It’s on TV now, I’m sat here mucking around online while the missus is sat flicking through TV channels, guess what she found, hang on it’s the final……..
……………Go on Danny Laruso!! That’s right, The Karate Kid!
Anyway back to the point, 21 years ago I was sat on the sofa, aged 10 watching this same film. Within the month I was training. I had joined the local karate school (St Martins Jnr Karate Club, under Sensei Jack Parker) and finally started something.
This had a major effect me. Karate was one of the few things I really stuck at as a kid. As I grew up, all the other lads grew out, I was a beanpole. While I cycled everywhere, I wasn’t strong. Around the time I was 16/17, Jack turned to me and said that if I wanted to continue improving to black belt standard and to stand a chance in the tournaments.
As a result I asked my mates on the school rowing squad if I could join their gym sessions, they asked their coach and a new era started.
We had two gym sessions per week, the lads obviously had other sessions out on the water, I ran and practiced karate. Plus we’d meet once or twice a week for a session on the ergo’s (what we called the concept 2 rowers, still my machine of choice) One session was “light day” consisting of Pyramids, the other session was “Heavy day” using 3×10. The exercises were always: Leg Press, Bench Pull, Power Cleans and bench press. I think that was all, there were certainly no isolation’s!
It’s the warm ups i really liked though. A 20 minute circuit that would make Steve Maxwell blanch, then onto the weights.
Now, I realise it wasn’t the most scientific training we could have done, but we got results! I put on a little weight, but got much much stronger with conditioning to match, got my black belt and fought for my country. The rowing squad were in the top 15 in the country.
When I need to train up for something these days, I always look back to those days, my first gym experience. Although I know much more now, it was the heart and soul we put into the training, it was the basic exercise selection, it was the high intensity circuits.
I look around the Gym I work in and see the girlie boys spending over an hour trying to get from a b cup to a c cup while I’m in and out in less than an hour, full body done, heavy weights moved and heart in the mouth intense cardio ( I like to finish with a 4 minute tabata after a strength workout). I could never get my head around bodybuilding.
I got into training to improve my martial arts, I continue training to improve not only my martial arts but everything else I do. If strength isn’t functional can it truly be called strength?
Fuck it, the sun’s shining, the Karate Kid won his fight and I’m in the mood to get out into the garden and do some training of my own. Bodyweight only, cos I took my Kettlebells to the gym.