Archive for the ‘Martial Arts’ Category

What HAVE I been doing?

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Since I was scolded last night by my mother for not updating, I imagine it’s a good time to do some writing about what I’ve been up to. I should probably do a separate post about work, as it involves a whole different world of crazy.

The two main events of the last week occurred last week, when I had a show at the Fine Line with Not One Stone. It was our first show in nearly two years, and our first with our new singer, so for all practical purposes, it was our new show. I’ve played the Fine Line once before, back in the Neighborhood Flash days, and it sucked. The club itself was awesome to play it, the sound was great, but we played at 11:00 on a Monday to an empty bar. We were able to get a Wednesday slot, playing at 7:30, and there was a fair amount of people there. Not sure if we got the “required” number of tickets (30) in order to play another Wednesday, but it went very well, with only a few minor hiccups here and there. The stage sound was AWESOME, and it was a very fun evening.*

The next night, I had belt testing in gumdo. My wife made the trip down to watch, which was pretty awesome. It’s easy for me to explain gumdo, but it doesn’t really make a lot of sense until you watch it. For my yellow belt test last June, I had to remember one long form, one attack form, and one draw and cut form. For my green belt testing, I needed to remember two long forms, two attack forms, and two draw and cut forms. I also had to extinguish a candle, within twenty attempts. Last time I did this, I put it out on the first try. This time it was a little trickier, and I finally got it on the twentieth attempt. Still, it was awesome, and I think I did well enough to earn a belt, I’ll find out this evening.

That’s been about it, I’ve been crazy busy at the office, but that’s another post.
* The band that played after us was a ska/rock band called The Sell Outs, who were awesome and we plan on playing some more shows with. There trumpet player looked EXACTLY like somebody I knew from high school, which I decided was impossible. Turns out I was wrong. Same person. Crazy small world.

Oh, the pain.

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Since starting gumdo, and especially since I started taking taekwondo, I’m sore most of the time. Based on what I’ve read from high school sports t-shirts, this is weakness leaving my body.* Last night, for example, we did 40 situps and 30 pushups during class. The session before, we did lunges and squats for 10 minutes. THESE WERE WARM UPS.

In the end, these things are good; after all, the whole reason I started taking these classes was to get fit, be more active, and hopefully lose some weight. It has expanded beyond that; it feels right to be doing martial arts again. The whole “mind/body” thing is a natural fit for me, which at first seems surprising, but when you dig deeper, makes sense. I’ve always approached music in that fashion, not feeling comfortable with the “emotional artsy” aspect that so many people seem to identify with. After the first few sessions of gumdo, I noticed that practicing the forms put me in the same kind of mental state I get in when practicing; I’m able to shut my brain off and do things. It’s pretty awesome, because with my mild OCD/anxiety, thinking all the time gets a bit tiring.

Of course, so does swinging a wooden sword a couple of hours a week. It’s a good feeling though, and as I was driving home from class last night, I noticed a corn field, and now have a goal; to earn my black belt in gumdo (and with it the honor of practicing with live steel), and to cut a path through a few rows of corn.

* There also might be something involving this pain being temporary, somehow leading to everlasting pride, but I forget.

Martial Arts

Monday, July 12th, 2010

So this last week a couple of pretty cool things happened; I started my taekwondo class, and I tested up to my yellow belt in gumdo. The first session of taekwondo and my gumdo test took place on the same evening, which was pretty damn exhausting, but fun.

I signed up for taekwondow for the summer session simply because there wasn’t a gumdo session, and I wanted to keep up with the physical routine. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it’s a harder workout that focuses more on my lower body and flexibility, which I certainly need help with. I’m enjoying it quite a bit, and it’s pretty fun that the adult beginner class is joined in with the youth advanced class. Those kids can kick higher than my head.

The highlight of last week, however, was testing up to my yellow belt in gumdo. I knew that I would be tested on Ssangsu Gumbup
Il Bon, ChalkPal Gum #1, and Gyuk Gum #1.* What I didn’t know, however, was that I would have to put a candle out with my blade. I’d heard about this before, and seen video on youtube, but never seen it up close or attempted it myself. So imagine my surprise when I put the thing out on my first attempt. I was pretty giddy. The rest of my forms went well, and I was awarded a belt and a certificate.

I’m really enjoying gumdo, and while I certainly need the exercise, it’s hard to think of it as working out; it’s FUN.

* Two handed sword form #1, draw and cut form #1, and fighting sword form #1. Or at least that’s what I think they mean.