Saturday, June 27, 2009

Three Weeks of Travel

I've been out of town and not training for three weeks now. The first week was a business trip, the next two were a family vacation to Colorado (what an incredible state it is). Great fun.
And now, the thrill of coming back from a few week layoff... I certainly have the motivation, I just hope that no injuries get in the way. I'll try to listen carefully to the old bod so that I push it, but not too much too fast.


Monday, June 08, 2009

Watch Back Alley Brawl This Weekend

Driving to work this morning, I drove past Melissa doing her road work. What a cardio machine! Is there anything as much fun as being a trained talented athlete in your 20s? And vicariously, it's fun for all of us. You go girl!

My first email was from coop with part of Sat nite's card:

Melissa Haley vs Shani Fraser
Jarrod Arndt (Hanshi Moti fighter) vs Steven Chin
Ed Vitale vs Matt Dickens
Super Heavyweights.. Michel Quinones-Davis vs Sergio Rodriguez

Melissa Haley - PreFight Montage - Warriors Collide 6

Tickets are available!... $25 for G/A.
@ Back Alley Brawl4!
For tickets call 954 785-1348! T
he Event is at The Davie PAL, 4300 SW 57th Terrace in Davie.
This Saturday night

Melissa's last fight


Sunday, June 07, 2009

Melisa Haley Gets Back in the Ring

I've heard that Melissa Haley is going in the ring again on Saturday June 13th courtesy of Left Hook Productions.
I don't know much about it but there is a cool video about her on Facebook entitled: Promo for Melissa'a upcoming Muay Thai fight on Saturday June 13, 2009!. I'll look for a version on youtube too.
@ Back Alley Brawl 4! For tickets call 954 785-1348! The Event is at The Davie PAL, 4300 SW 57th Terrace in Davie.
if you know anything else about the card, add it in the comments. The Left Hook Productions site put up the flyer this morning but there's no card info posted on Facebook (where there is an event page) or on the LeftHook Productions site.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Fight like a rhino, not like a kangeroo


Instructor Mike says (and we're talking about head position and chins here):

Fight like a rhino, not like a kangeroo

note - photo credit for the kangeroo goes to a website called Bits & Pieces. They might have pilfered it but I can't seem to find the original.


Friday, June 05, 2009

XMA Sword Form 1

This spring, we started learning to do kata with swords. We're doing an XMA inspired kata.

We learn the form as initially, three different sequences which are then strung together. In the initial sequences, each one starts with drawing the sword and ends with resheathing it.  In the combined sequence, we only put it away at the end. I found that confusing personally.

XMA Sword Form 1
chop right
slow tension left hard bow
batto (draw the sword) to the right to hardbow right
add left hand to sword, strike to left on down diagonal
pull sword overhead and strike down forward stepping with with right foot
hard tension to right bow doing a upward block with sword
strike to left on down diagonal
strike to right on horizontal
pull sword overhead and strike down forward stepping with with right foot
right hand chiburi strike down on the sword handle
bring it back up over left shoulder around head and strike to right on horizontal
strike down to left on diagonal
raise sword over head (don't let it hang down in back), step forward and across with right and finish 360 spin in two steps with a right to left diagonal down strike
draw back with sword over head and blade in left hand
strike to left down on diagonal
pull sword overhead and strike down forward stepping with with right foot
step foward with right so you're sideways with a dramatic chiburi flick in front of you.
No-to (return sword to saya - sheath) by pulling it forward and thrusting it back in
step back with right, punch down with right, tia.

Sword Vocabulary list - now mostly complete!

bokkens - a wooden substitute for a sword used in training in the martial arts. It's cheaper and heavier, so harder to move around elegantly.

Tsuba (rhymes with tuba) - the hand guard on the bokken
Tsuka - the handle of the bokken
Saya - the sheath for the sword
Batto - the action of drawing the sword
Chiburi - the action of cleaning the blood from the sword by either flicking the sword or striking the sword
No-to - Returning the sword to the saya

Editors note. I googled martial arts sword parts to see if I could find a list of terms used in our dojo for the hilt, hand protector, scabbard etc. I found a surprising number of really detailed sword part descriptions, none of which coincided with our inhouse lingo. But, thanks t0 Philip from the Rochester dojo, I've now got all these terms. I'd still like to know what language we are using. Is it Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, or Chinese? If it was a kempo or kung fu kata, I could make an educated guess but since we are learning an XMA-inspired kata, I'm not sure what the likely language would be.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

'Kung Fu' Actor David Carradine Dies

I just heard that David Carradine, the Kung Fu TV program star from the 80s, died in Bangkok.

I remember the martial arts craze of the 70s fueled in large part by the 'Kung Fu' program on TV starring David Carradine. The TV series ran from 1972–1975 (I graduated from high school in 1976). It was a huge hit putting a pacifist idealistic kung fu master in the rough old west. It hit the trends well riding both the enthusiasm for Westerns and the interest in Eastern philosophy and the martial arts. I learned about kung fu and Eastern philosophy from it.

The Plot - In the pilot episode, Caine’s revered master is murdered by the Chinese emperor's nephew, and Caine retaliates by killing the nephew. In order to avoid execution, Caine flees to America.

Although it is his intention to avoid notice, Caine repeatedly comes out into the open to fight for justice. After each such encounter, he is compelled to flee to stay ahead of the emperor's assassins.

Flashbacks - The story relied heavily on flashbacks. An interesting note is that this was partially driven by the FCC's frequent intervention to limit the amount of combat time in an episode. To demonstrate many of the cool moves, the program used a large number of training flashbacks, which were not counted against their limited allotment of time for combat.

The flashbacks recalled specific lessons during Caine's childhood training in the monastery by his teachers, the blind Master Po and Master Kan. The flashbacks were great showing how people's early mental and spiritual training gives them power that can last a lifetime. In theflashbacks, Master Po calls his young student "Grasshopper" in reference to a scene in the pilot episode:

Master Po: Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
Caine: No.
Po: Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?
Caine: Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?

The Road Taken - In a radio interview with NPR a few years ago, David Carradine said that the fight scenes were meant to be realistic and says that they're more realistic than the ones today. He talks about how kung fu affected his life and says that it's impossible to know about the roads not taken. There were times that people recognized him on the street and challenged him but mostly, he talked his way out of it trying to turn it into an autograph session. A few times, he ran ("faced with a superior force, escape"). He talks about how his father forbid him from taking dance lessons saying: "No son of mine will earn his living with his feet." Carradine comments how useless it is to resist our fate in that he ended up earning his living by kicking.