he replied,

“Keep breathing.”

Wise words from a guy that reached the ripe ol’ age of 100 (and two months).

The word is Qi (pronounced “chee“).  We’ve heard it plenty… some of us have read up on it… but every one of us has experienced it [just most of us haven’t been aware of it]!

When I speak to youngsters about qi, I often allude to the Star Wars films in which George Lucas replaced “Qi” with “the Force.”  Qi is a term that means energy, or breath.  It is the prime-mover of our existence and permeates throughout the universe.

There are different types of “Qi Training” (called Qigong) such as: Buddhist Qigong, Taoist Qigong, Wushu Qigong and Medical Qigong.  Within these, the practitioner learns to harness and cultivate this energy for the purposes of: emitting, absorbing, cleansing, conditioning and healing. [Author’s note: Wushu Qigong should not be attempted without a qualified teacher. Practitioners should also have a basic understanding of qi and qigong training before wushu qigong is attempted].  And yes, there are even methods: Natural, Differential, Reversed, Dantian, Embryonic and “method of no-method.”  All have their benefits but it is the first, Natural Breathing Qigong, that we will focus on for purposes of “beginning at the root”, health and in developing a habit of “correct method.”

Breathing and its link to good health makes plenty of sense …for it’s the air we breathe, the oxygen that’s delivered to our cells and all the “energetics” at work that nurtures Life.  But it’s our awareness of our breath through both moving or non-moving activities that bolsters results.

  • Awareness: Concentrating on the “breath in” and the “breath out” focuses our mind internally and removes us from outside thoughts and common distractions.  Thoughts will always enter-in (it is our nature as humans to think).  But just as ripples appear on a pond… let the mind return to calm and think back to the breath as it is drawn into the body and finds its rest in the lower abdomen.

A MYTH:  Healthy breathing does NOT mean expanding the chest and letting as much oxygen in as possible.  By doing so, oxygen restricts the hemoglobin molecules and less is released to the cells.

THINK QUALITY OVER QUANTITY. 

  • Quality:  Soft. Quiet. Relaxed. Smooth… all of these should be words to describe how you are breathing.  As you breathe into your nostrils (at a relaxed, steady pace), imagine the breath going all the way down to your abdomen (aka. dantian).  By bringing your breath to your dantian, even smallest blood vessels will relax and open and will enrich your body with a greater flow of blood, oxygen and qi.
  • Natural or Diaphragmatic breathing: Breathe through the nose at a soft and steady rate and bring the breathe to the abdomen.  Allow the abdomen to expand (by way of the breath, and not by your abdominal muscles pushing outwards).  As you breathe out, do so by breathing out through the nose and allow the abdomen to contract/go inward.
  • Relax: This cannot be repeated enough.  The better you are at relaxing, the greater the benefits you will attain from your practice.  Bring your thoughts away from school, work or any other outside distractions.  If your thoughts drift… return back.  Over time, over practice… the “return” will be easier and easier.
  • Posture:  There are many qigong postures and all of them will have to be adjusted slightly since we all are built differently.  I have 3 basic postures that I use and they are: standing, sitting and laying.  I use each of these postures throughout the day (as I am often in one of the 3 postures naturally).  For instructional purposes, a standing posture should be made with a straight spine, head erect, knees slightly bent, arms by your side and the tip of the tongue resting softly behind the roof of the mouth (behind the first two teeth).  For more on standing qigong, please check out Eli Montaigue’s Combative Corner contribution entitled, Three Circle Qigong.

Illustrations of qigong movements are helpful, however the mother of movement will always be stillness.  There are many great books that may help you to better understand qigong such as: Qigong Empowerment, by Master Shou-Yu Liang & Wen-Ching Wu and The Way of Qigong, by Kenneth Cohen… but the act of qigong is a relatively simple way to improves your health and longevity.  Time, patience, willpower and correct intention are the only requisites.

Michael Joyce

Original article posted, April 2008 at ChenCenter.Com

Us at the Combative Corner welcome your insights as well.  Here are just a few of the questions we’d like to know.  Please post your response in the comment section below.

  • HAS QIGONG WORKED FOR YOU ?
  • WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR EXPERIENCES ?
  • MIGHT YOU HAVE ANY WISDOM YOU’D LIKE TO IMPART ON US ?
  • MIGHT YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS FOR US OR OUR READING PUBLIC ?

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FMK FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

Posted in Health, Martial Arts, Training, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2011 by chencenter

What is a martial art besides, as Bruce Lee put it, “An expression of the human body in a combative form?”  And what “true” level can we consider ourselves if we neglect to train the physical?  Below are two lists (male & female) that (as of 7/19/2011) reflect the minimum fitness requirements for the 3 ranks in FMK.  The first number denotes red.  The second, blue.  And the last number, black.

All exercises are meant to be done in under 90 minutes.

Flexibility Requirements

Middle Split (inches from ground): [10-19] 12-8-4, [20-34] 13-9-5, [35-49] 14-10-6, [50-64] 15-11-7, [65-80] 16-12-8

Bent Over Reach: 2 fingers touching the floor, 5 fingers “, head touching knees

Arms behind back: 7 o’clock position, 8 o’clock position, arms parallel to the floor

Flexibility Requirements

Middle Split (inches from ground): [10-19] 10-6-2, [20-34] 2-4-6, [35-49] 12-8-4, [50-64] 13-9-5, [65-80] 14-10-6

Bent Over Reach: 2 fingers touching the floor, 5 fingers “, head touching knees

Arms behind back: 7 o’clock position, 8 o’clock position, arms parallel to the floor

Freddie Lee’s Fitness Test

Jenny Lee’s Fitness Test

FROM ALL OF US AT THE COMBATIVE CORNER

HAVE A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!

