Bee's Training Log

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Brigid, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Friday 8 May - class - 40 mins warm up/fitness including tons of core strength exercises - very good - some I had not done before and with all of them we did quite a lot more than I would have at home. I have been thinking of going to another class (I probably have three options) for that very reason. We had a session talking about self defence (mainly aimed at the younger boys in the class - much of the stuff Sifu recommended were things I have been doing instinctively for years). Forms from most junior onwards and then the focus was on further practice. This time I was more in coaching mode with one of the younger guys and got him to talk me through the stances for each move in the form we were practicing. Got a couple of corrections out of that for myself. Finished class with bit of light sparring and a long discussion about the election results. Strong views all round on this issue.
  2. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Monday 11- Thursday 14 May - Now this week has officially been a bit rubbish. My ankle is causing me real problems and I have had to back off the training for a few days to help it mend. I am such a creature of habit this is causing me some level of annoyance. I've come to the conclusion that I've messed it up by running on the wrong surface (grass - too soft and uneven for me) and am now putting in place a "work around" if it does not heal as quickly as I would like. I'm investigating the work gym tomorrow, which is reputedly a bit small and limited but may have sufficient equipment for me to do a decent workout (stationary bikes etc). It's cheap so it may be a good option for the time being. I've spent a couple of days fretting about not making enough progress on my cardio fitness and am now resigned to having to listen to my ankle and if it means not being ready for grading in July, so be it.

    I will be going to class tomorrow because it would be more than I can stand to miss it but will be seeing how I go.

    So I have been doing press ups on my knees and both knuckles (just to compensate for using my knees), doing some core strength exercises and wall kicks each evening and the eight step tai chi form we have been learning in class. Bit of stretching and massage too.
  3. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    25 May - going out for my first run in over two weeks. Ankle now feeling much better so it's about time. I have also joined the gym at work which means I have access to stationary bike, elliptical machine, treadmills and rowing machine plus some weights. I went for my first session last Wednesday just to try it out as I never exercise properly during the day. Just on the basis of feeling better and more alert in the afternoon, I can see how this will be helpful, nevermind contributing to my MA ambitions.

    I went to class on Friday. Sifu took warm up so it was not as intense as it has been in previous weeks (no harm). Most of the class focused on refining and improve kung fu forms. I have one which I will definitely do for next grading, which includes a 360 degree leg sweep (needs more practice) and then will get asked to do one of three junior forms. I am picking up corrections every time on each of these. I am finding it very satisfying to get all the applications clear in my mind (even if there's still a distance to travel between knowing what I should be doing and actually executing it correctly at speed and with power).

    We did tai chi hand drill, 4 step and 8 step forms. The 16 step is largely the 8 step but leading with the right rather than left hand. I've been having a go at this as I am keen to get the 16 step form under my belt. I'm not really feeling it yet with the tai chi element of my training. I like it, I get what its for, I can see its relevance to my kung fu training but I'm just not feeling it yet.
  4. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Is this the kick?

    It's one kick I've never been able to do.

    [ame=""]Low Spinning Sweep Kick - YouTube[/ame]
  5. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Thanks for the clip but no - although that one is brilliant and I have no idea whether I would ever be able to do it (although will be giving it a go just to see!). The one I have to do is rotating on the left foot with the right leg extended going in an anticlockwise direction (sweeping forward rather than sweeping to the rear). It's quite tricky and I can make a decent attempt at it on its own but find it harder when trying to do it as part of the form.
  6. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    So my run yesterday was pretty good. I started with a couple of mins brisk walking, and then ran for maybe 15 mins, stopped to check my ankle and then ran another 15 mins. I did a couple of sprints for 20 secs before I got home, just to see how it felt to be running at pace. Did all the stretches in the book when I got home. I was a bit worried about my ankle but it's been ok today (relief!).

