Saturday, November 15, 2008


This past Wednesday I travelled south to my home dojo for a brown belt shiai. It was all guys. It was intense! This was the first time I'd been back to the dojo since moving, and it was great to see everyone. I miss the family terribly. However, I did have two new students join my small karate family up here last week. They were very excited when class was over and couldn't wait to train again. That happens today. It was a wonderful experience for me, teaching. I train with one of them again today (along with my friend, Tanya). We'll just have to see where this leads...

Now for some shiai pictures:

Getting ready to spar. And spar they did, for 40 minutes!

Ray (go to his website for a photo collage of the entire shiai) and Tristan.

Hasso (of Deadbooks fame) and Brownie (he's Jamaican).

Harry (he was going for purple) and JR.

Here's a funny put together by my dear friend, Kitt (she got her brown belt at the last shiai).

You'll notice that both Sensei Bottomms (on the left) and Master Morallo (on the right) have their eyes closed while Ray is performing his kata.

It was an amazing shiai, full of energy and great form. Master Morallo was impressed.

On a final note, I don't know how many of you have seen this video, but it's priceless:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Wow, three posts in two days. Can it be? I thought I'd share some cute pics of my boy going as Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender. When I told him that I wanted to be Toph he stated that he wanted to be Aang, so I sewed our costumes to the best of my ability. He had the best time gathering candy; it was his first trick or treating experience. I love Halloween.

It's not ciabatta

My good karate friend and former masochistic partner in crime, Ray Chen (check out his link. He's a chef, whose recipes show up in Bon Appetit) was kind enough to enlighten me on the ciabatta mistake. It's actual Tabata Intervals. Go here to check out these beauties.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My week

Okay, I'll see how far I get in this post. Kiddo is watching Alvin and the Chipmunks and I'm just itching to write!

First off, last week was the best martial arts training week that I've had in a long, long while. I managed to do three trainings, plus a little extra cardio and heavy bag work. Yup, that's what I'm talkin' about!

It started with me needing to work on the Muay Thai kick that had perplexed my body the previous week. Nathan over at TDA Training made a great point, "As far as the kick, try not to think of it as a roundhouse, or any other technique in terms of what you know (I can tell that's what you're already doing), but always aim through the target. Follow-through, not control. There is a "snap" but it takes the form of a whipping type motion." He gave me this tasty morsel over at the Convocation of Combat Arts Forum. It's difficult to have your body do one thing when it's muscle memory tells it to execute it a different way. However, practicing the kick on a heavy bag was a good thing to do.

On Wednesday Sensei Moe came to Winooski for our weekly YMCA training, which a good friend of mine (Tanya) has also been attending. Brian was late due to a meeting, so Tanya and I just ran through kata, and I was seriously slipping up. It was a bit frustrating. Therefore, I've decided to dedicate my Tuesday free time (yay for preschool!) to kata run-through. I'm talking an hour and a half (okay, it will probably be closer to an hour. I'll work up to longer, I promise) of nothin' but kata, all the time. I've learned a new one, which brings my kata total to 16. I can't believe I remember all of them, but it's true what is said about certain movements becoming ingrained into your body the more they are performed.

Thursday brought another Muay Thai class, which was a bit easier this time around. We started with a light jog around the room, shadow boxing as we ran. Then Jared had us line up in the middle of the room, where we were then to do 10 burpees, 10 clapping push-ups (I stuck with regular since I have only recently begun to get back into push-ups since my shoulder problems) and 10 jump squats followed by four easy laps around the dojo. We did this four times. Then we went to the focus pads and worked on some combos and ended the class with what sounded like ciabatas (I know, that's a bread....I'll get the correct term). What that lovely sounding word meant was 20 seconds of all out followed by 10 seconds of rest done, I think, 8 times. I say I think because I lost count. The "all out" included punching focus pads, mountain climbers, burpees, and jumping jacks. These were performed as fast as possible. It was a great class.

And last but certainly not least I had the honor of attending one of Sabum Gordon White's Taekwondo classes on Saturday. I have to say that it was incredibly fun. We did not stop moving from the time class started until it was over. Kicking! Gordon had us doing all kinds of great kicking drills, and I was so excited to do them, I'm not kidding! What I do have to mention was the cordiality of all his students. They were incredibly kind and respectful and made a point of introducing themselves to me and asking me about my karate style. The class was also structured very traditionally, which gave it a high ranking score in my book. I'm hoping to return soon and have some more fun with Taekwondo.

Phew, that's it. It's a new week with new training possibilities. Other than that it's me working on getting a massage practice up and running so that we have some extra bucks, which, at this time in our history, is a very needed thing.