Logtar’s Friday’s Feast

The cook is taking a break so I am going to cook up a meal for you guys :) (link them and link me :) )

Appetizer
Lets start with a trio sampler of word association… I say,

Tear ::
Hawk ::
Alien ::

Soup
If you had to pick a body of water that you have visited in your life to build a house next to, which one would it be… describe the scenary.

Salad

Everyone is being green now-a-days, what is your favorite green initiative?

Main Course
Mexican is one of my favorite foods, share the name of your favorite Mexican dish with all of us (and where to find it) … even if it is just a Taco Bell chalupa?

Dessert
What was the color of your first bicycle, or the oldest toy that you remember and what fruit do you associate with that color?

…that is it, its a replacement meal so like Slim Fast it does not really count as food but it fills up! enjoy

TKD Update

So I have been back to Tae Kwon Do for a couple of weeks. I have been learning 2 forms from the style and the hard part has begun. The having to forget movements that you used to practise over and over to perform a similar, yet different move. Thank God that I did do a little Kung Fu in between schools or I would not be able to walk right now because the horse stance is a lot tougher at this school.

The thing that has been the hardest so far is the push ups on my knuckles. I have done them before and my knuckles are hard enough, but we do either a set of 30 or two sets of 50 depending on the day. I can do about 10 the right way, after that it becomes an exercise of just dealing with the pain and maybe getting another 5 good ones or another 20 just regular push ups with my knee down. Squads are also no joke, specially when they are mixed with kicks.

I was concerned at first because there was no stretching before class and I did feel my muscles a little tight from not using them, but I trusted the teacher who is also a fitness expert. The way he structures the class we do end up stretching while we are warming up. I am actually amazed at how much we actually fit into an hour practise.

I am glad to know that my roundhouse still packs a lot of power, even though this style seems to emphasize the front push kick a lot more. I can feel the Karate a lot more than in any other school I have ever worked out at. My flexibility still has a long way to go, but its coming back a little faster than I had expected. The only thing I see just not advancing at a good pace is my stamina. I need to start running in the mornings or maybe even joining an indoor soccer league to not be so winded at the end of an exercise.

Today was the first time I actually got hurt by doing a sparring exercise. I am still brand new to this class so I did not know what to expect from the exercise that is basically a reaction to a front punch back and fort to work on self defence techniques. I will not go all out at a school class ever, and I don’t think the guy I was practising with tried to either, but he is a green belt, about mid level through the school belts and I think he does not have the control other people might. A couple of his blocks were stronger than I anticipated and I was just doing a dull punch so he caught me with his block bone to bone… nothing mayor, but still a little painful. We used to do an exercise in Kung Fu that would actually pair us up and condition our arms to take blocking hits, you learn to turn just enough to catch the other block at a good angle and not hit bone to bone, but when you don’t expect it hurts.

Overall I am super excited with the school. The other students are really nice, the teacher is knowledgeable and very through when explaining things. With time I will get more used to the differences on the styles and be able to maybe be back at a competition level. I know I miss breaking boards and bricks quite a bit, I have always found that quite satisfying.

The lies of Martial Arts

I can call myself a martial artist again. After almost a year an a half of waiting, I finally joined Tae Kwon Do school that I decided on so long ago. I went to their training session today and talked to Master DiBella and we are going to talk about what belt level I can be at after a month. His school is not about buying your black belt on installments like in any McDojo, it is about training hard in a traditional school.

Martial arts like everything goes through cycles. I am sure many people wanted to join a Karate dojo after the Karate Kid movie in the 80s, too bad so many people do not realize that is not about finding the right school but the Mr Miyagi.

I watched UFC 81 with Chimpotle and some of his buddies and loved watching the fights. Today talking to Master DiBella the word fad came into the conversation. With MMA becoming very popular, more and more gyms are trying to promote this kind of classes and training. However, this is not for everyone and like Tae Bo, I consider it a little dangerous.

I obviously have not problem with the UFC, but I do have a problem with the people that use it as a new fad to take people’s money. It is sad to hear in the radio how a new gym just open and it will train you in MMA. Sorry folks, but this is a lie, you can master one discipline and then train in another, but to be truly a master and a good teacher you need to stick to one. I can already hear the, my master has a black belt on every art out there. To that I say, yes, that can be true, but he should only be considered a true master in one of them.

