Well, we’re into September now and I still haven’t gotten into a decent/consistent routine of doing proper training between classes. It’s been a very wet six weeks which certainly hasn’t helped (though I’m not knocking the rain, it’s normally so dry down here it’s nice for a change!!), as I actually train in my nice big shed, but since it isn’t sealed around the base, when the weather gets really wet, I get some leaking around the area I work out in, which is far from a safe training environment (and as I’ve noted various times in this blog, I’m a little accident-prone :P). There’s also been other commitments that have come up after work, I’ve been distracted by a few things, I’ve been slack, stuff like that. None of it is any real, super-legitimate excuse though, and it’s proving hard to break the temptation of taking it easy after a busy day at the office and get into the shed for some training.
Fingers crossed the weather clears up a little so I can cross at least excuse off my list and get back into a decent routine. I know that as soon as I start it, I’ll be fine, it’s just breaking that habit. I’m particularly keen to get back into my stretching and weights routine in order to improve my kicks and build up my muslce mass again, and because I’m vain, I’m also looking forward to flattening my stomach again – the combination of cakes during the week and beer over the last couple of weekends while I was helping McAdam paint/renovate/move in have made my mid-section a little more plump than I’d otherwise care for 😉 I was watching videos of Kanazawa-sensei performing my kata via YouTube last night, and it’s demonstrated I have a long, long way to go in getting it right, so some extra training of kata couldn’t hurt, either.
We’ll see how I go – will post up some progress reports as I go!
Just wanted to take a moment to point to another blog I’ve added to my list – A Teaspoon of Treacle. Why the plug? Because it’s Wifey’s new blog 🙂 We’ve been talking for a while now about her starting up her own foodie blog as she’s extremely talented in the kitchen and has been thinking of doing something about it on the web. So, while I’m not sure how much crossover there’ll be, I’d like to encourage everyone visiting here to drop by her site and take a look!
That’s a catchy title for what is a really interesting post at The Martial Explorer titled “How to hide in plain sight”. While Jesse’s not in any way suggesting urban ninja action, I thought that the principles there sound like something from an awesome urban ninja film, possibly set in 1980s California or New York, with bad hair and guitar-laden power-ballads 😀
But enough of the silliness, some of the things he writes about are very useful in an urban context, particularly his final point on blending into your environment so that you don’t present yourself as a target – I remember years ago reading material on self defense and preventative actions you can take to ensure you make yourself less of a target to someone looking for trouble, and a lot of it falls back to what Jesse’s talked about in his post. It’s short and snappy, and while it doesn’t have any images of ninjas in the post, the content makes for an excellent read. Because of my leg and the associated limp that comes with it, I try and use other aspects of my body language to play-down my presence if I’m concerned about my safety, whether it be by matching pace with other people, working hard to minimise the limp, presenting myself as a confident individual (head up, back straight, impassive face, stuff like that), etc. Not sure if it’s ever made a difference, but it’s probably good habit nonetheless!
The only point I would add to or emphasise from his post is to make extended use of your senses – sight (again, using your eyes and peripheral vision, not necessarily your head), hearing (it’s amazing what you can pick up on if you attune your hearing appropriately), and your gut instinct, because sometimes you can pick up on a potentially dangerous situation without “logically” determining it, and it’s worthwhile paying attention to it.
Mind, if you’re a bit on the paranoid side, you’ll find your gut instinct can sometimes get a little jumpy 😉 At least that’s my experience!
I was just over at Ikigai and read Matt’s recent post on the Okinawan hoe, the kuwa, as an element of kobudo training. Intrigued, I then watched the bunkai clip he posted from YouTube; I can now confidently say that the kuwa if officially awesome. I’m sure Wifey is going to be just thrilled to see me waving around and twirling the garden hoe my Dad left at our place when he was over helping me with a while back, because I can guarantee I’ll probably do it the next time I have to bring it out of the shed to do some work in the yard 😉
… and this once again reminds me that I’d love to take up kobudo, but it isn’t something I’ll be able to do until next year at the earliest. Between all sorts of stuff (i.e. money and time :P), it’s not something that’s practical at this point. Doesn’t mean I can’t keep watching clips on YouTube and read kobudo-related blogs though 😀
This is an image of my stomach just above the belly button after a short session of iron stomach training – Jyastin-kun has excellent targeting and accuracy considering how many strikes we did and it’s all focused into a single spot! This photo was taken Friday, so by now it’s started going all yellow around the purple/red area and isn’t as painful as it was last week.
I’m not sure what it says about me personally that I find this kind of thing amusing 😀 And yes, we all know how attractive my hairy man-belly is 😛