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Posts Tagged ‘Martial Arts’

I find learning the fundamentals difficult.  Every time I review a fundamental lesson, I usually discover a new detail in the move that I didn’t see before.  I sometimes don’t feel confident about the move.  I think the test of mastery is when the fundamental move becomes an effortless flow.   Professor Gui is challenging us to search for hidden details in the fundamental moves that goes beyond step 1, step 2, and step 3.

Lately, I’m hearing stories of people getting injured.  When I do, I try to find out more.  Belt rank of the people involved?  How it happened?  Could the injuries been avoided? I often repeat to myself, ” Tap out early, tap out often.”      If your injured, or you’re not really ready for an advanced class, take it easy.  Don’t rush it.  Also, it is a good idea to arrive early so that one can stretch out.  That will help in preventing injury. Communicate with your sparring opponent.  Also, be aware of the age of your opponent.  If your working out with someone older or inexperienced, then I would take it slow.   You can also monitor your opponent.  If you see the expression of pain, ask them if they are in pain, or stop the move.  Be smart on the mat. Know your limits.

This week, I watched a Japanese movie, Tokyo Zombie, the English-speaking version. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJEmduNwjKU  It is a horror-comedy manga feature two blue-collar factory workers (Who happen to be jiu-jitsu experts) dealing with a ravenous, flesh-eating zombie uprising in Tokyo. I tried a move from the movie, an escape from the triangle choke, it’s around 1 hour 29 minutes.  It didn’t work. I ended up getting choked. I made that choke cough noise after I was let go.  However, I liked the movie.  Note, warning, it’s not for kids.

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Inexpensive, healthy, and tasty, I call it Jiu Jitsu Vegetable Soup.  From start to finish, Jiu Jitsu Soup takes less than twenty minutes to prepare.  In addition to the soups outstanding nutritional value, it has a lot of anti cancer properties; as well as,  aiding in weight loss.

The first step is to peel all the veggies with the side of a knife blade and then chop the carrot, celery stock, green onion, and the sweet potato.  Place all the vegetables in a large pot along with the shiitake mushrooms.  Pour in 2 cups of frozen peas.  * You could substitute another frozen vegetable if you like.  Add the dehydrated seaweed.  Add three cups of water and bring to a boil.  Once the soup is boiling, turn off stove.   Note, I try to minimally cook the vegetables.  Add the miso paste right after the water stops boiling since boiling the miso paste isn’t good for it.   Add tofu for protein.   Let the soup sit for five minutes with the top on.  The miso should look like clouds in the water.  Serve.

You will need:

1 organic carrot

1 organic celery stock

1 organic yam or sweet potato

1 organic green onion

2 cups of frozen organic vegetables,  peas, lima beans, or brocoli.  Your choice.

2 tablespoons of miso paste.   Miso paste can be found at Wholefoods for $5 a tub found in the dairy section.  Cold Mountain.

1 oz organic shiitake mushrooms

1 table-spoon of hydrated sea weed.

1 oz of tofu cubes.

I try to eat this soup everyday.  To keep it from get boring, switch up the frozen vegetables.  You can add garlic or other spices.  My intention was to try to consume five servings of vegetables with this soup everyday.

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It has been a week of self-reflection. Am I too old for this? What if I get injured?  What else am I going to do?  Is this the right place for me?  If I am so fortunate to earn a black belt, then what will I do?

This week, I asked a brown belt, whom is close to earning his black belt, did you ever see yourself as a brown belt before becoming a brown belt? Could you see yourself as a black belt? He laughed when I asked the question then he answered, ” No, it’s a day by day event.”   Like him,  I can’t see myself beyond the next class.

I had a blue belt moment, I learned a technique incorrectly on the A Mas Apon. My choke hand was wrong. I tried it during a sparring session but it wasn’t working because of my hand position.  I gave it up because it looked like I was hurting my opponent. Anyways, the above brown belt was my fundamentals techniques partner that showed me the correct way.  This made me think what an advantage it is to take private lessons. I would like to try a private class but I don’t have the money and I am not sure what I would work on at this time.

This week, I learned that it will take two years to advance to purple.  Basically, I will get a stripe every belt ceremony if I put in the hours of course. That is okay since I am in no hurry. However,  I am a bit upset with myself.   I am going to write an article on mental alertness since I should have asked these questions on day one.

This week, I learned a cool new throw called Soto Makikomi.  Note, the way I learned the throw and the execution is slightly different from the way a judo practitioner would do it.  I would love to use that in the near future, but I am having trouble with the unbalancing of the opponent. I need to work on it. In that same class, I was thrown a lot.  The trick is to not tense up and to not give any resistance. A throw is a good way to gain the top position. A take down will also give you top position and that is where I want to be in fight. When I wrestled in high school, I remember the coach always telling us that the person who executes the take down first usually wins the match.

