Monday, July 28, 2008


Well, here's the next youtube installment of "DeadBooks". This should be a very interesting ride. I'm going to continue to promote it until it launches, so you have been warned...

The move is moving along. I'm very, very, very excited to finally get up to the Burlington area. There's just so much more up there for my family.

This will be short and sweet. Life has just been very crazy lately (plus it's my busiest time of the year for massage) and I'm hoping to get to a post I'll call "Female MMA fighters". There's so much more to it and it's rolling around in my brain. It will take some time since I have to find videos, quotes, etc., but it will eventually make it to the page.

Just know that class is still of the caveman variety and I'm all over CrossFit. Thanks to Steve...

Maybe even go as far to say that I'm thinking about getting certified....yeah, certifiably crazy!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Okay, a dojo mate of mine is about to do something fantastic. It's a series called "Deadbooks" and must be seen by gazillions of people:

Not only is this guy a talented writer, he's also an amazing martial artist. As are his wife and two young sons (young, one is on the verge of teenagerdom! Go family martial artists!). I'm thinking there are some scifi/fantasy people out there in the MA world, and even if you aren't you should definitely stay tuned. I know I'll be watching...So, all of you head on over to and place it in your favorites. Prepare for greatness.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

You can blame me for the caveman

A few weeks ago, the day after the MA blogger roundtable hosted by TDA Training, I hopped on over to Rick's Kicks Boxes for a viewing of a blog that I haven't really spent much time reading. What I discovered was Caveman training. That same day I mentioned this new discovery to Ray, a san kyu in my dojo, who I train with in-between class days. We tried out some of the aspects of this type of workout: do something fast, lift something heavy, hit something hard, hold something and explode. Needless to say we were both breathing very heavy by the time one round was finished (and he's one to run up a mountain for fun). There was also a white belt there, and she, too, was breathing hard. I discovered I felt great after the punishment. Even though it was one of the hardest training experiences for me it really felt good to do it.

I've written before about trying to find new ways to eat and train for martial arts. I really love to push myself, often beyond what a "normal" person would take. For some reason my body really does well with that type of training. I do not, however, do it more than twice a week since I do have to work and still go home and have some of "me" left over for hubby and cute little boy. The trouble is, I rarely do this on my own. I usually do the tough stuff with other people or in the dojo. I find it hard to kick my own butt, and that's something that will need to change once I move.

In the beginning I will have to train mostly by myself. There will not be time at first to find a new dojo to train in, and I'm thinking that I may lay off on that for a while. I have a friend who used to train in our dojo who has moved to Burlington as well, and she's very excited to have me in the area. So, I will also train with her, plus I have a big yard and the snow won't be here for at least another month (Hee, hee. That actually starts around the beginning of November). There is also the possibility of travelling an hour and a half south to the Rutland dojo, too, at least once a week. I will need to come up with my own Caveman regimen to follow, and stick to. Perhaps said friend will be into that as well.

The absolute worst thing for me is to have my training schedule broken apart. Therefore it will be of utmost importance to get one going as soon as I get to Winooski. I admit it, I get lazy. I can picture karate in my head until I go blurry, but that doesn't get me very far in the training world. I have this plan to go to a Wing Chun class once a week, but that's not enough. If I set the goal to do the Caveman-like training at least twice a week, Wing Chun once a week, Rutland once a week and maybe another day with my friend in Koro Ken, perhaps I will escape the I-don't-have-the-time excuse.

So, I blame me for the Caveman training we went through in class today. Sensei had found one, too, separate from the one I discovered. Now he's all fired up about it, and it's a good thing. We hopped over punching bags, ran from side-to-side, did sit-ups on an incline while punching at the top of the move, held a medicine ball and swung it down over each leg, jumped rope, and lifted heavy bags as you would a tractor tire. Each station was performed for one minute with a 30 second break in-between them. This went on for at least 45 minutes. Kata was next. Then we all took turns being attacked by the rest of class one at a time. At one point Sensei came up behind me and grabbed me, completely taking me by surprise. I fared just fine. It's amazing how much faster your body reacts when it's wiped out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


