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Ultimate Frisbee, Ultimate Thought

frisbee_000-270x300Every year our dojo takes students to a camp on Lake Winnipesaukee for the weekend. Karate Camp offers students lots of good training, swimming and activities. With any luck, it’s also a time when the students learn something about themselves.  The older students are dragged out of bed early in the morning for calisthenics on the lake’s sandy beach and usually subjected to some sort of mental and physical challenge. The younger ones are given a little more responsibility and freedom for the weekend but required to follow a set of rules and are held accountable for their decisions and behavior.  All weekend the student’s are pushed and challenged.
During the weekend, I’ll witness several moments where students make little breakthroughs and realizations about who they are and what they’re capable out. This year one of those moments happened during a pickup game of Ultimate Frisbee.
One of the older students, a great kid filled with passion and drive, jumped  on to my team.  He’s the kind of kid that is up for anything and, because of his drive and willingness to work with a team, is an asset to any group. (He’s also tall, which is always a good thing in Ultimate Frisbee.)
As our team faded back to throw the Frisbee to the other team, this young man was already declaring our victory. The white disk sailed high into the sunny sky over the field until it slowed and floated into the hands of our competition.  After a few good passes and battles over catching the Frisbee, we finally gained possession. Being athletic and fast, this young man was immediately open and pumping toward the goal line. I snapped the disk to him. He accelerated, creating a comfortable distance between himself and the person covering. He reached the disk. Stretching, his fingertips met the Frisbee perfectly then he fumbled and dropped it. Immediately, he was angry with himself.

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The Power of Visualization – How your children are imagining success in the dojo.

Imagine a world where you are perfect. In this world, anything you know how to do you can do without mistakes. You don’t have to imagine this world. This world is imagining.

 

Creative Visualization is like a super power. It is the ability to imagine yourself doing something well, then doing that thing just as you’ve imagined. It is used by top performers in athletics and business and it’s practiced by your child during their karate class. Like many things that are learned in the martial arts, it’s not always obvious to them. They practice the skills, but don’t quite know that they are and certainly don’t realize the awesome potential it has to impact their lives.

 

This is where you as a parent have the opportunity to step in and help them make a connection. You can be the other side of the coin, helping them stretch this skill they’re learning in the dojo into their lives. If you are an adult student of the martial arts keep reading, this all applies to you too. You can translate this skill to your life outside the dojo.

 

The Study

 

Before we discuss how visualization is learned in the dojo, let’s look at the science.  In the book Karate of Okinawa: Building Warrior Spirit with Gan*Soku*Tanden*Riki  By Robert Scaglione and William Cummins,they refer to a Russian study done just before the 1980 Olympics. The Olympic athletes were divided into four groups:

 

  • Group 1 received 100% physical training;
  • Group 2 received 75% physical training with 25% mental training;
  • Group 3 received 50% mental training with 50% physical training;
  • Group 4 received 75% mental training with 25% physical training.

Continue reading The Power of Visualization – How your children are imagining success in the dojo.