Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sparing, More Work on my Bugo

I'm interested in improving my bugo kumite.  This is my main goal this year. As it was last year. Frankly, I find improvements hard to make.  I'm hoping that by watching myself, I'll see and learn from my mistakes (and expand on any successes).  Frankly, I'd like to be more accomplished after all this practice but I still have trouble relaxing and flowing. I can't seem to circle properly and I rarely string together combinations.  On the bright side, many of my really bad habits from a few years ago are mostly gone.  My notes after watching this video:

  • I'm mostly moving the wrong way, I'm circling to my left but I should be going to my right.
  • I should be attacking more, especially with combinations.  And I'm way too tense. RELAX!
  • I need to be more dynamic with my shoulders, hands, head, and height constantly changing. I tend to only move my feet. And my footwork lacks those clever changes in angles.
  • When attacked, I'm missing opportunities to hold my ground and counter. Or to just side step and counter. Instead, I'm retreating and shelling up.
  • My defense is pretty good although I tend to block head kicks with my arms out instead of folded in against my head. Also, I'm overblocking and defending sometimes with both hands.
  • Mr Vince, on the other hand, is looking very disciplined, quick, light on his feet and with a good variety of attacks.  He's definitely improved in the two years between these videos.  Well done.

Now here is an interesting detail. In 2009 (two years ago), I was also filmed in a training session with the same training partner. Comparing the two video clips is very interesting. What jumps out at me, frankly, is the huge improvements that Mr. Vince has made. He's faster, more varied is his attacks, and better in his defense. On the other hand, I show more consistency (as in its not clear that I've improved).  But now I'm really really motivated.




And I have a plan.  Every bugo match, come hell or high water, I will do these five things:

A. Circle 80% of the time to my right.
B. Throw each of these combinations at least once:
- Parry a jab down with my right, then  cross, left hook, right cross
- Jab, Cross, jab, front roundhouse
- Jab, left hook, right cross, left uppercut,exit to my right
- Jab, cross, left hook, 180 kick
C. Lots of Relaxed Movement: move shoulders, change height, move head, lean both ways and try starting with hooks. Concentrate on having some explosive speed and real deceptions.
D. Attack the body, not just up top.
E. Don't kick so much. Pace myself for all two minutes.

I thought I'd add this video that I just found. It's not really bugo but it's one of my favorite old drills, it's half speed boxing.


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Daniellas Run

John EdelsonWe've run Daniella's Run 5K twice before. We noticed that it was not held last spring and we missed it.

So we were thrilled when Daniella's Run suddenly popped up again. Instead of being a stand-alone run, it was part of the  Live Strong, Live Long run at Gulf Stream Park this past Saturday.

A highlights was that Hunter F came along with Kate and David: his family was off doing the Disney Half Marathon.

The weather was perfect. It was very cool running the last mile around the horse racing track. On the flip side, the track was mushy and at first, we didn't know to stay on the narrow strip of hard packed-dirt. Instead, we slogged through with our feet gathering a heavy cake of mud with each step.  Since none of us were running for time, it didn't matter. As they say, it's all good.

As background, this run has some emotional significance to us.   Daniella Folleco was a girl who went to school with my kids. We know the family. She had cancer and died. She was, and her mom is, a delight despite this terrible bad luck. The run commemorates her and to me, reminds me how incredibly lucky we are to be healthy and all together. Daniella's Mom was there thanking people for showing up. Other parents from the school were there running fund-raising booths. It made me think of this old simple ditty:

The world is so full of wonderful things,
I think we should be as happy as kings.
(I just googled this: it was written by Robert Louis Stevenson who also wrote Treasure Island and Kidnapped)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

By Back Strategy

 The idea behind this post is that I wanted to detail what I'm doing for my back and perhaps get some feedback on it. I understand that you doctors are not allowed to comment on this sort of discussion for fear of dispensing medical advice inappropriately and for fear of malpractice stuff...funny world where the real experts are not allowed to participate.