First off, I must say that in my last post I wrote of my desire to be a fighter. This, my friends, is pure fantasy. A few of you even commented on the fact that fighting may not be the best course for me to take, and I wholeheartedly agree (I'm not sure if there's a hyphen between those two words, so just let it go). The training aspect is more important to me. Of course I want to fight in a real situation! That does not, however, mean I'm actually going to do it. I can picture it now: the crowd cheers as I enter the room, swaggering down the long runway to the ring (in this scenario I am not wearing skimpy clothing or a skirt. There's a post in that sentence somewhere, I just know it!) As I enter the ring I peer over at my opponent, a good foot taller than I am, at least ten years younger and bursting with muscular fortitude. I feel a warmth on my inner thigh, and look down to see me peeing on myself in front of a cheering crowd. Seriously, this is not something I will pursue, at least not in the ring.

Popularity. By that I mean blog popularity. I've been taking BBM's Blogging 101 course and it has begun to change the way I view (and write) my blog. I certainly recommend it to anyone who blogs, not just MA writers, even if you've had your blog for a while. It's given my blog direction and inspiration. It has also instilled in me this desire to be popular. I WANT people to read my blog and like what they read. I want to know who visits me, what they do, why they popped on over to my place. At the same time this feeling shames me (that's hyperbole, people). I'm embarrassed to say that I want many readers to follow what I write, hanging on every sentence, coining key phrases. Am I turning into a blog monster?

Writing, to me, was always this cathartic thing, where I poured my heart out onto a piece of paper. I wrote of all the wrong-doings, the heart breaks, the periodic poetic inspirations. When I started blogging all of that began to change. Complete strangers would now be reading about how sweaty I got in class or what I was eating to maintain my body for training. Who would want to read about that? This, needless to say, made me VERY self-conscious of what my subject matter would be with each post. Should I be witty or serious? A little bit of both? I began to view myself as a writer and decided that I was going to make damn sure that what I wrote about was somewhat interesting.

The more that I write in my MA blog the more that I'm finding that it's really, really important to keep to what I know. However, there are these lingering ideas inside of my head that are dying to come out in blog form, and they will. They just need a little more effort to create. Blogging is so much fun and I enjoy the evolution that is taking place with mine.

I suppose that popularity really isn't all that important. I just want to be liked! That sounds pretty desperate and is just a little sarcastic. What IS important is that I'm a respected MA blogger, not just a chick who writes about beating people up, and liking it.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fighting, a passion

I have this secret desire. It involves training hard. It involves focusing like I've never focused before. I'm talking about this (the fight starts at 2:30, so just skip over the reality stuff). Yup, it's fighting in a ring with nothing but my wits, my technique and a pair of small gloves. I'm not talking about MMA, either. MMA is okay, but I like Muay Thai fighting better. It's quick, it stays up, there's no ground and pound. The techniques are finer, especially when using elbows. This is my opinion. Plus I really love to kick and use my knees and elbows. I'm short, it suits me.

I must admit that I love watching Gina Carano fight. She's got great form, but her Muay Thai fighting is so much finer and smoother than the MMA she does. The best thing about Gina's fighting, she takes no prisoners (she's at the end of this montage, the one who's fighting isn't at all sloppy). She keeps her balance, she's grounded, she's got a mean hook. I absolutely love it! Another impressive fighter is Kerry Vera. This is a great fight, and pay close attention to the knockout. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any recent information about Kerry and am not sure if she's actually in the fighting circuit. Such a shame....

What is it about this violent sport? Why does it get me revved up the way it does? It involves getting hit, and getting hit pretty hard. It involves possible broken bones, and definite bruises. It involves the shedding of blood on more than one occasion. Maybe it's the fact that it's all about you and what you can do, your power and your strength. I know I write a lot about moving from hara and kata being the best thing for training, but way down in the pit of my stomach is this tiger who really, really wants to fight. It could be I want to see what I'm made of, to see what would happen if I were to step into a ring with another woman. Fighting in that capacity intrigues me, it's that simple.

