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About Kishi


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    Raleigh, NC


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  1. Day 10, looking back on Day 9: 1.) 7.5/9 2.) 6/9 3.) 8/9 4.) 5/9 Messed up a bit on my training. Was able to hit Q&D but wasn't able to hit Elements, which isn't that big a deal on account of it being an "active recovery" day in the curriculum. There's a bunch of stretches I was supposed to do and I told myself I'd do them after gaming, but the game ran 'til about midnight or so and I had to cook dinner. Couldn't quite balance that stuff out. OTOH, shadowboxing happened both as active rest in Q&D and as a break in the sitting throughout the day. That was good news. I actually wound up feeling pretty productive throughout the day as a result, although I don't think my numbers really reflect that. Mostly because the work goals I have are focused on all the wrong things, but that's not my fault and it's not my problem. BITD went really well last night. We got ghosted by most of our players, so I ended up having to follow through on some player hooks for the ones who were there. The set up was a little weird on account of not having formally declared a Score for the players to engage in, they just kind of roleplayed their way into it, but I was able to roll with it they wound up doing a couple of Scores over the course of the night. I was way more fluid on my end than I've been before with only a few minor technical hiccups, which for the amount of work I wound up doing is really good. Anyway, I've done some Shadows work today and God willing I'll do some more. Elements and Chess and Writing to follow.
  2. One thing I've seen various dojo doing around here is I've seen them hosting virtual classes via Zoom and Hangouts and other kinds of things. Is that an option for y'all at this point?
  3. Having to deal with pain with no real way to treat it fucking blows, but I'm glad to see that it's not dampened your spirits. Way to fight with it. I'm sorry that you're going to be asked to cover for a shortage - that's jacked up and it's not fair and I wish it wasn't that way for you.
  4. Congrats on the promotion, that's well-earned. Glad that you're making average for your area now. Also, +1 to skipping rope if you can. It's harder than it sounds, particularly to go for a full 20 minutes, but it's better cardio and it'll translate better to aikido in that you'll pick up some coordination benefits on top of the conditioning.
  5. 1.) 7/8 2.) 5/8 3.) 7/8 4.) 4/8 A little bit better. Elements happened, but Shadows did not. No real particular reason for it beyond the fact that it just didn't happen. Chess did, though, and also some study of BITD, which I'm going to count as my creativity on account of it being like most storytelling - you gotta learn the rules before you can break them. Otherwise not much to report. Today at some point should be Q&D and tonight at some point should be gaming, and... I dunno what I'm in for.
  6. Logging Day 7 from Day 8 1.) 6/7 2.) 5/7 3.) 6/7 4.) 3/7 No excuses on the writing this time, it just didn't happen. I had time, I had energy, I was motivated, and I just didn't get it done. I spent my time instead on catching up on documentaries and video essays and things of that nature, which I had wanted to do for a while anyway and just hadn't had the time for recently. Now I do. Did. So I did. I hit up Q&D and shadowboxing as well, though, and while chess didn't happen, it wasn't necessarily supposed to, so. I took a walk last night down to the grocery. It was a pretty day yesterday and I want to get a little of it. I passed a bunch of people sitting outside in multiple places and heard loud music. I don't know if these were parties or just the residents. I'm hoping for the latter, but I think it was the former. Because the stay at home order doesn't have the teeth it needs to actually keep people in place. I must admit, this lack of discipline is disappointing. We don't have near as many cases here as other more densely populated states do, but still, it's the principle of the thing. Today won't be much. I'm up on most of my chores, and the word hasn't come down that the office is opened back up yet, so I'll be doing my work from home again. I suppose I should take tonight to study up some more on BITD, although I have to admit, I kind of resent the degree to which everybody seems to have switched over from our original game. I was supposed to be a sub, not the standard bearer. But, well, a lot of us are having to deal with plans gone awry, so I guess I don't really have room to talk. So, some kind of creativity is going to happen tonight as well as training with the GMB program dropping its week 4. Cool, cool. Also chess.
