Archive: Ack, I keep neglecting my blog :P

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 14 June, 2007

Sorry about the delays… things have been mega busy the last week, between work and other stuff. Wifey and I are looking at selling our current place for a bigger house, so we’ve officially started (a) looking at what’s available in our area in our price range, and (b) started on fixing up bits of the house that need some work, which I’ve been putting off due to laxiness πŸ˜‰ So if my blogs are a little infrequent over the next month, I at least have a legitimate reason πŸ˜›

Anywho, training last week went well – some drills and plenty of kata. In fact, I hope we do lotsa kata tonight, as my seifa is so sloppy at the moment. Prior to the two months off, I was performing very tight, very focused kata and I was really happy with my progress. Now I feel like a bit of a dingbat whenever I do it… I keep forgetting the finer points to really hone my technique, so I’ve decided to try and put more effort into it. My kicks are still feeling a little sloppy, and I think it’s because I haven’t been stretching as regularly as I used to prior to a couple of weeks back. I’m not sure 100%, so I’m thinking of trying to get back into a more regular routine. Same for cycling – my knee and ankle are feeling really good these days, so I’d like to get back into some cycling again on the exercise bike. I’m also hoping to do some weight training tomorrow night. So yeah, the hopeful bit is that I can get back into some sort of rhythm again. I feel like I’m getting nowhere in trimming my belly and my love handles as was my aim, so maybe all the above will help alleviate that. I’m so vain πŸ˜›

Apart from that, things are going well – had an awesome long weekend spent lazing around, going out and about with Wifey, I caught up with McAdam for some booze and video games, and finally finished up my media PC… well, almost – have to configure a couple of USB devices, but that’s easy to do and shouldn’t take too long. Might have it finished by the end of the month even… that’d be awesome. It only took me three years πŸ˜›

I’ll try and get a post-training + post-weights blog up before the end of the week. Until then, thanks for reading!!!!!

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Archive: (Belated) post-training roundup!

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 5 June, 2007

Okay, just a quick one for today – training last Wednesday went great. Wasn’t as intense as I’d liked, but I pushed myself hard and helped out a bit in class with some of the juniors. Basic moves, some drills and kata took care of most of it. For some reason my kicks felt a bit crap… I’m not sure if I had my leg on weird that night, or something else was wrong, or if I was having an unco night or something… but it was still a good class. Can’t wait for this week’s one though πŸ™‚ Hopefully I’ll be able to make it – Wifey and I are looking at selling our unit to buy a house, so we’re in the process of seeing all those important people that make such a thing possible. I’m hoping I’ll be able to organise something so I can still train, but we’ll see.

Apart from that, there’s not much to tell – I told you it was going to be a quick blog πŸ˜›

Things are still mega busy so I’ll update as I can. I had over 70 hits on the blog last week which was really cool, so a big thank you to everyone for reading!

More updates as they come – I might be able to get another blog in before training on Wednesday, but if not, I’ll post something up later in the week.

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Archive: Taekwondo, 1991-style

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 30 May, 2007

I can’t remember if I’ve talked about it much before, but my first formal introduction to martial arts training came when I was in Year 4, when I was about… 8 I think. Either that or it was Year 5 and I was 9. Regardless, I was in primary school, and I was still in the throes of “Angry Sean-o”. Most people I talk to now can’t believe that I was a little punk when I was a kid. From the age of about 5 or 6 until about 11, I was a great big pain in the arse. I used to answer back to the teachers, would regularly have to see the principal, would get constantly grounded, used to pick angry fights with my older brother Miguel, I started up a ‘fight club’ at school when I was 9 (not that (a) Fight Club was anywhere near to being created in all its uberness, or (b) a primary schoolyard organised scrap constitutes a ‘fight club’ :P) and was generally an arsehole.

Anywho, I had this passion for martial arts, and my Dad thought that it would be a good idea to take himself, Miguel and I to Taekwondo classes by the time we returned from a few years in Darwin and I was hopefully old enough to tell the difference when to use the martial art, and when not to. To be honest I wasn’t sure what the outcome was – I was still a pain during the time I did Taekwondo (which was for maybe a year, possibly more?), but to my credit I don’t think I actually used it to randomly injure too many kids… I know I would have used it on Miguel because we used to fight pretty full-on as kids, but outside of that… I don’t know. I remember picking a fight in class when the teacher was out getting something… I’m not sure why, I was probably bragging about the fact I did Taekwondo knowing me πŸ˜› This  proved to possibly be a good thing however…

You see, the kid I picked a fight with used his hands, and I learnt the hard way that in order to kick at someone, you need some room… and being wedged between classroom desks and chairs is hardly fertile ground for delivering a clumsy kick at someone. So, in short, I lost the scrap, and probably looked pretty goofy as well πŸ˜‰ I’ve never forgotten the lesson though – be wary of your surroundings.