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On Sunday, I injuried my lower back trying to do a crazy exercise of hopping up four flights of stairs.  I got the idea from a show that I recently saw.  First mistake was that I should have stretched out.  Well, on last step, I felt severe pain in the lower back.  Odd.  So when I arrived home, I put on myoflex anti pain cream  and then applied a bag of frozen peas.  I don’t like pills.  I try to stay away from pills due to side effects.  Later on, I did a back stretch but it just added more pain.  Anyways, this got me thinking about a book I read a few months ago called Training Camp.  It had an interesting theme of sports competition and sports injury; apparently, they go hand in hand.   Every sports athlete has to deal with injury.   The champion player handles their pain and injury so that they come back for each game day.    Champion players bounce back faster than average players.  They know how to heal themselves quickly, and how to avoid on field dangers.  Also, they have a mind-set of staying in the game by working through the pain, they get taped up, and go back in.   Note, I’m not writing about life threating injury from game play or something that would warrant staying out of it.   As Jiu Jitsu players, we are going to face getting injuries from time to time.  So, this week, I avoided the throwing class and the sparring but I did go to the fundamental classes since it is a lower impact. I will be healed and ready for a full play next week.

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It took a lot of positive self talk to get me to sparring this week. I totally didn’t want to do it but that is the time I needed to go. As I waited for my name to be called, I felt like a bloody steak just about to be tossed into an alligator pit. I had four opponents, one American, one Brazillian, one Colombian, and one Russian.  I received the most damage from the Russian, but I also learned the most from him.  My body is all messed up.  I will be ready for next week. I gave up my back at least eight times. This is not sports Jiu Jitsu, so giving up your back is the end of the fight. I tapped out at least five times.  I did a few things right, I didn’t burnout.  I had conserved my energy throughout all my matches.    I didnt get overly aggressive and I remained calm under the pressure. I did a new take down,kukkiki toashi. I think thats the name. So, my goal for next week is to try to not give up my back as much. Work a new throw.

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Six months ago, just before I bowed to enter the mat for a class, I noticed a small picture frame hanging on the wall at eye level. It contained a letter.  The letter was titled, The Way Of The True Warrior.  It had seven prominent words with a description beside each.  During various lessons, professor Pedro Jr. would refer to this letter and mentioned that it was called the Bushido Code.  It’s a code to live by.  The seven words were as follows,

  1. Courage. * Note, the portuguese word for courage is Valente.
  2. Rectitude of Justice
  3. Benevolence  
  4. Politeness
  5. Honesty
  6. Honor
  7. Loyalty

****  reference,  http//artofmanliness.com/2008/09/14/the-bushido-code-the-right-virtues-of-the-samurai

After I started searching for more information about the Bushido Code, it led me to Buddhism. When I was in high school,  I read a book by Hermann Hess, Siddarth, which is about Buddhism.  It is a short book but very interesting.  Twenty five years later, the study of Jiu Jitsu sparked a new interest in Buddhism.  I turned to YouTube.com for information.  I was interested in learning how to meditate so I thought a monk would know and I was right.   There I found two monks, Yuttadhammo, of Canada, and Ajahn Brahmn, of England.  Yuttadhammo has great videos posted on beginning Meditation.  Ajahn Brahmn has great videos on how to deal with the problems of modern living.  Anyways,  it is worth checking them out on Youtube.

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Monday, I went to the morning fundamentals class.  It is important to me to have a great grasp of the basics before getting into advanced classes.  A lot of fights are won with just fundamental knowledge.    A champion is a champion because they do the fundamentals better than everyone else.

At the throwing class, I was paired up with a judo black belt. Note, I believe he is a judo black belt.  He’s studying jiu jitsu at the studio.  He gave great advise on things that I didn’t know.  After the techniques part of the class, we moved onto randori, or sparring.  I didn’t feel comfortable about being too competitive. Let’s be honest, a little bit of a challenge makes it fun.   During the sparring, my practice partner, cut his toe. It was a small cut that he didn’t even realize until he saw small drops of blood on the mat.  So, we spent much of the sparring class cleaning the mat with lysol spray and paper towels.  I hope to pair up with him again because the judo insider information is a gift.

I am having trouble with the Japanese words. I found an interesting program called Human Japanese. It’s free. Check it out. You will like it.

This week I skipped out on the sparring class. I admit that I was putting it off and got over run with errands.   Can you believe a brown belt asked me why I didn’t show up.  I am looking forward to next weeks Thursdays sparring class.

I started doing meditation which I learned from a buddhist monk, Yuttadhammo, on Youtube.com, five minutes in the morning and five before going to bed.  I’m thinking about posting an article on Meditation because I believe mediation can help everyone become a better jiu jitsu player.

Good chess players make good jiu jitsu players. This week, I played chess everyday on my kindle.  There are lots of free chess programs on the Apple I phone and android network.

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