Thursday, December 25, 2014

Olympic Martial Arts

What martial arts are included in the Olympics?

First of all, from looking at the Olympics website, they don't have a category of Olympic martial arts. They seem to treat them as separate sports (the Olympbics also don't have a "ball sports category" such as soccer, basketball, and vollyball).  Some people, such as Mike Lee of His post on Olympic Martial Arts lists 6 martial arts but his list seems to only focus on combat sports:

  • Olympic Boxing 
  • Olympic Fencing 
  • Olympic Freestyle Wrestling 
  • Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestling 
  • Olympic Judo 
  • Olympic Taekwondo
Mike reports that in 2020, wrestling will be dropped (both Greco-Roman and Freestyle?) but despite earlier efforts, Wushu karate is not yet planned to be included.

But, there are two other sports that I feel are martial arts although they are not direct combat:
The official Olympic website is particularly useless at providing info on whether these sports are going to be maintained or dropped. I'm also unable to find anything on eligibility. I remember, for instance, that professional basketball and soccer players were not allowed to play in the Olympics when I was young. Then, at some point, to keep it interesting and to balance the Eastern Blocks definition of amateur, new rules about Olympic eligibility rules were created having to do with age and number of allowed Olympic appearances but I can't seem to find any info on it.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Boxing, dabbling with a new martial art

Here's a quick story of how a late 50s guy ends up in a new type (for him)  of gym.  Also, as you can see in the top video (round 1), how much fun it is to use the slow motion option on my iphone to see what I actually do.

Boxing Gym

I spent 8 pretty happy years in the martial arts at a blended school (nee Lavallees, now Elite Force) which taught a mix of kickboxing, kempo, muy thai and whatever else they chose to integrate. It was great fun, a great crowd, and great for me.

Happy Days at the Dojo
At some point, my kids had moved on and my hip movement became increasing constrained reducing what I could do and more importantly, making kicking drills detrimental to my back. I stuck it out for two years past when my back could handle the martial arts trying to work-around the ongoing  back problems. Finally, I sadly put my gi on the shelf and have been trying to figure out what to do next for sports ever since.

Rebuilding at Focus Studio
Nicole of Focus: She rebuilt e
You've seen (if you've been reading) that I've spent six months in acute physical therapy, around nine months with a a very tuned-in trainer trying to continue to rebuild core strength while improving my diet and exercise regime to get to a better percent body fat/lean muscle ration (thanks Nicole of Focus Studio), and then this summer, I did a trio of  triathalons culminating with me making it onto the podium after a race. Ironically, that seems to have resulted in a drop in motivation for me in that area. Or maybe I just got bored since I always train solo and it's just very dull.

All of this by way of explaining that I'm now dabbling in boxing.  I have a two tier approach to this. One is that I go to another yuppy gym where there is a boxing fitness class. There's bags and drills and some intense guys and gals, some socializing,  but no sparing. I like the classes particularly since they are close to the house and they have classes 7:45-8:30 in the morning which works well for me.

The other tier is that I've been going to a boxing gym which is on the other side of the tracks (literally and figuratively, which gives me a chance to link to one of my favorite cartoonists).  Luis, who runs those classes, takes me to his gym-in-a-warehouse where he matches me up with guys somewhere near my age, dize, and skill level to spar.  Very exciting and definitely something different..

The real excitement and activity in this gym is about the kids (late teens, early 20s) who are trying to compete at the amateur or professional level as boxers.  Here's what the gym looks like (15 second video)

 Here's what one of the rounds looks like (It's not pretty but I figure this is a base case that I can work.

 up from....)


 I got a little tired, here I am between rounds being told to stop dancing and running and to try some boxing. Good advice. I told myself that too. But I couldn't seem to settle down that day...


Yes, we did do three rounds. I had handed my phone to someone to film and at the end, there's only two rounds recorded. Of course, I was so much better in the missing round.  Isn't it always that way?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Bucket List Confession

John Edelson on the podium at last!
I ran another tri this weekend.