For the two years before this, I had real bad back problems which I was primarily dealing with by visiting a chiro weekly and spending time in the hot tub. Since March, I've been taking a few aspirin daily (actually two pairs of buffered aspirin daily) and trying to do the following twice a day.   When I wake up in the morning...actually, its more when I finally get out of bed, I try to start with:

  1. Breakfall (from standing position, bend my knees and lean back while curling up in a ball and slapping the rug on both sides to reduce the momentum. I bend my knees and really curl into a ball so its pretty gentle). Then, while rolled up in a ball, I roll around on my back at different angles at some length. Most of a minute. I find it pleasant and my back will crack (in a good way) from half a dozen to a dozen times. My neck too. I change the angle on each roll and it seems to wake me up, get some blood circulating, and loosen up some of the really bad stiffness.
  2. Lying flat of my back, feet on the ground and my knees up, I rotate my pelvis and hold it for awhile, 20-30 seconds. Three repetitions.  For those of you who don't know what this means, I push my lower back down so that instead of having some arch and some space between my lower back and the ground, I try to get it totally flat. It flexes my abs and stretches my back. Very therapeutic.  
  3. Situps. I do four sets (ideally). One set of regular crunches, very easy. Maybe just 10. Then, placing one knee up and the other foot across it, I crunch with a twist pulling the far elbow towards the knee of the leg that is horizontal. I'll do this 15 times then I'll do ten more with the leg going from hyperstretched out straight to pulling the knee up to touch the opposite elbow.  Then the same 15 & 10 on the other side. Then 10 straight to finish up.
  4. More rolling and some hyperstretching. Here, I not only stretch out arms above my head, flat on my back as long as I can go, I also will pull one hand with the other getting a slightly angled stretch. My shoulders will go clickity clackity while I do this.
  5. I pull my knees alternatively up to my chest, then both together. From there, I let my knees fall to the right, I turn my head and upper torso the other way to the left. Back cracks. Then repeat the other way.
  6. Some pushups. Maybe I do a set of 25. Rest. Then 20. Rest. 15. Today, for instance, having fallen on and injured my wrist last night, I just hung out in plank for most of a minute. Twice. Plank, for those of you who haven't been to a yoga class, is pushup position except you support yourself on your elbows with your forearms on the floor.
  7. Maybe more rolling. I love to roll. My dog hates it so I put her up the bed so she doesn't get too close and get squashed.  The bed is too high for her to jump down from. She's tiny.  Don't ask, it's my wife's choice.
  8. I do some very light stretching (remember, this is my morning protocol and I'm still pre-shower and VERY stiff). I'll do something like a sitting toe touch but I keep my knees bent and I probably only get my hands on my ankles. I don't force at all.  Anything too intense here and I'm pulling muscles.  I'll also sit with my legs spread as far as they go (about 45 degrees) and I lean gently forward, then onto each leg. No bouncing or forcing.
  9. Kicking. I often stand up and kick for maybe 50 kicks. They are about knee or thigh height. I actually put a pillow over the edge of the bed and try to just graze it with the bottom of my foot for front kicks (the wife and dog hate this part) and I'll do sets of 10 snap kicks off each leg.  If' I'm feeling intense, I might add some roundhouse kicks or side kicks but for these, given my hip problems and stiffness, I really don't get above thigh height in the morning.
When I do this in the evening or midday (weekends and holidays), its the same routine but more intense.

What do you think? This is a homegrown mix of exercises that I've picked up through the years. BTW, my Dad started every morning with four sets of 25 pushups and situps. I spent much of my childhood holding his legs for the situps.  I don't remember if he lowered the number in his late 60s or 70s (he died at 75) but I do have vivid memories of holding them both as a kid and as a teenager.  

Friday, September 02, 2011

How would you like to feel no pain?

I just read an about me and post from a blog called Memoirs of a Grasshopper. Great stuff. I'll quote some extracts from the post: What's to Gain From Pain?.  My advice,  go read the original....

Have you ever wondered what it'd be like to be impervious to pain? As a martial artist, it'd certainly have its perks. It's the sort of superhuman power that belongs in comic books. Amazingly for some people it is a reality.

Congenital Insensitivity to Pain with Anhidrosis CIPA is a rare condition in which children are born without the ability to sense pain .... They are normal in every other sense. ...Children born with CIPA have no protective reflexes...Pain is the best instructor, but no one wants to go to his classes....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kicking is Back!

