Monday, August 31, 2009

Basic Chuck Form

This chuck form introduces you to basic chuck handling.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

GPS-based running App for my Iphone - found it!

I've been looking for the all-in-one running application for my Iphone 3GS. I was pretty sure that there had to be a GPS-based stop watch which also kept track of distance, time, history, and so on and so forth. I bought one app which turned out to only be a subset of what I wanted. Now, I think I've found it:

MotionX- Track Recorder - I loaded it for $2.99 this morning and used it. Other than being a little complicated, I think I've found it! eureka.

I'm hoping that once I figure it out, it'll be an automated way to track and record my times and distances. From glancing at the website and documentation, it appears to have all this plus ALOT more such as a compass, direct connect to twitter and facebook, altitude, and so on.

For a geeky guy like me, the MotionX website is very cool. I can't wait to explore it.

BTW, I ran something like a fourteen thirty two miles yesterday with the Candidate class and a 15:56 with my son today (he was 14:44)

Monday, August 24, 2009

A White Belt Again!

Hi, This is a guest post by Jeff Fasoldt
who has a long history with Lavallees,

Flashback to 1984

Back in 1984, LaVallee's USA Black Belt Champions was known as LaVallee's Sport Karate. There was only one studio, a modest 2nd story storefront in the Village of Liverpool, NY. Kyoshi was simply called Steve. There were only a handful of black belts at the studio when I joined. Rick and Jeff Ianuzzo along with Rob Vanelli taught most of the classes with Rick also running most of the day to day operations. Karate was definitely not a mainstream sport yet. Out of my Liverpool High class of almost 800, only Sensei Marc Emmi and I trained at LaVallee’s at that time. Then, Karate Kid hit the big screen and suddenly everyone wanted to be the next Ralph Machio. Enrollment took off and it was just about two years later that LaVallee’s moved to a much larger modern studio just downstairs from the original.

One of my fondest memories of the old studio was the entry door. It was a heavy steel door with a dragon molded into it. To an outsider, I am sure it could be somewhat intimidating but it definitely got your attention when you walked by! The studio itself was small, dingy, and it usually smelled like a locker room. Not the most pleasant environment but to me it was perfect.

The classes were different too. I remember a lot more conditioning drills – lots of pushups and stomach crunches. Now we do most of that outside of class. Belt tests, at least below brown belt, weren’t scheduled. The instructor would just tell a few students at the start of the class that they were being “evaluated”. At the end of the class those students who had passed would receive their belts. Those who had not, didn’t. I remember being passed over once for my blue belt and being absolutely crushed but the next day I was back at the studio more motivated than ever. Classes were also focused around point sparring. I can still throw a pretty mean back fist – ridge hand combo!

I earned my green belt in 1985 and immediately set about training hard for my brown belt (no red belts back then) with the goal of achieving it before I left for college in August. Unfortunately that was one goal I didn’t reach. I did come back that winter and again the next summer to train but wasn’t able to get enough time in to qualify for testing. It was hard at that time to see so many people who had started after me pass me by. Eventually I stopped training although my younger brother went on to earn his 2nd degree black belt and join the LaVallee’s staff as a full-time instructor. This kept up my connection to LaVallee’s all this time.

Fast Forward to 2009

My how things have changed in 25 years. Now at age 42, I am starting all over as a white belt again at LaVallee’s Rochester, NY studio led by Sensei Ty Hafner. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how quickly many things have started to come back to me after all this time but I still have a long way to go to get back to where I left off so many years ago. My two children have joined with me and now we are on this journey together. Maybe we can even talk Mom into giving it a try!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Chuck Form Two

I'm back to using this blog for what it was initially created for, to try and learn the katas. I'm supposed to perform chuck form 2 this Saturday at Candidate class and I'm still trying to figure it out.

Chuck form 2 is an enhanced version of chuck form 1. Same structure, most stuff.

Mr Vince performs it here, slowly and with explanations.
Do me a favor: Next time that you see Mr Vince, thank him for us.

I also found this old PowerWeekend video of ChuckForm2 on Youtube.

