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Meeting, joining and association: A mental shift in tournament preparation

 

It’s only just over one week before I go with the rest of the British team to compete in Russia at the KWU World Tournament. For the last 10 days of preparation, I have a visitor; a good friend from Costa Rica, who has come to join me and finish the final stages of preparation here in England.

 

It’s such a key time as a competitor. As anyone who has participated in any kind of sports event knows, the last weeks are where you have to taper and manage your training so as not to over train, you have to manage your diet so that you weigh in just where you want to, and you have to take care of yourself; avoiding injuries and sickness.

 

Catalina’s visit has prompted me to do some thinking. Her desire to derive from her normal, pre-tournament routine in the hope to gain some extra experience is especially admirable. But it’s also been a great reminder for me of what Kyokushinkai is and what it means.

Kyokushin itself means the ultimate truth, but the ‘kai’ added to the end means to ‘meet, join and associate’. This is so important; it means that there is more to ‘the ultimate truth’ than just winning competitions, but that the tournaments and the training wouldn’t even be there without a whole group of people who want to meet, join and associate.

 

Catalina’s arrival coincided with a seminar in London by Shihan Judd Reid. Shihan Judd was an Uchi Deshi in Japan - meaning that he was a live in student in the original Kyokushinkai dojo in Tokyo. His seminar provided inspiring reminders of and references to the history of what we do. Moreover, it reminded me of the relevance of every point of the dojo kun.

 

On Catalina’s second day we attended a Great Britain squad training. A three hour drive there and a three hour drive back, for three of hours training

Unfortunately, the attendance was low, but what we lacked in numbers we made up for in focused training and spirit. Again providing me with a reminder to be so thankful for those people that really do want to ‘meet, join and associate’.

 

I’m so excited for the rest of the weeks’ training. The mental shift that this reflection has had on me is something I’m really grateful for. I also think it’s something that we can all apply in our workouts and training. Of course, there are always going to be things that we will have to do alone (which are just as important to our mental strength and growth). But being thankful for the people that support us in our journey, the coaches, trainers, other people in the classes… it definitely gives us another reason to work that little bit harder.

 

Now I just can’t wait to get to Russia to ‘meet, join and associate’ (and fight) with all of the other Karateka from around the world!

 

 

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