Beginning the Journey

I’ve invested 20 years into martial arts training. I’m one of those fanatics who often daydreams about subtle ways to put someone in a wrist lock. Not out of aggression mind you, but out of the beautiful ballet that I have discovered through training all these years. I’ve woken up from dreams where I was just talking to my teacher about karate. There were no flying kung-fu warriors or lightning flashing from the fingertip in this dream. It was just me sitting down and talking to my teacher about small technique details. I guess then, that it’s fair to say then that I’m a karate nerd. I even have the glasses to prove it.

After 20 years of karate nerdhood, I would say that I have a pretty good understanding of the fundamentals of training. I would give myself an A in that category. It’s been apparent to me for several years, though, that having an A in understanding + some effort = B+ in outcomes (“We’re #2, we’re #2!”). And this brings me to the central goal of this project. My goal is to dramatically increase the value of the effort side of that equation. No need to reinvent the wheel here. We have an example. His name is Bruce Lee. I intend to follow this example. My sources for this project will be the writings of and about Bruce Lee. By implementing his methods in exercise, nutrition, training, writing, philosophy, and whatever else I discover along the way, I hope to significantly increase the quality of my effort. I will share with you the outcomes, whatever they may be.

Day 1 – April 15, 2013

I haven’t been to the gym in a while. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been working out, it just hasn’t been very…focused. It’s been a thrown together assortment of workouts based more on immediate impulses and needs (particularly the threat of an upcoming tournament). It has definitely not been a systematic, focused, researched discipline. I hope that’s about to change. I’ve started reading the book, The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Bruce Lee, 1940-1973) and in it we have a pretty impressive compendium of his training.

Ah hah! I have found what is described as a beginner’s workout. Looking at the photo of his workout card from the Hak Keung Gymnasium (May 27, 1965), I realized that my routine of running up hill and periodically doing assisted pull ups on my pull up machine are definitely not going to cut it. I need free weights, lots of free weights. And I need a gym membership. I am also frugal (ie. cheap), something that does not always fit with gym memberships. Good thing I can get a very discounted membership to 24-hour Fitness through Costco. Lots of backslapping and welcomes later (such an eager staff), I am finally in the free weight room. There are thirteen exercises on this list. Thirteen sounds smallish, right? The answer is no. I got through eight. I got through eight before my time on the parking meter ran out. Hmmm…more planning needed. Must.Find.Better.Parking. Maybe it’s a good thing? I’m very sore today, maybe it’s OK to ease into it.