Nachi's Log

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Nachi, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday 7th December

    Taiji Fan
    Laojia Yilu for warm-up, then practicing the familiar moves, spending a bit more time at the end and a new move. One that I saw on YouTube years ago and totally loved it! That Taiji video has become my favourite one and definitely was a reason why I asked at my current school, when I went to my first class, if I could learn a fan form there :) The video was a different style, though, but this move was very similar. The teacher didn't explain and make it as "dance-like", more focused as self- defence, so it did not flow the same way, but regardless, I will totally be enjoying this one :) I just have a bit of trouble with the timing of one step there, but I should figure that out soon, hopefully. I almost got pardoned from being at the front for our final try of the whole form, but the ladies would demand someone for reference, so the teacher placed three of us, who remembered into strategic corners :D

    Taiji - 25 moves
    Silk reeling with the second teacher, then we split into groups, I started with the advanced one until the head teacher came. We worked on the third part o the form - 15th-25th move. I got a correction, too, which was great. We were left to practice first two, then the next one move over and over after the teacher gave us correction. I was tasked with this, so I did practice over and over. I saw people here and there skipping a repetition, but whatever, I was doing my job. At the end the teacher led us through the few final moves faster, smoothly. Ah, I love to practice the form like this, so I totally enjoyed. We did it a few times under my lead then just before the class ended. I did my best to try and keep the same pace as the teacher, but since I am not particularly used to practicing like this, I was probably speeding up and slowing down at random places. I will have to do more practice of this at home, it really is fun :)

    Taiji - around 35 moves
    I led the silk reeling here, then did the fist 25 moves with the more advanced group and then all 35 or so, as instructed. We worked on a few moves, including High Patting on Horse htat has been giving me trouble lately, so I took the opportunity to ask about how the weight shifts there. We worked on that a bit, which was awesome. Then we practiced Cloud Hands and the kicks and the final two moves.

    Taiji - beginners
    My friend couldn'T make it today, but I had already decided to keep coming here anyway. We worked on wuji stance and silk reeling. Got a talking break in the middle for at least 10 mins - talking meaning the teacher talked theory and answered any questions. I was called up when he talked about push hands practice, to show with me. I haven't had many chances to practice lately, though, so I was a bit nervous. I didn't do all that well, but it was just to quickly demonstrate within a few seconds, so I guess it showed the point. After the break I felt refreshed and widened my stance for the silk reeling next. My legs didn't hurt that much anymore and when on my way home, I felt a bit energized again. Interesting, I feel half dead on Tuesdays and pretty good after Wednesdays, that are a bit less exhausting, yet longer.

    We will have a winter solstice celebration in two weeks. We will be demonstrating some of the weapon forms in the groups that we learn then at. Which means I should be in more than one. But I noticed the teachers talking ot instructors and some younger students to do a solo demonstration. I suddenly feel rather good about having to demonstrate with the whole group! :) I wasn't sure if there would be solo demonstrations as well originally. Regardless, I love watching these demos, so I am looking forward to it. It shall be a nice event.
  2. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday 8th December

    Sanchin kata, then footwork and kihon - partner drills, we spent some time practicing moving in Neko ashi dachi. Later we did kihon ido and ippon kumite, though Sett and I helped correct others and were mostly observing. A few push-ups in the meanwhile and sensei had us show Kurunfa kata to him before everyone finished stretching.

    2 hours, 565 kcal.
  3. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Sunday 9th December

    Kettlebell gym
    The usual instructor today. We started with the usual mobility exercises and then I was asked to do the “lever” (I still don’t know if that is the English name of the exercise), both types twice per side. Then we reviewed the pull-over I was taught last time, 10x. She judged my shoulder mobility was good, I was able to keep the belly tight all the time, so I should go for 10 kg kettlebell next time.

    We also did the ‘wriggling” squat with stretching hips in the lower position. I learned that last time, so I was asked to keep the 8kg bell and show. Last time’s instructor told us not to go all the way down. I think there was a reason for it, but I forgot. Oh, yeah, probably so that we can position elbows to a specific part and keep a structure. I asked about how low to go, and today’s instructor said I can go as low as I can keep the back straight. She checked in my lowermost position, said it was straight so I can do this. Which was easier as I could just relax my legs, not keeping position just a little higher. I did 5 reps as instructed, added 2-3 curls in the low position.

    Then we continued working on the TGU. I was taught the motions of the first half, so the instructor checked me today and added the next position. I practiced this for a while, first balancing a board on my fist, which wasn’t difficult, so I picked a light - 8 kg - kettlebell. I was told to do 2 per side, but I did up to 7 before the instructor returned.

    To get me off the floor for at least a while, we reviewed the deadlifts with my usual 32 kg. I was reminded about a detail - that I should fix my position before I even start lowering myself for the first deadlift. I was given an exercise to do 5 deadlifts and then go hang on the horizontal bar for 20 s. The instructor wanted to try the horizontal bar with me. I told her right away that I really suck at anything done on the horizontal bar, but I can probably hang for a bit. 20 s wasn’t hard at first, but by the 3rd round, it didn’t seem that easy anymore. I was able to hold position at the shoulders, but my grip is weak and not meant for this. Furthermore my palms were all red and seemed a bit swollen. Before I could do the 4th round, it was just about time for everyone to go do swings. Yay! I didn’t mind at all that I had to skip the bar :D

