Decisions, decisions – karate sparring.

Boy, I really miss sparring.

At karate today, I saw some sparring going on, and wow oh wow, did I want to participate.

Thing is, though…after 8pm I’m generally comatose, and adult sparring is from 8:15pm to 9:15pm.

No sparring during the day.

With my work schedule, it would require a change of my sleeping/working out/etc. time to carve out time to be awake after 8pm.

Thing is part II, however…. with the insane hours I put in, being able to dive into physical sport is really quite energizing as well.


There should be 36 hours in a day.

Must consider wisely,


ps – some neat karate sparring gear includes:

I missed it soooo much! Karate sparring with gear

A quick post before I collapse in a heap

along with, hmmm, lessee…..8 hours of programming, 1 hour of P90x legs/back, and a 2.4 mile circle walk, I also did an hour of adult self-defense. And we sparred with gear!
Omigosh, I never realized how much I have missed sparring with gear. True, I do self-defense without gear (realism is a good thing!) but wow, with gear, head shots can be endured! I partnered up with a brilliant 3rd degree black belt who was extremely controlled and blindingly fast. My gosh, I’m so blindingly slow! It was like I was visiting another planet where everyone else had lighter gravity than me; my brain registered, hey! There’s this fist coming at me! but didn’t give my body the signal to move until I was hit.

’twas a glorious, wondrous class. I have to add sparring to my other lessons.

Nice nice nice, ’tis all I have to say, I’m still dizzy with how much I loved the activity. The last time I sparred with gear was, hmmm, 4 months ago? What a thrill to do it once again.



ps – some neat karate gear includes:

100 karate front kicks, 100 karate round house kicks, 100 karate jump front kicks…..


I’ve come to the conclusion that to flow better in karate, it would reeeeealllly help if I practiced at home. Thus, I’m creating my own home-study program of the basics, and so far, it seems to be rather useful indeed.

Let’s take front kicks. The key to getting height, obviously, is to raise your knee high (the crowd goes wild!) and then kick. But what if you’re rather, ahem, a klutz at that?

Simple! Just practice raising your knee…and that’s it. And do it again and again and again and again and …. you get the idea. Eventually, your thighs realize, hey! I can lift high! And once you’re at that point, you can then focus on the actual kick outwards. Do that 100 times on both sides.

Next, tackle the round house kicks. This is the kick I like but am lousy at – it involves pivoting on the left ankle, which is quite difficult for me. However, I’ve learned that even someone as graceless as me can improve – it’s all a matter of staying within your center of gravity. Then do those, 100 times on both sides.

Next, let’s talk jump front kicks! They’re still pretty impossible for me. But! I have managed to break down the moves like I did with the front kicks, and am now practicing them one at a time. It will take time, I know, but every day I can feel myself getting better and better.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in during my life, it’s that you should never accept commonly-held beliefs without testing the boundaries yourself. And if you run into a roadblock, modify! Compensate! Never give up – you’ll almost always discover the one super way that works for you.



ps – some neat Karate goodies!

The secret to round house kicks – balance and center of gravity

Howdy all,

If there’s one thing my surgery and subsequent recovery has taught me, it’s that even if things are quite difficult, you can always find a way around the problem and begin to master your goal.

Take round-house kicks. I’m somewhat decent with them on my right side, but my left side…because my left ankle is missing that 1/2″ of bone, balance is, well, kinda sorta non-existent. So I kept falling over when trying to round-house kick that way.

Needless to say, that just pissed me off. I refuse to accept the fact I’m lousy at it…so while my kids were taking nunchaku during the following hour, I spent that time simply practicing pivoting on my left ankle. And guess what I discovered!

  • If you don’t throw yourself outside your center of gravity, you don’t fall over. Wowsa!

Okay, true, this is kinda sorta common sense….but I never really realized that until today! I have to train myself to recognize when my body is in the optimal position during the technique, and not push it so far that I begin to fall.

Round house kick after round house kick, I did them again and again and again and let me tell you, my left ankle is currently whimpering at me this moment. But! I think (emphasis on the word THINK) I have the concept down…now all I need to do is practice.

