Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What an amazing book....

I'm currently reading this book, and absolutely loving it. This man didn't lift weights seriously, until he was in his mid-thirties. He's 61-years old, and looks downright amazing.... Below, I've included a YouTube video of him talking about different things.. It's definitely worth a look.

Monday, August 16, 2010

If you...

If you are going to show up and give your usual lackluster, halfhearted performance;

If you are not going to be worthy of the belt that you wear around your waist;

If you are going to just slop your way through every technique and kata, the way you've done, day after week, after month, after year;

If you really just don't want to be in class, and you're soooo bored that you can't even bother to act like you give a damn;

STAY HOME!!! QUIT!!! Don't let the door hit ya' where the good Lord split ya'! GET OUT!!!

You drag the entire class down, provide a crap example of what a higher belt-holder is supposed to be, and you make our whole class look bad.

GO. AWAY. No one wants to look at your face and read how very very bored you are. No one wants to look at your sloppy, half-assed techniques. No one wants to talk to you, since you never speak above a mumble, anyway.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Last night's class! FUN!

Last night's class was great! After our 30-40 minutes of calisthenics and stretching, we pulled out the dummies and went through one minute practice rounds, where we just threw punches and kicks, chops, elbows, and knees... After that, Sensei pulled out a staff with thick, soft padding on the end. One at a time, we would lie down, and he swing the staff down, trying to swat us with it. We were to roll over and over, keeping our hands up, and then get to our feet while protecting ourselves.

The first time, I did okay... I got thumped in the head, at the very end. The second time, though! The second time, I was fast! Rolling over and over, avoiding every swat of the staff, and then I found myself pinned by the base of one of the dummies, so I flipped my legs over in a backwards somersault, since I couldn't roll my body as a unit anymore. When I flipped my legs over, I used the momentum to carry me to my feet and came up with my arms raised and crossed overhead in a block, just as Sensei brought the staff down for another strike. It was perfect. The staff ended up between my crossed wrists.

It was fast, fluid, and it just worked out perfectly. I love it when that happens! :-))) It's also nice to know that my speed and reflexes haven't degenerated that much, compared to when I was in my twenties.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Miscellaneous Updates

I ordered a Shureido gi, a few weeks ago. I absolutely love it. The jacket is actually long enough, and the crotch-to-waist measurement of the pants is short enough that I don't have to constantly pull up on the legs of the gi, whenever I raise a foot, or go to squat down. Very very nice, and well worth the money. I'd like to actually have one more, and may buy another, in a few months.

The Wansu kata is coming along nicely, but I still have a lot of work left to do. Of course, after the Wansu, it's time to begin working on the Chinto kata, which is another long and complex kata, but I'm less daunted, now that I've got the Naihanchin kata down, and I've got approximately one-third of the Wansu memorized.

Workouts are still going strong, with unflagging intensity. I took the weekend off, but this morning, walked and jogged a mile. This afternoon is my day to work my back. Lat pulldowns, seated row, shrugs, deadlifts, and triceps pushdowns. I'm loving the way I'm starting to look and feel!

Funny thing about working out, though: There are about 50 different kinds of protein powders and tons of different supplements out there. Each supplement makes grandiose claims to be the latest, greatest thing, and promises to do everything except balance your checkbook and make you a millionaire. (I think I just pulled a muscle, rolling my eyes...) The only thing most of them are good for, is ensuring that the user has the most expensive urine in town. Hahaha...

I've narrowed it down to three supplements: A basic protein powder, a multivitamin, and fish oil capsules. That's it. That's all. The fish oil capsules supply the much-needed Omega-3s that most people don't get through their diets. (Unless they are real fish aficionados, which I am definitely not!)

80% of how you look and feel, is based on two things: Your fork and knife. The remaining 20% comes from what you do in the gym.

Check this guy out:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Found a good video of the Wansu kata

The same uploader has good videos of the Chinto kata, as well. What a relief! I've searched and searched for a good instructional video on both of these kata. It's a little less daunting...The sound quality for this video really stinks, and the narration is out of sync with the movements, but this video coupled with this PDF, really makes it more accessible.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sparred again, tonight! HOOAH!!!!

We had a big class, tonight! Thirteen people showed up, and our combined heat managed to raise the temperature of the dojo from 71F to 76F, by the time we were finished with our half hour of calisthenics. We did some medicine ball drills -- A stance drill, and then a speed drill.

After that, we had sparring. I was called out for the first match, and called on to spar against the black belt that beat me so badly, the last time we sparred. I thought, Oh boy... Here we go...

We bowed to Sensei, bowed to each other, touched gloves, and then went for a single round. Just before hajime, I got into a Seiuchin (horse) stance, turned sideways to him. I felt cool, loose, and relaxed. I waited for him to throw the first shot and really focused on my defense. My plan was to stay either all the way out, or get inside and bang to the body, since I'm 5'10" and he's 6'2" or 3" and has greater reach, power, and speed than I do.

My biggest mistakes, the first time we sparred and I got blitzed: I let my hands fall to chest level, I didn't move laterally very much, and I started out in a Seisan stance, more or less squared up to him. Bad mistakes, all of them...

This time, I was sideways to him, tried to circle to my right and away from his power, and I kept my guard up. He threw a lot of techniques to the head, just as in our first match, but because my guard was up, he only got one punch that came through and popped me in the nose. What felt best, was when he tried a spinning back-fist and he hit only my gloves. The only other real shot he managed to get in, was at the very end, where I got my guard too high, and he ripped off a kick to my mid-section that had me briefly feeling a little green around the gills. The match was over, by then.

I was able to time him a couple of times, and I was able to get inside and hit him a few times to the mid-section; not hard enough to hurt him at all, but enough to let him know that I was right there in his wheelhouse and popping him pretty good.

All in all, I'm very pleased with how the match went. Of course, I'm still not at black belt level by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel like I was a lot better, this time out. Next time, I'll be even better.

Things I need to work on: I need to move laterally more, need to be less flat-footed and more mobile so I can pop in, strike, and then get out. Because he's a taller opponent and likes to throw punches and kicks to the head and face, I need to work on getting lower, slipping those punches and kicks, and then banging back before he has time to get set again.

Good stuff... I learn so much, every time we spar, and I wish we'd do more of it. Now that my techniques are improving through working the kata and stances, sparring is a lot more fun!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Okay... Onward and upward!

Killer workout, this morning. Chest, shoulders, and neck. Flat bench press, inclined bench press, overhead shoulder press, and weighted neck-lifts, three sets per exercise, each one taken to muscle failure between 8-12 reps. My shoulders, chest, and lats continue to widen and broaden, and my waist continues to get smaller. My legs are getting a lot stronger and bigger, too. From workout to workout, I'm consistently raising the weights by an average of 5-7 lbs per exercise. The changes are exciting to see, and I feel great!! I'm being very careful to take my time to warm up, stretch out well, and do a light warm-up set before each exercise. In this way, I think I'll be able to keep from injuring myself. At this point, it really feels like the sky is the limit!

I've been working and working on the Naihanchi kata, and I've really got it in good shape. It doesn't feel nearly so awkward, anymore. In fact, I've even come to like it quite a bit. I'm ready to start viewing videos of the Wansu kata now, and if I can divide the kata up into halves, thirds, or quarters, maybe it'll be easier to memorize. I'm excited about it, and feel very encouraged by my rapid success with the Naihanchi. (Of course, I'm constantly working on the Seisan and Seiuchin katas, and I have a lot of refining of the Naihanchi kata, to do.) Anyway... It's getting there! :-)