    It was a usual 10 min EMOM - 10 swings each minute. There were only five of us today, most going for double handed swings like me. I took a 20 kg kettlebell I ended up with last time. I remembered a correction I got last time about how I should bend over more, so I tried focusing on that, but it felt like an arbitrary motion, so I probably did something wrong. Just about in the middle of the EMOM I also remembered I read how one can also do the swings by pulling the bell back a bit - you can speed it up and I tried that, it seemed fun. Basically I was fooling around a little. I had no idea, however, that the instructor stood right behind me, checking my form… When I finished the round, she told me first of all to get a heavier bell. And secondly, that I have a strong back, which I use to swing the kettlebell needlessly high, but I shouldn’t. I need to focus more on the motion of the hips. Which I pretty much was doing, but apparently, not well enough. Take 24 kg, focus on the hips and I should get a better workout. She was right. I was basically forbidden to swing the bell head-height, she would stop it for me where she thought was enough. I tried and really focused on the hips then. It was, however, hard to isolate the body part used. Especially since I thought I was mostly only using hips the whole time, but according to the instructor, I wasn’t. But this time, also as it was the later rounds, at the end of each round my hips were tired, which was probably good.

    Stretching at the end.

    I enjoyed today’s class again. Apart from tearing of my calluses. Wow, And there I only did a 100 swings and a bit of hanging…. Well, truth be told, my palms are too soft for this now… Not trained. A torn callus is annoying, though, it stings.
  4. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday 10th December

    Karate kids
    Not too many children today. We played a game with a few techniques for a warm-up, Junbi Undo and practiced stances and techniques - kihon ido - for Thursday grading.

    Karate adults
    We started with Sanchin kata, reminded everyone again of several details, went through the kata three times as usual. Then Junbi Undo and most of the class was spent with kihon ido as well. For the last 20 mins or so we asked if anyone wanted to review anything in particular and several people agreed on Renzoku kumite. Three beginners didn't know it too well, so I practiced kata with them instead.
  5. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 13th December

    I decided not to skip today's morning class and for that purpose I worked yesterday evening to have enough time today. However, I kept waking up in the night and when it was time, I didn't feel well rested and didn't want to get up. Also, since I need to save money wherever I can, I haven't turned the heating on this winter, yet (our flat has good isolation). But with this nasty weather - what, -13°C this morning? :O ...our home temperature dropped to 17°C, making it all the more difficult to get out of my cozy warm bed. But in the end I did win my inner fight. Getting outside, though, was... brrrr.

    Morning Taiji
    I was asked to lead the warm up together with a friend who usually does, here. But he was fast in stepping back and I couldn't get him to come back. Damn him, too. We did one Laojia Yilu. After the kettlebell training, I have my lower back sore and hamsrings. Though as for the hamstrings, it is more like they keep hurting a bit most of the time, not really being sore, but I was nonetheless careful with the kicks today.
    We then worked on som emoves inthe middle of the form as some people were learning those, and then took swords. We did a few basic exercises ,worked on the beginning of the form and added probably a couple of new moves. I got plenty of corrections today. Is the teacher trying to motivate me to come to these classes as I tend to skip about half of them? :D Anyway, it was nice nad I have a lot to work on.

    When I was leaving the teacher told me he already has 6 left-handed fans, ready for the double-fan form no one here has learned, yet. I'm up for it! :)
  6. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 13th December

    Taiji kung-fu
    ...basically turned Fan form practice class. Our group practiced by ourselves. We had two people who missed the last few moves, so I did my best to teach them. I wasn't sure if I rememebered the last one well, so I asked the teacher if he could check when he walked by and it seems I remembered. We practiced by ourselves the whole class. The senior instructors were trying their demons for the upcoming Winter Solstice celebration we'll have next week.

    Taiji sword
    Ha, finally, the usual instructor P showed up and could take the warm-up - it consisted of Laojia Yilu and Erlu. As for the latter, I did the part (about a third?) I knew. Then we worked on the sword form. Mostly by sections with some general corrections and added a few moves. We should actually finish the form next week :)
    It seems this group won't be demonstrating at the celebration after all. The teacher, however, mentioned maybe I will. Something. First time I heard any of that. Bu I really have not much to show nad the sword demo is taken, so it was probably just the teacher's fleeting thought.

    Taiji - Laojia Erlu
    Laojia Yilu for a warm-up, then practicing the Cannon Fist form. We didn't add anything new in the end, but practiced the last move a bit more. I was tired, not much energy left for proper fajins. Again at the end the teacher was asking about who'd come to the cleebration, that we could all show the Cannon Fist form. No one was actually sure they'd come. They mostly couldn't or didn't know. I had already said I'd be there, so my raised hand was the only one in the air, which prompted the guys to make fun of me how I can do the Cannon Fist form there alone. Haha, no way. I am not practicing much and I'm awful at it. When the teacher counted that there might be at least three of us, I remembered instructor P mentioned he might be demonstrating the Cannon Fist with our group. So I immediately brought him up - "Instructor P said he could do the Cannon Fist form!" Since he is used to demonstrating (and knows the whole form to boot), he might as well do it alone. No need to thank me XD Heh, in the end, the teacher said he'd make final plans with us next week. Just a day before. I honestly wonder what I would be a part of. It may just be a last-minute surprise, though. So far, only the fan form with the group seems certain. I would not mind if that was all.

