Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Am I ready to go back on Monday?

The dojo reopens on Monday. Will I be ready?

Since mid September, I've had back troubles and been taking time off. By November, I stopped all exercise entirely. Yesterday, for the first time, I went to the gym and had a little workout, some upper body, abs, and ten minutes on the eliptical.

This morning, I did abs and fifteen minutes on the treadmill. I intend to go the gym daily alternating between weights and different cardio. But the big question is, what will happen when I show up for my first class back on Monday.

There are three big questions:
1. Is my back flare-up over? Was rest with massage and chiro all that was needed or do I have something requiring more?
2. Is my cardio adequate to make it through a class? Remember, at 50 plus, cardio disappears at an alarming rate. It's not like in my 20s when I could take three months off and then run a seven minute mile the first day back. And, it's not as if I was in top shape even in September. I had time off in the summer and foot problems in the spring.
3. What about strength and flexibility? We routinely do groups of 25 pushups and I'm supposed to be able to kick like a black belt. Even at my best, I kick like a.....50 year old who has worked out well for the last few years.

Good questions. Stay tuned for Monday. And Happy New Year. Since this is also my wife's birthday, it's a special day for us.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

This year did not go according to plan....

The Plan for 2008 was ....not what happened...

Having earned my black belt at the end of 2007, my plan for karate for 2008 was to focus on my bugo (sparring) and flexibility for most of the year. I had been planningto find some people to run with in Sept-Dec and to speed up my running times for 5Ks & 10Ks back to the speed that I was hitting just three to four years ago. Then, I was going to enter 2009 with great cardio and bugo skills and spend the year working on all the details and gearing up for my second degree in the winter of 2009-2010. Well, that was the plan.

It started fine and my bugo and flexibility improved in Q1 of this year. But in Q2, my feet were a problem and I had to take a little more than a month off due to the soreness and swelling. And in the early summer, I travelled for five weeks so I was pretty out of shape when I started again in July. All seemed fine until September when a back problem started. It came and went and in early November, I had to stop all exercise through the end of the year.

No, it hasn't gone according to plan. I haven't exercised at all in about two months and only intermittently since sometime early in the year. Very frustrating. Often, without the exercise, I have trouble sleeping and relaxing. sigh.

But thats the way life can be. To be honest, sports injuries have a life-long problem for me, the bane of my sports career. I was an intense and promising soccer player entering college. I was recruited and expected to be a big time player. But injuries hobbled me in years 2-4 of college and so my career fizzled rather than peaked.

More frankly, I have a lot more to be thankful for than to be frustrated about. At age 50, if I'm able to work out hard for more than 50% of the time, I'm way ahead of par. I'm a lucky guy. I've had many friends who thru hips, feet, or knees; have had no chance to pursue sports past a certain point.

So I'm biding my time, trying to watch my diet, and hoping that with some good therapy, good luck, and good painkillers, I can be a successful kohai in 2009. My goal now is to aim at a peak in 2010 and a chance to earn my 2nd degree then. With real luck (and some cooperation from my sensai), I'm hoping to go through my next black belt cycle with one of my kids. Wouldn't that be something!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tis the season to miss out on karate

BBat50 hasn't been seen in class for awhile now. He won't be back in class until the new year. Back pains and paying the piper for coming back too soon and reinjuring my back. Here's my plan. Lots of ice packs for awhile. Plenty of bio freeze spray. Chiropractic adjustments weekly from Dr Kim. And massage two times per week from either Spatopia ($44 for 50 minutes!) or North Ridge Chiropractors.

No running or twisting or striking. I can swim, do the eliptical, and I'm supposed to start pilates. I can do situps and pushups and start stretching carefully.
keyboard try
Most importantly, I've ordered the King of Keyboard Trays to improve my ergonomic situation. I also considered another one keyboard tray that would attach to my chair. I did buy and install a keyboard tray from Office Dept which turned out to be too flimsy to use. But by the time that I had figured out that it was useless, the packaging had been thrown away. Poof, there goes $100.

How did I know that it was time to get serious about treatment? Well, one definite clue was the day after icepackThanksgiving when my hip and leg locked and I basically couldn't even walk without great pain.biofreeze

And so it goes. After a nice run of good health, I'm hobbled.
Everything has it's season.