Our school has been focusing on boxing skills, conditioning, and jitsu for the last few years.  What did they leave out? Well, I'd forgotten about the kicking drills. And last night, they came back.

Six Count Kicking - Three pairs of kicks: two forward, two side, two roundhouses.
Eight Count Kicking - Four pairs of kicks: two forward, two side, two hook rounds, two double rounds.
Ten Count Kicking - Showy X blocks before and after each kick with two pairs of side kicks, two round houses, two hook rounds, two slow extension high tension side kicks, and low side and two high round house kicks.

Also, we revisited the old Two Count Basics.  I looked aroudn the blog and I have some very old videos of these materials which had lost their links. I put them back in.

Enjoy!

Six Count Kicking Demos


Health, Eating, and the Truth

I recently spent some time with a close friend who is a big shot in the health insurance industry. As in the chairman of the board of a major health insurance company. He shared with me that at a recent annual set of meetings of the highest level execs in the health insurance world, they finally had a panel about health and eating.  The panel was made up of distinguished widely respected medical and nutritional experts who he says could agree only one thing: healthy eating was vital to managing health costs and shifting towards a system of building a healthy population and away from trying to take care of an extremely unhealthy population.

They could not in any way agree on what healthy eating meant.

I suspect that this is an exaggeration. I'm sure of the following and I think everyone else would agree.  The major unhealthy eating habits that are contributing to general problems and the 20% of the population that is currently obese are:

1. Over-sweetened breakfast cereals:  Frosted Flakes, Sugar Pops, Cocoa Krispies, and Captain Crunch.
2. Soda Pop: Coke, Pepsi and all the rest.
3. French Fries & Potato Chips
4. Fast food over-fat burgers

Aren't they the big four disasters? Or do cookies and deserts also make the list? Does snacking count at this level?  Are fried foods generally a bigger problem than fried potato products?

I'm guessing that the experts could not agree on counting calories, meat-eating, avoiding sweetened foods and refined flour, and all the other components of how you define what we should be eating.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Master KO Andrello Master Class

KO Andrello
Master KO Andrello
The dojo made a big deal this past week telling us to show up for a special 90 minute boxing seminar hosted by a sixth degree from the Upstate NY dojos.  A Master Instructor was coming down who is a national kick boxing champion and a regional muy thai champion (I might not have the details right).  In any case, a 6th degree who is ring-ready is a big deal so I showed up, very excited and ready to go.

Wow, great class, great instructor. She talked about how in addition to her own fights, she has cornered 150 students.  She speaks with great authority and insight.  Very powerful presence. Here's what I remember.  I'm reviewing this since I'm going to take her class again tonight by going up to the LHP dojo (I called and spoke to Sensei Erin to see if I'd be welcome). I'll probably update it after class with whatever else I retain.

1.  Avoid the happy feet syndrome (ie moving when hitting and always combining pivots with retreats). When it's time to hit, set your feet and hit.  Also, if you want to change the angles from inside, pivot. But lock your front foot in place and pivot off that foot. Don't keep shuffling since some people, especially me, tend to not just move sideways, I'll actually backup across the floor.

2. Training partners should not just be intense but should adopt the mindset of "training their fighter".  The more you cultivate the idea that the trainer is training the fighter, the more you get into the mentality of how much you can do while holding pads. As part of this, instead of our typical I-go-you-go or three-and-switch, we would spend much longer periods in the trainer or fighter role.  It really changes things up. Don't just put up the gloves for combinations or bark commands. As a trainer, you can be the offense which triggers the combinations and the setting up the defense. Holding pads allows you to simulate the attack, recognize the incoming combinations, and being eyes-up looking for the opportunities and overcommitments.

3. Balance and movement.  She talked a lot about where your weight should be at different times during sparing and combinations.  This is so important and while frequently mentioned regarding kata,I hadn't thought thought nearly enough about my weight distribution when sparring. It was particularly insightful that she stressed that when hitting, keeping most of the weight on the front foot. The power comes from having the front foot set and the weight on it. This was news to me since I had tended to think of all the power when I hit with my right coming from my back leg. But she pointed out that even when the front foot is pivoting, like on a left cross, its the weight on the front foot that makes the difference.