There is, of course, a caveat: the older you are, the harder it is to recover from injury. I'm 36, a bit old to be getting into this type of sport. My body does not recover like it used to. The training for Muay Thai is very difficult and would take a considerable amount of time out of my week. Would my body be able to handle that kind of beating? My right shoulder was injured not long ago and has healed very nicely (two months of PT and one Corisone shot later) and I've finally been able to get back into harder training. This past Tuesday I hurt the left one while throwing a 250 lb. man off of me (we were practicing the throw where someone is sitting on top of you holding both of your arms down). What would happen if I followed this passion to fight? It's one thing to be 26, but 36 is a whole other ballgame.

My age, of course, would not stop me. I'm not sure if I'll pursue this dream. Burlington has a Muay Thai training program, fighting included. It may be something I train for only and never enter a ring surrounded by a cheering crowd.

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's going to happen

We actually have a place to move in to. I never thought it was really going to happen. See, I'm pretty good with denial and although I'm excited to go to a much bigger town (small city, actually) I'm secretly scared out of my pants. The apartment, however, is more than we could have hoped for. It happened on a whim, really.

This weekend was meant for relaxing, seeing friends, swimming in pools, dripping with sweat because it was so darn hot. However, the fates decided to throw in a visit to a place directly across the street from a dear friend. Not only is our new landlord down-to-earth, but she's an artist, a really good artist. Located in Winooski, which is a stone's throw from downtown Burlington, the house was built on two lots, which means the yard is to die for. We have the entire downstairs, which consists of a HUGE kitchen (yay for me, I love to cook!), three bedrooms, a cute bathroom (tiled and everything) and a basement for storage. There are all sorts of creatures thrown about the yard and gardens, which were created by the landlord. She lives upstairs, but leaves for the winter. It's perfect, really, so why do I have this hollow feeling in my stomach? Did I actually think this was really going to take place?

I thought that I did. I also thought that I was okay with it.

The scary parts: moving away from my family, leaving my massage business (which will be sold for some amount to another massage therapist), leaving my dojo.

Leaving my dojo.

That makes me a little crazy on the inside. Although, one of the senior instructors has informed me and another woman (who has also recently moved into Burlington) that he will come to us to train us. He's very, very good, up there with Sensei Bottomms. It would be an honor to have him. Plus I have this great yard, which is surrounded by these stately hedges, to train in. It's like this secret dojo....

So what happens in the winter?

I've written about finding another dojo and I really don't want to. Wah, I don't want to (picture me stomping my feet)! That's purely BS, I will look for one and will most likely start with Kung Fu. Sensei Morallo has mentioned that, unfortunately, the guy who teaches at this particular school is better at acupuncture, but to give him a go anyway because it really is all about learning. I'm finding that as a shodan that's the most important thing. Okay, that's a whole other post, so stay tuned.

There's also this grand plan to travel with my friend to Rutland to train at the mother ship, perhaps twice a week. However, this woman is single and has no children. Maybe in fairy land this could potentially happen. The Trick is for me to find childcare since hubby will now be taking over all the earning in our family.


This brings us 'round to me not actually believing that moving away from my ten year stint in the town I was raised was actually going to take place. It's a comfort thing. This realization does not lessen the high level of anxiety that I am now feeling. No kidding, kiddos, my anxiety is in the General Anxiety Disorder category. I'm not that crazy, just a little. When the stress gets up there I have a hard time functioning. All I have to do is get back onto my regular training schedule and everything will fall back into place.

See, I've been sick all week and have been unable to train as much as usual. This makes me cranky. Who wouldn't be cranky! Place on top of that cranky cake a few sparkly candles and you might get an explosion. I will be okay, I will be okay, this is a positive move....the more mantras the better.

Alright, now that I've vomited that forth I feel much better. The move is going to happen and I will be happy once it is all over. What happens next is the adventure of a lifetime.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A very cool video

Check this out. This is a compilation of pics put together by a kohai of mine pertaining to our Sensei's godan shiai this past winter. It's what we're about, baby!