    Today I took my younger son swimming. I did some lengths (mostly front crawl) and some of the harder leg stretches I've been shown using the water buoyancy to help. I have a good friend who is a dancer and some of the stretches she has shown me are really, really tough. She's one of the people I really like working out with because she shows no mercy and always tries to get me to do a bit more.
  7. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Today a little bit of training followed by a lot of activity. It's half term and the kids need unplugging from all digital devices for my and Mr Bee's sanity if not their own.

    So I ran this morning (15 ish mins). I think my pace is getting quicker. I stopped, found a nice stretch of grass and did 8 step tai chi form (focusing on trying to get some flow into my movements) and one of my kung fu forms. Running shoes on grass not the ideal mix, but it was nice to do the forms outside in the sunshine. I did a mix of running and walking home - jogged up a really steep hill in the park and did a couple of sprints too. Stretched at home and then we went out for lunch to meet friends.

    Spent the afternoon in the local park throwing and catching a rugby ball and frisbee (sometimes at the same time). Walked there and back which was a couple of miles at least.
  8. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    After seeing emotional/personality changes after constant exposure to these things in my kids, the term "sanity" might take on a more literal meaning than we think.

    Wish all it took was a bit of running to keep mine in line...but they've so much excess energy which begins to curdle in a bad way if its left.

    Since we don't have kid's boxing available here anymore, they ( or at least one of 'em ) are going off to Lacross and football training camps starting next week.
  9. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    It's a real challenge. On physical activity in general, we notice the differences between our two boys. My younger son is much more physical and has to do stuff. In addition to his kung fu (which he loves) and swimming etc, I have been making him cycle up and down outside our house for as long as he can stand just to let off some steam in the evenings. The older one is just not so physical and would loll about all day if left to his own devices because he has not found a sport he really loves, but (as I point out to him regularly) is a happier person if he does some exercise.

    I'm always looking for opportunities to make them do a bit more activity as part of our daily activities (walking rather than going by car mostly) or using public transport. I get the impression that in lots of different parts of the US, outside the cities, it's more geared to going everywhere by car. Is that true where you are?

    On the broader issue of screen time, I subscribe to the school of thought about kids needing to have time to become bored in order to foster their imaginations and creative thinking. We are fighting a battle (largely a losing battle) on limiting screen time and as parents need to establish a better regime. I find the endless availability and multiple points of access a real problem.
  10. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Absolutely true. Especially where I live now. When we lived in the Midwest, we at least had lots of sidewalks and people rode their bicycles a lot there. Here, one takes their very life into their hands if they ride bicycles - the traffic is so aggressive - not just congested but something in the culture that makes people drive very aggressively.

    We're lucky in that not too far from our home are a couple of schools whose location is nestled between wooded areas and the roads right around it are very seldom used. Its perfect for skateboarding and bicycling - about the only road hazard would be one of the many deer that live in our area running out in front of one's bicycle.

    But in general, no one walks - anywhere - unless its specifically a walking park or somesuch.

    Yes, yes and yes. I have been absolutely gobsmacked at how little creativity my children have when they have unfettered access to those things. There are so many things I've begun to see with it.

    One of the big problems here in the States ( and I'm wagering its soon to be, if not already, in the UK ) is the schools are not REQUIRING the younger children to have it - to do their lessons, virtually everything in now on a screen.

    Even those things where "technology" is ill suited or even obviously not working, they still require it.

    The frightening thing for me is the complete and utter lack of ... questioning...healthy debate...about it. Even given so many questions regarding the effects on children susceptible to induced epilepsy, the potential for certain types of cancers later on, etc., its not to be questioned.

    Everything's become so monolithic now.
  11. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    It's such a pity given the health benefits of walking as part of a daily routine (sitting being the new sugar/smoking) It's hard to see how very serious issues like obesity amongst the general population are going to be tackled if the simplest forms of exercise are not easily accessible because the car is king.