Kim O'Brien Andrello & BBat50
4.  The sequence of attacks which triggers combinations was insightful. We would be toe-to-toe and the trainer would either lean forward and across as if you were in close or just jabbed. The response would to roll away from the attack and then come back with  right upper cut, right cross, left hook.  The second sequence was if the ouki had right crossed and was leaning forward and to the left. The  response was again to roll away from the attack and come back with a left body hook, left hook to the head, right cross. Then we had other combinations, all rolling muy thai rolling combinations. The coach would trigger them by doing either a pivot to the right or stepping deep forward to the left.  The sequences were real mind binders.

Her name is Kim O'Brien, hence the KO. I'd suspect the KO is a play on what its like to spar her or on her ring record. I wonder soemtimes  if all thevery high level lady instructors in our system get two letter nicknames starting with K (KC Lavallee, KO Andrello, who else?). In person, she moves like a highly trained intense fighter and teaches with contagious enthusiasm but manages to be less loud and "out there" than most instructors. She's married to Shihan Andrello who is also a national level fighter and a sixth degree.

 I'm going to look around to see if I can see any videos of her fights online. I would have liked to see her do the  demos but her use of lead students very powerful. Go Jen and Melissa.


Additions: (thanks for the help "anonymous")
Here's Kim's personal site where she is a health and wellness consultant.
And an interview with a demo by her:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

To Infinity...And Beyond!

To infinity and beyond is a cute concept but when it comes to intense training, common sense and mature guidance are vital to safety. Unfortunately, there are a few martial art teachers who are irresponsible & dangerous.

I just read a great blog post which puts some perspective around the idea of staying away from crazyness.   The blog post from  Ikagi, blogging the Martial Way, starts by quoting the Guardian;

“A self-help author who led a sweat lodge ceremony in Arizona was found guilty of three counts of negligent manslaughter on Wednesday…Jurors in the case against James Arthur Ray began deliberating after a four-month trial. More than 50 people participated in the October 2009 sweat lodge that was meant to be the highlight of Ray’s five-day “spiritual warrior” seminar near Sedona. Three people died following the sauna-like ceremony meant to provide spiritual cleansing, 18 were hospitalised, while several others were given water to cool down at the scene.”

Matthew Apsokardu then continues:

That’s a thick, powerful resume. Given his natural charisma, is it any wonder that people in need of guidance fell into step with him?  The shocking thing is how such a seemingly robust career could be built upon a lethally flawed mindset, supported by questionable credentials revolving around “tough love” and “spiritual warriorship”. The bad part is that this isn’t a one-time misstep for James Arthur Ray....The post Deadly Shugyo in Persuasive Hands is worth reading.

Mind you, I have had times when I felt that I had no limits when I ran marathons, white water kayaked, and played fully competitive 90 minute soccer games at full tilt.  And when I felt that way, I probably did have that much endurance and capacity in me and the coaches understood it.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Kenpo History - Ed Parker Kenpo Karate TV commercials

I've been wondering around the web and YouTube following the theme of American Kenpo which is the base martial art at Lavallees Karate School. The lineage of American Kenpo goes through the Tracy Brothers and Ed Parker.  I particularly like this video showing Ed Parker karate TV advertisements from early 70s.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Stretching: Before versus After

The science of stretching is increasingly important to me so I'm trying to collect what I know.  The most basic concept in stretching is to understand the difference between stretches best done at the start of a workout and those best done at the end of a workout.

 BTW, NOTE that I am no expert and I'm writing this to solicit feedback and record my somewhat basic understanding. It is NOT a how-to written by a medically-competent coach, trainer, or advisor. In short, follow this advice at your own risk. Expert advice is however welcome. Anyone want to guest post?

At the start of a workout, the goal is to warm up the muscles and get limber enough to have a good workout. The emphasis should be on warming up with stretching being of limited ambition and intensity. The goal is simply to get limber. The primary focus should be on warming up via jumping jacks, pushups, situps, and other basics.

At the end of a workout, the stretching should be more ambitious.  The goal here is to increase flexibility. Stretching should be steady and intense and in repetitions of three, each held no more than 30 seconds.