More ergonomic, desk, and back problems. Uhg.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kyoshi Earns his 8th degree black belt

Read more about Steve Lavalle, Kyoshi.

And come see him.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Three kids in the program!

My middle child is now fully in the program, she tested this past week for her yellow belt. I now have three kids in the program (one is actually in the adult program).
Four of us in one family, is that a record? Do I get a share in the place?

And this week marks one years since I earned my blackbelt. If I could find a convenient time, I'd have everybody over for brunch again. You free this Sunday?
Also, it's three months since my current series of back problems. I intend to celebrate by making some decisions on new desk/ chair ergonomics which I'm convinced is the key to my problems. I'm also going to try some light running to get back in shape enough to come back to class sooooon.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My desk ergonomics - The details

I'm still working on my back problem which are caused, I believe, by the poor ergonomics from my new desk. (You need the read previous post on this topic to know what I'm going on about). In any case, at age 50, in balancing karate and everything, I'm now badly out-of-whack and need to rebalance. I'm now going on my third month of on-again-off-again back problems.

As Kyoshi would say, if you could measure it, you can manage it. So I've taken out my tape measure (Yes, I know that this is not exactly what he intended what he meant it. But the spirit is the same. Find tools to solve problems. In this case, I'm using a tape measure.) and here's what I've found:

The height of the desk means that my arms would have to be held really high to use my keyboard. This would be a disaster for my back and shoulders.
The usual solution to such problems is to raise the chair adding a footrest to make sure that my feet have some support. But, since my desk has a drawer where I should be sliding under the desk, this won't work. I can't get my legs under my desk. So instead, I stretch my arms in all sorts of funny ways or slide down in my chair. What's frustrating is that I do have a nice upscale chair with about five different adjustments.
1. Cut out the drawer and put a keyboard & mouse drawer there instead. This creates room for my legs by getting rid of the drawer and allows me to construct an arm rest at the right height.
2. Have a keyboard mouse drawer that attaches under the drawer or even to the chair which comes out at about the height of the current desk drawer.
In either case, a little shopping, carpentry, and cleverness are called for. I'm a little frustrated in that I have a very similiar problem at my regular (not home) office and that I can't seem to get any real help from the people who can sell me the gadgets that I need to install. Isn't there a consultant somewhere that will come in, tell me what has to be done, and do it for me?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Who is cool?

I thought I'd mention a few from my school that have done very cool things lately. Agnes finished her first 100 mile bike race (Her husband Renee did a 55 mile race that day).

Dani finished the New York marathon two weekends ago. She went so fast and got so tired that she hasn't had time to update her blog since then.

But she made it to class that same week so we don't have to worry.

Have I told you about how cool Melissa Haley and Dan Walsh are for their Warrior's Collide performance.?

And while I still haven't found fight videos of Dan to link to, here are two more pictures of Melissa: one from halloween, one from Warriors Collide 6. (Melissa is the St Pauli girl).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More Back Problems

After another two week layoff from working out(interrupted by a failed one-class comeback attempt), my son and I ran this morning: exactly one mile, just under ten minutes. I stretched and did setups and pushups afterwards.

I still don't feel right. My back is still full of spasms and knots.

I have a culprit for why the last three months have been a series of back problems for me. It's me, my work, and my erogonomics. That's where the problems start.

Here's how it unfolded: starting at the end of the summer, I decided it was time to really pour it on at work. I run a little company (note the little links down on the left column to see what it's about) that has grown nicely from nothing over the last five years. But starting this past spring, for a number of reasons including the economy, the growth stopped. I'm determined to get back on the growth path. So I've been putting in significantly more hours.

Coupled with the increased efforts at work, another problem stems from this great new desk that I got for my home office. But ergonomically, it's a disaster. The center drawer means that I can't get my legs properly under the desk and the desk is so high that my hands are held too high.

So, it's with some sadness that I now admit that the desk is injuring me and we need to get rid of it or hack it up.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Steve Lavallee Earning his 8th Degree

(Updated in 2014) I noticed that this page on my blog gets a good number of visits so I thought I would update it. For those of you who don't know, I have some sad news.

 Steve Lavallee died at his own hand in June 2012.  His health was excellent and no public announcement about the reason for the suicide has ever been given. 

