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Practice as mirror

Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson, Library of Congress image.

Had a great weekend networking and getting to know more practitioners of the kettlebell sport here in Japan.

Saturday morning, had a boxer over at the house for an introduction to using a kettlebell.

For anyone, the first time can often be a real  eye opener, since the way that the weight moves under your control is totally different to that when using free weights.

The kettlebells are like a mirror: the first time you try to perform a Turkish get up, a clean, a swing, or a press, your body suddenly decides to tell you which part of your body is either not working in unison with the rest of your being, or which body part is lagging in strength. For any athlete and/or Mr.. and Mrs.. nine to five, this can be a humbling experience initially, but the inherent potential that such knowledge and first hand experience brings with it is vital to that individual’s physical development. With knowledge comes power; the power to enable yourself.

Such knowledge the kettlebell provides.

An hour and a half later, my boxer friend was feeling good- his tgu’s were starting to flow (as was the sweat, thanks to humid rainy season Japan!), the swings were taking on a nice hip driving rhythm, and the first lessons in the clean were well on the way to being learned by the body, and how to drive from the center of your being with a steady, rhythmic breath. The smiles from a student such as this who have started their own personal journey of mastering a technique, learning a bit about themselves along the way, are worth their weight in gold. And remind me of my own journey which stretches on into an unknown future.

What impresses me with the kb is how much confidence can be instilled in a person within a relatively short period of time, so long as the explanations, both in physical demonstration and verbally are given in such a way that the student understands that everybody goes through the same process of self discovery. That they share the same path as the teacher, who was also once a student.

Saturday afternoon I met one of the contributors to the site for the first time, and we discussed his own personal journey over a plate of late lunch curry. Listening to his personal experiences, trials and tribulations, puts what I do into focus and gives me more energy to push myself further into the “I don’t know but want to learn” category, in order to find out practical, physical and mental answers for myself. If I haven’t felt it, haven’t experienced it, then really I shouldn’t be talking about it. With this in mind I always find myself humbled and inspired by every day human connections.

Sunday I went to boxing, which required me to lug a 16 kg kettlebell 1 km to the train station there and back after the training session. Farmers walk anyone? Needless to say my arms are well stretched today. 😉

Did a lot of heavy bag work and started to search for a further level of rhythm in my own technique; footwork, breathing, hand eye coordination and learning to get out of the way for counter punches. All incredibly fun.

Watched two K1 fighters spar, which was an absolute pleasure due to the intensity with which their fought, and also the camaraderie with which they support each other week after week in their own personal development. I am struck at the bravery of these fighters, and the fickleness of the lifestyle they lead; hero one week, possibly much less the next, yet they continue on, pushing themselves to find their own perfection.

Two men that show bravery with much humbleness and little arrogance. A good reminder for me.

Set up a nice kettlebell circuit for one of them to finish off the day, then another long farmers walk home for me.

And time to think about the countless possibilities that life offers us each day….


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About Marc

international businessman and consultant, life coach, world traveler and wandering mystic who loves keeping fit and is endlessly learning how to lead a healthy life.

One response to “Practice as mirror

  1. Jan Kaszuba ⋅

    Mark, the workout you put me through after sparring was great!
    Im looking forward to doing it again tomorrow.

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