Getting Slim With Boxing (Thai-Style)

I am a novice to Karate. I started Practicing Shorin-Ryu Karate about 9 months ago. I was grossly over weight when I started. At 41 years old, I was about 285 pounds. But I was good at denial. I thought I was strong, I thought I was healthy, but I wasn’t. I didn’t realize this until I signed my children up at karate and I was watching some of the young and old students at the dojo exercising.

I saw amazing things from the students. I watch a man who at 70 years old was doing cartwheels and tumbles. He started karate in his mid 50s and is now a third degree black belt at 70. That was inspiration to me and still is. I watch the sensei’s (many of whom at in the late teens) do flying back flips and flying sidekicks.

Here I was sitting on the sideline watching, getting fatter.

Why not sit on the sideline? After all weren’t we all taught that violence is bad? That people who have knowledge in martial arts are dangerous?

Nothing could be further from the truth. At every karate session the students (adult and children) state a creed that they will use karate only as a last defense and only to protect ourselves and others. Students have been removed from martial arts training due to fighting in school when they should not have been. Other students have used their training to hold down a student that was fighting until teachers or administrators arrive. I was impressed – again.

I started my karate training going to three one hour sessions per week. When I first started I tried to do so many push-ups that every muscle in my chest and back hurt. It hurt so bad that I couldn’t even expand my chest to cough! But I kept going.

I then found out that black belt candidates are required to run 3 miles in 30 minutes. Getting my black belt is very important to me (my 3 daughter and I should be eligible at the same time), so I started working out at lunch for an hour. For that hour during lunch I performed just cardio. I started by riding the stationary bike, then walking on the treadmill, then using the elliptical. No matter what it was, I did for an hour straight. Now I can easily do one hour on the stairmaster (which I used to be afraid of) then follow up with another hour on the treadmill or elliptical (if time permits).

I’ve been feeling so good about myself and my accomplishments, I added Muay Thai kickboxing to my workout schedule. I’ve been doing Muay Thai for about 2 months (still a white belt in Muay Thai, an orange in Karate) and have a really fun time with that. Muay Thai is a lot of kicking and hitting with some self defense. There is no kata (practice fighting) and we don’t do much sparring. But the workouts I find very tough and unique.

After I do my one hour of Muay Thai I go to a karate class for an hour. As you can imagine, I move a little slow after that Muay Thai class.

After maintaining this schedule for about 9 months, I have lost 50 pounds. I am down to 230 pounds. I have been lingering around the 230 mark for a while, but my wife says I am gaining muscle mass. I went from wearing 44 inch waist pants to easily fitting back into 36 inch pants. My blood pressure went from about 140/100 to 100/70.

The best thing is not the weight loss. It is that I am doing this along with my children. My daughters go to class in the other karate dojo while I am practicing in the other. I have three daughters, so karate can be a little expensive (sparring equipments, weapons, tuition, etc.). However, when my daughters are off to college, I will sleep a little better at night knowing that my daughter can defend themselves.

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