Sunday, September 21, 2008

Karate class scheduling in my world

Every other Friday, my honey and I have both set of kids. In terms of schedule, the 11 year old is a white belt junior, her class is at 4:30. The 9 year old is a brown belt also in the junior program so his class starts at 5:15. The 14 year old (15 in less than a month) is in the adult basic class which starts at 6:15. And I'm in the Adult advanced class which has Friday night Happy Hour (as we call it) at 7:00 to 8:00. What to do?

I love my solution. I take the adult beginner class with my daughter at 6:15 so that we can all have dinner together around 7:15.

In her class, I'm the lead student (being a black belt) followed by the next highest ranking student (my daughter at orange), her best friend, and the rest of the class. It's great being in class next to her. So great. And, although the class is less intense than mine, it gives me a workout and a chance to focus on basics and details. Also, although I'm a little embarrassed to admit it, since the class isn't that hard, I leave feeling really energized rather than really tired.

What don't I love? It's hard watching all my classmates come in during class and start stretching out for our class. I'm very aware that this class is not challenging and by nature, I tend to prefer challenging. And I'm slightly embarrassed when they see me leaving just as class is starting. But, there is a season for everything and I'm very happy with my choice.

My 14 year old will soon be 15 and more relevantly, she'll only by in the beginner class for a short period. She's an orange belt with a stripe so sometime this fall, she'll get her purple belt and be scheduled in the same Friday night happy hour class with me. So, it's only for a short time.

Honestly, I love the classes with her. It doesn't get better than this. I can't wait for next Friday night.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bo Form has been updated

A few quick thoughts:

I took the late (8:30 pm) class tonight. When I walked in, Mr Mike Galindo was practicing with a bo. So he performed the American Bo Form for me. Slow and perfect. Check it out on the Bo Form post.

Left Hook productions just put up a comprehensive list of the results from Saturday. They also explained that there were a few no-shows. My list of Warrior Collides 6 results was incomplete (but better than the Sun Sentinels).
Tonight, half the electricity was off in the dojo. Lights were on, air conditioning was off. It was hot in the dojo. I liked it. I wasn't the only one who sweated for a changed. KC had one of better quips to keep it in perspective: "No AC - it's old school style tonight"

It was my first time back in 16 days. I felt fine. I felt great. I kept up easily. What a relief and pleasure.

I'd like more comments and emails please. If you are not used to reading blogs, here's the etiquette. If you enjoy reading it, write a comment. Simple comments like: "I read your blog today" or "I read your blog and if you would like to take grammar or photography lessons, I could help you out". That way, I don't have to keep checking the stats to see if anybody is reading it. BTW, over the last month, I'm averaging a little over two dozen readers each day (around 200 per week). Mostly from New York and Florida plus a surprising number from Los Angeles and Europe. Europeans, why are you reading this blog????

I'm still looking for better pictures from the Warriors Collide this past weekend. When I was there, I was astounded that I was recognized and approached several times by people who read this blog. Once by a sensei who was down from New York. It's strange making the transition from this being a private diary to being somewhat visible within the Lavallees community. I'll try to watch my grammar and my jokes. Which does NOT lead my into my last point for tonight which is a general health note. If you are under 40, please stop reading here.

One of this blog's themes is being fifty years of age. At 50, guys should have certain medical screening measures performed. I had one performed this morning (a colonoscopy if you must know). Private and squeemish though I am, I feel that I should evangelize a little. I've read that the second largest reason for dying from cancer in the US is colon cancer which is particularly tragic since it is so easily preventable. If you are 50, get your ass in to see the appropriate doctor (pun intended) and have them check out (and cut out) your polyps. It's funnier and less of a big deal than you might imagine. The days of prep are ... annoying... but the procedure itself is simpler than a dental visit. I had it done at 11:30 and was in class at 8:30. BTW, in postop, there was a nurse taking care of me who looked very familiar. Turns out Linda (her name) is also a Lavallee's black belt.