    20 min stretching at the end. 1600 kcal.
  7. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday 14th December

    Taiji Fan
    The teacher apparently left a messaga for me with the receptionist, to start of with the fan form, instead of a warm-up with Laojia Yilu. So we did. We did the part we knew about three times. One of the ladies complained she didn't rememebr the ending and couldn't see me since we turned. So I played the boss and asked one of the teenagers, who remembers and has a nice form, if she could go to the bery back and to the side so people could see her. She did with a "Thank you." Yeah, "You're welcome" :D Cheeky.
    We practiced with the teacher later and he taught us two new moves. At the end, the teacher asked who'd come next week for the celabration and demonstration - our whole group is supposed to demosntrate the part of the fan form we learned. Not many people came forward. The teacher couldn't really force them (though it is true that Meimei and I weren't exactly asked) and the ladies shrunk back. It looked like they wouldn't come by themselves, but needed a bit of a push. Literally. So I took it upon myself to push them forward and they went. I pushed three, I others had actual reasons they couldn't come. So the performatory group tried the form once. And we should practice for this next Tuesday, supposedly. My gosh, I can already see how I'll mess the demo up. Thank goodness there's at least the whole group.

    Taiji - 25 moves
    Silk reeling for a warm-up, then I was tasked to go through the 25 moves with the advanced group, twice. Then the teacher for our group arrived and we practiced mostly 7th - 14th moves. We tried to make them smoother, by also omitting a couple of movements. We tried, then I was sent forward while the teacher would take a look at everyone. I wasn't exactly sure if I can do this right away, but... I suppose it worked in the end, somewhat.

    Taiji - kicks
    I led silk reeling in this class. This time, I took a rather high stance and found a good balance in the stance (already from wuji before) and focused again on my hips. I felt good in the silk reeling today. But legs hurt, so it took a bit of my focus away. Then we did the around 35 moves with the group before the teacher came to practice with us the Cloud Hands and the following kicking sequence. At the end he let us practice just the sidekicks for both sides. I was tasked with this, and wehn he just said to practice and left, Iw wouldn't stop. It did not seem that hard, though I suppose if someone wanted a break, they had to make one themselves. I didn't feel like slacking. Truth be told, this did take quite a while and the morale was dwindling. Not many people actually kept at it.

    Taiji beginners
    My friend didn't arrive today, btu I went nontheless. This is a nice relaxed class and I can try and figure out the silk reeling we did plenty of today. I felt like I might have gotten a better knack for it, when the teacher came and said the movement I was doing (and thought I improved) was way too much.... Well, it is not often that I get a chance to get a correction for silk reeling, so although I apparently didn't figure it out, this was a nudge to the direction. Actually, if I could make the motion smaller... Wah, I swear, I'll figure it out one day!
    NBy the end of the class, I actually felt more relaxed than at the beginning. Also could hold a better stance and for longer. It was great.

    1800 kcal today.
  8. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday 15the December

    Karate - kyu grading day
    Today we had grading in our dojo for kyu grades up to 6th kyu. The rule is that from 5th kyu the person needs to be graded by a sensei form a different dojo. And we had one guy for 4th kyu from another dojo today, too. Plus three more advanced people who were just trying the grading before going at it this saturday.
    First was children grading. Sensei asked me to wait outside the dojo and take payments and the passbooks from the adults who'd come, so I did that.
    For the adult grading sensei asked if I would assist him. I didn't know what it entailed, but sure. This was supposed to be Sett's job, but he's ill and couldn't come. Sensei asked me to do the instruction for the kihon and kihon ido part. So I came up with techniques, showed them to make sure everyone knew wwhat to do and instructed on how to go about it - full power, where kiai, etc. Sensei then stopped me, told me to do combinations, then kicks. And then kihon ido. I didn't remember the combinations and which grade was supposed to know what. So I came up with a few basic ones and sensei then would tell me the ones he wanted to see, so that I would demonstrate and he cold just observe how everyone was doing. This was my first time assisting with a gradign like this, so I was a little bit nervous. Later I was a sparring partner to a boy grading for 7th kyu as there was an odd number of people. And took a few pictures when it came to kata.
    The gradign went well, I am really proud of our students. They've really improved!

    After everyone left a friend, who's going for 1st kyu in Saturday asked if I could help him to practice and correct a few things, so I did. It could have taken additional 20 mins, then we left.
  9. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Saturday 17th December

    In a sister dojo. We left nearly on time, the drive was indeed two hours (even with the snow everywhere, I expected bad traffic) and arrived in front of the building 2 mins before the seminar should start... As usual. But I wasn't too nervous, sensei was the driver after all, the seminar wouldn't start without him. But I forgot he can change into his gi damn fast. So when I relaxedly changed and went to the gym, I already heard "Seiza" from the inicial etiquette. I rushed in and since everyone wasn't seated, yet, I took a spot at the very end of the line.
    Some people were grading in a different room with the two organizing sensei and everyone else did a warm-up (running and combinations) with our sensei and then Junbi Undo. The next blok for everyone not grading was still led by sensei - workeing on a combination with a tsuki to four direction, several regular sidesteps and turns. Done step by step, then faster on less and less count, then all 8 techniques with 8 turns, then with eyes closed. I was just working on my speed. Though I realized I was compromising the technique a bit. Also because it was hard to slide my feet fast on this floor.

    The grading ended and we slit into three groups by grades. There weren't that many blakc belts today and two had to leave during the seminar. Our group this time consested of only blackbelts - which was only a 3rd dan sensei, 1st dan friend and me. The group was taught by my sensei and with regards to the highest grade we worked on Kururunfa kata. The friend has not known it and none of us knew it well or to much detail, so we went step by step through the whole kata and tried a few times. We only had 35 mins for it. This is the first time I heard a proper explanaiton of the kata. I heard it from Sett a year ago when he learned it at this seminar and then taught me, but it was only what he remembered and he wasn't sure about soem details. So I was really happy for this block.

