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  • Writer's pictureJackie Bradbury

Training by Resting

This one time..

For about a month, I did something martial arts related almost every single day.

I practiced, or I was in my teacher's class, or I was teaching a class, or I was in a seminar.  The only "breaks" I got were a couple of evenings where I had to do all of the chores that piled up because I was training or teaching martial arts.  In the middle of this, I strained my thumbs, so I was training injured the entire time, which is also very exhausting.

And I also had, y'know, a job.

At the end of about 40 days of non-stop training and choring and working... I was beat.

Beat? Martial Arts? HEYYY-OOOOO!!!1!!

The thing is, we understand the value of working hard, of training, of practicing, of keeping moving in the martial arts.  I harp on it in classes (and I bet you do, too).  We also have a culture where we keep training even through injury if we possibly can (we might make a few concessions to modifying what we do - and I've written that I support this idea here: Injury: Just Train).

So running hard for a month gets nobody's sympathy in the martial arts world.


At the end of that month, I took two days off.  I practiced my footwork for about 15 minutes each day, and that's it.  I barely left my house and I spent the time sleeping and playing games and watching television and reading and doing a few minor chores.

On day 2 of my "rest days", I noticed that the brain fog I've been sort of living with is lifting a bit. It's easier to write.  It's easier to think.  And some things I've been working on and with in the last month of so are now "clicking" in my mind as I sit here and think about them.  And my hands feel a lot better, better than they have since I first injured them.

I made progress by barely lifting a finger!

It turns out that resting - and maybe this is really super-true for an older martial artist like yours truly - is training, too!

In my opinion, if you're doing anything that helps you improve in the martial arts, it's training.  So if my brain fog is gone, my body is healing well, and I'm understanding a few things a little better just by thinking about them... yep, that qualifies as training!

The thing is, sitting around and doing (essentially) nothing feels wrong.  I should be practicing my form for tournament.  I should be reviewing the forms I learned in a seminar recently.  I should be doing bigger chores.  I should be writing more for the blog, programming social media stuff, etc.

I have things to do.  But I'm not going to do them today.

Today, I'm going to rest.  Today, I'm training!

Do you schedule "rest" as part of your training regimen?  Or do you just run hard all the time?  Let me know in the comments!

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