BTW, if you google colonoscopy jokes, you'll find 181,000 references. Many of them are very very funny. My favorites from this list of jokes are 3, 8, 9, and 13.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Warriors Collide 6 - Results

Anybody got better pictures? Please share them with me - email me at

Last night, Warriors Collide 6. It was great. And I quote KC's email:

Daniel Walsh and Melissa Haley kicked BUTT last night at the Warriors Collide! The both had matches that went the full 3 rounds. It was such a proud moment for all of us. The support team on the sidelines and the number of LaVallee's shirts that were walking around was so cool This was Daniel's and Melissa's first time in the ring and they shined. Congratulations to both of them!!!

Mr Dan's - Daniel Walsh - fight was about the sixth on the card. He fought in the 152 weight class debuting against Juan Hernandez of Bears Den MMA. This was Juan's third trip into the ring. Juan stayed in the ring with Mr Dan all three rounds but Dan out-matched him. Great tough fight. Dan had more technique, good combinations, poise and cardio; Juan held his own, stood up well against a lot of combinations and delivered some punches with zing.

The other Lavallee fighter was Miss Melissa Haley (Sensei Haley's wife). It was her first time in the ring and she was up against Savannah Cavin of Inferno MMA in the 134 weight class. She triumphed also also showing superior technique across the board. She chased her opponent around the ring for three rounds. Her technique and combinations were straight out of a the textbook. Sharon Robbs Sun Sentinel article features her specifically and the growth of women in MMA generally.

If you have better pictures, send them to me or links to them. If you are posting any of the fights on youtube, tell me and I'll link to it. You can tell me in the comments or email me as

Youtube video of Brandon Akers VS Dario Camuzzi

RESULTS (I didn't get them all. If you can help complete this, please add it to the comments or just email me)
150: Bruce Lutchmedial ATT Wolfpack 5-0 dec. Alex Caceres Young Tigers 2-2, unanimous;
Denis Hernandez FFA 3-1 dec. Steven Chin South Florida MMA 2-1, unanimous;
190: Mike Delapava Carrolls MMA 0-1 def. Dario Comuzzi , TKO, second; (he was taken out by a shot to the knee which ended the match) - Anybody know the rules or have a view here?
162: Raul Irizarry Inferno MMA 1-0 def. Jarrod Arndt MHMMA 1-0,
Daniel Walsh USABBC debut dec. Juan Hernandez Bears Den MMA 0-2, unanimous;
149: Shani Frazier ATT Wolfpack debut dec. Luz Guiterrez UMAA debut, split;
Raul Irizarry Inferno MMA 1-0 def. Jarrod Arndt MHMMA 1-0, TKO, third;
170-185 grappling: Aloan Herrera dec. Matt Modist ATT Fort Lauderdale, 4-0;
125: Tecia Torres of Wing Lung MMA debut def. Alysia Afonso of xtreme martial arts 0-2, TKO, first
212+: ? Alister Wilson 2-1 Mejiro Gym vs
135: Melissa Haley debut USABBC dec. Savannah Cavin Inferno MMA 1-2, unanimous
212: Nick Hruda EMFT debut def. Jerry Daniels, TKO, third;
185: Alan Arzeno SFLMMA 1-0 def. Eli Zen MHMMA 1-0,
Super heavyweight:
Alister Wilson Mejiro Gym 2-1 def. Adonis Avington, TKO, third.

And here is the LeftHook Productions own blog.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Warriors Collide 6 - this weekend!

Click for the latest on Warriors Collide 6.

Good luck Melissa and Dan. I'll be there rooting for you. It's almost game day. In front of everyone. While I've never been in the ring, I think the rules for preparing for the big game in sports is pretty much the same from sport to sport.

1. Be thoroughly trained and focused. This is a multiyear process culminating on game day. Saturday in this case. I've seen you train and you should be confident that you've done it.

2. Channel your energy and nervousness into alertness and intensity.

Then, there are the really hard questions.
- Do you start by being careful and feeling the other person out?
- Do you come out swinging?

Me, I'd listen to Kyoshi and try to do exactly what he says.