But back to Taekwondo. I only managed to scrape to my yellow belt, which in my mind’s eye took forever. I daresay the reason I stopped going was because I had a habit in those days of being pretty fickle with stuff – I did swimming for a few years and was getting really good, then got bored of it and stopped. Did Taekwondo for a while, then stopped. Got really into basketball (basketball was very in circa 1992-1994, as were parachute pants and Megadrive; things change :P) for a few years, then stopped when I got to high school. In fact, I pretty much stopped everything when I got to high school – changed my focus to studying and by then I’d gotten out all of the angriness… or learnt to suppress it πŸ˜‰ That, also, is the subject of another blog.

So, how did I go with TKD? Not too sure to be honest. I mean, I see the kids at karate, and while you have to admire their effort, they’re not exactly excuding perfect form. I’d be kinda weirded out if they did; in that sense, watching little kids do martial arts isn’t entirely unlike watching junior, like primary school soccer or footy – the kids get out there, and kick the ball somewhere and run after it. It’s very cute, but we’re talking elite sportsmen for the most part. Sure, it probably solidifies concepts or foundations for later on, but I’m getting distracted again… πŸ˜›

Anyway, I remember doing all the moves and stuff, the kicks, punches and so forth. It was actually a good thing I reckon in the long run, even if I only did it for a short period of time. I felt it made starting karate a little easier since I remembered some of the basics – chamber your punch, long stances, first kata, raise your knee for your kicks – and the lesson format was kinda familiar, too. And all training halls with the wooden floors and kinda aged stone walls (aka your average community gym/hall) have that same smell/feeling when you go inside.

It’s so long ago that I can’t remember in much detail how I coped with learning different things, how I overcame stuff, how my technique evolved… if it did at all πŸ˜‰ But I knew from experience that when it came time to learn a martial art that I couldn’t do Taekwondo – too much focus on leg work and not enough on upper body techniques. I know this is a generalisation (and conversley, TKD practitioners criticise karate for the quality of their kicks; in fact, most martial arts have participants who have a habit of criticising different styles or different arts altogether [again, food for thought and the subject of further blogs!]), but I believe that I’ve made the right choice in choosing to go down the path of karate.

I waffle on too much πŸ˜› Quick summary – I did Taekwondo as a kid, it was fun, but I was fickle and gave it up πŸ˜› My Dad and brother kept going a little longer and got to their green belt (it went white >> yellow >> green), but they stopped after Miguel got hit by a car and broke his leg, which is pretty understandable.

Well, next time I report I daresay will be a post-training round-up. Oh, and for those interested I’ve added a few more photos and stuff to my pics; nothing training-related, just random stuff πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

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Archive: I’m back :P

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 27 May, 2007

Ack, apologies for the lack of blogging last week – between work and everything else, it’s been crazy.

Now, I know I was going to talk about my first karate lesson or bring up my previous Taekwondo experience when I was a kid, but I thought for today I’d simply go over last week’s training, because it was pure awesomeness πŸ™‚

As I’ve brought up over the last couple of weeks’ blogs, I’ve been working on my leg stretching, and I reckon it’s finally paying off. Part of our training on Wednesday night last week was to spar with Sensei R with the aim being to go into a full offensive pattern aiming for his big punching pads he wore on his hands. Now in the past I would have gone into a routine with more emphasis on punches than kicks, but I was feeling pretty good about my kicks and thought this was an excellent opportunity to try it out. Not only was I impressed, but I think even Sensei R was surprised with how developed my kicks were – I was lunging with double-strike side kicks, thrusting side kicks, head-level front kicks, round kicks, crescent kicks, going from one to the next to the next with barely a break! It felt so good, so amazing to be able to pull it all off, and I came home feeling really proud of myself, like I’d really started to accomplish something.

