My foot’s fixed :)

In awesome news, I managed to get my prosthetic foot enclosure fixed yesterday! Is very awesome, I’m extremely chuffed! While the fusion they did to hold the busted one together has actually proved to be extremely good in light of things (especially seeing it yesterday off the foot – I’ve got it as a just-in-case [better to have a busted enclosure than none at all]), that inherent weakness in the toes has now been eliminated.

This was all very good in the grand scheme of things, as last night I ended up doing an impromptu karate training session. Normally between classes I’ll do weights and some light bag work, but last night after doing my usual warm-up and strengthening exercises, I was really getting into the bag work and had a good look at my surroundings where I train at home, shuffled some things around, and started doing my basic drills as I had enough room to go up and down 5 paces as per the usual class stuff. After doing that, I shuffled a couple of other things around, and ended up making just enough space to accommodate a slightly cramped kata. I know that I need work on focus, breathing and technique (I’ve got the pattern down reasonably well at this point), so I deliberately took it slow and methodical in approach. Turned out to be a really good session – after one or two run-throughs I started hitting that quasi-meditative state you can find when doing kata, constantly practicing slowly but with an emphasis on correct, deliberate and focused technique (and breathing – the neighbours probably weirded out if they were able to hear me :P). I’m not sure how often I repeated my kata, but on the last two I sped up the sequence in order to move into a more dynamic form. At the end of it I came inside exhausted, sweaty but definitely stoked 😀

The cool thing is that hopefully my little re-arrangement of some of my equipment will mean I can do this more often, which will be a huge help.

In other news, the weekend saw some back-to-back movie awesomeness – Saturday night saw Wifey and I sitting down to the schlocky awesomeness that is Best of the Best, and on Sunday I indulged in the utterly sublime Kuro Obi (Black Belt). Will dedicate some posts to both of these films during the week, as they offer extremely polarised takes on martial arts in films 😉

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I heart Rapid Fire

Last night I watched the supremely awesome Rapid Fire, starring the late Brandon Lee. Now, let’s get this straight – Rapid Fire isn’t an example of some kind of crazy, mold-breaking martial arts flick that re-set the stage for Hollywood live-action martial arts movies (you can probably attribute that to The Matrix, which introduced Hollywood to the concept of *shock* kung fu, choreographed by HK talent no less [it also liberally “borrowed” from more movies than you can poke a stick at, but that’s another story]). Nope, this is a piece of 1992 wrapped up in cliche after cliche, but it still wins at life.

The movie sees our hero (and Art major) Brandon Lee running around a college campus with super-champ Dustin Nguyen following Brandon surviving some tanks at Tienanmen Square. Brandon then attends a party at a trendy warehouse where a Taiwanese drug trafficker gets shot by an American mafia hitman; Brandon sees it, everyone brings out uzis and shoots out all the glass they can see, Brandon does some biffo, drives his motorbike through the warehouse (also through lots of glass), and gets picked up by the cops. Given the mafia connection, he’s taken as a witness with the “feds”, corruption and more awesome biffo ensue as Art student Brandon beats the snot out of more whiteshirts, whereupon he gets taken in by a tough-talking police detective guy who says “damnit!” and in extreme situations, “God damnit!”, an awful lot. He also meets a female detective, and as per the rules of all Hollywood martial arts flicks of this era, they shag. There’s also a shootout at a mafia headquarters/restaurant in there, and more biffo in a Chinatown laundry where the chief drug trafficker gets taken down in yet another shodown. Cue the credits, rpelete with wiggly-wiggly guitar, and possibly some saxophone.

In short, utter win 🙂

What stands out in this one is that Lee is actually not too bad on screen (as opposed to Showdown in Little Tokyo, which is a hilarious mess), the fighting choreography by Jeff Imada and Brandon Lee is actually very tight and snappy, and the whole production isn’t too overblown with silly acting and stupid inconsistencies. Wifey also reckons Brandon Lee is a bit of alright, and since he spends reasonable portions of the movie without his shirt on, it meant that we could watch it together without her falling asleep 😛

Rapid Fire won’t win any crazy awards for anything in particular, but it does make for an enjoyable 90 minutes of awesome crazy era between 1988 and 1993 where cheap martial arts flicks ruled the video shelves at your local, and every now again you stumbled upon a winner.

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Bemusing Wifey

I’m not sure if I’m the only who gets into this habit, but I thought I’d share. Between classes, I’m prone to wandering around the house doing karate. A punch here, a kick there, that kind of thing. Unfortunately (and often exacerbated when I miss a week’s training), I often get a little too enthusiastic. Case in point – say I’ve just washed up in the bathroom, and instead of being sensible and going to bed, I start doing standing punches or shuto. Or I’m walking through the kitchen to get something to drink. 5 minutes later and I’ve done a handful of punches, shuto and blocks.

