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A Puddle of Sweat
In the Summertime it is easy to tell if you are putting enough effort into your karate training. Your body soaks with sweat. Your uniform starts to stick to you. You find yourself wiping your brow to get the stinging, salty water out of your eyes. Your stances start to become sloppy because your feet are sliding around on the floor. You are standing in a puddle of sweat.
I have three recommendations for dealing with the puddle of sweat.
Carry a small towel like a wash rag Carry two hand towels Hydrate
Take the small was rag, fold it half, and place it inside your gi jacket over your stomach. You don’t tend to sweat much there, so it will stay dry. Your belt and the cotton on cotton friction will keep it from falling out. When you need to wipe your brow, instead of using your sleeve, use this instead. You will add a year to your uniform’s life.
The two hand towels are for the same purpose. One is for wiping yourself off during any breaks or after class. The other, fold it neatly and lay it on the floor near the wall. Unfortunately for you color belts, you probably can’t pick your spot in the room, so you might not be able to do this. In the Japanese Karate classes I have trained in, we black belts were in the back of the room, and we kept our equipment nearby. I have always been able to pick a wall spot and have the towel on the floor nearby. Don’t pick it up and wipe your face with it – step on it like it is a doormat and wipe your ankles off to stop sliding around.
The sweat on the floor under your used to be in your body, which is mostly composed of water. When you sweat a lot during class, several things happen. Your body needs that water back, and you start to run low on nutrients. You need to replace that water. A one liter water bottle filled with ice cubes then water placed on the side of the room will go a long way to prevent you from overheating and dehydrating. Walk over and get water as necessary.
Instructors: your folks should feel comfortable walking to their water and drinking it throughout the class as long as they don’t get in anyone’s way and don’t drink in between every single exercise. For them to feel this way, you need to tell them that it is OK.
Students: you don’t need to drink every five minutes during class to prevent dehydration. A fifth of a liter of water every 30 minutes will hold you together. You aren’t sweating out that much.
All of that sweating took away a lot of waste products from your body, sped your metabolism, and caused your cells to start sucking up new water and kicking everything out. Your next meal should be a healthy one. Sucking down three beers and a cheeseburger is fun, but not really a great way to restore yourself to full health following a grueling training session.
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