Coop sent out a video from the Sun Sentinel site with Larry Borden of Left Hook Productions giving the highlights. And here are some last minute pictures from Coop of previous Warriors Collides. I'll see you all Saturday night.

Here's what I know about the Card:

ISKA Florida State Cruiser Weight Title Match
Joe Ray 5-0 FFA vs Andrew Johnson 5-1 Elite Muay Thai

The last title holder was WCL/UFC fighter Crafton "Blaze" Wallace

ISKA Florida Light Welter Weight Title Match
Reigning Champion Carlos Garcia (5-1) defends vs.
ATT Deerfield Caleb Archer (5-2)
Carlos Garcia (article by Sharon Robb on Carlos Garcia)

LaVallee's USABBC Daniel Walsh vs Juan Hernandez Bears Den

Eli Gorlik 1-0 Shihan Moti MMA vs Alan Arzeno 1-0 SFMMA


If you take any decent pictures or post the videos, put a comment on this blog and I'll list it for everyone. Pictures you can email to me:

Friday, September 05, 2008

Why isn't BBat50 in class?

Tuesday morning, I was feeling light and limber, lively and lithe. Tuesday at 2, I bent down to pick something up and X!&%!!!!

My back. OOOOOOOOuch. Pain and weakness. I literally didn't seem strong enough to get the car door opened.

I made it thru another hour of work and went home and boy, that ice pack felt great. And thanks for the drugs. The 600 mg ibuprofen pills. Two that first night. By the way, it's really important to own great ice packs. Trying to use ice in a bag, even chipped ice, is a messy approach. Frozen peas are a little better. Take my advice, invest in a real cold pack that stays cold and stays slushy rather than hard and which doesn't leak. It's so much better. I'm also a big user of BioFreeze.
Since then, it's gotten steadily better. I think it was just one of those back spasms. It's the 4th time in my life this has happened. I'm so much better that I'm hoping to start training again next Monday. Weather permitting.

Did I mention that I live in a hurricane zone? Want to know a great hurricane song to sing as we drive away from Ike? Unclear whether we'll go north or west over to depends on Ike's path. Stay tuned.

Whats my lesson for the day? I'm reminded how fragile life and good health are. As Kyoshi puts it, every day we train is a great day, so why not train every day? Sadly, there are many reasons that keep us from training such as ill-health. I have been incredibly lucky for a long time to be healthy. And to not get horribly caught by hurricanes or traffic accidents or acts of man or fate. I do a lot to minimize the risk but also, I've been very lucky. I thank my lucky stars and count my blessings.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

MMA night

Kyoshi Steve Lavallee taught class Friday night, a class of pure MMA. After a quick warm-up, we did some leg kicks (gently) and learned three ways to avoid a leg kick: back-up to out distance it, block with your shin, or lean into it.

We worked the lean into it defense and followed it by a two handed leg grab attack.

Then the kicker, now being attacked by a two legged leg grab, responded with a hip check with a cupped hand on the chin and a grip on the elbow. We'd lean with the hip while pulling on the elbow and sweep him to his back and going into a knee mount. Then, we have the guy in position for a little "pound and ground".

We pushed the sequence a little further. The guy on the bottom (the original kicker) just protects himself. The guy on top, posts both arms over his head and shifts to a full mount. More pound and ground. We also practicee dismounting into a knee mount on either side. And returning.

We ended by adding a submission move. Basically, you put a choke on the guy on the bottom. The steps:
- Put your right hand around his neck and lean down with your head just to the left of his head capturing his right arm in the grip.
- Make a cup with the right hand, saucer with the left. Close the choke with the left hand around the neck.
- To tighten further, which is not always necessary, dismount to the left to a 90 angle maintaining the choke and staying face down. To tighten, push up and forward from your toes till he taps out. Or goes to sleep.

I've missed some of the MMA classes which is frustrating. Also, since it's spaced out, it feels a little too episodic, not enough like a curriculum. I'm hoping that when the MAUI center opens, there'll be more regular MMA classes.