The other thing I discovered whilst waiting outside at 10:30pm at night waiting for Baxter the Ninja Dog to do his business… because, you know, there’s nothing unusual for someone to randomly train their karate before they go to bed at night, leaving the neighbours to wonder why they keep hearing these random stomping noises as the foot on my artificial leg goes ‘PLONK!’ on the pavers πŸ˜›

Anyway, I was trying different kicks with my fake leg, and I stumbled across a jumping inside-out crescent kick I can do! I look a little goofy when I land, but it’s really cool πŸ™‚ I’m not really sure how effective it would be in practice, but it’s great to be able to use my legs in this way. Hopefully with more practice I can get closer to trying butterfly and tornado kicks πŸ™‚

Also, on Thursday night Wifey and I went over my parents’ place, and Tank and I went out the back yard to do kick training and stuff, which was awesome. He’s convinced me to take some video footage and post it up on MySpace showing some of my kicks (including my 360-degree vertical heel strike… well, that’s what I call it anyway :P), and I learnt the my forward kick with my real leg is actually more powerful than I thought. Oh, and I also helped Tank make is MySpace look awesomeness.

Well, hopefully next will be a little less crazy and I can post a few more blogs.

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Archive: Lift some steaks, eat some weights

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 18 May, 2007

You know, I don’t even know the name of the song that aforementioned quip is from. All I know is that I keep on seeing it on VH1. Oh, and the correct line is ‘lift some weights, eat some steaks’ hahahaha, it’s sooooo bad! Except the random board kicking in the clip was cool. And the slapper girls in it are amusing as well.

Anyway, the reason for the title is because I did weight training last night. Nothing terribly intense, as I didn’t want to push myself, just wake the muscles up as my father in law said. Speaking of my father in law, I was telling him about the blog and that I’m using pseudonyms for peoples’ names – he’s informed me he will now be known as Fat Dave, as that was his moniker when he used to be on a radio show.

So anywho, did some weight training last night, which was ace. My arms are a little sore this morning, so I figure I must have done them some good. In my plan to shave off the extra couple of kilos I’ve put on over the past two months, I’ve also decided to bring back the size of my meals to the same portion as Wifey’s – it was acually her suggestion, and so far it’s all been good. I remember last time I made the conscious effort to bring back the size of the meals I was eating, and I actually started feeling better because I wasn’t eating to the point of feeling bloated; the same thing’s happening this time as well, so it’s all good.

I ended up skipping on karate this week – I had some torn skin on the back of my stump that I was hoping would heal up; it hadn’t by Wednesday, so I’ve thrown a couple of bandaids over it since Wednesday night, and it’s been feeling much better, and I’m not making it worse when wearing my leg, which is why I think it was taking too long to heal up before. Looking forward, therefore, for training next week πŸ™‚

In non-training stuff, I want to mention two things briefly. First, I’ve added a handful of photos and stuff to the pics section – go and have a look. Hamez has been kind enough to add some comments, so feel free to add some additional ones πŸ˜›

Secondly, McAdam, Tank, Wifey and myself went to see Spider-man 3 on Tuesday. Y’know, ’cause it’s cheap to go on Tuesday nights. Tight-arse Tuesday and all that. Anywho, I won’t wax lyrical on it, but I did enjoy it, there was heaps going on which I thought was really good. Some comments though, and be warned there might be some spoilers in there:

  • The strut scene was complete awesome
  • The news reporter bit was dicky and unnecessary – please cut it out for the DVD release πŸ˜›
  • Venom looks uber
  • The scene towards the end where Spidey swings past the flag should have featured “America~~, f*ck yeah!” from Parker/Stone’s sublimely golden Team America instead of the film’s score. In fact, as soon as I can get some footage of that clip, I’ll rip out the audio and throw that in there instead, then YouTube. Though I might be drop-kicked by The Man if someone gets cranky about it
  • Speaking of flag waving, Spidey 3 was much improved over the unnecessary plastering of it over the course of the previous film. I mean, the fact it’s set in New York and they all have American accents kinda gives it away that the movie’s set in the US. Just say no to unnecessary cultural/political propaganda in Hollywood films πŸ˜›

So yes, those are my thoughts of Spidey 3 πŸ™‚

I’ll fire up another update next week, and I’ve decided I’ll try to make the time over the coming weeks to cover two things – firstly, recount my first lesson at karate, and secondly, talk about how I used to do Taekwondo with my older brother Miguel and my Dad when I was much younger, probably around 8 or 9 years old. Oh, and hopefully I’ll update my profile stuff on what I’m watching/reading – it’s really out of date now πŸ™‚

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