All martial arts can be broken and studied, even divided into groups based on where the emphasis is. However, they all have their own personality and like with people, you have to get to know them for a while to really know what they are about. Every school will also have its own identity developed by the master that runs it

Full contact sparring and grappling is more dangerous than it looks on TV. Those guys that enter the ring, well most of them, train very hard and are used to taking punches and being locked in positions that the body is not really made for. They are self defense techniques used developed for real life combat and should not be though of as a game. To have someone tell you any different is irresponsible.

People like Lituenant X try to tell people that Martial Arts are not ancient, but just a manipulation of history to make money. They can teach you in just one top secret marine tested DVD everything you need to know about defending yourself and you become the ultimate fighting machine.

What it really comes down to with Martial Arts is training. If you train for years on an specific art, you will gain a level of expertise and your muscles and body will accommodate for that. Experience cannot be replaced by watching some bozo on TV. A good teacher will correct your movements, over and over until they see you have achieved the correct level of competency, then they will teach you the next level up. It is simple, and like with everything else in life, there are really no shortcuts.

So I go back to Tae Kwon Do

After a very long hiatus from Tae Kwon Do, I go back to the art. Even though my friend Eric, a very talented martial artist still thinks that Karate is the ultimate, I have settled for a Tae Kwon Do school very deep rooted in Shotokan.

I practiced Kung Fu for a little bit back in Midland and thank God I did that… I would have not survived the work out if I had not dusted off some of the kicks and stretched those muscles this year.

I started my quest to find a school since I got to Kansas City. I had been very dissapointed to see the places where people were training. I was also very surprised to the the prices some of the schools. I had pretty much given up looking for a school close to home when I discovered a place right down the street from where I live now. I stopped by on a Friday and the school was closed, but I was able to check it out the next day.

The teacher seemed very commited to teaching the art and not just wanting money. He offered family rates which was something I was also looking for. The school had a great workout area and I could not beat the location so close to home.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go check it out. The class mixes adult and children, something I have not experienced yet, but I am looking forward to. There are a lot of classes available and I can attend as many as I want. The place seems like an excellent place to get a work out, meet some new friends and most importantly learn an art. Even though I will have to start from the beginning because the forms are very traditional and I don’t know them, I think I have been lucky enough to find a school sooner than I imagined.

TaeBo is Dangerous

I have to admit that I was never a fan of workout tapes; in fact I was kind of cynical about the idea of following a bunch of people working out in a different physical location than where I am. I have been trying to lose weight since the beginning of the year. I started by doing DDR, even thought I have not been doing it lately, and a couple of months ago I joined a Kung Fu school. I also TiVoed a workout show from FitTV.

I was skeptical of the capability of a TV show to be able to get me to truly work out, but I was either super lucky or this Gilad guy is the best because the workout not only felt good, it really made me sweat in 30 minutes and not by jumping like a bunny from the first second. This made me think that TaeBo would be a good idea. The premise that a workout tape can mix martial arts and dancing intrigued me.

I have been hearing about how cool TaeBo is for quite some time. Mostly from their advertising machine. I felt that since I did practice TaeKwonDo for a couple of years before it would be something that I can jump right into. So I went and rented the new Boot Camp video and man was I disappointed. I tried it for the first time this morning and after 20 minutes I was disgusted. I cannot believe that a professional fitness trainer can truly sleep at night putting a product that I deem dangerous.
I gave it the benefit of the doubt and went to check out the website. I thought, hey maybe they have warning, or an introductory tape. I was surprised to see that the first thing they advertise is their new Boot Camp series and besides the warning to contact your doctor before you start a workout program there is nothing telling you, warning we are about to punish your back in such a was that a disk might just come flying out.

The tape starts at a rate that is unsafe without warming up… but I said ok, I can keep up. I did a couple of the initial exercise when Billy all of a sudden spread his legs and ask the viewer to bend down to touch the ground. I said OUCH and stopped to watch what he would do next. No warm-up, no stretching and this guy break into exercises that can seriously hurt someone, not just their muscles but also joints. I was just amazed that there is not a more of a warning before you start this program.

Stretching and warm-up is very important to every exercise routine. When starting to exercise, please consult a professional or a friend that does it in a regular basis. I see now why people get discouraged about exercising so easily. If TaeBo was my only resource or the first one I chose to look it, I would just give up working out and hit McDonalds on the way to work.

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