Like everything else lately that’s been happening in my life, this experience reinforced the fact that while life happens, it doesn’t mean you have to accept the status quo! Just because the rest of the world might think you’re a tad insane for trying something that logic would decree is impossible for you…doesn’t mean you should listen.

I still can’t get over how much I am enjoying leg techniques and kicks now, even with a bum ankle (you can read about that relavation here) 3 months ago, you’d never have convinced me I’d have progressed to this point.

Dare yourself to break past your own preconceived boundaries! You might be surprised at what you can achieve.

Time to sleep,


ps – some great karate kicking resources!

Karate kicks, Kendo hits, and bruised elbows oh my!

Howdy all,

Before I give myself permission to collapse in a heap from this evening’s workout, I have to post about:

I can actually do vaguely decent karate kicks now.

Not only that, but I actually like them. Hand techniques were my favorites before…but now that I can actually (gasp!) move! and kick! and almost balance! and … you get the idea…I really like doing kicks now.

This is an unbelievable shock to me, let me tell you. I’ve always been timid about using my legs and always felt like I didn’t have the ability to really use control. But today, I found myself asking for kicks as part of the practice and then mentally slammed myself – is this me? Me, asking to do something I never did well before….and now, actually really like doing today?

I really cannot wrap my mind around this. I honestly cannot. Decades of being totally incompetent with my legs, and now, it’s coming together. Wow.

And in Kendo today, it was the first time in 1.5 months that I did sparring…..and my oh my, you could tell. I’ve gained more confidence but lost whatever skill I might have had…I now have a delightful 3 inch bruise on my right elbow. Ouch! But it was still great fun (so I went a second time!).

I honestly wish I could package the wisdom I’ve been accumulating since July (when I found out about my doorknob on my femur) up until now….and instill it into my kids. But I think it’s something you have to experience and live yourself before you can fully internalize all the gifts it gives to your inner self.

Just had my coffee, and it’s time for sleep. Night night everyone!

Best wishes,


ps – great karate stuff!

Karate is finally coming together, and the joys of boot camp

Quick post before I pass out – today I did two advanced classes and one Kendo class.

I’m utterly beyond amazingly wowized that…’s finally coming together. I can actually balance the majority of times, my increased flexibility has made my kicks/rechambering far better, and I (almost!) flow – I don’t have relay a message from my brain to my legs, it just seems to happen.

Oh that was nice. Exhausting, but nice. We also had 10 minutes of delectable boot camp at the end – I did it with my kids and as always, blasted past them in endurance. Mom rocks!

Mom’s actually pretty darned cool, I will admit. :)

Time for a hot bath,


ps – Speaking of Boot Camp!

Bad Kung Fu Tricks – Most amusing indeed

Howdy all,

I just came across

It has such classics as:

  • The fingerlock sucker bet
  • How to fake extraordinary strength
  • How to tear a phonebook in half
  • How to break a beer bottle with your bare hands
  • Iron body part II – breaking stones and concrete
  • Girl vs. 6 men
  • How to fake a powerful punch
  • The original paper punch video
  • How to break bricks
  • How to roll up a frying pan
  • Slow down your heart, then stop it completely
  • How to make a chinese finger trap
  • How to outstrength any man
  • How to lift someone over your head with one hand
  • The matchbox knockout

Do check it out – you’ll enjoy it.


ps – here are some Kung Fu goodies:

Karate boot camp, returning to Kendo and more

Morning all,

Well, let me tell you this. Yesterday I started Kendo again after almost 2 months and my oh my, was it wondrous beyond belief. It’s been so long since I’ve held a sword; I really really really REALLY had a blast (even though I was just reviewing the basics).

And in karate, I’m hesitant to admit it to myself…but….methinks it’s all finally coming together, my balance especially. We did drills of front kicks/rechambering/back kicks and on my good balance leg, I actually didn’t fall over. I could balance! It made body sense! I could actually feel my muscles working (gasp!) together!

