Monday, December 29, 2008

A reminder...

I need to refresh my memory on the goals I set myself. This is one from January, 2008. I just copied and pasted it here to make sure I have it documented. I have several more blogs I can post...I'll be keeping the martial arts posts. Those are important to me.

January, 2008:

I am going to set myself some goals. I have issues with keeping myself on track with water, so one of my goals is to drink no less than 48 ounces of water in a normal day. Yesterday, I've made that goal and have had 50 ounces of water. Not too bad. Not great though. I'll work on it. That's one goal.

Another goal is to practice my forms daily. I need to make sure that I am doing everything correctly. Monday I actually ran through Nahainchi Cho Dan and Sip Soo. Tuesday I only worked on technique, but it WAS a practice. I practiced high knife hands, cat stance and moving forward in a cat stance. That's a new "game" I've created for the kids called "Ninja walk". You get into a cat stance, where you've created an 'L' with your feet--you put all of your weight on your back foot and have just the toes of your front foot or the ball of your front foot on the floor. The point of it is to be able to spring forward to pursue an attack if needed. If you turn your front foot, almost into a ballet stance, then ROLL as you shift your weight from the back foot to the front foot. This puts you into the correct position to perform a middle chop or something along those lines.
It's another technique that requires exact form. I *finally* have the "ninja walk" down!!

So, Tuesday I only worked on technique, but today, to escape the frustration of the people I work with (very stressful, that group!), I'm going to work on Bassai and then work my way back. I need to practice Oh Dan, Sam Dan, Sa Dan (and do Sam Dan correctly!), then Ee Dan and go backwards to Pyung Ahn Cho Dan, etc. I also need to practice Bong Hyung Il Bu at some point. I'll work on that away from work, but it will get practiced.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Yesterday I set myself the task of performing Keecho Hyung Il Bu in "mirror mode". I am happy to say that I was successful. I had to stop and actually THINK about what I was doing, but I was able to do the entire form without too many mistakes. It wasn't as hard as I made it out to be in my mind. I just have to build up and do the rest of the forms that way and I think I'll understand them a bit better. It's all working up to doing the forms better.

Today I may go outside and actually work on forms out there. I still haven't done an outdoors class. It will be good. When you work outdoors, you have different terrain to work on. It's not all the smooth surfaces we're used to inside. It will be uneven surfaces, rocks, etc. The point of it is to get used to having different surfaces and to step outside of our "comfort zone".

Speaking of "comfort zones", I read in a magazine last night that a "comfort zone" is just a way of opting out of moving onward. It's a way of saying, "I'm not going to go any further--I'm satisfied with the way things are". Well, I am NOT going to stay stationery and inflexible. I will get myself out of my comfort zone and into the unknown. Once I move past the mindset of "I'm okay where I am", the challenges will present themselves to be slightly easier, I think.

I don't know yet if I'll be able to get back into classes next month, but even if I don't, I'm at least getting back into practicing and learning. I've got my books, I have my notebook and my friends who have kindly offered to help keep me on track. I'm going to go back with a better attitude. I'm not going to go to class with the attitude of "I'm going to test for a belt". That's the wrong attitude to have. I'm going to go in with the attitude of "I'm here to learn." It's all about learning. If you stop learning, you'll stagnate. I'm not going to be stagnant. I'm going to move ahead and learn the right way. I'm not going to put my focus on only one thing. There are too many things to learn to make myself a better martial artist. If I focus on just the short term goal, I'll miss the long term. I'll miss the entire point of taking martial arts.
When I first joined martial arts, I went in with no idea of what I'd be getting into. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it or not. I went with the express intention of becoming more physically fit. Somewhere along the line, it moved into a love for the sport. I enjoy the classes. I enjoy the challenges presented to me by the instructors. No, I'm not a good jumper. I totally hate falling. I hate rolling too. I know that they're integral to the sport, so I learn them. When I step onto that training floor, I find myself in a different frame of mind. Somehow, after a long day at work, I'm able to get myself to focus on the here and now. I need that.

I'm going to make sure that the here and now is what I continue to focus on. If I had stayed at my old school, I would be testing in March or September of '09 for second dan. I am not ready. I have much to learn before I am ready to test. You cannot teach if you do not learn. You cannot understand if you do not learn. I am determined to understand. If it takes me another 3-4 years to earn my second dan, so be it. I think it's finally sunk in that I'm in this for the long haul.