Chamber chucks.

Hard bow step forward right. Double chuck spin outside, spin inside, spin outside to the thigh, spin up to the shoulder, spin down to the arm pit.

Hard bow step forward left. Same sequence.

Turn to left.

Double chucks down to left, over to right, spin up to shoulders, spin down to pits.
Front right kick, skip right kick.
Both chucks cross the body to outside so arms are crossed. Spin back, spin up to shoulders, spin down to pits.

180. Repeat the other way.

Face forward, legs together. Right chuck across the body, spin back, spin up, spin to pit.

Repeat with left.

Both chucks across the body, spin back, spin up, spin down to legs, figure 8 up, then down to pits....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bengay, icyhot, oil can, the web

On Saturday, I was feeling pretty good about me and karate. I made it through a candidate class and a run despite missing an entire week from a bad back. And I was good about getting into a jacuzi afterwards so I wouldn't get too stuff . And I stretched and drank plenty of water.

Nevertheless, last night and this morning, I was plenty stiff. When I looked in the medicine cabinet this morning, recently re-organized, I laughed out loud. Check out my collection of topicals, all lined up. By the way, after a shower and some of these creams, my son and I ran a nice mile this morning at 8 minutes even.

In fact, I was so sore, I started thinking about the Tin Woodsmen when Dorothy finds him all rusted in the field. There he is, unable to move, saying: "oil can." So I wondered, how incredible in this web? I did a quick search and sure enough, it's incredible. Here's the scene.




Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Candidate for Black Belt, Again!

I'm now an official candidate to earn my second degree black belt, potentially in May 2010 .

During my period as a candidate, I will shake a lot of hands, make some speeches, kiss some babies, and plaster the neighborhood with posters.

Just kidding. I'm not that type of candidate. At our school, the earning of a black belt is less of a single big test and more of a marathon. So during my nine months as a candidate, my marathon effort will involve:
  • Making it to class three to four times per week
  • Assistant teaching a few times a week
  • Running 3x a week maintaining less than 16 minute two mile time
  • Diligently doing my extras (100 pushups, abs, squats, and kicks) several times per week.
  • And most importantly, making it to the weekly candidate class and performing well
chiropractic image
In any case, that's the plan. Last Saturday was my first candidate class of the cycle. By eight am, I was in the dojo stretching and reviewing my katas. It felt great being back in the very high energy intense candidate classes. Class went well although I had forgotten how strenuous the cardio can be and how many times in one class I got right to the exhaustion point. My run time was fine. Sunday, I went to the gym and worked out and urg, something slipped in my back. urg urg urg.

I called my chiropractor and had him put in back in place which he did three times more during the week. By the end of the week, my hips and back seemed to be staying in place so this morning, a week after my first Saturday candidate class, I went to my second one. Today included some chuck katas which I didn't really have down. We worked chuck form one, two, and XMA chuck form. There was some bugo which I felt good on. And a timed two mile which I did in 15:21, easily under the required 16:00 but way short of my target of getting to 14:00 by the end of cycle.

All in all, it's great fun to be a Candidate. With a little cooperation from my back, shoulders, and feet, (plus from my job and family) it should be a wonderful cycle. How did I get so lucky?

PS - Anybody want to write up chuck form two for me? Anyone have a good video? Anyone want to perform?

Friday, August 14, 2009

BBat50 - How different our minds are!

I was just asked by a lady in the dojo if I still had that blog: B bat fifty. Now I have always thought of the name of the blog as Black Belt at, abbreviated to bb at 50. But it seems that it's easier for her to remember it as b bat fifty. It's funny how people see things differently.

I've just missed most of a week of training. I had back alignment problems and was at the chiropractor three times. Saturday morning, I'm back in Candidate class. It's bugo. I'm psyched. Wish me luck.

Oh, my site sponsor just reminded me that I haven't discussed them in awhile, here goes. A great homeschool curriculum is worthwhile, I'd go with because of it's strength in building reading comprehension skills. If you need help with online homeschool resources, go ask on a parents newsgroup forum. In Florida, there are many Florida homeschool support groups.