Our Saturday training is much different than our regular training. Approximately 90% is physical while the small remainder is instruction based. (Contrast that with our regular training which is about 80% instructional and only about 20% physical, meaning pushups, situps, squats, running etc. Time simply does not permit much more than 20%.)
Saturdays are tough. We start off with Tabata running (20 seconds at max rate/10 seconds recovery) and have worked our way up to 16 of these. We do quite a number of various pushups, situps, leg raises, squats, plyometrics, kicking drills, stretching, strikes, hill repeats and variations of all. Total time is about 3 hours, with maybe 6 minutes of rest.
What I have learned about Saturday training is direct and simple – Most people like to be pushed and pushed hard. We want to be challenged.
There seems to be an innate desire to see what we are capable of doing. We want to find our limits and in the same breath, find a way to go beyond them. We live in an era where the bar is continually set low and despite this, few accept the challenge (or responsibility) of reaching even the bare minimum. It is the era of victimhood.
Martial Arts are a different world and true martial artists, a different breed. We have deep respect for our roots and those that have come before us who set an exemplary path for us to follow. They tested themselves and tested others. In the process, they became better martial artists and better individuals. Most importantly, they set the example for others to follow.
Going beyond what we think we are capable of taps into these deep roots. We desire to become better, stronger and more skilled. We dare to fight Failure. We refuse to listen to the enticing voice of Weakness as she whispers into our ears at our lowest point. It is these moments that the steel is forged. It is these moments when our greatest opportunity to improve comes to the forefront.
We may fall, but we don’t fail. We may struggle but never quit. In a world of victims, in our own small way and in our own small world, we find a way to live by the Code of the Ancients, the Code of the Warriors.
Even if only for a few hours.