Contributed by Liz Lamar
It seems impossible to pick up useful techniques from watching a class on my monitor, but I decided to try it. I have been reading about Cane Masters. I spoke to Grand Master Mark Shuey, and I like his approach. I also think the Cane Masters Virtual Dojo sessions are at a great pace for novices as well as intermediate students. I can follow, but I can also tell it is stretching muscles I never stretch and working out more than I realized. Still, anytime I sign up to subscribe, I need to explore concerns:
1st Concern: No one will be here to spot me.
Part of what Americans need to do at this time, is to keep separate from others that don’t live with us. In Nevada, the home of the Cane Masters Virtual Dojo, students are required to keep a ten foot distance. The good news is that the dojo sessions don’t have you doing backflips or lifting heavy weights. You will be learning proper stretches and movements and no spotter is needed. Each stretch is included for a specific purpose and the stretches and techniques should be practiced in order. The beginning techniques are designed to be done by one person with a cane or walking stick.
Important: If you have balance issues and if there is a danger of falling, ask a family member to join you in your session.
2nd Concern: How will I know if I am not correctly following the technique?
The best way to learn, is by doing. Watch the technique to see and understand how it is done. Then pause the session, which you could never do in real life, and practice the movement you just learned. To recap:
- Watch the technique on the virtual dojo recording
- Paus the virtual dojo session.
- Practice the technique – either using a mirror to check your moves, or use your device’s cameral to selfie video mode to check your movements.
The Virtual Dojo is live a few days each week, and you can message Grand Master Shuey on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/gmshueycanemasters/ to request that he shows certain techniques you need help with. One on one personal sessions can be set up for a separate fee anytime you feel you need to do that – as long as travel and operations are not restricted at the time.
3rd Concern: Don’t I need to spar with someone?
Because of the pandemic social distancing restrictions, you cannot spar with anyone, in person or at a distance. Grandmaster Mark Shuey has restructured the Cane Masters and Lake Tahoe Martial Arts Virtual Dojo sessions to ensure you get a workout that enhances flexibility, balance and strength and teaches techniques of the American Cane System of Martial Arts. All of these moves are designed to prepare you physically for the time when contact is once again fairly safe.
I am learning alot from the virtual dojo. More importantly, I am moving more. I recommend that you make sure you have a cane or walking stick, comfortable workout clothes that allow kicks and movements, and exercise bands when you start the Virtual Dojo sessions. The Cane Masters Virtual Dojo subscriptions, canes, and resistance bands are all available on CaneMasters.com and a sample session is available on facebook.. The difference you can feel in the first week is amazing. I am so glad I got moving and that I chose Cane Masters. The Cane Masters Virtual Dojo makes fitness fun again!