Steve Lavallee is survived by his widow,  a young son, and thousands of students who are confused by this turn of events and the man that they thought they knew. There has been lots of long discussions as people wrestle with the conflict between the persona and message that Kyoshi proclaimed and the actuality of who he turned out to be.  

While I am far from being fully informed, and perhaps nobody really is, on why Kyoshi made the decision that he did, there was a police report that was going to be (and was) released about him the Monday after his demise. The police report, which was made public, was from an adult staff member who had reported that Kyoshi has made a sexual advance towards the staff member.  The police report included was documentation about discussions about whether Steve Lavallee had been accused of child molestation before in Syracuse New York and a record of consultations between the police departments on the topic.  

 Kim Colvin LaVallee, Steve's widow, has partnered with Craig Halley to manage the two dojos that remain in their hands: NE Ft Lauderdale,  and Lighthouse point. The name of this new dojos is Elite Force.  

Dennis Osmond continues to run his dojo in Palm Beach independently. 
Vince Practico runs one in Plantation called Five Rings.


Steve Lavallee - Kyoshi - is the Chief Master Instructur of my dojo (along with the other ten locations in his system). Kyoshi is now celebrating his 35th year in the martial arts. Follow the link to a page on his official website where you can add your comment to the dozens of others.

At our dojo, they announced that on December 6, Kyoshi will be awarded his 8th degree black belt on December 6th. That's a lot of years of training.

I have the luck to train in the Lavallee National Training Center (HQ - NTSC) so Kyoshi is frequently on the floor or teaching class. He runs many of our Black Belt candidate classes himself. Which is great. Kyoshi is one of the more interesting and charismatic guys around. He's a 7th degree black belt, a successful business owner, has thousands of students through his system, and works with hundreds of industry leaders thru MAUI.

I intend to get the whole story on Kyoshi's professional resume directly from him one of these days (degrees, ring record, training) but as best I can tell from a quick web review:

Kyoshi is interested in blending the martial arts. While this is very trendy these days, it seems that he's been a pioneer in this area. While his base training is kenpo, he has studied and blended: Chinese Kenpo, Tae Kwon Do, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling, Judo, Kali/Escrima, Chinese Kung Fu, Israeli Combatives( Extreme Hisardut ), Full Contact Kickboxing, Boxing, XMA and weaponry.

On the wall in our dojo, there is a certificate awarding him a 7th degree in Blended Martial Arts from Degerberg Internationa. This certificate on the wall is signed byRobert Beal, Greg Tearney (10th Dan), John McSweeney, and Fred Degerberg.

John McSweeney was a student of Ed Parker, the father of American Kenpo.

There is another certificate signed only by Greg Tearney awarding Steve Lavallee a 7th degree in Karate-Do.

There is alot of Muy Thai in our system plus XMA . He trains sometimes with his friend Shihan Moti, a champion in five martial arts with base training in Israeli Krav Maga. In the last few years, Steve Lavallee has been training in BJJ at Gracie Academy. Kyoshi's base training is Kenpo. Our curriculum evolves with periodic additions and changes in the kata and defense techniques. For instance, when I was a white belt, we learned mostly kenpo self defense. Recently, we've learned new jitsu-type self-defense. Kyoshi gave a demo of standup BJJ self defense at a recent show which was put up on youtube.

Another of Kyoshi's interests is the Maui Program and working with other sensei to improve the overall management of martial skills and foster exchange among different martial arts.

On October 19th, 2007, Kyoshi Steve LaVallee was the Keynote Speaker at the EFC Summit Keynote in Miami.

Two notes: One, Master KC (Kim Lavallee) is married to Kyoshi Steve Lavallee. Second, Kyoshi's nephew (his brother's son..Joe Lavallee)  also trains in our system (4th or 5th degree black belt) - I've seen web posts where the two were confused.
There is more information about Kyoshi on the Lavallee Official Website. This post updates an earlier one about Kyoshi and my sensei - KC Lavallee.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Logar Shin Kata

While our system primarily teaches Kenpo katas with some XMA (extreme martial arts) forms, this kata is a kung fu-derived kata from Hungar Karate (if I've understood it right). So, while we start most of our kata by saying: Kempo Kata, Long One: we start this one by saying: Hung Kata, Logar Shin. Logar Shin has more circular movements, lots of "kewsa" (can anyone help me with the correct spelling of this hand position?) and some moves that we don't usually do such as tiger claw.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Karate Halloween Party

Our dojo hosted a Halloween party this past Saturday night. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays: my honey and I dressed like the undead.. Here's a glimpse. If you have photos online, feel free to mention them in the comments. Or email them along and I'll work them in.