    The next blockanother balkc belt had to go, so there were only 2 of us black belt students left. So our group took also all the brown belts and we worked each on our kata for the next grading. Which was Sepai for me. Sensei V went around, correcting, then we made pairs and practiced bunkai. Sensei would usually show us and let us practice. I paired up with the 1st dan friend. He was practicing Sanseru, I did Sepai. Sensei demonstrated and had us practice three bunkai each. Before we had time for more, the 35 mins were over. But we drilled these three for quite a while, so I might at least remember. :)

    Third block was cancelled due to lack of time. I was also asked by sensei to get the payment from everyone from our dojo. This break was really short, but everyone heard before the last block and had the money ready. Apart from me... But at least we made it during that break. Another thing sensei asked me to do was to go check if the women showers were unocked. They weren't. What the... why is it always the women who always get bullied with locked showers? It's happened so many times already! Since pretty much all the women here were either leaving home right after the seminar (without dinner) or lived nearby - from a local dojo, I was the only one who actually wanted to shower. Therefore, in the last block we worked on kata - each till Sanseru and then we lined up for the etiquette, but the senseis would announce the results of the grading. Which was a que for me to leave and rush to shower in the men's showers before the guys rush in. It was a bit... well... I was the highest grade there at this point, so it was a bit weird to be the one supposed to lead the etiquette anad leave, but whatever, I agreed with the sensei and I really wanted to shower :D

    Maybe the women shower rooms tend to be locked because it is usually very few women who want to shower. And therefore we can be bullied and sent ot the men's showers instead of the etiquette. I don't know why, but whatever.
    Polar results:
    Time: 3:48
    Max HR: 180 (I don't even remember breathing hard, though, so this surpsised me)
    Average HR: 137 (Again, more than expected)
    Training benefit: Tempo training+
    Kcal: 1947
    Training load: Very High: 373

    I am wiriting the polar measurements down today because this seemed like a relatively hard training. But it didn't feel that way at all, so it is rather surprising.
  10. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Sunday 18th December

    I've had a sore throat for like three days now and some minor signs of cold. Today I woke and my muscles around the shoulders nad upper back were sore. However, yesterday, I didn't do anything resembling a workout for the upper back. A lot of tsuki, but... it shouldn't feel like this and also since the morning... Maybe it is a tiny minor cold after all? But I refuse to give in, I need to last one more week to make it to the christmas events and trainings! And I also refused to skip today's training. I am new to the kettlebell gym and I need to figure out the opening hours in the next couple of weeks. I did chores all day and felt a bit better so I felt like going, too.

    Ketttlebell gym
    It was really old in there today. It's always been cold there, but today especially. Luckily, I brought an extra shirt today. There were only 4 people today and the instructor. I guess it is because of the Christmas and also that so many people are down with cold these days.
    We did some mobility exercises and stretchign in the beginning. Then everyone was told to do the warm-up exercises, which were most of those I've been learning so far. The instructor gave me numbers, so I did the lever once per side, both types, and 10 pull-overs and 10 wriggling (stretching) squats. Then I reviewed the part of TGU I learned and the instructor showed me the remaining 2 positions, so I tried the whole exercise with only a light disk held on my fist for balance a couple of times and then practiced with 8 kg kettlebell. The instructor asked how it felt, I wasn't sure what she was asking about, so I said ok, I guess, but it turned out she was asking about the weight. I was told to try with a heavier, 10 kg bell next time. Oh, if I knew I would have said it was light. 8 and 10 kg doesn't seem to be much of a difference and not much of a challenge, but well, I guess I'd best first get down the technique properly.

    Then we moved onto push-ups. I said I can do some, but not sure about my form. And there are versions and I don't usually do push-ups, ehm, properly. I could only do very few like that. So I was now just asked to show her what I got and I did like 4 of what I thought should be a proper form, more or less, but I wasn't sure about all the specifics... The instructor said this looked ok, but I needed to keep my shoulder blades apart, not move in my shoulders much, only bend the elbows (oh and there I thought I should move the shoulderblades together in the low position, so I did that pretty much on purpose). She said she didn't want me to go to the box to elevate my hands, but she asked me to go to the steps to have it a bit easier - there are two steps in the middle of the gym, which I noticed are also used for push-ups. She said when I learned the form well enough, I can just do them on the floor or then put my feet higher. Well, floor is good enough, thank you. Anyway, before we started, another guy asked if he could join, he wasn't sure about the push-ups, either. The second guy suddenly appeared behind him and before I knew it, all 4 of us and the isntructor were lined up on the steps :) I got one more minor correction, but it was about a movement I think I was doing just because of my hands being elevated. Then I was given an exercise to do 5 sets of 5 deadlifts and 1-3 push-ups on the steps. I did three reps each round and a few more for practice then.