We have a long corridor in our house, which I often walk up and down doing maegeri’s and yokogeri’s 😛 Then there’s the dining room area in our lounge that’s generally empty – perfect for practicing crescent kicks, as demonstrated last night when I was closing the house up to go to bed, and spent 5 minutes kicking the air. I suspect that some of the hairline fractures I’ve seen in some of the old floor tiles in our house probably haven’t been helped by me randomly doing stuff around the house either.

What often makes this worse is after I’ve watched an awesome piece of martial artistry on TV or at the movies. Take Sunday night just gone for example – watched a really good Bruce Lee doco on cable (one I hadn’t seen before either, which was ace because I think I’m beginning to exhaust them!), and so I got inspired by its awesomeness. Wifey was in the bedroom in an attempt to go to sleep when she heard the dulcet tones of her husband’s spontoneity in the corridor —

[starts a run-up] dom-dom-domdomdomdomdom [brief silence due to jumping] … [landing] DOM-domdomdomdom-dom-dom

Wifey: What are you doing?
Me: Just getting ready for bed…

[starts a run-up] dom-dom-domdomdomdomdom [brief silence due to jumping] … [landing] DOM-domdomdomdom-dom-dom

😀

I’m hoping that I’m not the only one out there to spontaneous bursts of karate in the house (my instructor says he’s a bit guilty of it, though I’m not sure if he’s as bad as me and runs up and down the corridor doing jumping side kicks :P), but thought I’d share it anyhows. I think Wifey’s caught between bemusement and frustration, depending on what time of day/night I get inspired to do stupid things like this 😛

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Archive: You suck Scott Wolf – Red is better

Source: Gisoku no Jutsu
Original post date: 26 June, 2007

Okay, Wifey and I watched the incredible wrongness that is Double Dragon the Movie last week. I hadn’t seen it before, and my other half had seen it as part of one of her friend’s obsessions with Scott Wolf. Now, for the people out there who aren’t aware, Double Dragon was a videogame released to the masses in 1987 by the now defunct developer Technos. Double Dragon pretty much pioneered the side-scrolling fighting genre in video game land, and the games are classics – XBox 360 owners recently have had a remake thrust on them, but thankfully there’s also the option to enjoy it in all its original blocky glory.

Oops, got carried away again. Anywho, Double Dragon is a video game. Video games generally don’t translate well to movies, due to (a) the Hollywood studio execs are idiots, (b) the director and producers are idiots, (c) a story is contructed out of a property with no real story, and (d) there was no money to begin with, so it was a lost cause. Double Dragon pretty much falls into all of these categories – the studios behind it were idiots, the final package doesn’t speak all that well of the director/producers, there was obviouly very little money, and there is little premise for a story. That is because the storyline for Double Dragon is as follows – Billy Lee has a girlfriend. A dude in a mohawk punches her in the belly and then walks off. Billy and his brother Jimmy rescue the girl. Billy and Jimmy then fight each other as as to win her.

No, seriously, that’s about it. Wikipedia reckons there’s some post-apocalyptic futre thing going on. I think Technos (and by extension, Taito (who translated it into English) were smoking crack when they determined this, as the blocky scenery suggests 80s tragedy, not post-apocalyptic future.

So, in the movie Double Dragon, we start off with a winning opening – ninjas raid a Chinese village. We don’t know where, as a handy subtitle suggests that we are “Somewhere in China”. The shonky factor increases when we go a post-apocalyptic future – 2007 – to LA, whre a big earthquake blew everything up. We then witness Billy and Jimmy Lee in an underground fighting tournament that demonstrates that Wolf needed more body double shots, as he is officially shit. Jimmy Lee, unknown but talented, doesn’t suck. The dude that played T-1000 from Terminator 2 is the villain and has a goatee, and there’s lots of biff, bad effects and cheap explosions. There’s also Alissa Milano in short blonde hair, who, like Wolf, can’t fight to save her life either. Then at the end of the movie, they join two dragon-shaped pendants (the ‘Double Dragons’) and suddenly they have campy uniforms in blue and red colours. The end.

This movie fails on so many levels and should only be watched with a healthy sense of humour handy, possibly enhanced by (responsible, over 18 and legal [don’t close my blog MySpace :P]) consumption of alcohol. I won’t get those two hours of my life back, but at least I could laugh at it and didn’t waste any money on watching it.

Scott Wolf, go home to your Party of Five. Or better yet, Go Home and Be a Family Man. Man, I’m such a tragic geek 😛

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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 🙂

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 😛

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 😛
  • 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 😛

So yes, those are my thoughts of Spidey 3 🙂

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 🙂

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