GTFO … of Your Comfort Zone

For the most part, I try my best to improve in something everyday. But lately I’ve been struggling a lot with being content in my personal life. I don’t necessarily like it, yet I still try my best to embrace and ignite change. Because a spark can easily turn into a flame.

Something I’ve been trying to level up on for the past year is sparring. I’ve always been more comfortable in performing Katas. A few weeks ago, I was asked by members from UC Merced to help judge their tournament. When the time came for the sparring division, they were short on competitors. Now, I definitely wasn’t in the best shape for sparring, since I haven’t practiced in a few weeks. However this was a perfect opportunity to get some more experience with different fighters. I was extremely nervous, but kept telling myself that this was the only way to improve. I needed to step out of my comfort zone.

So…I jumped in, did my best, and lost 2-3. I’m glad I found the courage to compete (thanks to my friends who comforted me & pushed me), since I wasn’t expecting to win (otherwise I wouldn’t have done it) but to face a fear, and ultimately step out of my comfort zone. Here are a couple pics. Oh boy do I need to train harder than ever! 2 more months until the next tournament. I’ll be more prepared, and hopefully, it will show! 🙂

Fight on, everyone!


Edit: Teehee I look like a vampiyaa with that mouth guard! :p


17 thoughts on “GTFO … of Your Comfort Zone

  1. Sparring is something beyond my comfort zone as well. I was just starting to seriously practice it up until my black-belt test. Since then I have fallen out of practice, but would LOVE to learn and eventually participate in a tournament. Great pics!

    • Hi Sam! Yes, it was very hard for me to commit myself to learning how to spar.
      1) I’m a slowpoke :p …and I KNOW have to work on speed
      2) Because once I set my mind to do something, I have to continually grow it at it (or I’ll be very unhappy with myself)!

      What do you train in? 🙂

      • Primarily Shudokan, but due to lack of interest the school shut down 😦 I hope I can get back at it once again some day! Love your blog!

  2. For some weird reason I actually miss sparring even though the last few times I did it I was crazy nervous. I think I’m just starting to feel “confined” since I’m only doing kata, something I never used to do. :S
    Great to see you in tournament mode though! Win or lose the more experience you have under your belt the better prepared you will be and be able to get in “the zone”. Wow, I miss that feeling. I should enter a tournament!

  3. Sparring is fun for me as well! Its like grownup tag lol. Jk.
    Seems like we’re in the same boat right now, except for you = kata, for me = sparring! Hahaha 🙂
    And yes sir! Agreed that experience is always a plus. I’m not one for tournaments, BUT I try to go to a few because it gives me some motivation to train harder. Its always easier to train towards something! 🙂

    • “It’s like grownup tag” — I LOVE that! I don’t enjoy sparring itself, but like the drills. I had to force myself to learn to spar because I had to spar for my black belt. Thank goodness for a patient instructor! I’m now encouraging one of our brown belts in her sparring, and I’ll share this with her. Good luck in your upcoming tournaments!

      • Hahaha, sparring drills are great! I’m learning a lot about control and speed. Sometimes its weird to me because sparring form is different from kata form!

        That’s great that you’re working with students and encouraging them to try new things! Sometimes that’s all you need, a little motivation to go outside of your comfort zone. Thank you! 🙂

    • Hi Daniel!

      I’m currently working on stamina, speed, and footwork/creating space. A few of my friends are quite good at sparring so they’ve volunteered to help me level up 😉 On my own I have been working with the bag to get comfortable with some combos. I have a problem with following up with different moves since I’m usually on the defense! I need to get more aggressive! 🙂

      Any tips??

  4. I’m thinking of doing my next post on the training aspect. As for the aggression, it is something that comes naturally to me, I view it as the animal side of my spirit it is the beast inside that not fights to survive but fights to live. Life itself is a battle and if we gives in to it we will never rise above our demons. My inner animal is what gives me lots of energy and passion for life, its why I can train harder than most people, why I have alot of passion for both martial arts and strength training.
    The two ways that I can think at this moment to tap into your inner animal is either to use all your frustrations and inner demons as a fuel to drive you on, instead of letting them make you weaker, you use them to make you stronger, on why you should keep moving forward. The other way, is inspired from a YouTube video by Elliot Huse
    where he says you actually roar when training (like hitting the punching bag) to help you release your aggression, it will seem very silly but its a way that could help you tap into your aggression.
    i hope this helped (I may actually post this on my blog Lol).

    • Amazing! Thank you for your insight. I’ll definitely check out the video when I can. I can understand the roaring. When I kia I do feel more energy in my strikes. I’ve always been taught that when training/performing if you can visualize your opponent, you are good, but what makes you exceptional is if the audience can visualize your opponent!

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