    Then it came time for the swings. 10 min EMOM - 10 swings each minute. I took the 24 kg bell. It was harder than with the 20 kg for sure. But not to the point I'd be struggling. My wrists were the part being most uncomfortable at the end. I paid attention to using the hips to swing the kettlebell, not back. I still swung the kettlebell head-height, I felt if I didn't, I'd be slacking off. And I am just used to it. I made sure the kettlebell finished the final part of the swing with momentum only so that I couldn't be accused of using back or arm muscles again. And I wasn't. I was given a correction to wait for the kettlebell to fall first before moving my butt backwards, so I tried focusing on that, also. But the instructor said I was doing well otherwise, which I was happy about :)

    Stretching at the end.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2022
  11. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday 19th December

    Last regular karate training day before Christmas. Sett is ill, sensei is away, it was up to me alone today. I wasn't feeling my best, either, but there was no choice, really. I am sore all over today, around shoulders, upper back and even weird places like around the ankles. This has to be due to some cold.
    Karate Kids
    I had no plan, didn't know what to do. I wanted to do something fun, yet with atleast some karate techniques and had no idea who and how many kids would come. It is nearly Christmas and as expected, there were only five. But another 5 came within the next 10 mins. We played some games for a warm-up, then a running contest between two teams and then I got an idea and had the kids do some techniques across the gym, always two at a time, before I let the next two go a couple of meters behind them, so that I could carefully check everyone. The task was to do a technique the best they could, I'd say who did best and that person would think of and count 10x one exercise for everyone else. Wow, I've never seen the kids focus so hard on a technique! And they did well! I always once explained the tricky parts of the technique before the start and then reviewed mistakes aftr they finished, named everyone who did really well and picked one kid who did the best. Well, obviously, the students who've been here long did just about everything better than the newcomers, so I mentioned them all and picked a newcomer who did a really good job. This worked so well. Too bad it would probably lose its charm if done too often :) We played a game at the end.

    Karate adults
    It is the first class after grading. We have two new blue belts and like six new orange belts and everyone came with their new color. I almost felt like I was in a different dojo. As per request, we played a few rounds of our favourite types of game of tag for a warm-up. Then we did Hojo Undo, two mins per exercise. I brought my ab wheel from home and incorporated two more new abs exercises, so I first explained everything carefully and didn't participate, but went around, helping, mostly with the unfamiliar ones.
    I forgot I wanted to do Sanchin kata, too, and moved straight to kakie. I was odd, so I didn't participate, but it was for the best, we did just kakie first, but then tried three more joint locks, which were new mostly, if not for everyone, so I always tried to check and correct everyone. Lately I am really enjoying kakie and appreciate the locks more, too. So this is also a fun thing to teach.
    I had a work-out planned for the end, but two hours were gone just like that. Maybe it is for the best, I'd like to aprticipate in it, too, but I was out of breath just demonstrating the few hojo undo exercises. Not sure if it was just because of my stuffy nose or in general.

    Considering I barely did anything today (I basically only played the game of tag, did a few push-ups and squats and demonstrated the techniques), it is weird Polar showed over 800 kcal burned and me being eve further in the overtraining zone. A training like this shouldn't push me there. But... I need to last at least 2-3 more days :D
  12. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 20th December

    Taiji - practicin the Fan form for tommorrow
    So I am not particularly sick, but not really healthy, either. I have a bad running/stuffy nose and a mild sorethroat, but my voice sounds awful. Therefore I tried not to speak much, only said "Hey" when coming to the changing room occupied by our whole "fan team". That one word was enough to give me away, though. I felt bad, I hope not to make anyone else catch a cold, but honestly, people are coughing etc. everywhere you go now. I also warned tha ladies last week that my partner was sick, but their advice was to keep a good distance from him and not even think about not coming for the demo. So no one was angry with me. But after the training, they were very nice and adviced me all the traditional folk remedies one could possibly think of. I assured them I am drinking plenty of ginger tea with lemon, honey and rum, which is what one does when getting cold, which was approved. I also received a lozenge :) They were really nice.
    Later the teacher called little Meimei and me over to discuss us also demonstrating the sword form tommorrow. Ah, yes, last minute changes, here they come! The sword will be demonstrated by the teacher nad another senior student, and the children, but the teacher thought it a pity I only participated in the fan demo in the end. We didn't get time to try today to get in synch, but we used to be in synch with Meimei, so it should be fine. And with big sis, instructor L, whom I mentioned, so our "sorority of the sword" might get to do some action again! :) But who knows, we should finalize the plans and try tommorrow, just before.
    This class was spent prracticing the Fan form we'll be demonstrating. There were 7 of us and it would not be too easy to fit in the gym with the fan form. But we got to try today. We laid some rules on what to do when someone drops the fan, which didn't surprisingly happen to me today, but others, who were getting nervous already and getting their hands sweaty.
    I wonder how we'll do tommorrow. Luckily, it isn't supposed to be a too official event, more like a celebration where students show what they are learning to other students, but it is getting more and more official over time. The teacher, however, mentioned, that we shouldn't be too worried about tommorrow, it won't be too formal. But a good opportunity to practice for the traditional Chinese New Year celebration in a few weeks....

    Taiji sword
    We finished the form today. Nearly a year since we started learning (I finished learning in summer, but this group officially). We worked on some parts and reviewed. I wasn't feeling my best and didn't do my best today, either. The most difficult to do was, however, the Laojia Yilu form at the beginning. I did my best to take it easy nad keep my stances high, but I kept forgetting and did what I am used to doing often. It ws hard to keep my breath in order. I can't breathe through my nose and generally get out of breath more easily, so I was breathing hard at the end.

    Taiji - Cannon Fist form
    ....and that was the reason I decided to skip Laojia Yilu for a warm-up for this class. The Cannon Fist is difficult by itself, no need to get out of breath first. So I just sat down and watched. It felt weird. I don't skip parts of classes. But I decided to take it easy today.
    We reviewed what we knew, and the last move. I thought I was getting the knack for it a bit, but when the teacher came by, he just shook his head: "That's not it." Oh man. He explained the mistake I saw. I could see the difference of what he showed I was doing and the correct version, but I wasn't sure how to achieve the correct version. So I practiced. WHen he came by next time, he said it was a little bit better.... I'll have to figure it out. And this is sucha cool move, too. I want to learn this one well. We then added the next move. I was far from the teacher and he was behind me, so I kept twisting my neck to see, but hopefully I saw and remembered well, if roughly.