Here's my open questions:

1.   Is this basic description of stretching before and after class right? If so, how much time before a class should be devoted to stretching (as distinct from time spent warming up)?  And how much after?  I (remember, I'm in my 50s), require 15 minutes to warm up before class in addition to the first ten minutes of class which is also a warm up. Often, I'll do light calisthenics, a few kata, and stretches for 20-30 minutes before class. However, while I might spend 5 minutes at the end of class stretching or part of the cooldown, I never spend a full 15 minutes stretching at the end .

2. What about the other stretching that I do which is typically first thing in the morning or last thing at night?   Should it be minimal or intense? Does it require a full warmup to be useful? The reality is that I spend 15-25 minutes in the morning and night doing pushups, situps, and stretching.  I wish that I did this 14 times a week, the reality is that I do it about 7-10 times at the moment. Typically,  backrolls, pushups, leg lifts, low front kicks, crunches, more pushups, toe touches, hip stretches (my current problem area), spreadlegs, knee splits, downward facing dog, and so on.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

The Plan. Lets call it Plan A.

People often ask me if I'm going to go for my third degree.I'm technically eligible in May 2013.

On the face of it, it sounds a little ridiculous.  I'm getting increasingly creaky and having trouble getting back in shape after my Nov-March injury fest.  Yet, hope springs eternal and frankly, I'm not quite ready to retire to the rocking chair.  So in my mind, Plan A goes like this:

Next year...June 2011-June 2012: Return to running, do some short triathalons, take up yoga to improve flexibility and core strength, get fit with strong cardio again. (remember, it was just a year ago that I pumped out 14 minute two miles).

Then...June 2012-May 2013. Go through cycle, strong and fit.  Ideally, I'd like to get my flexibility, cardio, and sparing to a point where I can spend a few months in the class with the instructors. That's an extremely lofty goal given where I am now.  Still it's a goal.  And it would be cool.

Next steps: rebuild fitness and flexibility. Start running et al...Keep dreaming.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Another Fresh Set of BlackBelts


Over the last few months, culminating in the Power Weekend two weekends ago, I've watched another set of blackbelts come to fruition. It's exciting to watch every time because in most cases, I know a handful of the stories well. For many of them, it is a huge life event, the realization of a major challenge met for them.

For some, who had let their weight slip out of control, its a public display of their new discipline. And body! For others, its facing their fear of physical exercise and public performance.  For others, it's just plain hard and they've not had the habit of meeting challenges so it represents a massive turnaround in their life.

If you have pictures, want to write something, or videos to contribute, please comment below or just email me at gmaail. I'm bbat50@.. I'd love some fresh writing and other input,

For almost everybody, earning the blackbelt a challenge. There's always a hiccup or special circumstances.  Since I didn't get great shots or videos of this round, I'll repost one of the most dramatic videos that I do have, the one of people dealing with the board breaking.  And I quote:

I'm in the red gi top in the center at the start of the video.  This video starts out fun but then it takes a surprising turn. Two Candidates have trouble breaking their boards. But there's no escape. In front of everyone, these ladies show the concentration and persistent that got them this far.   I found the tension and drama at the time very emotional. In rewatching the video, I'm so impressed by their calm and focus. There's no silliness or embarrassment, just work to be done and a focus on doing it.  Congratulations to Agnes and Sylvia.




Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm training and keeping it under control

I'm back on track.  Friday and Saturday (while travelling), I made it to the gym. Sunday was travel. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I've gotten up early and made it to the gym. Not massive workouts but a good foundation. Today, ten minutes of machines, 20 minutes on the eliptical, then five on the stair climber. I do the eliptical with two minutes slow, one minute very fast.

Plus, I made it to class Monday and Tuesday night. I'd say I'm doing about 75% to 80% of what I should do in class.

As part of this, I'm not spending some much time worrying about my little aches and pains.  I'm cutting down on time at the chiropractor and in the jacuzzi and focusing more on exercising and stretching.  I am falling back on aspirin and ibuprofin (I'm drinking lots of water) as a way of being less distracted by the problems.  Also, having less swelling help. The picture is of my medicine cabinet.