Friday, December 26, 2008


I spent this morning walking up and down the hall, practicing front snap kicks (Ahp Cha Gi). I have gotten very sloppy, so I figured that while nobody was paying attention, I'd practice. I was trying to improve my technique. I can do a kick that is more like a "scoop", but what I need to do is to primarily focus on the technique. A good front snap kick would break down as follows:

1. Raise your knee.
2. Extend your lower leg, with control, ball of the foot leading. Strike the target.
3. With control, retract the leg.
(edited 12/29. I was corrected and I appreciate it. Need that reality check at times!)

When I practice it like this, it makes up for not having a bag to kick. I have a regular pad in one of the closets, but I cannot get my assorted family members to hold it for me so that I can kick it. Ah well. I was SUPPOSED to go to a friend's house today, but that fell through because I didn't hop on the Internet until late and he had plans for the late afternoon. Maybe next week.

Anyway, back to my kicks. I figure that I'm going to work on my kicks this week. I am going to work on the technique, then speed, then power. If I nail the technique, I can pick up the speed and the power. I think I'm going to strive for at least 20 kicks per leg, per day.

Another thing I'm going to do is to start walking at least a mile a day. I should have started it today, but I was lazy and slept in. Hopefully tomorrow. I'm thinking of going to the high school and walking there. Four laps around the track is a mile, so I'm going to aim for that. I may have to start with a half mile and work up to it. We shall see.

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Mirror Mode"

I was talking to a friend today about practicing. He's going to run me through my paces on Friday and reminded me that there are more ways to practice forms than the 'normal' way. He reminded me that it can be performed forwards, backwards, blindfolded and "mirror mode".
When I think "Mirror mode", I either think of performing a form "backwards" (which is totally different than this!) or I start thinking off topic to one of the games my son plays, Mario Kart. The mirror mode in this case is not what I was thinking of.

Mirror mode is where, instead of starting to the left, where we're usually taught, you start off to the right. I had to think about that for a few minutes. On the way home from work, I started trying to run through Kee Cho Hyung Il Bu in my head, in mirror mode. It is NOT as easy as I thought it would be!! I started out going over it in my mind "correctly", then visualizing it in 'mirror mode'. I haven't finished the form, but I have started thinking about it.

Another thing I need to work on is doing the form "backwards", where I start at the end and work to the beginning. I read about someone doing Bassai backwards on a blog a few months ago. I was impressed. I haven't been practicing, so I think that starting at the end of a form and working my way to the beginning would confuse me. Heck, I'm confused by the mirror mode, only because I have let myself be intimidated. That won't be happening long. I am approaching the "mirror mode" as a challenge. I can do it.

On a side note...I know that I've learned *something* in Korean!! I was out shopping with my son yesterday and heard a father tell his small child, "Ahn jo". I had to smile as I knew exactly what it meant!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A run is a run is a run...

Today I officially ran. It wasn't anything spectacular, but it WAS a run. My son likes to race us, so today, he raced me from the mailbox to our building. It was a five minute run, but we moved. I guarantee you, I feel better for having moved!!!
It's supposed to be very cold tomorrow and rain is forecast, so I may not get out walking or running at work. I will say without a shadow of a doubt that I will NOT go outdoors if it's cold and wet. I'm crazy, not insane.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Walking vs. Running

I have started walking in an effort to make myself get out and about. I have a goal in mind...I'm eventually going to start running. When I do, I want to be able to run a mile in under ten minutes. Running and I are not friends. I truly despise running. However, it's something that I'm going to work on because I know it'll help.
I've been given a few pointers...I've been told to time myself. Walk a minute, run a minute. Repeat multiple times. Then I can increase my running time. Walk a minute, run two minutes. Ideally, it'll be a building up to being able to run from the get-go instead of just walking. I have a couple of friends who have tried this technique. I wonder if Run On recommends that? They have a running course I may have to inquire about sometime next year. As long as it doesn't interfere with my Tuesdays and Thursdays, I'll be fine.

Today, I didn't run. I DID, however, get out and go walking. Again, not a fast walk, but it *was* a walk. That counts as a start.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Temporarily sidelined

Due to certain circumstances, my martial arts is temporarily sidelined. I'll have to keep up my practicing on my own until I can get back to class. This means that I MUST keep up the forms and practicing the Korean. I need to know what a "soo do" is. I need to keep myself practicing on everything.
I'm frustrated, but things happen. I can pick up the pieces and go on. I'm not fully devastated, which I could be. I've been challenged by Ms. S to keep practicing, so that I shall. I can work with the WF and get my balance there. I can work on forms and make sure I REMEMBER the forms. If I practice daily, I'll be back where I was in no time.

I'm bummed out by the turn of events, but I will make it work for me.

I just hope they don't forget me because I'm not in class.