And stay tuned, I will be trying to post every day the rest of this week since I've been so slow recently (there. I just defined a goal which I now have to live up to). Topics will include my no so little daughter who is suddenly in my advanced adult karate class! (OK, I've had a long time to see this coming. It shouldn't exactly have crept up on me. But still, for me, this is HUGE deal. How did my little daughter suddenly turn into the powerful purty purple belt. Zowie!).

Also, we've been doing some more Muy Thai which means learning a different type of roundhouse kick and trying to learn to rotate back and forth on my center. And we've started a new type of kata derived from KungFu and Hungar Karate. But today, it's halloween picture day. Enjoy.

And one more thing. I voted today. When are you going to?

And, for those who want more photos of Halloween, you can visit the facebook photo albums of:

Mr. Vince
Haylettes (best collection)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Melissa Haley Rocks!

Melissa Haley was one of the stars of Warriors Collide 6. Arguably, she was the star.

I posted a link to her videos last week. Then, her mom (who is a photographer) emailed me with an offer for some better photos.

Here they are. And congratulation to Mom Halley. As a parent, can you share your parenting secrets with me. Melissa rocks!

On a personal note, I'm back with ice packs and pain killers. Durn back. Had another good week and then on Tuesday night of this week, in class, the back went again. Not as bad this time but I'm skipping class tonight and have not been able to stretch. Maybe I shouldn't have agreed to play an hour of pickup soccer last weekend (I just can't resist a nice day, a grassy field, a bunch of foreigners speaking different languages, and an invitation to make the sides even.)

And on Wednesday testing, my daughter earned her purple belt with her friend Nina (pictures to follow). From now on, my daughter is in the same class with me! How weird will that be?

PS - Haley has only one L (i was just corrected by Jennifer - thanks)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Melissa Halley Warriors Collide 6

I found the videos on YouTube of Melissa Halley's muy thai debut at Warriors Collide 6 from last month. WOW! On video, it's really clear how much she dominated Savannah.

Weight class 135: Melissa Haley USABBC beat. Savannah Cavin Inferno MMA (previously 1-2) in an unanimous decision.

PreFight Montage of Melissa

PS - At the end of the montage, notice the really cool timing of the drum beats on Melissa's two jabs followed by te, te, te timed to a jab, cross, hook. Very cool.

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

thanks to egoose2000 for posting them (who is egoose2000?)

I'd really like to see the videos of Daniel Walsh's fight (he is also from Lavallees USABBC dojo on Commercial Blvd. I did find on Youtube, from the same night, the video of Brandon Akers VS Dario Camuzzi.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

MMA take down defense this week

The last week of classes have taught us how to respond when people try to take you down with a two leg takedown tackle. I wish I had video but the choices are to:
- turn into a sideways horsestance so one leg is unreachable. Then down elbow on their lowered back. Game over.
- stay straight on but drop into a near horsestance while getting one arm around their throat in a guillotine choke and pulling up on your wrist with the other arm. If properly done, the attacker goes nighty-night quick.
- sprawl your legs out and put your weight into him, pushing his head down. As he charges, hop backward keeping your legs out of reach. As the charge ends, knee hard up to his head or chest.

We also learned how to deal with an attempted grab from the front into a bear hug. You turn mostly sideways hip checking the attacked while grabbing him 50-50 (one arm around his back, the other gripping his bicept).

At Friday night MMA happy hour, Kyoshi taught how, if they do get the two leg take down, how to roll down into it and lock your legs around the attacked while controlling his head. When he pulls back, you push and get your legs onto his hips to push him up while standing up properly.

I liked the lessons since they had a real-world feel to me in that the oukis charged in instead of just grabbing us as we stood still. Since I don't have video, I looked for and found a discussion of this online. Found it at DefendU (isn't the web amazing! It took me about a minute).

Other news: I hurt my back again but, I think I know why. Both times, it came early in a week after I visited the gym on Sunday and Monday for swimming and eliptical. One of those two activities is leaving my back vulnerable (sore or tired).