 And it's time to admit that I don't have much of a bucket list. Many of the items on there are really pretty silly. I had always wanted to earn a black belt (check!). I wanted to score a goal in a college soccer game (not checked, not going to be). I wanted to start and run a company (done!). And after a race, I've always wanted to be put on a podium.  Well, this past weekend, at the second of the Key Biscayne MACK Sprint Triathalons, I earned a medal for third place which got me onto the podium. So CHECK!

Disclosure, in my age gender category, males 55-59, there were only five competitors this Sunday.  But I beat two of them (plus all the guys that didn't show up) so as far as I'm concerned, it counts!  I placed in a trithalon! Here's my time.

My analysis of the time: pretty good.

Overall I moved well. I was the fastest in swimming, very competitive on the bike, and I dragged a bit on the run.  My transitions improved but were a little slow still. This is my third sprint triathlon this year. 

2014 Times:
7/20/2014    1:09 Key Biscayne
 7/4/2014     1:09  Tradewinds Park which means no hill on the bike and flat water swim)
6/8/2014  1:10  Key Biscayne 

 I probably swam too hard since although my time was good, I had a series of panic attacks in the water when I thought I might have to stop and ask for help.  Part of the problem is that I took a swimming lesson where they totally changed my breathing (it turns out I'm not supposed to hold my breath! Who knew?) and also my stroke (arms aren't supposed to be straight) so I was trying a new stroke which I had only practiced twice.  So this might have overly tired me out.

Transitions.  Still pretty weak.  I'm going to try elastic laces on my running shoes next time and put some talc powder in my bike shoes and have a shoe horn on hand. I seem to have spent a lot of time trying to get my foot into the shoes and then getting the strap into the brace.  With talc and a shoe horn, I can probably slide my foot into something that is already loosely attached. 

So what's on the agenda?
1. I've laid off the trianing a bit (which was never that organized and intense) and this week I'm back to taking the local boxing class.
2.  I'm looking for more local triathlons or 5Ks.

3. I'll miss the next Mack tri since I'll be in Alaska.
4. But I'll back in September!

Friday, July 04, 2014

Independence Day Triathlon

Independence Triathlon
Finishers Metal
I enjoyed my second sprint triathlon of the summer this morning.  It was in Tradewinds Park so the swim was in a flat water lake, the run and bike were flat (no bridges), and there were no 180 degree turns.  And I did a new personal best knocking a minute off my previous time bringing it down to 1:09:39.

Still, my time and my position were a little disappointing.  On my previous tri this summer, I was in the top half of my age group and only five minutes behind the winners.  Today, I finished in 1:09:39 (versus 1:10:33 last month) which put me 161st out of 367 which put me just into the first half of the people.  But it only earned me a 12th out of 18 in my category and I was a full 17 minutes off the winning time.

My group, males age 56-60, was weirdly fast. Maybe it's because there was no International Distance so all the more intense athletes dropped down into the sprint. This might be it but it doesn't explain why my specific age group was so fast.  For instance, with my time of 1:09, if I was in the younger 50-54 age group, I would have been 10th out of 27, well into the top half versus well into the bottom half in my actual group.  But then, if I was 61-65, 1:09 would have gotten me a 6th out of 10. And I would have had the same position (6th out of 10) if I was 65-69.  So it seems that it was the old men in general who were extremely fast.  The winner in my age group (a Clay Wilson) was 16th in the overall race and finished in under 53 minutes which is very impressive, arguably elite.

2014 Independence Day Triathlon (.25s-10b-3r)
Race Results for John Edelson
Male 55-59 on 07/04/2014
Cat Place9/1812/1815/1815/1811/1812/18
Cat %533518184135
Sex Place116/232130/232143/232182/232119/232121/232
Sex %504439224948
OA Place167/368207/368184/368289/368162/368161/368
OA %554450225656
Click here for Full Results

List of John's Triathlons
1:09:39  July 4th, 2014     Independence Day Tradewinds Park M 55-59
1:10:33  June 8th, 2014   Mack Cycle Key Biscayne - M 56-60
1:22:15 July 22nd, 2012   Mack Cycle Key Biscayne - M 51-55
1:17:53  August 19 , 2012   Mack Cycle Key Biscayne - M 51-55
1:24:18  2005   Tri Fort Lauderdale 2005. This was along the beach and in Birch state park
There's also a tri from 2005 to be found...I can't remember if it was in Key Biscayne or up near Del Ray.