  7. 1.) 5/6 2.) 4/6 3.) 5/6 4.) 3/6 So, turns out Shadowboxing is a great way to get up and move about a little bit during the work day. New plan: set a timer to get up every so often and practice for a bit. Glad to figure that one out. Anyway, last night didn't really go according to plan. The plan was to wrap up work for the week, hang with the folks, and then do my things - Elements, Chess, and Writing, kind of in that order. What happened was, I went to chat with the folks and I mentioned that I was getting into Chess. Dad perked up at that, because that's something we used to do, so my Chess practice wound up being a live game against my Dad. We rolled for 10 minutes and I took him on points, and the fact that I think about it in those terms and that that's what it feels like is a kind of a sign to me that I'm right in terms of how I'm looking at this. Although the final proof will have to be whenever I wind up on the mats again. So the talk wound up going long and when that was done I got pinged by some extrovert friends who were needing an extra for Cards Against Humanity, so I wound up doing that for a couple hours. No regrets, but it got in my way like crazy. I still made it through Elements because I already lost one session this week and I wasn't about to lose another (even though per the GMB folk and their testimonials, it's totally cool if that happens, but I say thee nay). It wound up being one of those late night sessions like I used to do years and years ago, and I was kind of tired this time. But it wasn't bad. It actually felt pretty good to be in a situation where I was training under a program that would allow me to honor that, and it wound up being a good session. The 'play' part was focused on going back over initial movements to assess and I'm rather struck by my mobility gains even 3 weeks into the program. My ankles in particular are stronger and more mobile so that I can pop down into an ATG squat and actually rest in the position without having to curl my spine or do anything like that. It's really neat stuff. Shoulder's feeling better, hamstring's feeling better. Everything's doing better. The only thing that suffered was my writing, and the only reason for that is that I made choices that didn't honor it. I feel like I made choices yesterday that more closely aligned with my priorities in terms of caring for the people in my life, but I'm kind of resenting how it seems to cost me in terms of artistic expression. IDK, man. Gotta flow around this somehow, but still don't quite know what that looks like yet. But then again, we're all doing the best we can and this is a unique challenge in a rather historically unique time. I'm willing to be compassionate with myself about that.
  8. Kishi

    Mistr keeps climbing

    Y'know, much as I hate my job sometimes, right now the fact that I'm not allowed to work over 40 hours is pretty sweet. Like it forces a work-life balance. Extra hours would be nice for pay, but right now I'm just leaning into benefits and it's honestly not too bad. I'm glad to hear that things are calming down. That's kind of been the theme of things everywhere I feel like - lots of dust ups as we adjusted to the new normal. Calm will help. Ooh, I'm praying for you on this one. I'm getting by on 85-88% dark myself and if it got panic-bought I might light someone on fire. Hope this works out!
  9. 1.) 4/5 2.) 3/5 3.) 4/5 4.) 3/5 So, yeah, yesterday was just kind of weird in terms of training and timing and such. I let some social media arguments get into my head and I was derailed as a result, mostly because I think I'm right but I'm kind of conflicted about it, like I don't want to be, and I found myself down a rabbit hole of research to try to convince myself why I was wrong. And I couldn't really find it? And I was really stuck in my feelings about things for a while, trying to figure out what the disconnect was. I didn't figure it out until this morning, really; I dunno if it's because it's a bright, sunshiny day today or what but things are clicked together a little differently, and I feel better. I still managed to do Elements and Chess last night. Played with High Frogger last night and did a round of lessons on It honestly felt like BJJ in that there's a tendency to focus on one thing when really there's a bunch of things to watch and process and be mindful of even as you're plotting and executing a strategy. It... honestly feels pretty good. Like a minor galaxy brain kind of moment. Writing and shadowboxing didn't happen, but given that I'm feeling a need to be up and about at home instead of sitting on the floor all day, I wonder if there's a percentage in getting up periodically to do that kind of stuff instead? I'll try that today and let y'all know how it works out. The writing, though; that just needs to freaking happen.