My goal simply is to be at 100% by the end of May, 190lbs, back  to dingo 4 x 25 pushups,  10 pullups, and working through class doing 100% at full intensity.  Ambitious but also important to my health and well-being. Stay tuned.  Thursday night is my first bugo class in awhile which is a humbling reality check of what sort of shape I'm really in.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Getting it Together - What Percent am I at?

I'm off to a good start on my comeback trail.  I'm working out daily and I made it through class last night.  While some people talk about percentage as a level of effort or against their own abilities, I've often though of percentage in terms of performing everything asked for in class.

Realistically, I was at 75% meaning that I didn't do every pushup cleanly, hit every roundhouse hard and high, do my top speed on every drill get 100% of my leg lifts up properly, or do every drill to its fullest. Like I said, I was at 75%.  At this time last year, as I finished up cycle, I would say that I was at 110%. I did everything in class with full energy plus  a full set of katas before class and extras afterwards. To be more specific, I was having shoulder problems so except for pushups, I was over a 100%.  I was in pushup avoidance mode so except at the prechecks and Power Weekend, I limited my pushups to keep the shoulder problems at bay.

Looking forward, I would like to be at 100% by the end of May.

Right now, I've decided to rely on an old friend to help me move forward. My old training partner Mo (as someone put int).  Mo means Motrin which is one of a number of NSAIDs, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  The best-known and most popular of course is aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid. Aspirin has three effects: minor pain-killer, reduces swelling, and fever reduction (analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and  antipyretic respectively). It's also a antiplatelet to thin the blood.

The three most popular NSAIDs:
Aspirin
Ibuprofen
Naproxen

In my next post, I'll figure out all the commercial names for these active ingredients, distinguish them from tylenol and paracetamol and from steroid-based drugs.  I'm doing this as an exercise in improving my understanding of what I'm putting into my body (btw, the aspirin is really helping my back!).

Monday, April 25, 2011

BBat50 is on the comeback trail!

I'm determined to get back in top shape. Recently, I've become a little heavy and am regularly having trouble keeping up in class. It's time to reverse the tend of the last six months and get back in fighting shape.  Here's what happened followed by what I'm going to do about  it.

What happened? At this time last year, I was finishing cycle for my second degree which meant that I was in great shape. I ran an under 14 minute two mile and was ready to happily spar with anyone.  Following that, I had to readjust my time trying to catch up with some family and work commitments.  Also, I had some ailments so I backed off pushups since my shoulder ached.  Fast forward to October when I signed up for ten week late Monday night jistu class. While cool, it interfered with my training schedule. I skipped the Monday class and the jistu class was no aerobically intense. And since it kept me out late, I tended to start missing Tuesday as well. In December, my back problems got worse and everytime I ran, I pulled my right calf muscle. Something about my hips being out of alignment.  And this is pretty much how things stood all last quarter except there were more back problems, some travel, some illness, and lots of work.

So, May 2010, I was a 33" waist and 189 pounds. Today I'm around 200 and having trouble fitting in 34's,this is  not good.

Starting Friday, I try to work out everyday. I'm cutting way back on chiropractor visits since they consume time and seem to be too much of a short-term fix. I'll try just stretching and exercising through it. if that doesn't work, I'll go visit an orthopedist and get his view. I'll also try to make it to a yoga class or two each week.   On some days, I'll try to even work out twice. Today for instnace, I made it to the gym in the morning and should make a 5 pm class. To avoid overdoing it, I just did a little cardio this morning and did muscle groups that won't leave me too sore for class (pulls, stretches, a little eliptical).  Another way to get more time is stop trying to get to the office at 8. I can work out in the morning and come in at 9 and that'll probably work fine.

So, BBat50 is back trying to get back at 190 by the end of the quarter. More importantly, I want to get in shape so that I can enjoy bugo again and stop huffing my way pathetically through it.  June is particularly hard since there is lots of travel.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

New Instructional Videos

Mr Vince kindly volunteered to help do some new instructional videos for Bookset kata and kama set.  Apparently, he's better getting requests to have slower more instructional videos than the ones currently posted (which are a little fast:



Kamaset Slow Instructional Video



Kamaset Full Speed Video



Bookset Kata Origins.

I had this interesting discussion about Jen's demo of Bookset on YouTube, I thought that I'd bring it over here.  Look below the vid of Jen...



