So you used to do Karate and keep thinking about coming back…….. (0 comments)
Quite a few adult people say that they used to do Karate and wished they had carried it on…. especially after watching an action movie! Perhaps kids came along, your career really took off or life was just too fun at the weekends and training simply slipped out of view. Cleaning out the house they came across their old Gi from when they used to do Karate and thought “I won’t throw it away as I might go back”. Back under the bed it goes.
Walking back into the Dojo can be pretty intimidating with your old Sensei let alone with an unknown teacher in an established club. It can be the single biggest decision you can make as a mature adult in your social life. You could just join a darts or quiz team or take up another more sedate hobby- why put yourself back in a challenging, driven environment?
It can provide an outlet for stress and worries of life. It will help you to go back to your life after training both energised and refreshed. Bosses can’t talk to you in the lesson. No texts or emails. Social media cannot distract you. No time to think about anything else apart from the next technique or drill – connecting mind, body and spirit.
Coming back to Karate can be so fulfilling but there are things to know about when returning with a more mature head. Here are the most common,
The Karate family will be delighted to have you back. The most intimidating thing can be walking back into a Dojo worrying about what the other students are thinking and if they are laughing at you. This never happens. All Clubs are glad to have more members to make their training and social lives richer. Everyone understands what it takes to come training and commit so there is always support for each other.
Allow yourself to ease in, right now your body can’t do what it used to but it will. You can’t start at the same level when you left. All returners can be guilty of this, go 150% in their first session back after 10 years and end up at the Chiropractors the next day. Take it easy and loosen the muscles!
Don’t judge yourself too harshly, be easy on yourself! Expectations can kill any activity stone dead. Last week you weren’t doing any Karate at all, this week you are back in your first lesson. Gichin Funakoshi said “Karate is like boiling water: without heat, it returns to it’s tepid state”, to be honest yours may be freezing so allow time to heat the pot again. Give yourself this period, you will remember why you came back and enjoy yourself.
You will be amazed at how much you and your body remember. Karate will come back and you will be surprised by what your body will show you every now and then. The constant drilling that comes with traditional Shotokan is always there and will come out. You will be pleased with the results.
You understand more, quicker and appreciate the connections more clearly. Coming back with a more mature head after a break really can help. When you last trained, your Sensei may have been trying to explain a concept and you had no idea what he was talking about but shouted “Oss!” anyway. Now with more life experience you will understand the concepts and be able to start applying them in your practice. Your Karate will take off!
Invest in yourself. Leaping around the dojo when you were younger was great and, after a while, you will be able to do it again HOWEVER you now need to invest more in yourself. Warm up before the lesson, cool down and stretch after the lesson. Make sure you move around the day after and stretch again. Tight muscles creep up on you otherwise and you will suddenly find that you have wrenched your back just picking up the shopping!
Karate is something that never leaves you and can always be returned to. The biggest obstacles are the “unknowables” like will I be any good and can I still do it? Being good is relative. Will you be the next World Champion? Probably not but if that was why we all did Karate no one would do it. Can you still do it? Yes definitely.
Maybe you should have another go.
Make the decision.
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