    Jaron Lanier's book "You are not a gadget" is quite a good read on the issue of what the internet is for and he critiques much of the underpinning philosophy. But you're right that there's an unquestioning assumption that all tech all the time is all good. I like disconnecting the kids because I'm keen for them to have a direct unmediated experience of their lives. We go to the west coast of Ireland and stay in a place with no internet, no tv and no phone (no street lights for that matter either). I love it and, once they get over the shock, they like it too. I'm not a total luddite but like you, I'm increasingly frustrated by the monolithic nature of all things digital.
  12. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Training since Friday - Been focusing on forms and kicks at home at regular points when I've had spare moment over the weekend. In particular I have been working through the detail of corrections I have been given to combinations in various forms. For example, there are a number of small corrections to the 4th Grader's form which included getting the applications of back fist movements sorted and improving (rather low) flying front kicks. On my kicks, I have been improving doing low and high turning kicks in combination and back hook followed by turning kick combinations. I'm getting better at this.

    I was supposed to run on Sunday but it just did not work out - for a number of reasons mostly to do with my energy being low. Monday I went to the gym at work and did half an hour's cardio. I practiced forms and kicks similar to what I have been doing over the last few days for 15 mins afterwards.
  13. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    My boys were annoying their dad this evening so I put them both on their bikes and put my running shoes on. They cycled and I ran to the park. We all did a few laps and I did some short sprints to get my heart rate up. That's it. About 25 mins. Felt good sprinting and fast too. I just need to do more...

    I've been reflecting on my training since starting this log. I don't feel like I have really got myself organised to make the most of my training time. I've now got enough of the right things in place to get closer to where I think I need to be, but I need to be much clearer about my goals and make sure I'm doing the right mix of things to achieve them.

    I'm not particularly convinced I'll be doing my grading in July and I am not sure what I think about that. If it wasn't for my age, I would not be that worried about it. In some ways, I don't mind consolidating where I am. There are a number of areas where I think I could improve and develop further. I am worried that if I don't do it now, I never will.
  14. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Sounds exactly like our family.


    I can heavily relate to the feeling of disorganisation doing a number on one's training. Seems like we (I) spend more time putting out the fires of life that keep rudely popping up unscheduled. Its so very difficult when one has school-aged children because you have to put their needs first and if there are any hard issues in your lives that you have to deal with - its all but over for anything like serious MA training.

    What a downer...but that's the way it is.

    I'd not give up if I were you, Sounds like you are closer to being able to achieve your goals than I and if you do quit, I can tell you from experience, you will be absolutely miserable and not feel right.

    Nothing is perfect - we spend so much of our lives trying to make it so. Nothing in life is convenient and timely for long.
  15. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Thanks. Yes, very true, the little blighters and other domestic matters do absorb much of my available time, but it is what I signed up for, so I need to be more focused in how I use the time that is left over.

    I'm not planning to give up as such but I had been working towards doing black sash grading in July and based on how I feel now and how hard I have been training, I don't really think I will be fit enough.

    I've been pondering about what it would be like to stick at violet sash and focus on developing myself at that level. I feel that there are lots of ways in which I could improve where the grading isn't necessary. But I have very mixed feelings about it, being the kind of person who likes to climb a mountain because it's there.

    I had a chat with a colleague at work today who reminded me that some crazy 92 year old woman ran a marathon recently. I'm a teenager by comparison, so another 4 months should not make that much difference, except to be fitter.

    I've decided to keep pushing away for another month and make a final decision on the grading at the end of June. Thanks for your thoughts
  16. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    So after my mid-week crisis of confidence, I went to class on Friday. I help out with the children's class and along with the black sashes who were there, we were asked to do sparring with the children on rotation at the end of the class for a few minutes. I do enjoy seeing how different kids work their way through their MA training and develop over time. There are huge differences in ability, motivation, concentration and attention to detail as well as coordination. The only ones I struggle to get anything from working with are the ones who don't put any effort in. My USP is hard work rather than ability, so I don't have a lot of time for people of any age with ability but little motivation or application. It's something I need to work on....

