There seems to be many interpretations of how to complete a training log.
I will be adding to this as I think of things!
First, there are two ways. You can do them online or print them out and complete them by hand. The student should be the one completing training logs, NOT THE PARENT! If you can’t complete a training log legibly, then you are not ready for a Black Belt! If you can’t be responsible enough to complete a training log, you are not ready for a Black Belt!
Each phase in the cycle requires different activities for the training log. I will attempt to make it clear by offering a Day by Day activity guide. You, of course, may adapt this to meet your needs.
- These training logs should be full, with lots of material on each day.
- Do not complete it by saying, “Did Not Do.”
- Be sure you connect with someone to motivate you in your training.
- Keep a copy for yourself. We may or may not return them.
- If you are not turning them in weekly, you are not completing one of the important requirements of Black Belt Candidate cycle.
During our Boot Camp, we covered a lot of this. You can find the Boot Camp Workbook here.
SECTION BY SECTION
Did I come to class?
If so, enter it in the first block. If not and you had another activity, write it down. You should be attending at least three classes per week beginning with Brown Belt.
- For candidates, you need to attend 3 regular martial arts classes. If you come to an “a” and a “b” day, Hyper class can count for a third class.
- When candidate classes begin, this will be your fourth class.
- If we don’t have classes that week, you do not need to make them up.
- If we don’t have a candidate class that week, you don’t need a fourth class.
- If there is a PreCheck or Exam, that counts as your fourth class.
- If we don’t have classes, you still have to do your training logs.
- If you are sick or go on vacation, you need to make up your classes.
- You may not miss any Exams.
- You may miss two Candidate classes.
This should be done every other day. At first, you should be doing 25 of each, pushups, crunches and squats. If these are a struggle for you, you need to do more, perhaps four or five times per week instead of three. You should be able to complete 25 of each at one time. After the first Precheck, it should be 50, then 75 after the second Precheck, then 100 after the Final Exam.
From the Black Belt Training Goals handout: “Pushups, crunches and squats EVERY OTHER DAY. Without fail. Be sure to do flawless technique. Don’t cheat yourself or your Sensei by doing improper pushups. Everyone admires ten perfect pushups much more than 100 “half” pushups. Begin by doing five sets of ten of each every other day. When you can do this with confidence, begin adding another set of ten until you’ve reached ten sets of ten every other day.
What Should I Enter on my Training Log (after I have actually completed the exercises)?
- 25 or 50 or 75 or 100 Pushups
- 25 or 50 or 75 or 100 Crunches
- 25 or 50 or 75 or 100 Squats
Each exercise increases after each Precheck.
- So the first phase (between the candidate meeting and before Precheck 1) you will do 25.
- The second phase (after Precheck 1) you will do 50.
- Third phase (after Precheck 2), you will do 75 and
- after the Final Exam, you will have 100.
What if I do a sport or fitness at a gym? What about when I come to class and we do pushups, crunches and squats? Does that count?
It’s awesome that you are staying so active! Unfortunately, while you may be doing things that help your sports game or your own personal fitness, if you are not committing yourself to improving your training and completing the exercises we have laid out to help you be successful in your Black Belt goals, it can’t be counted.
However, these activities should make those pushups, crunches and squats easier! Knock them out and see the results for yourself! You may need to adjust the days you do your fitness so that they are opposite your other activities.
Running (Distance/Running Time)
To improve your overall endurance, your running should be measured in both time and distance. Write these down so that you can see your goals. If you are not running, there is no way you can improve!
You should be running at least two times a week. Runs should be two to three miles. Your goal is to run two miles in under 17 minutes. (It used to be under 16 minutes.) You should not stop to walk during your running.
At first, the goal should be to complete two miles with confidence, then the pace can be addressed. Again, you should not be walking during this two miles.
After you have achieved your goal of running without walking for two miles, you may begin training for gain.
There are many strategies for this:
- Couch to 5K App. This is an app that safely takes you from not being able to run at all to being able to run a 5K without stopping to walk.
- Incorporate Sprints. Add sprints every so often while you are running. Set a goal to run as fast as you can to the next landmark. If you do this several times during your run, you will see improvements in your time.
- Run more than two miles. If you can run two miles in the designated time, another strategy is to add more distance. This benefits your endurance and allows you to add speed when you run just for two miles.
- Run with a partner. Running is always fun with someone else and if you have someone who can challenge you, all the better!
You need to be running 2-3 times per week. If you are not, you are not in Black Belt Cycle and your results will show at Exams.
We addressed this a lot at the Boot Camp. Pumping Kicks is one of the best ways to build your flexibility and strength for kicking. You should also be stretching to make sure that you are able to kick higher than you ever have before.
You should be pumping at least 25/50/75/100 of each kick each day, depending on where you are in the cycle. (see the fitness section for more clarification)
- Front Kick and Round House Kick Variations for Pumping Kicks
- Pump 10, hold extended for 10
- Just pump those kicks, focusing on the extension and foot shape
- Pump 5, hold 5
- Pump 5, lift higher on 5
- Each kick should be above the belt with focus on foot shape and chambers before and after.
- Side Kick Variations for Extensions
- These will not be done fast, you should extend focusing on the chamber, foot shape and height.
- You can do the same variations as Front and Round House Kicks.
You should spend time focusing on the katas you will be tested on at each level. These will be covered during candidate classes and often there will be a blog post on our website about the different PreChecks and what we will cover.
Video yourself to evaluate the basic details of each kata and weapons form.
If this is your final cycle, according to the handout you received at the Cycle Meeting, Black Belt Training Goals, you should be entering cycle with a nearly complete creative kumite that highlights your skills. We can then spend the time during this final cycle fine tuning and perfecting your routine.
For further information about Creative Kumite, please refer to the Boot Camp Workbook or this blog post.