Very good form, it is much differant than the original bookset. its much shorter.But just to correct you this is a kenpo style kata.Steve Lavallee trained under Lee Thompson which is tracey style kenpo.
kls68 1 year ago
Thanks. You appear to be a true old-timer.

I thought I had heard Kyoshi talk about bookset as derived from the Chinese boxing. He mentioned which type exactly but I can't remember. Would the original Kenpo guys have brought it in or do I have it all wrong?
BBat50 1 year ago
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Cancel orPost or Create a video response Yes , your correct about James Wing Woo

introducing this form. I havent read about them in years thank you for your correction and i didnt take it as criticism. I train in a more traditional style of tracys kenpo and a more original form of bookset,tiger and crane and kenpo two man also known - 2 man tam tui ect.
kls68 1 year ago
James Wing Woo taught the form to Ed Parker. It was to be used in the book they were writing together, hence the name "Book Set." The Tracy System still teaches it. However, the kata shown here is not the Bookset that Woo taught to Parker or that the Tracy's still teach.

Don't take that as criticism. The kata shown here is very crisp, very well done, but definitely modified at some point.
kenpohop 1 year ago
KYOSHI would know better than i would but i believe william chow introduced it to the u.s. through ed parker and his first students the tracy brothers. al,will and jim tracy who then started the tracy system.

they are listed as first generation black belts under ed parker.
kls68 1 year ago
amazing! we do this kata at my school (: i train under Sensei Boyer in Alabama, he trains under Kyoshi though :D i would love to go to that school one day
matthowell14 1 year ago

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Resolving Nagging Back Problems

This post is an effort to collect my thoughts and formulate a plan to resolve (positively) my ongoing lower back problems.  If you have some ideas for me, you can chime in. Email me (bbat50@gmail with the dot com) or just comment and if you want it to stay private, say so and I won't approve it.


Over the last few years, I've had a recurring pattern of my lower back getting very sore and sometimes going into a full spasm.  Over time, I'l learned to recognize that frequently, my lower back feels "off."  I learned about 15 months ago that a chiropractor can usually adjust or straighten my alignment. Specifically, my sacrum or tailbone tends to shift to one side and get stuck.  It leads to all sorts of problems ranging from pulled calf muscles if I try to jog to a propensity to back spasms. Apparently, the lowest disc in my back in herniated which somehow means that the bone sits on bone which makes this sticking in the wrong position more likely.  I've visited a chiropractor weekly over the last year, sometimes several times a week.  A few times, I got to the point where I would go every other week.

I also had one back spasm on a trip that was bad enough to land me in the emergency room where I was treated with Flexor (drug to relax muscles), percocet (pain killer), and ice.  The problem gets triggered by lots of walking (10 minutes is enough), too much sitting (air travel tends to bring it on), and sometimes, just my regular life.

I've heard a number of times: from two chiropractors, several massage therapists, a physical trainer, and a range of other people, that the best solution is core strengthening and increased flexibility in my hips. With my martial arts training, there already is a lot of attention to core strengthening so I don't really see much upside in that area.  However, in terms of my hips, I am conspicuously stiff and I'm often the least flexible of the students in our class when we do hip stretches.  So that's going to be my focus for awhile.

Here's my plan.
1. Try to make it to a yoga class weekly and learn the exercises to do on my own.
2. Stretch. Flat on back with knees bent, rotate lower back to where it's flat on the ground. Hold 20-30 seconds. Release. This can also be done standing with the back against the wall or in space.
3. Stretch. Flat on back. Pull one knee up towards chest. Hold the top tip of the knee, not under it.  Release it a few inches, then pull it horizontally across the body.  Repeat with the other leg.
4. Sitting upright in a chair, cross one leg over the other. Pull the knee of the upper leg up and across the body towards the opposite shoulder. Repeat the other way. This can conveniently be done in an office during the day without freaking anybody out.
5.  Also sitting upright in a chair (or on the floor), grab a foot and pull it up and in towards the head.
6.   I try to get in the jacuzzi in the early morning, warm up for 5 minutes, and then do some of these stretches in the jacuzzi. I think this helps in that otherwise, I'm other stretching cold which doesn't feel very productive or I'm spending all sorts of time (10+ minutes) trying to get warmed up enough to stretch.
In all of the stretches, I'm a little stiff on the left side. I'm extremely stiff on the right side. But I'll do the streteches evenly on both sides.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

And I'm back!

