This 500 hours Budokon teacher training weekly diary is a follow up from my earlier post Discovering Budokon.
25th February, 2017 – Finally, on the plane to Miami for the 500 hours Budokon Teacher’s training program. Although, just a week ago I wasn’t quite sure I’m going to make it. Last Sunday, my wife and I decided we should go for one last snowboarding trip to close the season. The weather was unbelievably good and we had a lot of fun, till this one little glitch that put my training at stake. I had a small accident that partially raptured the MCL of my right knee. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, it is a ligament on the inner side of the knee that connects the quads with the calf muscle. With that raptured, I am unable to bend my knee inward. The sports doctor suggested I should stop all kinds of movement that involves the knee. It took me one year to prepare for the training. I was totally devastated. I called BDK University and to my relief, both Melayne and Jose mentioned that attending the training might actually help the knee heal quicker as it will strengthen the surrounding muscles. Thus, I’m on the plane right now, avoiding any movement to my knee to get it some rest, hoping for the best.
11th March 2017 – It’s been a week since the training started. There are 15 of us in our core group who are training for the 500 hours course. We are from all over the world. We train together, eat together, sleep together. Most of these people do sports for their living – yoga teacher, martial artist, etc. I am a bit of an odd one out who comes from a rather desk job background who did some martial art as a kid. Everybody is extremely friendly and welcoming. As of now, we had a great time. We also kind of got the hang of our daily 8 am to 9:30 pm training schedule.
18th March – It’s two weeks since we started the course. We made massive progress in our learning. It’s really amazing how quickly your body adapts to changes and how much you could push yourself. My knee has been holding pretty well to the extent that I don’t even feel that anything ever happened to it. We are all constantly in sore though. New issue popped up with my left wrist. It got massively swollen but it doesn’t have any pain. So, I decided to continue with the training anyways.
25th March – This is the end of the third week. We are extremely exhausted. Our muscles are not getting enough time to recover properly in those 8 hours of sleep. Even sleeping is difficult as every single muscle is crazily sore. We also started getting injured one at a time. Some broke their ribs, some have cramped muscles for days and some with broken toes. My shoulder muscles got so exhausted that I could not put any weight on them – I suspect it could be an issue with my rotary cuff. This proved to be quite a problem due to two main reasons. The first one being, in the coming week we are supposed to focus on calisthenics that involves a lot of hanging from bars, rings, parallexes, etc. The second reason being almost all of Budokon requires you to have a properly functional shoulders. After talking with Melayne, who apparently had the same problem earlier, the solution turned out to be either a lot of rest or a lot of Ibuprofen. I chose the latter.
1st April – The whole of last week we spent a lot of time with our calisthenics coach Nelson. He is a huge, muscular guy, but has a mind of a kid. We all learnt a lot from him. During this week, we also started learning the Red Belt kata. It’s a great kata that truly combines everything that we have been learning until now. 4-5 Ibuprofens every day helped me deal with the training schedule.
1st April – The entire of last week, we practised and practised and practised whatever we learnt, preparing for the assessment day on 2nd April. Our main focus were on the katas for Grappling and Red Belt. We also took this week a bit lightly so our bodies could get the time to recover before the MMA weekend. MMA weekend is usually the last three days of the training; in our case it was from 31st March to 2nd April. These are intense days when you technically fight all day long with different people. UFC fighter Jose Burkman came over and spent the week with us. He was extremely inspirational and taught us a lot of techniques. Professor Donato also came over. We loved his engaging teaching style and energy. 1st April is mainly focused on striking skills – we technically kick boxed from morning till evening. I got a black eye when Brynenn McIver kicked me on my face. I have a bit of a scar now below the left eye. I’ve decided to live with that as a souvenir for all the hard work that I’ve put in during the training.
The idea is to squeeze out every bit of our energy. At 8 pm the assessment starts. We have to demonstrate the Grappling kata and the Red Belt kata. This
was followed by breaking two wooden boards – one with a reverse punch and the other with a front kick. The day ended at around midnight. We were meant to go out and party, but none of us had any energy left. So we just hanged around drinking and chatting till early hours of the morning and then retired to bed.
As a final note, it had been a truly life changing experience. Despite all the pains, injuries and failures, I wouldn’t change a thing if I could. Those 30 days made me a better teacher, better mover, better thinker and a better person overall.