    Only 1100 kcal. I was indeed taking it easy. But at least I wasn't exhausted and hopefully will be fresh for tommorrow. And not sore anymore.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2022
  13. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday 21st December

    The event is here, my very first Taiji demo! It was supposed to be in a relaxed atmosphere, so no stress. Well, it was a tad too relaxed when it came to organization internally. The first our was free and meant to still practice the demos, while the second hour would be one demo after another. So an hour before I went to ask the teacher if I should get the sword, will I be doing it, too? He said it would be nice, since I only have the Fan form otherwise. It would be either him practiceing with us or him separate, in the end, the teacher didn't perform the sword form and left it to me and Meimei only. We got to try once right away. When the teacher was thinking whether we'd do the sword form, he asked me: "Yeah, you're only doing the fan otherwise. And how about Laojia Yilu, the main form, who's doing that?" ...How would I know?
    In the end, when the event officially started and Laojia yilu as the basic form would come first, the teacher asked: "So who's doing that?" He beckoned at us in the corner, so five instructors came to do - the first 14 moves only. I tried to secure the second row, but pretty much everyone did and there wasn't much space to argue.
    The two instructors then did Cannon Fist form, then me and Meimei showed the sword (Jian) form. Luckily, we had learned it together, so we were in sync. Meimei is tiny, so I was behind her and she dictated the pace, which was slower than I was used to by now, but I think we coordinated well. I put a tassle on my sword which I don't usually have there. It is long, flies everywhere and I managed to step on it, too :confused: I also messed up once, but only started a different move and very quickly corrected myself. Unfortnately, the teacher was recording everything.... I think otherwise we did quite well. I also did my best to breath through the nose as I am supposed to, but struggled with that with my stuffy nose. And couldn't keep it up all the time.
    There were demos of Dao - broadsword form an double broadsword. They were very nice. The single dao is very dynamic and performed by the young, yet senior instructors, it looked awesome. As well as the spead and halberd form later.
    One more thing I participated in was the fan form. This was the only one performed in a group and not whole since we hadn't learned it whole, yet. When we practiced, I had a spot in the front center (out of three people), which was comfortable as I could just adjust pace to the people around (since the form is to the sides, not the front) and wasn't in the risk on running into a wall - we struggled to fit in the gym as there were I think 7 or 8 of us. However, just today someone mentioned they wanted people who remembered it well around and the teacher decided people who rememebered well should be at the sides so I was moved there - switched places with the only guy in the group. He rememberes the form well, too, though. Anyway I now had to guess how far from the wall to start. Luckily it worked out (when I shortened the three steps to the side as I could see the wall was closer than I'd like).
    In the end the teachers demonstrated the 42 fajins form and the New school form - Xinjia Yilu - respectively. I was happy we did it, it was fun. I wasn't even nervous. When not in the spot, I sad just by the door so that I could quickly exit the room to blow my nose or when a coughing fit came and I needed to drink

    The next hour was everyone trying Qi gong. In the end, we stayed a bit longer, I chatted with quite a few people and ate the Christmas sweets everyone brought. It was nice, but at the end, I was quite tired. Talking was a bit uncomfortable for me due to my cold and my voice sounding rather bad. It was a great event, though. Not that many people arrived in the end, but the teacher mentioned it was a preparation for the bigger and more official celebration of the Chinese New Year in a month.
  14. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    I haven't been posting in awhile due to family health issues etc but I've lurked a little and I just wanted to compliment you on the sword video you put up.
    Thought it was nicely executed. What really impressed me was the lack of Karate "flavor" I often notice in folks with such background/practice.
    Keep it up!
    Nachi likes this.
  15. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Hi, El Medico.
    I am sorry to hear you are having issues to deal with.
    Thank you very much, I'm glad you liked it!
    I certainly was tense etc. when I started, but I think I got rid of that quite quickly. Well, I can always be more relaxed, but... Anyway, thank you!
  16. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I have a few pictures from the event last Wednesday, so I thought I'd post some up (I'm the one with the glasses):

  17. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday 22nd December

    Karate Christmas
    We had one final training an celebration. The training was veery easy, basically, everyone counted 10 tsuki. There could have been around 30 or somewhat more people, so it was very short. Sensei gave everyone a new T-shirt with our dojo's sign. And we took various pictures in those. It was fun.

    Christmas Day - 24th December walk
    This is the day of our main celebration. I still have cold, so I didn't go visit anyone. We went for a short walk, slightly over 3 km.

    26th December walk
    I am feeling a bit better day by day. I haven't visited anyone, but again, we went for a walk, a longer one, 6,5 km. The weather was warm, though wet a slightly windy. I was hot and sweating when climbing a hill, but physically I felt alright and was planning to go to the kettlebell gym later since it was closed yesterday and we were told we couldcome today, instead.
    However, when I climber the hill, my lungs started burning, probably from the cold air as I breather through the mouth. I felt it in my chest and in my back. It didn't hurt that much, but it felt rather uncomfortable. It was gone when we returned home, but I thought I give it a rest and not go to the kettlebell class. The room there is also usually cold, and should be even more so, today. I feel like I could do the class, but I probably should be reasonable for once and take it easy.
  18. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 27th December

    Morning Taiji
    I really did not feel like getting up early today, but last week I was asked if I was going to come so that I could potentially help the teacher, as there would only be one.
    Apart from the teacher, only five of us arrived, with the exception of two people, we were all of varying levels. I was asked to do the silk reeling warm up. After I and the most advanced lady did Laojia Yilu - she knew a bit over half of it, so I also stopped there and we reviewed the later moves once again.
    Then it was half an hour left and I was asked to help the lady improve her basic exercises with the sword and later we can work on the form. We did that. Mostly the basic exercises and we worked on the form in the last 10 mins or so. She had learned only the first 7 moves, so we did those over and over, I gave her tips where I spotted bigger inaccuracies.
    A nice relaxed class. I was content with that. I am not feeling up for a big work-out. 330 kcal only.

    In the evening, when they opened, I went to get some advice about something and it took longer than expected, so I missed the sword class (the kung-fu class before was cancelled) and only came just in time for:

    Taiji - Cannon Fist form
    Very few people in our group - only three. The teacher was teaching Qi gong, the other group was taught, as usual, by instructor L and I was asked to help with the Cannon fist group. Not much, I don't know the form, either, but once we did 4x 14 moves with the other group, we did one Laojia Yilu and the Cannon fist form about three times. It was much easier to do this when I didn't have two classes before, my legs were fresh, however, my cold held me down. During LAojia Yilu I was getting out of breath (can't breath through nose and the cold in general) and I was feeling uncomfortably hot, but couldn't decide if that was because of the cold or because it is always rather warm in the gym here nad taiji always warms me up. And at home, I am saving on heating, so I am now used to colder climate. Anyway I was sweating and uncomfortable. I wasn't happy about being in the front today nad "leading" the group, despite there being only two other people. I wasn't feeling too well and was thinking about actually leaving early if I have to practice without break. Luckily, instructor L came 15 mins before the end and gave us corrections and explained the last move we did learn last time, but did not remember at all. Last time I didn't catch it that well anyway. So this was helpful and more relaxed. I felt a tiny tightness in th chest.

    Last week I promised I'd come tommorrow, since one of the teachers is missing, but I am starting to have second thoughts now... I should probably just rest. I would very much prefer training, but I am not sure if I can manage it (and it should be 3 hours to boot), much less help with actually teaching the classes. I'd likely would have to help in all three.
  19. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    No exercise for the remainder of the week. Would have gone for a walk or something, but I was rather busy and worked till late.

    Saturday 31.12.2022

    To celebrate the end of the year, we went to a Sett's friend's place. There were 5 of us, everyone brought something to eat and we went for a 4 km walk and then played board games. Not many people were drinking. I was drinking wine, though, and a friend would keep my glass filled. Which is the worse. If there's wine in front of me, I drink it. And if I don' thave count of the glasses, it's not good. In time, I could feel the world started spinning a little, which I know is the time to stop, unless I want to regret it tommorrow. And I did. I must have had a bottle of wine and maybe an additional glass. I couldn't escape the champaigne glass at midnight, but I made sure to only take a tiny one.
    Luckily, I did indeed stop just in time, I felt pretty ok the next day, except for having a slower start in the morning.

    I spent the day cooking and doing chores, but since the kettlebell gym was open today, if I remembered well, I went. I shouldn't start the new year without any training whatsoever!

    Kettlebell gym
    As expected, not too many people came, only the instructor and three of us.
    Stretching and mobility.
    Then everyone did the routing, I did the lever exercise, then the pull-over 10x with a 10 kg kettlebell today as instructed (both exercises) and the wiggle-squat 5x.
    Then I proceeded with the TGU. I had learned it whole last time. I think I was told to start with the 8kg kettlebell and try the 10 kg for the last rep (total reps would be 5 per side). I would prefer to take at least the 12 kg, but I would just listen to the instructor. I suppose I should learn the movement properly first. The instructor saw me trying with the kg and told me to do the rest with the 10kg - which was two reps left. If I could do it. I thought it wouldn't be much of a difference and it wasn't, and the instructor told me to do all 5 with the 10 kg next time, so we could move to the heavier ones -at least 12 kg. Great :)
    The next I was told to do 5 rounds of 5 deadlifts and 2 slow and proper push-ups with hands elevated on the two stairs. I was told to go for a slightly heavier bell than last time, which would be 36 kg. And to do everything properly and take enough rest in between rounds - she said 90 s after each round of 5 deadlifts and 2 push-ups. It felt like a lot and so I... kinda cheated the breaks. I was told to take 15 mins to finish this work-out, but that felt like a time wasted. I did my best to do everything with proper form, but still. I was told I keep my butt too high in the push-ups and I need to work on that. I probably do tend to do that and I guess the elevated hands make it worse for me.

    Next exercise the instructor explained the goblet squat to me. I used to do this exercise at home, but I didn't know that many details about the form, so I listened eagerly and tried to focus on everything and there were quite a few things. To try it out, I was given a 20 kg bell and did 5 sets of 5 goblet squats and 20 s hanging on the horizontal bar. The instructor told me to do 25 s if I felt like it,but I didn't. I thought 20 s would be a struggle enough for me and it was. My bad grip and my tender skin were protesting.
    We still had a few mins left before the time for swings and the instructor had me try a plank on elbows and on hands - in the push-ups position and explained how to use the different muscle and howt he posture should be to imrpove my push-ups. I did a uick exercise of holding 20 s in the low plank, 20 s in high plank and 20 s rest, three rounds.

    Then we did the usual 10 min EMOM - each minute do 10 swings.
    Today, the instructor told me to take a 28 kg (62 pounds) bell. Which surprised me. I feel like in some exercises, she's going quite easy one me, but swings probably won't be the one. This is my 4th class doing this EMOM and I was given a heeavier kettlebell in each. I thought 24 kg felt ok, but the instructor said to push it a bit so I can move to the heavier weights, I should progress to at least 36 kg, she said. Which sounds scary, honestly.
    Last class she also told this one guy to take a 28 kg - to progress from a 24. In the midlde of the EMOM she told him to try, he should push the weight a little, but if he can't do 10 reps each min, no worries, he can do a bit less, 5 would be enough. Today she also told me if 10 reps with 28 felt hard, I could do a lower number of reps, so I was going to nod, but she continued: You can do just 9 for example. What?! :D That's not much of a difference at all! No fair! I did 10 each round, it was surprisingly a bit easier than expected. But I did tear my skin again. I also got a correction. I apparently bend my knees too much, I should just bend over a bit more, not in the knees. I was told to focus on that in the final 3 rounds, but I was tired then and it was harder. But when I did that, the swing did feel a bit different, if wouldn't fly as high as easily and well, this is probably the reason I am doing that wrong. I see. I'll focus on this from now on.

    Today was nice, I was an slowly adding exercises and more work-out to the routine, so it isn't just drilling technique. 511 kcal burned.
  20. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    2022 Summary

    Like last year, it is time to check my yearly summary!I have measured all my training, with very few exceptions.
    When I check my yearly report, I so far, train a bit more every year. I had nearly the exact same number of sessions in 2022 as in 2021, but this year the average of one session was longer (last year I had 600 hours totak, compared to now nearly 759). I have surpassed an average of 2 hours of measured activity each day this year, which I am happy about. Most of those activities would be Taiji and Karate. At the end of November I started going to a gym to work-out with kettlebell, but I only had 4 classes in 2022. There were also a few walks and very few bike rides.
    Who knows if I'll ever be able to surpass this training time.

    Heart rate
    My highest HR this year was 186 bpm during a karate class I was teaching - March 10th. It was a two hour long class and my average HR was 140 bpm, also rather high. I tend to have a high HR when I teach Karate. I prefer doing rather than talking....

    The training with my highest average HR was a solo Taiji training at home on 2nd April when I practiced one kicking sequence after another. My average HR was 157 bpm, which is one of the highest average HR of all times for me and quite likely the highest for a session that lasted over an hour - an hour and 10 mins. I didn't take any breaks.
    The most kcal burned in one session this year was 1947 in a 4-hour long karate Christmas seminar - 17th December. I would think this wasn't very harsh session, but I had an incoming cold, so maybe that could have played a part.

    As for my health this year, it was rather good. I remember getting Covid again at the end of September, but it was very mild and I was just irritated I was stuck at home for a week. Similarly, I've stayed home in April when my partner had Covid.

    I participated in a few challenges this year. Starting in February when IOGKF started a world-wide kata and push-up challenge for a month - do a few katas each day and/or push-ups. No given numbers. In hour dojo and with blackbelts in our country we kind of started competing in push-ups. This was tough, I did, at least 100 push-ups each day and nearing the end of the month, even 500. My total was I think 7500 in February and became a winner from the participants in our Czech association.
    In March, in our doj we continued with another challenge, as we really competed and had fun in February. This time the challenge was sit-ups. These were easier and I was determined to win. At a steady pace. I wasn't always first, but I kept doing 400-500 a day and went at it near the finish when I managed to demotivate the competition :D My daily max was 1250 sit-ups. I won with 15000 sit-ups, aiming to make it twice as many as the push-ups previously.
    At the same time in March a friend issued me another challenge to practice teh kicking sequence from the taiji form - 10x each day. Or rather, 310x in March. We did complete it in the end.
    We did more challenges in August -kicks and sword form, which I completed, and then with more people in September and October - with the whole or some parts of Laojia Yilu and weapons forms. I did not win there and I wasn't trying that much in October, but it motivated me to practice a lot at home - in the yard and I improved my taiji, especialyl sword form, so I was happy about that. We quite the challenges with dwindling motivation in the cold and wet weather later.

    I've been to a week-long Taiji seminar in July, week-long Karate in Croatia and 5 days in Croatia for Taiji right after that (we just moved to the north). I've done a few weekend Taiji seminars from spring to fall. And finally a few weekend karate seminars - the first Gasshukus after covid. With the exception of one, all were international - a weekend in Germany and a couple of weekends in Slovakia. On the first of these I passed my 2nd dan grading in Karate - after 8,5 years of training.
    Taiji milestones aren't as notable as there's no grading, but since the classes finally moved offline, I started assisting with them since January. In time, I was entrusted with basically leading the class for one group (or three groups, once) alone. Since September, I have been back to assisting as the head teacher decided to add one more teaching day to his schedule. In January I started learning the Taiji jian (sword) form and learned it whole in July. Starting September/October I started attending classes where I've staretd learning Laojia Erlu - Cannon Fist form and the Taiji fan form. I am in the process of learning these. Probably adding a broadsword form and maaaaybe a double fan next year.
    Since I have learned some things, jsut now in December I participated in the demo at a Winter Solstice celebration. I've seen one such celebration (of Chinese New Year) when I had just started going to this school in 2020 and there wasn't any in the next two years due to the pandemic. I would have never thought back in 2020 that when there's the next one, I'd be on the stage, too :) Well, I wouldn't have thought the next one would only be three years later, but still :D

    For comparison, my 2021 summary is on page 98 of this log.



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