  10. Yeah, that's a good one, and it's something I've done before, but it's complicated now by the fact that a lot of what I'm doing isn't really strength-specific anymore, and a lot of working out angry is basically to apply yourself against an external resistance that's going to use all that energy up. That's honestly not a bad approach. I've been trying to do the same thing with social media, with some mixed success. * Logging up through day 4 from day 5: 1.) 3/4 2.) 3/4 3.) 3/4 4.) 3/4 The logging's a little complicated because I managed to miss a little bit of everything over the course of the past couple days but not on the same day, you know? Let's see, I did Elements Tuesday, skipped on Wednesday. Did some shadow work on Tuesday, skipped on Wednesday. Even managed to get into chess on Tuesday, but no extra stuff on Wednesday. No writing on Tuesday, but did write on Wednesday. That all sounds about right. Tuesday was productive because I didn't have anything to do after work. Wednesday wasn't because I was due to Sci-Fi things up with friends like, right after work. Elements is getting into more complicated movements now, with opening bent-arm movements and different transitions between moves now. Shadow work is continuing and even going pretty well, although it definitely functions better on its own and separate from the other. It's curious, actually; it kind of feels like the BJJ drills I've been doing, and I honestly wonder how exactly to mix these things together on a broader programming basis. So far, they do better when separated from each other, and I'm actually inclined to place Elements over the drills just because it gets me moving in a lot of those same modes but with a more constructive kind of bent. I also got onto to check it out, and I gotta tell you, there's actually a lot more there to do than just play the games. They have drills, puzzles (aka situational sparring), and the ability to play with other people. In short, on a mental level, it looks like it has a lot in common with being out on the mats and doing things. So I may have to rethink a little bit what it is that I'm doing, but it's still worth doing. I think I'm going to switch up my schedule just a bit. I thought I'd work out during the day but I'm really not inclined to do that and doing so at night is kind of causing some of these programs to butt up against each other in ways that aren't really constructive. So, we flow with it and try to get around the problem. Elements tonight. Adding core to it at the end makes the heart move a lot more than you'd think, even at the beginner level. I'll miss out on Q&D for it, but I'll be able to make that up on Saturday, so that's not bad.
  11. I can get wanting to help as a means of establishing control over the situation. It's a big and terrible thing, to be sure, but doing something in response to it feels better than having to react out of fear. I've personally got my laptop engaged in folding whenever I can get it up and running. I'm sure I don't contribute much, but what little I do feels better than just sitting and waiting this out. Anyway, good for you for helping people around you and also doing what you can to look after yourself.
  12. Tuberculosis of the soul, maybe. * Logging day 2 from day 3: 1.) 2/2 2.) 2/2 3.) 1/2 4.) 2/2 "Kishi! I notice you logged a day of chess! But you don't typically go to the mats on Mondays???" Well, I kind of figured it would be easier just to log the challenge as logging every day in which things were compliant with the goals. So, chess wasn't on the table last night because I wouldn't normally go to the mats. So I take a credit for it. If I wind up getting some extra in, well, that'll be a problem for when it happens, but given the hooks that life has in me right now, that honestly doesn't seem very likely. Monday was fairly typical in a lot of ways. I showed up to work, was productive there. Rolled 100 reps for Q&D and did them, and came out of it feeling pretty good. Did some shadowboxing there. Wound up having to GM when half our players couldn't show up to play last night; did pretty good, but as usual I need to iron out my understanding of the mechanics. It's getting better, but TBH I could probably stand to get some kind of additional practice. I'll check with my brother about that and see if he recommends anything. The anger is real today. CA friend is being treated badly because she resents the emotional labor she's being forced to do in the healthcare setting where she's working now. Sparkles is still rolling with Singularity despite the "Stay At Home" order. And the heir apparent of the Democratic party doesn't appear to have either the capacity or the inclination to solve any of the problems that got us here in the first place. I... don't know how to honor this in a constructive way. I'm not going to take it out on anybody, to be clear, and maybe it's a sign of progress that I can confess the feeling and own up to the fact that it's there? I probably should resist any kind of rash urges I feel right now, but man. It's hard today.