    The later class focus was Tai Chi and we did a warm up with some Qi Gong. In the context of the training I am doing, I'd like to do more (but like the Tai Chi I have been doing, I am more attracted to doing Qi Gong in relation to my MA training rather than as a separate unrelated activity). I feel I am making some good progress in terms of my connection to each of the movements and to establishing a better flow from one movement to another. We worked through static, 4 step, 8 step forms. I also now understand the general shape of the 16 step form but there's a lot more work to do on it.

    We moved on to kung fu forms and I spent 15 mins being coached on combinations by one of the 2nd Degrees in the class. He's very good and very clear on corrections I need to make. This is one of my better forms but it's easy for it to become a bit raggedy in terms of the precision of some of the applications if I don't focus, just because of the variety of movements and transitions from one to the other.

    Class ended with a bit of sparring. Sifu said that us violet sashes could sit out, but I wanted to do some as I don't feel like I do enough. Nothing strange or startling. I often feel like I have not really got to the place I want to be re my sparring (which has also been influencing my thinking about going for black sash in July).
  17. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Did tai chi practice over the weekend when I got a spare moment. I was working on the 16 step form I was shown on Friday. The second half is a mirror image of the first so it takes a bit of concentration at key points to make sure I'm doing it right.

    Today I did 30 mins training - 15 mins of sprints on the road outside my house. My son was cycling so I was racing him - doing 20/25 secs - not sure about the number of reps, but I as definitely more tired than him by the time we finished.

    I followed that with 15 mins practicing basic punches and kicks. I've been working on improving my accuracy and power. Anyone in the house who's in the wrong place at the wrong time gets to hold the pad for me.
  18. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    Since Monday the rest of the week has been woman vs nature as I have been working on my garden - an hour or more each evening cutting down trees and digging up roots. Not actually training but a decent amount of manual labour (probably 7 hours of it) this week. So I didn't have time for other training till class last night. The weather was so warm we didn't need much of a warm up and I think because Ramadan has started numbers were a bit lower than usual. We focused on forms again - more work for the next grading. We worked through one of our forms in detail again. I know what I am supposed to be doing now well but don't always manage to do it when moving at speed. I am still working on that 360 degree leg sweep.

    We also had a long-ish discussion about styles of fighting and the changes sifu is introducing with regard to getting a better alignment between our forms and our style of sparring.
  19. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    30 mins cardio at lunchtime today. 20 mins on stationery bike followed by 10 mins on cross country skiing type machine (think that's what it is). The last couple of times I tried it, I could not get the hang of it, but third time lucky. It's definitely less boring than the bike. I'm going to aim to do more on the latter piece of equipment tomorrow as it's more intense and works arms and legs at the same time. Stretching and a bit of TCC later on if I can fit it in.
  20. Brigid

    Brigid Kung Fu Mother

    My ankle problem has been getting the better of me over the last week and I concluded that a trip to the sports physio was in order. The on-going pain and stiffness in my ankle has been getting in the way of my training and I've been getting more nervous that there's something more chronic going on. Anyway I thought I might have a peroneal tendon injury but it turns out that the connective tissue around my Achilles is inflamed and needs further treatment. .

    So I am ok to continue training but just to be careful about stuff that will do further damage to my ankle including that 360 degree leg sweep. And it turns out that the cardio I have been doing is exactly right so I will press ahead with that this week. I need to have up to 7 sessions and start on Monday.

    As it turns out, I was not the only person with an injury at class on Friday. With the warm weather we did not do an extensive warm up. I was asked to take the class through the TCC hand drill so was trying to do it mirror image - nearly got it right. We are still working through the detail of the forms for grading. All improving because we know them well but are fine tuning.

    There's a group of 6 of us looking to do black sash grading and we are starting to organise so we can do some practice together during the week. I'm off to the park in half an hour's time to work on my forms and hopefully some other stuff.

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