Archive for April, 2012

Empty Your Cup…But Not Your Head

Posted: April 28, 2012 in Class, Older

“You cannot learn anything if you already feel that you know.”

You might have heard it before that you should empty your cup before learning anything new, particularly when it comes to something like martial arts. This means, of course, that you rid yourself of preconceptions (how you think things should be) and start from the beginning, keeping yourself open and receptive to new ideas and teachings. This is such an important concept, I think. Everyone comes into the dojo (particularly guys) with their ideas of how to punch, kick, etc. and can easily fall into the trap of learning these techniques by reshaping or refining their existing notions rather than tearing those ideas down completely and starting from scratch learning these techniques. That is, emptying their cups. To truly develop you need to let go of these old, crude ideas and be willing to be a blank slate, be that empty cup that’s willing to be filled.

I think there’s a danger when someone goes too far with the idea of emptying their cup. These are people who have either emptied their cup willingly or been sort of beaten down into that state of mind. They are now docile students looking to be shown and told everything — step by step — that needs to be performed for a given move or counter attack. They become almost like robots in a way, awaiting the next command to spring into action. I see this pretty often, and not only with junior belts like myself. This is something that just about anyone from beginner to intermediate can fall victim to. I was doing it myself for a while until I realized that it wasn’t doing me any good.   (more…)

Foot? Meet Elbow.

Posted: April 21, 2012 in Attitude, Injury

Ah, another stupid injury. Stick with me long enough and we’ll work our way through body parts in alphabetical order.

This was one of my dumber ones. Working on our side kicks, our partner would hold up Muay Thai pads and we’d give it a good whallop, making sure we got some good momentum and power with the ol’ hips.

Perhaps this is a good time to point out the strange coincidence of a recent post where I polled people about whether they trained barefoot or with footwear. Well, for the record, my school is 100% barefoot. I like it this way but in this particular instance it made for an unfortunate outcome.

I lined up, confident in my kick prowess I’ve been developing in Friday night sparring, and let it rip with a left kick (no switch step). What should have resulted in a vinyl ‘Whaap’ sound was instead a dull ‘Whump’ sound as the top of my foot connected with my partner’s right elbow.


Initially my thought was that I would end up with a good bruise and, in fact, I did. Just not where I expected I chalk this up to the uneducated guess that tight shoes pushed some blood to the surface where it was pressing on the foot the least.

In the end, nothing it broken (I ended up getting an X-Ray later in the week when the bruising got worse) or even fractured.  I will be back in the saddle early this week and can’t wait to get back into it.  (more…)

Pre-Sparring Meal of Champions

Posted: April 6, 2012 in Class, Food

…or favorite pre-sparring meal for me, anyways.

As practitioners of Krav Maga we are often faced with the question, “what should I eat before my instructors abuse me?”  You want something light, optimally, and quick, with minimal cleanup.

Now, I’m no nutritionist but intuition tells me this is pretty healthy.  I love having this a few hours before a workout. Doesn’t weigh me down, cause gas, or make me want to barf two minutes into class.


What we have here is:

  • A mound of old-fashioned oats (not instant or quickcook oats)
  • Handful of fresh blueberries
  • Handful of walnuts
  • Some dried fruit (papaya, pineapple, raisins, coconut, etc.)
  • Half a sliced banana
  • Some brown sugar
  • Real maple syrup
  • Low fat milk to cover

I let it sit for 10 minutes to soften the oats but I don’t cook them.  Then chow time.

Give it a try sometime.  Your options are limitless.

For more info on this kind of thing check out my other post Pre-Training Meal of Champions

What’s Up with Your Feet?

Posted: April 5, 2012 in Poll



You’ll notice that this post doesn’t have a survey, just results. That’s because the original survey tool, Polldaddy, now charges for use of its tool. As a result I have moved to Surveymonkey, which you’ll see in use from now on. For older surveys, I have included the results in the original blog post.