  13. I do my hair toss/Check my nails Yeah, that sounds about right. So, uh. Reckon I'm not alone in feeling like the world's kind of on fire right now. I'm kind of struck by the timing of this book, but sometimes it just works out that way. Mizu, or the Water Book, is concerned with the actual techniques of Musashi's school of sword fighting. It lists off a bunch of different techniques, but what's striking about it is that it doesn't necessarily speak just in terms of technique but in terms of attitudes and perceptions. This technically isn't the spirituality book, but some of that does leak out a bit; Musashi says that, "In strategy your spiritual bearing must not be any different from normal. Both in fighting and in everyday life you should be determined though calm." He doesn't present his stuff in the sense of "If they do this, then you'll do this," because that's silly and that locks down your thinking. Instead, he says that a warrior should have a goal and should be fluid in terms of how they get after it - not to lock down to any particular method but rather to find what works in a given moment and to adapt based on the situation, even under pressure and not because of panic. Kinda feels like this is the time for that kind of thinking. We just initiated lockdown in my town today. Everything is closed except for 'essential businesses' which means grocery stores, pharmacies, stuff like that. I was sent home from work with my computer yesterday and I'm teleworking now, which is an interesting problem to have to solve given my minimalist set up doesn't actually include a desk. It's still preferable to having to burn leave, tho; if this thing goes as long as it might, I want to be a jealous guard of my time off. (and not to be too seditious or political on a fitness website but if the US administration says we're clear by Easter... don't listen to them. Like, barring something really dramatic, some major breakthrough not only in treatment but in distribution of the same, it's not gonna happen, and you shouldn't endanger your life for the sake of a publicity stunt for them). So. No mat time. No gym. Nothing but some walls, some floors. A pull up bar. Some bands. Some kettlebells. These are the tools. But what to do with them? I think that's the real question, and in the 0 Week I've been thinking a lot about it. I have been thinking a lot about what represents a good goal for me - an endpoint for my development, or at the very least a mirage for me to chase. The goal as always has been to be a better martial artist than I was before, but I haven't always pursued it very well. Most of what I've done has been a different thing for its own sake because "this thing will make you better!" So getting strong was supposed to help me and running sprints was supposed to help me and leaning out was supposed to help me, and well, I got better at those things but I never really saw any carryover into the thing I really wanted. I just got wore out and tired and hurt, and that sucks. Now that we're locked down, I really want to treat this as a time of less distraction. Yes, I have to work, and yes, YouTube and Facebook and Netflix are all Right There, but I want to come out of this lockdown in a better position to get after the things I want. I want to hurt less, move better, think clearer and sharper, and to make good Art. Fortunately, I think I have a plan: 1.) Continue with GMB Elements and The Quick and the Dead GMB and Strongfirst are the two major brands that put out programs that are explicitly about making me better at the things I want to be better at. GMB for movement quality and rehab and fluidity, and Q&D for general strength and conditioning. That'll help with hurting less and moving better. One thing I haven't mentioned is that Elements integrated with a flexibility program I bought from GMB some years ago so that work is part of Elements for me. 2.) Shadows! This is my catchall for shadow work in general - shadowboxing, shadow grappling, rolling drills and the like. This is a weird one because It tends to aggravate some of my old hurts if I do it wrong, and I've gotten signs from my body that it mostly needs to be kept separate from Elements. Not just because of the time sink but also because Elements has a surprising amount of challenge baked into it. The goal, however, is to engage in this daily. 3.) Chess So this is where it gets a little weird. Joshua Waitzkin is a somewhat famous chess prodigy (Searching for Bobby Fischer is based on his life) and also a black belt in BJJ who's talked about the connections between chess and BJJ - not just in the obvious sense of thinking ahead and setting things up, but also in terms of learning to internalize a massive amount of information and coming to understand it in an intuitive way. Which brings me to chess. I can't go out on the mats, but ideally what I would like to do is to take the nights that I would be on the mats and spend them playing chess online. I read up on's principles of the opening for beginners and I just need to sit down and play. I'm totally open to play with anyone here who wants to play, and also I should probably bring this up with my folk back here to see if they want to play too. 4.) Write Self-explanatory. I've lost enough time to this damned Coronavirus. I got work to do. Need to get after it. And, yeah, this should do it. Flow and crash, yo.