Relevant Links:   - A collection of all my times on registered races
Daniellas Run (the one I did with Kate and David)

Made it Out of the Water!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Sprint Triathalon - Key Biscayne

In my quest for new challenges and to enjoy and push my fitness, I signed up for some triathalons this summer.  I did the first one on June 8th down at Virginia Key, part of the Key Biscayne Mack series. I had a great time and my time was respectable.  I finished it in 1:10:33 which placed me  5th place in my age category of Male 55-59, 118th overall out of 256.

The organizers just sent me a table which gave me my position on each part.  My swimming was fast, I was 2nd fastest in my group. And my biking was fast too, I was the 3rd fastest in my group. My run time, which I think of as my best area, was not as good, I was 5th.  And my transitions, I was slow: 6th and 5th respectively.  I guess I need to practice putting on my shoes!

New Bike! I'm really excited since I finally bought a bike that isn't a bad joke. I bought a new bike which is a modern racing bike. It's almost 10 pounds lighter than my old bike. I didn't got to crazy as in I stayed with aluminum and didn't go with a carbon fiber.  But, if I keep at it (and if my company stays solvent), I might get myself a carbon fibre one soon.

My previous bike was one that I had swapped for and it turns out to have been 25 years old.  I put toe clips on the old bike and use to do both the biking and the run wearing running shoes.

Here's the results of previous triathalons. I did two two years ago and a few a few years before that.  My time this time was actually better than the previous one: 1 hour ten minutes this time versus one hour seventeen minutes on my last one.  I have no idea why. This course might have been shorter or the conditions better. I think in both cases, I placed the middle of my group although I have moved up a group since my previous efforts.  And by up, I mean that I moved up to the 56-60 age group.

By the way, the pictures from the triathalon last year were taken by my wife's nephew who is a great photographer.  Anybody want to go take pictures at the next one?

2014 Mack Cycle Triathlon Trilogy #1 (.25s-10b-3.1r)
Race Results for John Edelson
Male 55-59 on 06/08/2014
Cat Place2/86/83/85/85/85/8
Cat %862971434343
Sex Place88/171124/17175/171129/17197/17193/171
Sex %492856254446
OA Place114/256185/25689/256185/256128/256118/256
OA %562865285054
Click here for Full Results

Monday, May 19, 2014

My College Daughter, Is she majoring in jitsu?

 As my daughter finished her senior year in high school, she earned her black belt in our blended school of kenpo, kickboxing, and self defense.

At college, she moved right into ju jitsu.  As I understand it, it's Japanese jitsu but with a Canadian and British accent (ie her instructors are from English but now live in Canada).

Whatever the origin, she has now been on a series of jitsu exhibitions and tournaments in Canada and has even spent a week in Scotland (during the summer) at a world jitsu something.

How does her Dad feel about her spending a chunk of her college years learning a new martial art and a very effective one at that?  I'm thrilled.

But then the new question was, how did I feel about her spending the summer working on her jitsu and learning to be instructor?  Well, I guess I feel fine. I'm torn between thinking that she should be more career minded versus recognizing that it's great that she's found something that she is interested in.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More on Nutrition

I've been working with a trainer (Nicole) and part of the program is not just working out but also working on my nutritional habits. She thinks balanced eating with many meals a day but sensibly comprised and sized could make a difference.

She has me tracking my food on MyFitness Pal which I do intermitently.

I just saw this great video on 200 calories.  Powerful and educational. Enjoy!

For those of you that are curious, this is what working out at her place looks like: