Nachi's Log

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

  1. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday 1st March

    Taiji fan
    We reviewed the later part of the fan form, spent some time with the latest move and then the teacher taught us the next bit, which seems to be the next three moves.

    Taiji - 28 moves
    We practiced Cloud Hands, High patting on Horse and the first kicking form. The teacher gave nice suggestions, some of which really helped me witht he latter two moves! Oh, the High patting on horse finally seems to work! Yaaaay! And it was such a simple thing to change, or rather, two, but still :) As for the kick I also got some tips. I understand in theory, but these are hard to do. More practice will be needed.

    Taiji - 17 moves
    I led the silk-reeling, but the teacher's weren't there yet, so I went to fetch them and luckily met one to work with the beginner group and I rushed right back to start practice with the more advanced. A junior instructor was there and they had just started the form, which was great, so I just joined. Teacher came and had us practice mostly the three latest moves. Again, we learned more things about the last one and I also got a correction and tried to improve the move.

    Taiji - 3 moves
    I did the silk reeling with the rest, but had to keep my stance higher. Legs hurt. Not sure if it was because of the stance or that my hips loosened after a long practice today, but it worked better then an hour earlier.
    We worked on the first three moves, especially the last one. And started the first part of Single Whip. I think I have never heard the explanation from the scratch from the head teacher and it's been long since I'd hear it from the other teacher, so I paid close attention. The teacher also showed the appication for it and gave me a correction. I didn'T realize I was doing this a bit wrong.
    A senior student who usually is in the front had to leave a bit earlier as usual, so I was called up if I had strenght left. Today I had. So we went through the 3,5 moves three more times before the class ended.
  2. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday - I skipped karte today, I finished work late.

    Saturday 4th March

    Taiji seminar by senior instructor L
    Instructor L prepared a 7-hour long seminar for a smaller group of people, that would be focused on basics of the movement. She prepared specific exercises using resistance bands and free weights. She asked me to come and act as a bit of an assistant and help with organization, which I could not refuse :) I hleped prepare the tea room etc. and was there if anyone wanted help with any move in particular. I got only one request from a couple of friends, one onf whom missed the last broadsword class. So I showed her the move we'd learned and we practiced or about 15 mins at the end of the 1-hour lunch break. The other friend didn't miss class, but I at leastt tried to help her how to stab well and the mechanics of how to make the light practice broasword make that sound it always makes. Not much that much power or speed seems to be needed if the sword is well aligned and one uses the rotation well.
    As for the seminar, we did a bit of Taiji practice - I led a short silk reeling, we then did 5 moves to 4 directions 3 times and after lucnch again 5 times. We were also split into groups when one was using the resistance bands and while we were waiting, we went through the whole Laojia Yilu (who knew the ahole one) and I and friend also did the Cannon Fist form. We had fun with the various exercises.
    And we concluded the seminar with a tea party of sorts :)
  3. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Sunday 5th March
    I had a lot of things planned for today as it was the last free day before my dad and I go to a birdwatchign vacation abroad. But in the late morning sensei wrote he was going to practice in the afternon and if Sett and I wanted to join. Dang it. I first apologized, but it was such a pity since this is a perfect opportunity to practice stuff like Sepai kata and especially bunkai that I should work on, but still don't een remember. So... I cut the unnecessary housework and went.

    Karate advanced practice
    Sensei arrived 45 mins late, so Sett asked if I could help him with the Taiji spear form he had briefly learned the first quarter of in one day basically. So I did. I haven't practiced it for a long time and was worried I wouldn't remember. And Sett would actually remind me that I must have skipped something here an there. And he was right :mad: I honestly kind of envy his memory for these things.
    Once reviewed he remembered, so we tried a feew times and I showed him the next three moves.
    Sensei arrived, we chatted for a bit and then started with Tensho kata. He explained some things again and it was great.
    Then we tried Sepain kata once and went to practice the bunkai. Sett actually kind of remembers them, too, after a brief reminder :mad: I was much more lost. I caught on a bit, but when we got to the later ones (there are ten in total), my head felt like exploding and I was starting getting lost in whose turn it even was, etc. XD I will try to go through them later at home nad at least write down the remaining ones I haven't noted down, yet.
    We still had a bit more time, so we tried Kururunfa kata twice. Sensei originally said we would try the bunkai, too, but there was too little time and I was kind of glad we did not, it would only get me confused. We only attacked sensei so he could practice Kururunfa and Pechurin bunkai.
  4. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Sunday 5th March

    Kettlebell gym
    I met the head instructor there and he came to instroduce oursleves. I'Ve never really talked to him, just over a phone a couple of times and just said hi as I did to everyone when I arrive. I did think he was the head instructor, buut I wasn't 100% sure. But he actually remembered who I was, when I started, my name included o_O I wish I had this guy's memory, too! We chatted for a bit and it was only when the class was about to start that I realised he wanted to get acquanted because he would be the instructor there today XD My mental capacity was clearly already exhausted today.

    For a warm-up and stretching we did some exercises that were new to me. Then he taught us all how to do a windmill - an exercise no one present knew how to do. We spent quite a bit of time, trying really step by step, and finally with a small kettlebell. I found this movement relatively intuitive and ma hamstrings are stretchd enough, so I kind of enojyed it. The instructor just passed by me, so I guess I was doing well enough. Then we were sent to do our usual routine.

    I did my preparatory exercises with a heavier - 14 kg kettlebell, as instructed last time. It went better than expected - still able to touch fingers to the floor in pullover.

    As per isntructions, I did 5 rounds for both sides, using 16 kg, but tried the 2nd rep with 20 kg. When I tried the TGU in a crossfit class years ago, 20 kg was as high as I went (we did this only once) and I felt very unstable and worried about the weight. Today, it did feel like it was fairly heavy and several reps might be a struggle, but I wasn't worried about dropping it or being unstable etc. so by that measure I surpassed my expectations :) Still, 1 rep felt like enough for today.

    And this is the time when I would find the instructor to ask for the next exercise. I was a bit uncertain. I suppose I could do just what I did last time, more or less, but I thought I'd ask anyway. As I can see, and as the head instructor told me, everyone basically get a plan that they follow, hence why everyone knows exactly what to do. Except for me, I guess. I asked the usual instructor once if the plan was for me to repeat the exercises I did at that class, but she did tell me to start with TGU and then come ask her. So I kept doing that.

    Today the instructor told me the execises beginners would be doing (deadlft, TGU, squats, push-ups, pull-ups - or a preparation for those), which are exactly those I am doing, but the exercises or weight etc. change. So he adviced me to do 5 round of 5 reps of deadlifts and the pull-up preparations, and then the same format of 5 squats nad push-ups. so I did, using the weights I did last time. Except for pull-ups, the head instructor asked me what I already tried and what I was doing now. I tried full pull-ups with a resistance band last time, but from his qusstions I had never tried hanging in the high pull-up position, so he wanted me to try that. Ugh. It sort of sounded even more unpleasant. He demontrated how it isn't really that difficult to stay there for maybe 30 s when finding the right position. He showed me, but it my 5 rounds of trying, I couldn't find it at all. He presses the bar to his chest, very closely and hanged like that. I think I may not be strong enough to get my chin that high, maybe? And as I had already noticed before, while I can at least touch the bar to my shoulder on the left side, I cannot touch it at all on my right :/ So I basically hang turned a tiny bit sideways. I simply cannot close the arm more. Maybe it is too fat XD Idk. Or maybe I need to put my hands even closed together on the bar? Anyway, I absolutely did not find a position where I could hang relatively relaxedly. So I struggled to at least hand for 15 s each round. For deadlifts I kept the kettlebell from last time - 48 kg, but felt like maybe I could handle more. It still doesn't feel that hard.

    Then I did goblet squats (28 kg), where in the later rounds I was starting to feel a bit more comfortable in swinging the kettlebell into the goblet position. I should probably swing a bit higher than I did. :) Push-ups on the one step. I did 4 reps each round last time. This time I went for 5 reps. I started the first round with 4, but the second was a bit absentmided and automatically counted to 5, so I kept the number in the other rounds, too.

    I didn't rest that much between rounds of any of the exercises today. I wasn't told to and if I did, considering we spent quite a bit of time with the windmill in the beginning, I may have not been able to finish before swings.

    Swings EMOM - 10x10
    I worked with my usual 28 kg. It does feel easier with each class :) I think I was able to thrush the hips quite well till the end without getting exhaustet and di the swings dynamically and had fun with it. I paid attention to keep the heels on the flooe and to not bend my knees and only bend over once the kettlebell forces me to - the corerctions I was given. I was happy about how it went today. The instructor kept helping a woman next to me, but had nothing to say to me. Not during the swings or any other exercise. He was going around correcting and helping people with the technique, but he never stopped by me. So I take it as a sign that my technique passed. Surely :D

    Stretching, new fun exercises.

    When the instructor told me about the hanging on the bar, he said it would be good to still also practice just hanging normally. Not necessarily when I was triyng the high position, but perhaps before or after the swings. I really didn't want to exhaust my grip before the swings and unfortunately I did remember about it when I was about to leave, so as suggested I did two rounds of 40 s hanging. He mentioned I could only do one, so I immediatelly perked up, but he said if I go for one, to hang for at least a full minute. Suddenly, the two rounds sounded like a better option... So I left last.

    When I did, the head instructor had already joined a class in the second room I needed to pass through on the way to the changing room and there was a class of probably wing chun or some typo of kung-fu. The instructor was practicing push-hands with... probably the sifu? Must have been the fixed step. They basically stood on a spot and tried to make the other move (or rather, throw them out of balance). Ooooh, I soooo felt like trying, too :D I watched for a while before leaving. I wonder if they'd let me join and try a round? But I didn't find the courage to ask. Either way, it looked fun.

    Over 700 kcal today.
  5. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday 6th March

    Karate Kids
    Warm-up, Junbi Undo and we worked on the kata. Learned the first 8 steps. Those, who knew it had an opportunity to try the whole one at the end. And a game to finish :)

    Karate adults
    Sanchin practice at the beginning as usual, Junbi Undo and a few simple combinations in pairs to practice stepping into Neko ashi dachi (cat stance). Then we went through all the kata up to Shisochin. A friend from a different dojo came, who is getting ready for black belt grading, so we adjusted the class a little to fit her. Then we split everyone into two groups to practice bunkai. I got the group that only knew bunkai to the first kata and I taught them the bunkai to the second. We only had 25 mins, but there are only 4 bunkai, one of which they already knew from a different combination, and two are very similar, so it worked.

    I think I participated in more than a half of the adult class did all the bodyweight exercises, worked on the kata with the children, too, but only 440 kcal burned in 3 whole hours :/ I must have been way too relaxed :D
  6. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 7th March

    Taiji fan - teaching - first class
    The new Taiji fan course has finally started - a class I wil be in charge of with perhaps an occassional help from the teacher who said he'd be checking form time to time and help polish the form for the people. There were quite a lot of people in th end! I think 15. The fan is attractive after all. There will be three parallel classes now and the fan group I was a part of practiced by themselves - in only 3 people today, I think.
    Anyway, the teacher did a brief introducton and left the class to me. There were people I knew, some of whom told me they'd be coming and several new faces, too. Three people had no previous experience with Taiji, so indeed we'd have to start from scratch. I wanted to cover the basics that will be used in the fan form and to explain term we'll be using. So I spent half an hour with a brief intro to silk-reeling, explained the posture, weight shifting, what is open, close, etc. etc. And we practiced how to open and close the fan. I wanted to spend no more than half the class with this, before moving onto the first move of the form and I did just that. And dissected the first move into small bits that we practiced for a while before moving tot he next one. And finished the move and went through it whole 3 times. I announced to the class that 3 times I'll try with them, then they would by themselves as I would take a look. Before I could do that, however, the teacher stopped the class (it was nearly over) and had me and little Meimei demonstrate the whole fan form. Well, up to the part we knew it, so we did. It was a good idea. I thought it would be nice to show what the actualy form looks like, but... since I don't even know it whole, I wasn't sure about it.
    I think generally the class went well. I am not used to talking too much, much less loudly as was needed, so my voice got hoarse in 20 mins or so :D But as far as I know I didn't even mess up the left/right while explaining, which is quite an achievement for me, even when facing the class and saying the opposite side to me. ^^
    Also considering I had no idea how many people will come and how many would be beginners and really knew nothing even what I was supposed to do, I think it went well.
    The teacher asked everyone who wants to keep coming, to just sign up at the reception. When I was leaving, the receptioonist told me 15 people signed up. :) Which made me rather happy. But now the question is if they would actually come next time :)

    Taiji sword/broadsword
    Our sword group started with 3 jian forms as usual. I felt good today, felt my hips loose and was able to make the form flow and go into low stances and generally felt well. The teacher then came as usual and helped us improve a couple of moves. Today the jian part was a bit shorter in favour of practicing the broadsword.
    Wiht it we briefly went through the basics and practiced the bit of the form we knew. And learned the remainder of the last (6th?) move we started on last week. It is a cool one.
    As usual, people were coming or the next class, quite early actually and came to wait and watch.
    So far, most of the time, we practiced the form rather slowly, but today the teacher suddenly said fast! It is meant to be done rather fast. Once I catch the tempo I didn't have much trouble following it, but had to focus. Then the teacher put down his weapon and wanted to see us try fast. To help us with the tempo he took up a wooden frog with a small mallet to hit is like a little drum as a sign for us to do the next move. He also told all the watching people to watch carefully and was generally happy about this approach. :D When we were done, he followed up with: "That was too slow!" and I really couldn't help myself: "Then you should have drummed faster!" The teacher laughed and said he had to wait for everyone to finish, but if we insist, let's try again :D Ah, it was fun.

    Taiji Cannon Fist form
    Laojia Yilu for a warm-up. Today I felt really strong and fresh. I usually come to this class exhausted after jumping around with a fan for an hour and then another with the swords. But today the fan class was fairly relaxed and I was still full of energy! So I went for lower stances and enjoyed myself. Felt my hips looser than usual and it felt great. We then did the Cannon Fist form, with strong fajins, the teacher in the lead. This was a bit more tiring. As I expected and feared as soon as we finished, the teacher said: "Again!" so he could watch. By the end of that, sweat was pouring off of me (it was hot anyway) and I was breathing a bit hard. But felt good :)
    For the rest of the class we practiced the latest moves and learned a new one. Or part of it. And did the whole form once again.

    As usual, I spent 30 mins stratching. I felt relatively loose today. And I feel like at least in some stretches, I am indeed making a bit of a progress. Especially bending my body sideways to a leg put horizontally on the wallbars or on the floor. I was fairly worse on my left side, but now can do similarly well. It feels like my belly fat and shoulder is now what is getting in my bending lower. I try to always adjust the position to make sure I am stretching a bit, but I may actually be reaching my limit in this stretch :) I guess next level is with the leg high. I have plenty space to stretch there, especially on the left side. But I think stretching for the splits is more vital for that.
    I didn't join the rest of the class today, I still had something to do at home.
  7. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday 8th March

    Taiji Fan
    The teacher wasn't there, yet, so I started the class with a whole form. We then did it once again, I think. Then worked on some problematic parts the teacher had spotted, before moving onto practicing the latest moves and learning a couple of new ones. Not the easiest ones, either.

    Taiji - 27 moves
    The teacher had something to take care of, first, so again I started the class with a short silk reeling from which we continued to practicing Cloud Hands - continuously. I wanted to do three rounds and as soon as we did, the teacher arirved. We did the 27 moves of Laojia Yilu twice, spent some time working on whatever we wanted - so a couple of people asked about a move we then practiced a bit to the detail and in the end still practiced the couple of kicks. They are pretty hard with all the details. The teacher explained things today again, but I was one by one remembering the corrections from last time. Hopefully I am at least making some progress :D

    Taiji - 17 moves
    I led the silk reeling for both groups, facing everyone. Last time I messed up this mirroring thing, so today I was extra careful :D
    OUr group then tried the 17 moves twice and before the teacher came we drilled the last few. We spent some time reviewing with the teacher. He again explained about Stepping Three Steps. A few weeks ago he gave me a correction about how the hips could move, but I didn't get it. Or at least couldn't do it. Today he explained with different words or examples I guess and I caught on rather easily. Finally I know how to do it, at least :)
    Then the group learned the next move.

    Taiji - 4 moves
    As much as today I felt full of strenght and fresh, today I was pretty much done :D I still tried the silk reeling, but mylegs were hurting and also my knee, a little bit. The familiar pain of pushing the tendons too hard. Was it from the Cloud Hands? My knees tend to hurt a bit from that. I need to focus on my knees there, more.
    My thighs hurt and back, too, so at one point I went to the back of the class to stretch it, which helped. The teacher had another assistant as usual, so I was left alone, but in the end I was at the front, too. I could still exercise, but couldn't hold the stances to long. And today we finally had the class without a break :D My thighs were dying there.
  8. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday 9th March

    I am leaving for a 9-day vacation abroad tommorrow, so in the middle of getting ready, I skipped today's karate class. But I still wanted to do at least some exercise - at least at home, to save travel time. I just got a new - 28 kg kettlebell in addition to my 16 kg one, so I had to try :)

    Home kettlebell training
    - Usual preparatory exercises - 16 kg instead of the 14 kg I use in the gym. It was a bit harder, but doable. The 2 kg isn't that much of a difference, after all.
    - Windmills - we were taught last week, I only tried with 8 kg so far, but had to use 16 kg today. I think this weight worked fairly well, did 5 reps per side
    - TGU - 16 kg, 5 per side
    - 5 rounds of: Deadlift (28 kg) - this was the only exercise I think the weight didn't work too well as it was a bit light, so I did 10 reps and push-ups - 5x
    - 5 rounds of: Goblet squats (28 kg) - 5x and shoulder press (16 kg) - 3x (would have gone for 5 if I could, but 3 was my limit especially in the later rounds)
    - 5 rounds of: Single-leg deadlift (28 kg) - 5 per side and lunges (16 kg) - 5 per side ... since teh heavier kettlebell was still light for deadlifts, I tried a single-legged ones. I've only tried with 16 kg so far, but 28 kg turned out to be a perfect weight for 5x5, I did the light lunges jsut as a relatively easy exercise to pair it up with

    I was lazy and palm too sweaty to do the 1éx1é swing, as I had originally planned :oops:
    But I finished with a bit of Taiji and karate
    Taiji: Cannon Fist, fan and saber forms - only the parts I knew. I only tried once, legs felt tired and the floor was sticking to my feet so and turning was fairly hard
    Karate: Sanseru, Sepai, Kururunfa and Tensho kata - one o each
  9. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I spent the last week on a birdwatching trip to Israel. We've made a round trip over the course of 9 days. Usually walking a few kilometres a day, which was also my only activity, but except for sitting in the bus, we've been watching birds all the time :)
    It was great, now I am back to training.

    Monday 20th March
    Karate Kids
    Coincidentally the children had spring holiday last week, so there were no children classes as most of the children tend to go skiing or out of the city. As a result they were very energetic today. We started with a game I remembered we haven't doen before, for a warm-up. Then, after Junbi Undo, I had an idea we could teach a bit of kata. But seeing how wild everyone was, Sett and a friend, who assisted today agreed it wasn'T the greatest idea. So I made up something on the spot. We haven't done any footwork exercises in a while, so we practiced that, and I turned it into a little contest in the end. It made everyone focus well and they seemed to have fun, which was great :)
    The children are usually taught by Sett. I just assist. I don't really like talking too much and I am not good with explaining. So, especially now when the children were quite loud, I exhausted my voice, and myself :D

    Karate adults
    Sett taught. Sanchin kata at the beginning, Junbi Undo and than we worked on kakie. I didn't participate, only kept correcting. We tried the basic ones, but tried another types as well, one was completely new. People seemed to have a bit of trouble figuring it out, so we'll have to practice more in the future. At the end we worked on the first set of bunkai from kakie.
  10. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 21st March

    Taiji fan - teaching
    The course started a couple of week s ago. I taught the first class, and the teacher taught the second, since I was away. I hoped to ask him what they had done and if he had a system he wanted me to adopt (like meditation at the beginning like in normal classes, and what about silk reeling - yes/no, with or without a fan, etc.). However, he had a private class and hadn't come out before it was time to start. Therefore I asked a couple of the students how the class went and how far they had gotten and I tried to continue where the teacher left off. He taught two new moves last class. So the class should know three now. I started with a bit of silk reeeling, reminded everyone about the main principles and we reviewd the three moves.
    The fourth, which I suppose should teach whole this class, is rather difficult. It involves three steps forward with the fan moving in circles coordinated with the body. So we tried circling the fan on the spot first, then we tried only the steps, then came back to the fan and added the movement of the left hand. And lastly, tried the steps together with the hands. It was tough. This is really hard. Especially for complete beginners. I should spend some more time practicing it next time.

    Taiji sword and broadsword
    Three jian forms at teh beginning and then the teacher worked with us of another part of the form - we do a bit each class.
    Then we praciced the broadsword. To my dismay, last week the move learned was a rather hard-looking one. Three jumps, each with 360°, jump into a low stance and cut and turn, jump high, land low, etc. I kept terning back to catch a glimpse of what the teacher or instructor L are doing. And through some of the teacher's remnders or explanations, I hopefully caught on. And we learned a part of the next move, which was fairly easy, though.

    Taiji - Laojia Erlu
    Laojia Yilu for a warm-up. I skipped one week adn immediately messed up in two places. Again, the class had learned 1,5 move last time, so I did my best to copy. Luckily the teacher then decided to explain these again. That was awesome. If I remember correctly, we didn't add anything new today. Well, it was new stuff for me, but not for most of the class. :)

    Taiji - 6 moves
    As usual, I did my 30 or more mins of stretchign by the wallbars, someties listening a bit to what the teacher was saying to the class. And suddenly I was called over to help demonstrate an application. I was stretchign for a split, I did many hip stretches before, so it wasn't easy to get up quickly and move over elegantly :D
    I joined the end of the class, when they were practicing I believe the 6th move.

    I wasn't that exhausted today, but Polar said I burned over 2000 kcal. Which is a lot by my standards.
  11. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday 22nd March

    I only skipped one week, but I already have thighs a bit sore after yesterday... Today might be a bit tough.

    Taiji fan
    I came a bit late, so I joined in the middle of practicing the form for a warm-up. The teacher came then and asked me what we've done so far, but... well...
    Anyway, we practiced the form by bits, correcting troublesome parts. Then we focused on the latest moves. It looked like last week everyone has learned two new moves, which I hoped to copy, but unfortunately, they were done in the direction where I was in the front. Luckily, I had little Meimei to my left and she does the moves cleanly, nicely and remembers them well, so I looked at her to copy. To my surprise, however, she was looking at me, with a similar idea. She must have missed last class, too! The teacher saw ours and maybe others' confusion and demonstrated the few moves three times with a very brief explanation. I was trying hard to remember. After a few more tries by ourselves, I did. And in the last 5 minutes the teacher taught us the next move. This one was easy. He said there isn't much left from the form. And whern I looked at a video at home later, this actually seemed to be the very last one.

    Taiji - 29 moves
    I went to drink and refresh myself. There are no breaks between classes and since I assist and therefore start the next one, I usually take a couple of minutes off now. However, lately, this class starts already split into groups, each having their own warm-up, as the more advanced does a more specific one to practice Cloud Hands. The head teacher usually starts it. However, I realised he was nowhere to be found and the group looking around in a bit of a confusion. I still feel a bit bad about this, but I just went ahead and started the class. Hopefully the teacher wasn't just on his way. He wasn't. When he did come, he just nodded and asked me to finish the warm-up, so I did.
    We then did the whole 28 moves and praczives the kicks at the end. The teacher was in a good mood today, talked about interesting stuff and we had a good laugh, too :) It was a very nice class.

    Taiji - 19 moves
    I led the warm-up - silk reeling for both groups. Then we split and I started the form with the more advanced one. The teacher came by the end of it and had us practice the later moves. He explained how the hips are supposed to move again, in general. How beginners learn it and what we should try to learn. Then he wrapped it up by: So let's practice in Stepping Back and Wrapping Upper Arms. I couldn't help but laugh a bit. This group is just going to learn this move, which is a pretty hard one and with the hip movement rather specific. Perfect for practice :D
    It is a hard move for me, still. There are a few versions on how to wrap the arms and the teacher would emphasize a different part everytime he teaches that (that is what I feel). So I tried to practice one way and the other, too. No matter which way, my left arm is still very clumsy. But I think my coordination in this move has improved. At least a bit compared to when we practiced this in Croatia last June. I think.

    Taiji - 5 moves
    My legs really hurt nad were tired, so I shamelessly skipped silk reeling and stretched a bit. The teacher cam to ask what move we were doing here. I wasn't here, though, to tell him. It turned out this group has just learned the first 5 moves so we could practice to 4 directions. When the teacher saw I was still going to join, he stood me to the front of the second direction as a reference. As I feared, we did the 5 moves to 4 directions 3-4 times during the class. Hard on my legs. At least there was a bit of theory, too, where we could sit down. Anyway, by the end of it, my legs were barely listening to me.

    But I can't go easy on myself. I am, finally! going on another weekend seminar this weekend. I haven't been in a long while and circumstances won't allow me to go as often as I would like or as I used to go, so I am planning to enjoy it thoroughly this time and practice as much as my legs allow. I have, after all, learned a lot of new stuff lately, and really need an opportunity to practice to remember and improve it. Especially the Cannon Fist form. But I would love to work on the broadsword, fan, sword and spear forms, too. And since the seminar only lasts two days... I'd better worke hard :) And I really hope it won't rain. At least not much....
  12. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday 23rd March

    Sensei couldn'T make it today, so the class was taught by Sett, I assisted. We did Sanchin kata as usual, Junbi Undo and worked in pairs on mae and mawashi geri. Then we practiced Gekisai dai Ichi kata briefly and spent hte rest of the class working on its bunkai. And since out oldest student celebrated his birthday yesterday, we did push ups, but had to do 47 for him :) A few teenagers started (yet again) the push-up challenge game (I don't know what its called). Basically you can tell a person to do a 10 and they have to do 10 push-ups. Right away. When done, you can return the favour anytime. I got involved in this (not that I volunteered) and since I was the last one getting the prompt from 3 or 4 of them, I was ready to return the favour and a nice time. We decided not to do this during training, but I agreed with Sett to do these birthday push-ups after the final bowing and when the class was finished and I gave all the four boys 10 push-ups on top, right before sprinting out of the dojo so they couldn't return it :D I was unwilling to leave the women's changin room then, especially when I heard all the clamor and angry voices outside, but it looked like they set camp just in front of the door and the push-ups were inevitable. But there were only two of them. So I got 20 more. I stopped thinking and returned them, so right after I got 20 more again. Like this we would spend the night here, so they I jsut said my goodbye. I am worried about their revenge, but so far they didn't seem like they'd plan this too much...
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  13. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter


    Friday 24th March

    We arrived around 16:30 and started practice right away. Two of my friends and I. They weren’t that enthusiastic about too much exercise, but I came here to train as much as I can. We did one Laojia Yilu and without stop follower with Laoji Erlu. Then we took up spears and tried the form a couple of times each, but then it started raining, so we drank tea and chatted.

    After dinner we all gathered - aroudn 12 people - the teacher talked for a bit and planned for tommorrow. In his program when seeing the people who came, he said we would practice just about everything - Laojia Yilu, Erlu, sword, broadsword, spear, staff, long staff, fan, double fan, halberd and push hands :D I don’t think it is possible within one and half days, but I appreciate the enthusiasm and I am looking forward to it nonetheless.

    Then we practiced for nearly an hour, only silk reeling, but I was happy I got some corrections. I was thinking I would appreciate if the teacher checked my silk reeling and I got the feedback I needed. Plenty to work on. I also used the chance to ask questions to make sure I understood what he was saying. It was nice.
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  14. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter


    Saturday 25th March

    I went out and started practice at 7:30. I did two Laojia Yilus. Then I waited till 8:00 when there usually is silk-reeling for everyone. At least for those who don't know the whole Laojiua Yilu. Since we got corrections for silk-reeling yesterday, I thought I'd join today to practice. But since everyone was immersed in their own practice by the time the teacher arrived, he only went to explain silk-reeling to the one newcomer. Nevermind, I practiced Laojia Erlu with instructor L instead.

    After breakfast we worked on the firt 5 moves of Laojia Yilu together, then the 8th move and I got several useful corrections. It turned out I understood something wrong, and I was able to clarify some things I was trying to figure out on my own.

    Then three of us worked on Laojia Erlu (Cannon Fist form). And an hour or so before lunch we took up broadswords. Unfortunately, it started raining a bit. I didn’t want ot expose my broadsword to the rain, but wanted to train, so while people went to hide inside, I went out to practice the fan form. The rain was slowly disappearing and another person joined me. The teacher came to correct us, before it started raining again.

    We also shortened the lunch break by an hour so we could use the time before the rain is supposed to come again in the afternoon.

    The teacher asked what I wanted to do. I thought I’d take the opportunity to join whoever was doing something I’d like and since we hadn't had much time for the broadsword before, we chose that. It was great, I needed to practice the new moves.

    Yesterday the teacher mentioned he could also show me the double fan basic moves. Meimei had already started on it and we would soon start learning it in the fan group. But if I could practice a little in advance, since cirling the double fans around is probably quite hard, it would be nice.

    It is the same type of mevement as in double broadsword, so instructor L, who knows double broadsword taught me briefly. I didn't want to take much of her time, so I practiced mostly on my own to get the motion into my muscle memory.

    It then started raining again, so we moved inside and practiced Cloud Hands. I also reminded the teacher he mentioned push-hands or pair exercises and we did try. We tried to push each other and find a good position to just absorb the force and stand firmly. The teacher went around and tried with everyone. I did actually quite well, he said. This worked and I was to try the next step when he'd push my shoulder and with a slight turn of the body, I’d use his force to push back. It worked, too, but not as well, I got a correction on what to focus on.

    Finally we tried a simple push-hands sparring. I guess the fixed step. There wasn’t really push-hands, we only pushed each other. I tried with a guy, who’s a bit lighter, but he had some trouble with absorbing the push in the first place and he was an easy opponent. I think through the numerous tries he didn’t lift my foot at all. He also tried ways to push me or use my push against me, but quite a few times he actually defeated himself without me just pushing constantly, not really moving... My next partner ws instrucot L, who has a good structure, but is 15 kg lighter, so she wasn't able to move me, either. The teacher wanted to help her, so he tried with me and showed a couple ofways on how to defend against my strategy. But it was still hard to do for my partner. I liked one of the techniques, so I used it on my next opponents. Since it didn't work well, the teacher paired me with a guy, who is going to push-hands classes and is nearly my weight. He was the toughest of the three. I lost a few times, but I would say my winning ratio was still like 8-9 tries out of ten. It was a good work-out, though :)
    We had spectators and one guy thought how comes and asked me to try with him. He wasn't bigger than me, either, was a long-time taiji practicioner and a former judoka, he said, but he is probably in his 70s. He was surprisingly strong. He didn't look that way. He was able to win over me more times than the others. He had a very strong grip, too and would squeeze my arm and the skin there to the point that it got fairly bruised. I was really tired after a while, though, so I asked if we could stop, then. It was a good practice, though. I feel it is a pity I can'T come to push-hands classes as I teach the fan form at that time. I had many victories today, but I think it was partly due to my weight and therefore also strenght advantage, and I could save a few matches through being more flexible. I would love to learn the actualy technique better, though.

    Today was a great day. We ended it in a sauna. Most people were too exhausted, though, and wanted nothing more than to sleep, so it was only the teacher, one guy and I. I only got to bed at 11:30 pm, doing my best not to wake anyone. Luckily instructor L saved me one dim light in the room, so I was able to find my way silently.
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  15. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter


    Sunday 26th March

    I did not plan on getting up too early today. No matter if my 4 roommates got out soon, I was going to only start at 8 am today. I worried for nothing, though. In our room, I was actually the second person to get out of bed….

    There wasn’t an official training before breakfast today, so I did one Laojia Yilu, one Laoji Erlu and felt like doing one Tensho kata as well. The bell announcing breakfast rang just as I bowed at the end.

    After breakfast we practiced the first part of Laojia Yilu - 5 moves, then up to 14th move and eventually up to 26th. And worked on the last one - High Patting on Horse. Again, some very useful tips.

    Instructor L, one more friend who is also just learning it and I then worked on ther broadsword form. We were given some things to work on. The was given some things to practice by herself and instructor L and I were told to practice doing the form smoothly and without stops. So we practiced fast, plenty of jumps in there. Then we took turns - one of us did one form, then the other, then we sipped tea, rinse and repeat. The teacher visited all the groups and was about to conclude the training, but I caught him with a question and he then spent some time with us, giving us general corrections and clarifying the place I had a question about, which he explained to detail and it helped lots. That was great :)
    Instructor L asked me during lunch if I was coming for the next seminar - in a couple of weeks. I thought she found my presence helpful as I was just able to secure nice corrections from the teacher through my questions, while he was about to leave, but when I said I won’t, sadly, she breathed out in relieve -_- What the heck? She said she will be able to take it easy, at least. Tsk.

    After lunch we only had an hour to rest and pack our stuff. I packed up and wanted to use the remaining 35 mins for practice. The teacher had mentioned I should review my spear form since I had spent time learning it, but haven't been practicing it much. So I wanted to use the chance now. I asked instructor L if she wanted to join me, but she thought my question ridiculous as she disappeared under her blankets… Such low morale :D

    As pretty much everyone was either napping or at least trying to, I was alone in the courtyard, so I played some instrumental music to keep myself paced and motivated. I managed to do the spear form 8x without breaks in between. Which I was rather happy about. I did it at a fast pace - as fast as I can comfortably manage without losing the technique completely, so it was also a pretty good cardio. It was windy and also started raining slightly in about the middle, but I was still sweaty in only a t-shirt.

    Later when we gathered each of us demonstrated a part of Laojia Yilu and the teacher would give us general direction on what to work on.
    When it was time for instructor L, me and one guy, and the teacher asked what we wanted to demonstrate, instructor L turned to me: "Don’t even think about anything jumpy!" Dang, I just wanted to propose the Cannon Fist form, and it was denied even before I could open my mouth -_- So we did a part of Laojia Yilu as well.
    I was given general corrections about posture and movement patterns, etc. It would not be easy to learn that and if I can improve, it would no doubt be slow. But that is the point of these corrections. To give general direction.

    It was an awesome weekend, it gave me plenty of energy. I just love these seminars. It was also a lot of fun and we had lots of laughs. :) Too bad I won't be going for another one until July, unless anything changes. But chances are low.
    Also, even though it seemed impossible, we actually managed to practice everything the teacher had named we could do this weekend. No one believed we would, there's simply not enough time, but myself, I did get a good practice of Laojia Yilu, Erlu, broasword, spear, push-hands sparring, fan as well, I tried double fan, too, and did at least one sword form. It was a productive weekend, indeed :) And I also tried the sauna.
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  16. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday 27th March

    Karate kids
    We made a obstacle course which we spent mosst of the class with, actually. But it was fun. In the remaining time we did some kihon - tsuki, mae geri and I think kihon ido, but don'T remember too well.

    Karate adults
    We started with Sanchin kata as usual, then continued with Junbi Undo and Neko Undo and worked with pads. Tsuki and mae, mawashi, ushiro and ura-mawashi geri. I paired up with a young, but tall boy. He had trouble with the techniques, so I gave him a lot of tips how to do better and didn't have time to do my strikes and kicks, but I didn't mind. If, however, I saw the other pairs still had a few techniques to go, I very quickly did my part, too. Not too hard, though, the boy was very thin. We also did some exercises and partner drills to practice the kicks. And in the last 30 mins we worked on Saifa, or for the most advanced person, Seiyunchin kata. Sett and I were only correcting.
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  17. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 28th March

    My legs were a bit tired as it was after the weekend seminar and yesterday we did many kicks, a few dozen with the kids and then in the adult class as well.

    Taiji fan - teaching
    We started with sild reeling holding the fan, tehn tried the form once - we are at the 4th move - three steps. It is a hard one, there are many things to coordinate, feet and arms move at the same time. Therefore we spent probably the next 30 misn practing the steps with feet only at first, then added arms. To move forward I taught the class the next two moves. One is very quick and easy, the other isn'T as hard, either, but I only taught it at the very end, so we'll definitely review next time.
    I did my best to expalin everything. There are people at different levels, so while a beginner wouldn't be able to grasp it all, the more advanced could focus on the details. I think it went well, hopefully the students thought it as well :D

    Taiji broadswerd
    3 sword (jian) forms at the beginning. Then we worked on the next part of the form. This time, however, the teacher didn't have many corrections. Instead he wanted our opinion on if we would be interested in practicing the sword applications to better understand how the sword should move. I had heard this is something he focuses on inhim private classes now. I would absolutely love that, so I immediately nodded enthusiastically. And everyone seemed to like the idea. That will be cool. The teacher said he'd get us some wooden sword and possibly protective glasses. Just to be safe.
    Then we worked onthe broadsword form. I did better as I was bale to practice at the seminar. And we learned a few new moves. We practiced a lot starting in the low xiebu and there were two more xiebus, which we'd have to hold for a long time each time. The teacher didn't make them particularly low, as usual, so I asked it they were supposed to be low here, or were just very quick stances where dropping low would be useless. His answer was: "Yeah, you can go low, why not." That wasn't exaclty the type of question I was asking, but ended up being told that for me they were low... So I tired my legs out completely here.

    Taiji - Cannon Fist form
    Laojia Yilu for a warm-up, followed by two Laojia Erlus. I couldn't even do my usual stances well. I had little strenght left. We practice dhte last move and added a new one, a leap and strike, which looked easy, but turned out not to be. I thought it was simple, but the teacher said I had it wrong and corrected us one by one. I understand how it should be done, but I had a hard time doing it that way.

    Taiji - 12 moves
    I did my usual stretchign routine, but was set on leaving after that. In the end, however, I thought I shouldn't just skip practice and the strethcing helped, too, so I joined the class. I stood in the very back, but when the teacher noticed me, he'd move me to the fornt. It wasn't what I was hoping for, exactly, but I did my best. In these classes that are not that advacned, the teacher would often check me and give me a good correction. And today was no exception. I guess the pain was worth it :D

    over 1500 kcal today.
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  18. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wedensday 29th March

    Taiji Fan
    I was late today, even though I hopped on my bike for the first time this year, to at least make it to the fan class. And I did, although I was 15-20 mins late. I joined the practice of the last few moves and right then were tasked to do the part form one move, so I had think hard to figure out which one he meant (I wasn'T there when the class practiced from here). We worked on the ending, a lot and learned the one final move. Then went back through the form, the teacher telling us the names of the moves. I was tired already, my legs haven't recovered yet.

    Taiji - kicks
    The warm-up with silk reeling and Cloud hands here is usually done by the teacher. Last week he wasn't there so I started the class in his stead and as I kind of expected, since I could do the warm up last time, I was called to do it today, too. We do a much shortened silk-reeling here in favour of paracticing Cloud Hands. Still, my legs hurt bad, so I had to keep a pretty high stance...
    Then we did the around half on Laojia Yilu twice. And worked on the kicks wwe are at now. I got a couple of corrections, too. :)

    Taiji - 19 moves, assisting
    I led the silk reeling. COnsidering how my legs hurt in the prvious class already, I thought this would be really bad, but for some reason my legs hurt slightly less. So I was able to make the silk reeling nice and slow. Though I was standing higher than usual, I think. Maybe. One teacher took the beginner group and I started practice with the more advanced one We went through the part of the form once and then once more through the end when the teacher came. He had us review a couple of relatively recent, but not hte most recent moves, first, then we worked on the last one - Stepping Back and Wrappign Upper Arms, and added the two that follow that have already appeared in the form before. So, since the 7th, 10th and 21st moves are the same, the teacher had us start with the 10th, and when we went to the 21st, start again from the 11th. He left me in charge. We did two rounds when I saw a friend get up from the stance and stop. I looked at her what was wrong, but she was. "That's enough, isn't it?" Hm, the teacher specifically instructed: "Do it over and over again." I don't think he meant is as literally as to do it twice :D But when we finished the fourth round, half of the class got up form the stance. Such a low morale! It was probably time up for the class, but regardless, I wouldn't stop unless the teacher said so. And before he did - about 4 moves later - there were only two of us still at it. Tsk. It this was in the dojo, I would have given everyone a fair share of push-ups. But I guess it wouldn't fly here...

    Taiji - 6 moves
    I skipped silk-reeling and used the 15 mins to stretch instead. Then I joined in the 5 moves to 4 direction which we did 3 times with a bit of break in between. Then the teacher tauhgt the next move - only the footwork. I was standng in the back and he let me. I was glad, I was tired. I could manage to do this steps, it wasn't that hard, but since the teacher found a guy who could be in the front, I definitely won't complain.

    We have finished the fan form in today's course and I am teaching a new one on Tuesday and several people from both keep asking about a video of the fan form to use as reference for home practice or to refresh their memory. They reminded the teacher today, too. As expected, it wouldn't be him on the video and he asked me to cooperate, instead. His technique is much better, obviously, but I guess persuading him to get himself recorded and put online with a fan in hand is useless. At least I might be able to get some personal corrections since he'd definitely like to have it recorded correctly :)
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  19. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I skipped Thursday karate - too much work, too little time.

    On Saturday the city brought a bio waste conteiner close to me for 4 hours, so I, like, apparently, many other gardeners in the vicinity, hurriedly did some after winter gardening. I weeded my garden plot and cut the old raspberry and blackberry twigs and cut a part of the hedge behind it. Took it in a large bag about 400 m to the container. Hell, the weeds were heavy. The lady managing the container apparently felt pity for me. I made up my mind. My car isn't working a thte moment and The car can't get right to our house anyway, I am going to get a hand kart. This carrying on heavy stuff, especially in one person is... well, tiring.
    3 hours of garden work, 1000 kcal.
    Then I went to a garden exxhibition and to a few shops. I barely sat today. I had 30 000 steps today and was quite worn out in the evening.

    Kettlebell gym
    Sett went with me today for a trial class.
    We did the warm-up together, then I did my basic exercises with the 14 kg kettlebell. I have skipped the last three weeks, so I shouldn't be adding more weight to my exercises today.
    Always 5 reps per each side. Last time I used 16 kg and did one rep wiht 20 kg bell last time. Today the instructor told me I can keep it since I missed a few classes, but I should slowly work with the 20 kg bell more, I'll see. When I did one rep with the 20 kg in the second round, I thought I could do another round, and I did. And for the last two I went back to 16 kg. I was a little tired at the end.

    Since I don't have a training paln, yet, still, I waited for the instructor'S instructions what to do next. She paired me with Sett so we could do the exercises together. I have 3 months of experience more, but he's a guy, so she thought we could use the same weights, and I think it worked.
    Deadlift and horizontal bar hang
    5 rounds of 5 kettlebell deadlifts with 48 kg and while one does deadlifts, the other hangs. She told us do 5 or 10 s or whatever we feel like. I hung for 25 s each round. Sett didin't realize, so he went only for 10 s and then I got a little reprimand him I should have told him I was doing more... Well... :oops: I also asked about how dynamic the deadlift should be. If I should aim for a dynamic lift and then put it down slowly. The instructor told me It is not particularly dynamic. It should be heavy and technical lift, so if I have energy left to do the mothion dynamically, I should go for a heavier weight. I think I could use a heavier one, then, but the instructor was busy and I wasn't that eager to pick a heavier one.

    Goblet squat and push-ups
    For goblet squats we both used my last weight - 28 kg. As well as for the deadlifts, the instructor would have me demonstrate the exercise and she would explain to Sett. It was nice and all, but she started explaining when I got the bell in the goblet position. Apparently, it is not that easy to just hold it there, as after a while, my arms started shaking. And just as I was about to finally lower myself into the squat, the head instructor came to exchange a few workds with our instructor, so I just lowered myself all the way down and propped my elbows against my knees to rest while they chat away. They only really exchanged a couple of sentences, though, so when the instructor turned back, she reprimanded me to bnot get as low. Well, I wanted to rest! :D
    We did 5 rounds of 5 squat and 5 push-ups. Sett is much better at push-ups then I am so he was allowed to do them on the floor right away, 5 reps each round. As for me I did them like last time with hands elevated on a step. The instructor asked if I was doing 3 reps last time. I was doing five, but she seemed like she thoguht less would be better for me, but left it up to me, so I did a compromise of 4 :) This time, Sett and I were told to check each other. Meaning, we were alternating and while one was exerciesing, the other would check his form. I think we did only 3,5 rounds, before it was time for the swings. It took longer than usual, after all.

    Swings EMOM - 10x10
    As usual, I did these with my 28 kg bell. Sett was further away, trying with a little lighter one, getting instruction on the technique. I tried to focus on the corrections I received previously. I felt quite ok, but a few times I felt like I might be using my back where I shouldn't, and I tried the best to eliminate that. At one point the instructor owuld pass by and looked curiously at me, so I got alert and did my best to do the technique well, while giving her a nervou sideways glance. She noticed and said not to pay atention to her, but she was scanning me thoroughly. She didn't say anything, though. I am sure she found something, however.

    A nice class. I was worried abotu how my conditioning worsened in the last three weeks, but I think it wasn't that bad. Sett might show up sometimes, too. Who knows.
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  20. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter


    Skipped class, we went to sign the documents and we now officially have an allotment :) We spent some time there and then in a shop. No training today. I am super excited about the allotment! There will be quite a bit of work, I'll at least get some work-out during Easter holidays :)

    Tuesday 4th April
    I arrived a little earlier, so I went trhough the start and end of the fan form a few tiems, then the broadsword form and once the Cannon Fist, too. Just lightly, though.

    Taiji fan - teaching
    People are obviously getting relaxed. They all used to come 15 mins in advance, now it was the time for class and there were maybe 5 people present. And the rest came late... There would have been many push-ups if this was karate, but... :D Oh, well.
    We started with a bit of silk reeling holding the fan. Then went across the gym a few times in the type of steps we work on for one move. I gave some tips, both beginner and little more advanced, I guess, for the varying levels. Then we reviewd what we had learned last time and I taught a couple of new moves. Since the course is supposed to last 7 months, we should be progressing a bit each class. We drilled the last few moves over and over, I gave a few corrections and I think the class went ok. When I asked if anyone had any questions, no one had, but as soon as we officially ended the class, proabably half of the people present approached me with various questions I did my best to answer. One lady actually asked for a private class with me. To improve her fan form o_O Wow, that was unexpected.
    (So much so that while I was putting a fan back, I accidentaly stuck my little finger into the gap between the doors of the closet, which was closed with a little latch. So as my finger got stuck in there, while I was chatting away, and got pinched by the door, I instinctively pulled back fast, which only made the finger trapped and I closed the door on it even more. So my answer to the private class inquiry was a few curses as I finally managed to get my finger out all bloody -_- I just can't act professionally with dignity for even a minute. Damned closet.)
    Anyway I've never had any private class. I never taught one, nor attended one. I promised to let her know as soon as I discuss it with the teacher.

    Taiji jian and dao
    3 jian forms for a warm-up, then as usual we worked on a smallpart of the form. I got some corrections about a part I have a bit of trouble with. And we drilled one move the teacher explained to more detail. He also helped me figure it out, which was great. I figured it out at least theoretically, but now, I think I forgot the exact direction of the first turning move. Dang.
    Then we worked ob dao - broadsword. We went through the form a few times. The sun was shinig straight into our eyes, so the teacher said to turn around, so I was in the front suddenly. The teacher would move over, htough, so I had a good opportunity to copy, when he practiced with us. We reviewed the forma nd practiced the latest moves and added some.

    Taiji - Laojia Erlu
    Laojia Yilu for a warm-up, very slowly today. I tend to have trouble adjusting to this pace and timing. And I ended up messing a few places up. Which, well, to be honest with mysself, was more due to me not practicing LAojia Yilu much lately. Especailly its second half. Basically I only do it once a week in this exact class. Shame on me.
    Laojia Erlu then. I was worn-out already. We worked on the latest moves and added a new one. We wokred on some mechanics to make a technique work. We all understood, but doing it the way we should was hard.

    Taiji - 13 moves
    I stretched as usual for the 30 mins. I thought I wouldn't participate in this class today, as my legs felt like jelly, but the stretchign always helps, so I ended up joining again. today we drilled Brush Knee, Stepping Forward Three Steps, and Oblique Walking across the gym, over and over again.

    1700 kcal today. Less then before, but I feel especialyl worn-out today.
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