I made it back to class today. It felt like the first time in ages.  There were two ski trips in the last three weeks. One, a trip with friends,  was a total disaster: my back spasmed the first morning before I even put on my skis. It was bad enough that I actually ended up in the clinic where they treated me with flexor, a muscle relaxant and some ice and pain killers. My second trip was with the family and it went much better. I skiied with my kids for the first time.  There was also a mid January trip for a family event to Boston and some other distractions. Bottom line, I came back today and it felt great. It was a hard class, a large number of bugo sessions.  I was badly exhausted way before the end but all the same it felt great to be back.

Hopefully, with no distractions for awhile, I get work my way back into shape and stop being such a basketcase on tough days....

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Learning about Learning

The thing about he martial arts in this day and age is that its' purpose is rarely self defense.  Some do it for sport, others for discipline, others do it as a way to learn. I actually, since I'm in the learning business, am very aware of how they teach and how people learn.  It's really learning by doing with some demonstration, lots of practice, a little explanation, and some corrections.

On another note, here is a great learning program for math which is appropriate information for kids to learn the math that they need themselves.

Math Lesson Plans  - These math lessons are incredibly visual, perhaps not as visual as seeing a kata, but still the essence of many lessons is well-visualized!


Feeling Better

Monday night was a great class. Master KC was on the floor and set a specially hard pace. Loved it. I'm feeling better. I'll celebrate by posting some pictures from when I earned my brown belt.  The date on them is June 2005. Feels like yesterday.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

And I'm back on the Floor! :->

Sunday I went to the gym, worked out, and felt fine. Of course, where I might usually do four sets of twenty five push ups, I did three sets of ten.  Where I might usually spend twenty minutes on the stair climber, I did five. Etcetera.

So Monday, ready or not, back in class. It went fine. I felt good, stayed with it, and really enjoyed the workout. And to my delight, we did some tricky kata, Bo Form and Long Two, and my memory was fine. Great.

I came back Tuesday which turned out to be a little more intense. I stayed with the class for about 95% which meant there was about 5% of the class when I just watched, lightly jogging, with a glassy look while everyone else continued to do drop, three pushups, jump up, horsestance, five punches and repeat. And repeat. And repeat. Yup, I'm not quite ready for that.

All in all, I'm delighted. I should bugo Thursday and Saturday and run on Sunday and yea, I'm back in action! Of course, my schedule for February is another question which I'll have to deal with shortly.

BTW, my favorite online learning games:    Unscramble,  HangMan,  AnalogiesCrossword PuzzleWordSearch, and Vocabulary Test.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Year's Challenges Continue

So I spent the first ten days of the new year struggling from coming back from being out of shape due to leg muscle pulls and general lack of time.  Then, I wrenched my back this past weekend and have spent this week on lots of ibuprophen and back therapy stuff (rest, icy hot, jacuzzi,  chiropractor etc).

It's been getting less painful everyday and today, I even found myself doing a little slow motion shadow boxing. That's a big improvement from where I was last week where I could not even imagine wanting to move around.

I'm hoping that by Monday, I'll be back in class. I'm hoping....

Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 Starts with some Big Challenges

This is my second week back and I'll finally update this blog.  I've been busy. In Q4 of last year, I focused on technique and spent Monday nights at Jitsu training which was not a full work out. And Tuesday nights became date night with my wife as did Friday night.  And over the holidays, I had some distractions and injuries.  All of this by way of saying, I'm out of shape and overweight.

My goal, by my birthday (March 1st) is to be back in shape and an even ten pounds lighter. I'm at 200 right now which is just way too much. It's a priority.  At my age, I put on weight so quick and its so bad for me and so hard to shed. It's a priority.

What else is new is that Three Set Kuma Tai is back in the system and so I finally got a video up of it.  Check it out.

No new pictures or other eye candy for today, just a simple Happy New Year and a statement before you all that BBat50 is back on track and will be losing two pounds per week down to 190 pounds again.