Sunday, April 26, 2009

Warriors Collide 6 Videos

A few people have asked to make this footage easier to find. Here it is. Dan & Melisa's fights from Warriros Collide 6.

Melissa Haley
PreFight Montage

Round 1 Melisa Haley

Melisa Haley Round 2

Melisa Haley Round 3

Dan Walsh Round 1

Dan Walsh Round 2

Dan Walsh Round 3

Others posts on Warriors Collide 6.

Melisa Haley Rocks

Warriors Collide 6 the card


Friday, April 24, 2009

Kewsal - Immortal Man Hand Position

In the bookset kata, we learn a hand position that we call kewsal. The thumb is bent, index finger extended but not entirely, and the other fingers bent at the first knuckle with the overall hand very tense. I've tried to find the kewsal term online including trying to figure out it's spelling: que sahl, cuesa, kewsokewsa, kewsal, queue sah etc. Finally, someone has responded to my postings. Thank you eighteenelbows. He says:

We call the hand position "immortal man." .... my teacher - Master Steve Shover (you can Google him) has told me that Immortal Man hand position has historical value. He related the position is a tiger claw with the index finger extended to symbolize "the one." This meant you were a member of the rebellion against the Chinese Government, which was very repressive at the time. I'm not certain if this is true or not, but it does make sense in a way. I hope that's helpful.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

A good fitness blog - ice & heat expertise?

I'm pretty stingy with my time and so I look at blogs from the perspective of:
Is it worth my time reading it? What will I learn? How much will I like it? How long does it take? Will it make me laugh or at least smile?

I just visited a blog on fitness that I use to read and it makes the grade. This cartoon was on its most recent post. I read down a few more articles and learned something that I had long wondered about, what is the actual impact of being well-hydrated on the body.
On another note, I'm trying to research any really useful articles on the uses of heat and ice. While I use to rely heavily on ice packs, my new regime (foisted on me by my chiropractor) relies more heavily on heat. In fact, he talked me into getting a full jacuzi for medicinal purposes. I think I feel better. I know my kids like me more and that I'm sleeping better.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Juniors Testing April 2009

We had two kids testing tonight as well as several friends (Yea Franklin!) plus some on the kids demo team (Robbie & Lee!). So, we had fun watching the testing and saying hello to everyone.

This was a significant testing for us for a few reasons. Obviously, two on the same night is cool. Plus, we now have the family consolidated into two classes: adult and kids advanced class!This is so much better than the fall when we had one in adult advanced, one in adult starter, one in kids advanced, and one in kids starter. A logistical nightmare!

Since KC is home nursing little Nicolas, the substitute sensei was Kyoshi Steve Lavallee.
When I first started, he was still frequently on the floor. It's a little rare now to have him on the floor so it was a treat.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Lavallees Alumni

On Facebook, there is an active group called Lavallee's Karate Alumni. Very cool to see the chatter of these people who have known each other for sometimes 20 years, sometimes more.
It's an open group administered by Kevin Carbone, Patrick DiDomenico (New York, NY), Mark Cardone (Syracuse, NY), Steve Zaferakis (Syracuse, NY) (creator).

A martial arts blog that I've been reading is My Journey in Martial Arts by Ronsan60, another Lavallee trainee. His most recent post: Over twenty-six years in the martial arts. Why have I stuck around so long?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Kim Colvin Lavallee is expecting!

My sensei, Master Kim Colvin Lavallee, is expecting to go in for her C section Thursday morning.

How cool is that?

How many kohai, in the history of the martial arts, can say: My sensei is pregnant? Very cool.

The dojo is all abuzz.

Awesome ! ! !

It follows Juice (Joy's) little bundle of joy earlier this year. And Mr. Vince's a few months before that.

Introducing....little Nicolos. Born April 9th, 2009


Sunday, April 05, 2009


Bugo Kumite! Once a week or so, for the part few years, I have been trying to learn to spar. This weekend, there weren't many people in class so there was an unencumbered view by the spectators. I handed the camera to a spectator (actually, someone's ten year old son) and asked him to film my first four matches. Since the numbers were odd today, I sparred four matches in a row with only thirty second breaks. I'm trying to pace myself but frankly, you can see me getting it exhausted. Osu!

An Amazing Motivational and Analytical Tool - These videos are  really a big deal for me to watch. Like a good optical illusion, I can choose what to see. I can either watch how bad I am how much I have to improve.  It's very humbling. Or, I can watch how much I've learned in the last few years. I find that each perspective has its value and is motivating. In any case, here are the videos, unedited. And here a my observations. Please share your own.

1. My arm speed is really really slow. That's my new number one goal. Faster arms. I think I can achieve this through just focusing on speed and snapping my punches. I'll shadow box, do some bag work, and mostly, repeat it to myself as I start each punches, fast punches, fast punches...
2. I need to refine my kicking form so that my roundhouses snap out and back a lot faster. I think my stance is so too wide which makes the roundhouses slow.
3. Get my hands up a little higher when I get in close.
4. More cardio and power. In both cases, I'm limited by my constrained training schedule.
5. Footwork. I should bounce less and do more of a muy thai march or a classic boxing front-back shift.
6. My cross is underwhelming. There's no real body or hip rotation behind it, I lean across in a awkward vulnerable way, and instead of lowering my level with my knees, I appear to be bending at the waist. Sloppy.

With all that said, I'm having fun and making progress. At times, my front kick is camouflaged and effective although I sometimes signal it by dipping my hands. I often parry comfortably and I'm learning to trust my defense. I'm quick on my feet backing up although I should be spiraling a little out rather than going straight back. My chin isn't tucked enough and my hands often aren't high enough but they're much better than awhile ago.

PS - I'm the one in sleeveless Tshirt, black gloves, more bounce than march

Want to see more sparing?
Sparing July 2009 with Mr Vince and with Norm. Watch both of them kick me in the head!
Bugo Kumite with Carlos and others
Reflections from years ago (no videos) on sparing


Friday, April 03, 2009

BBat50 is skipping class again. sigh

It's catching up with me again. My shoulders have been aching for awhile and I've been icing and stretching them again. Monday night, we were doing the old appreciation form and I found that I just couldn't get my durn arms up past my head. Aiieeee, it's the rotator cuffs again.

Durn durn durn. So I skipped class Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday but I'll try to make it through class on Saturday (for a little bugo ;->).

The good news: two of my kids are spotlighting next week. David for red, Ariana for purple.

I'm sitting in the dojo as I write this and I just joined in some moms' conversations. One adolescent at Power Weekend (the culminating test weekend of the six month black belt cycle) was told that he's not ready for his black belt and needs to wait. Apparently, he has been warned repeatedly about behaving immaturely during class and even on that weekend, he was warned that he needs to get serious. Apparently, he didn't and he will now have to wait. These are difficult family times for him so some parents think he should be cut some slack. But then, it is the martial arts and as Kyoshi says about promotions: "If there is any doubt, there is NO doubt."

It's a heartbreaker. There were clearly extenuating circumstances that the kid was acting out in response to. Is Sensei and Kyoshi right to be so hard or not? What do you think?