Now, this is probably rote stuff for most students…but coming to me after surgery and such, it was quite a revelation. I’ve been doing karate now for, what 7 months (minus the 2 months I was out of commission) and until now, it’s been me mentally telling my body, okay, do this move, do that move, etc. I’ve always been waiting for it to come together; a happy camper I am.

Additionally, we did boot camp in advanced class yesterday – 5 stations of jumping jacks, pushups, crunches, front kicks and heavy bag fighting. I was able to do the first session with my 6 year old son, and the second with my 10 year old daughter. Gad, I love that routine – it forces you to breathe calmly (if you’re focusing) and really builds up your endurance. Boot camp has to be one of my favorite activities at the dojo.

And last evening, I figured I’d give myself permission to sleep late (5am!) and do my P90x routine in the afternoon. So of course, I was up at 3am, pressed PLAY at 3:30am, and, well, you know the rest. :) I’ll blog about that later.



ps – some super karate stuff!

P90x Review, Legs/Back – Week 2, Day 3, Today Days – 10


Well, you might have noticed my review today is for Legs/Back, even though that should have been on Friday – today was supposed to be Shoulders/Arms. Thing is, though, yesterday I did Chest/Back, and there ain’t no way in heck I am going to do ANYTHING with my arms today!! (side note – the Perfect Pushups are super-duper for really helping you get close to the ground without smooshing up your wrists – I really like them).

So! Today I worked on Legs – anytime anything was done with Back, I quietly sat down and meditated upon Krispy Kreme donuts. Okay, that’s not quite true. :) Instead, I did other isometric and bodyweight exercises for the legs during all pullup sequences. It went quite well, I must admit.

My right thigh is feeling better, but I’m taking it quite easy. Today after the kids go to school, the husband and I will hit the gym and I’ll use the seated leg press for additional weight lifting (as well as do 55 cardio minutes).

My favorite part of this DVD, I’m pretty certain, will be the squats, once I can actually, ahem, do them more than 3 inches on the right side. Wall squats are very easy for me, and the single legged wall squat is paradise in motion (stationary position?). Another thing I’m noticing is that my various muscle aches in my legs/thighs seem to be dissipating; my body might actually be getting used to this.

In other news, I was totally wiped yesterday at karate. I didn’t even participate – I simply did my usual leg stretches/balancing etc. but after that first hour (I was supposed to stay for kendo), I heeded the call of the wild, came home, made a beef bone soup and fell asleep 8 minutes afterwards. Wow, I’ve never been that exhausted before – doing P90x doubles (plus 4 loads of laundry, plus matching 5,219 single socks) really can do a person in.

And so starts the day,


ps – Even more P90x goodies:

P90x Review – Week 1, Day 6, Kenpo Karate


One of the benefits of working from home is that you can modify your schedule for whatever needs you might have!

At 1:30am this morning, I realized I wasn’t falling back asleep….so I decided to get up and tackle Week 1, Day 6 of P90x – Kenpo Karate.

Now, I do karate 3-4 days a week, and greatly enjoy it. While I worked up a nice sweat in this routine, I focused more on form instead of cardio (I’m trying to improve my balance/force/etc. with my kicks and blocks at the dojo). Thus, for example, during the jumping jacks portion, I concentrated on power knee raises (I’m trying to get my front kick higher) and side raises (same thing for side kicks).

I now realize that coordination-wise, I’m a wee bit, ahem, not there at all. At my dojo, I see senseis being able to throw a front kick, rechamber the knee, throw a side kick, rechamber, throw a back kick….I just fall over. However, it’s becoming more and more clear to me that quite a number of muscles are called into play for balance and the like…which gives me more areas in which to practice.

I like the speedups that are done in this DVD. True, I’m not anywhere near peak form, but it does get your muscles moving and hopefully builds muscle memory. My favorite part was the front kicks (amazing, isn’t it….with me recovering from surgery, never thought I’d like them) and the blocks (during the past 4 months in which I couldn’t kick, I substituted blocks instead).

End result – good workout, I was done by 2:45am, took a wondrous shower and was back in bed by 3am. Time now to start the day.



ps – Some Tony Horton Goodies!