And my eldest daughter is turning 15. I think 15 is the new 16. I don't like it. Why can't she just keep being a happy little girl?

Lastly, I bought a bunch of fight books and have rented some videos recently (ie redbelt). Stay tuned....

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.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Changing my approach to working out

I moved this summer, only about a mile. From Pompano to Coral Ridge (for you locals). One downside of this is that my new neighborhood isn't as good for running. Too much traffic. And frankly, I seem to have lost my enthusiasm for running. It's really felt like a chore lately.

So, I joined LA Fitness on Saturday. The dojo was closed this weekend so Saturday, I did thirty minutes of weights, ten minutes on a heavy bag, and then 15 of cardio on the eliptical. Sunday, a more rapid 25 minutes of weights and 12 of cardio. In the weights, I work in stretching and both abs and backwards situps for my back. Monday (Labor Day), I think I'll do a little indoor run and maybe 2o minutes of swimming laps.

It's a nice change and in some ways, easier to work into the schedule. The problem with running is while it seems fast to do a quick 25 minute 3 miles, it then takes me another half hour to cool down. Also, given the heat, it leaves me wiped out.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Nature versus being a black belt

I came back from the vacations this summer determined to take my cardio, strength, and flexibility training to a new level. I would get up early, I would run, I would stretch twice daily, I would have abs that I was pleased to show off, I'd get comfortable with a lot of pushups, I would get thru sparing without having my arms and legs grow heavy.....

I was determined.....But last week, I started to slide a little. It started with the running. I'm just tired of running. It's repetitive and it's been awhile since I've had a running group or partner. I find that I just don't look forward to going out the way I use to. Plus, I'm tired of getting out of bed when it's so cozy to stay in.

Sunday, I got a little sick. Not quite sure what but the symptons included weakness, stomach, stiffness, and tiredness. So I didn't fight it. I just went with nature and I didn't work out from Saturday through Wednesday. Didn't even stretch. It might not seem like a long layoff but it broke the momentum that I had established for my comeback from the 5 weeks of vacation this summer and the injuries this past spring.

I came back and sparred Thursday night and through luck of the draw, got tired but didn't get massacred. OK, we never get massacred but there are people with whom I feel just terrible when I'm their partner and not up to being the type of partner that I'd like to be. I was lucky in that my last two matches of the night were against guys that I could spar with without really having to exert myself. This mostly means that I could give them a good match by just boxing and moving with little or no kicking (It's the kicking that really burns thru my energy). Which was lucky since there wasn't that much left for me to exert.

So here's my new plan for getting back in shape. Since I'm moving next week (another reason that I'm feeling burned out) and will be close to an LA Fitness, I'll join it and start doing cardio in shiny air conditioned gym comfort instead of out by myself in the muggy Florida weather. And instead of those repetitive pushups in my house, I'll set myself a lifting program at the gym. Maybe that change of venue will give me the lift I need to get where I want to.....


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Warriors Collide 6

Click for the very latest on
Warriors Collide 6. For the latest updated on Warriors Collide 6....

Forty more days to Warriors Collide 6. There are two fighters going into the ring from our dojo: Melissa & Dan.
Good luck to them both.

Here's the five matches that Coop (Left Hook Productions) has confirmed for the Warriors Collide 6 bouts on September 16th, 2008.

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 any of these fighters have their own websites, myspace profiles, or videos up on YouTube, just email me BBat50 {the at sign} Providing links or emails of pictures would be good too. Or put the link in the comments. I'll update accordingly. Also, I tried to link to the fighters' gyms but I'm guessing so corrections gratefully accepted.

Tickets thru Ticketron.

I just got a question about the rules. I think Warriors Collides uses MMA Oriental Rules. To summarize: it's stand-up kicking boxing wearing light gloves, head gear, and ankle pads. No elbows (except in championship matches). You get points for a take-down but then the ref stands you back up. Knee strikes to the body and kicks to the legs are fine. The bouts are three three minute rounds except for championship matches which are five rounds.

For previous related posts: Steve Lavallees Fight Clinic - Warriors Collide 5. - Warriors Collide 4. -Warriors Collide 3. My Intro to Warriors Collide and going to the fights, Youtube Trish Cicero,