Article by: Freddie Lee & Michael Joyce

Boredom with Exercise : Sifu Lee

Posted in Health, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2011 by Sifu Freddie Lee

In order to achieve elite physical potential, one must liberate oneself from the feeling of boredom while exercising.  The foundational exercises to maintain a healthy state of physicality are simple and if an individual cannot be satisfied with this simplicity then there can never be enough “new” exercises to alleviate this persons feeling of boredom.  In order to be a great basketball player, a person cannot get “bored” of shooting.  The person would literally have to shoot thousands shots before achieving his true potential.  In order to become a great boxer, a person cannot get “bored” of punching.  The person would have to punch thousands of times in order to become great.  With exercising and physical fitness, it is the same concept.

If a person who is unfit wishes to become healthy and fit, the person cannot be bored of exercising.  If this person becomes bored, this person will eventually lose his interest to exercise and never become fit and healthy until he has learned to free himself from this inner feeling of boredom.  No personal trainer in this world can ever come up with enough varieties of exercise to satisfy a clients feeling of boredom.  Any and all exercises are simply variations from the foundational exercises that are required to achieve elite physical potential.

For example the foundational exercise to maintain cardio endurance is running, any other cardio exercise that heightens the heart rate is just a variation to the foundation.  No matter if it is biking, swimming, using the elliptical, using a stationary bike, jumping rope, doing jumping jacks, etc.  In order to achieve elite physical potential, one cannot become dependent on variations due to simply being bored of the foundation.  Many times a person will use excuses to not exercise because he does not have access to certain training equipment that he has become dependent on.  A swimmer may not exercise because the swimming pool has closed for the day.  A biker may not exercise because his bike had a flat tire.  An individual who frequents the gym may become dependent on an elliptical machine and will only exercise when she has access to an elliptical.  All these are examples of different forms of dependency that provide excuses for individuals to not exercise.  If one is satisfied with the foundation, which is running, then one always maintains cardio fitness no matter the location or circumstances.  One can run indoors, one can run outdoors, and one can run in place.  One is not dependent on other variations of cardio fitness; one is satisfied with the foundation.  This foundation will allow an individual to maintain cardio fitness for the entirety of one’s life.

In order to achieve elite cardio fitness, a runner must take thousands of steps.  In order to develop muscular strength in the chest and arms, an individual must practice thousands of pushups.  Being bored of certain exercises simply is not an adequate excuse to stop exercising, one simply needs to liberate oneself from any feeling of boredom and learn to appreciate and find joy in practicing the foundational exercises necessary to maintain physical fitness.  The truth to exercising and staying fit is that it is simple.  Others just wish to make you think that it is complicated so that they can somehow turn it into a profession in order to make profits.  What the majority of the population really lacks is not how to stay fit and healthy but rather the lack is in the motivation and discipline in which to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Sifu Freddie Lee

CombativeCorner Profile

FreddiesModernKungfu.Com

A Day’s Lesson [9/14/2010] : Coach Joyce

Posted in Day's Lesson, Nutrition, Training with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 14, 2010 by chencenter

A Jedi’s skill flows…

“When I envision a proper martial artist, behold! I see a Jedi warrior, someone who not only has discipline enough to stay the course of rigorous physical training but also [and not emphasized enough] the understanding that “The Force” (Chi, Qi, Ki) flows; as Master Yoda said, ‘Its energy surrounds us, and binds us.’  We should take a serious look into what energy we are fueling ourselves with these days.

In a very serious way, we ARE what we eat, and this should seriously concern us.  After recently becoming vegetarian (90-95% at least) you should see the looks I get when I tell people my new, (healthy) lifestyle.  You would think that I had said or done something horrible.  They turn away and say something like, ‘I don’t know how you do it’ or ‘I could never do that.’  They (the ‘Norms’) go around eating what they want, playing the slave to their taste buds, to those pleasure centers in their brain, and worse off… they are reenforced by a society that tells them that they are F.I.N.E.,… as if eating in this ‘normal way’ IS fine.

Many Americans (that I’ve witnessed) take pride in being different.  Just the other night at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), Lady Gaga walked out on stage in a dress made entirely of animal flesh.  Whether she was trying to make a statement or not, she did make headlines.  In many teenager’s minds ‘different’ is ‘creative.’  It IS if you’re already famous enough that people go along with it.  Many health conscious people can show you another way to be ‘different’… examples: turn your back on fast food establishments, nicotine, alcohol, meat… or maybe the entire lot!

Yoda also said that ‘We must unlearn what we have learned,’ and I think this is an important step for the true martial artist, someone who sees beyond what he can do (i.e. how much he/she can bench press) but moreso, what he/she is made of.  We all know (at least we should know) that energy, not protein and animal fat, powers our physical body and helps us to grow.  My message is to seek a Jedi’s nutition by exercising control (meats, refined sugars, saturated fats & portion size).  Going green should not just be a recycling movement… it should be a shift in our thinking.  Yoda is green for a reason (and he lived to be 900 years old).”

Coach Michael Joyce

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