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This is kind of a placeholder... more details will be edited in soon. MOAR WEAPONS! Of late, I've been neglecting my weapons training somewhat. I've barely picked up a sai, bo or katana recently. I've done ok as a HEMA teacher but my own skills have been somewhat sidelined in favour of teaching, so I want to make an effort to do more weapon training. I need to practice my current kobudo katas and get learning the next one(s). I need to get my arse in gear and sort out a HEMA syllabus for longsword and maybe cutlass. I miss practicing with my boken / katana. Will include it here. Additionally, I'm interested in looking into spear fighting - I'm curious if a safe facsimile can be cheaply constructed for HEMA class... AND I want to use weapons training as body conditioning / cardio / muscular stamina training to help get me back in the habit of regular exercise. more to follow...
This time next week, I should be a Black Belt. I've been dabbling in martial arts for years and studying Matsubayashi Shorin Ryu specifically for the last few. I've worked hard to learn the basics, the katas, the concepts... and all the rest... and now the time has come to do my black belt grading. My grading is on Sunday 10th of April so I can't really make this entire 4 week challenge about it but for this first week it will be my focus! I've had the last two weeks off (though I've been busy with some family stuff) and have just found out my internship is not renewable so I'm unemployed! This does mean that, once my current commitments are executed, I'll have a bit of free time while jobseeking. I intend to make the most of that free time once it's here, to get out into the "wilds" of Leitrim a bit more. My principle plans are below but I'll add more detail later, ... especially as my "job uncertainty" and finishing off current commitments / projects, leaves a lot of variables pulling on my time The concept: Food Karate and Kobudo HEMA Exercise The Plan: Food - try to have some breakfast most days. Try to limit coffee to two or three cups per day (instead of five or more). Be mindful of what is in my meals so I can try to reduce grains/carbs and increase veggies. FME (frequent moderate exercise) - if nothing else, Get a 30 minute walk twice a week and do some "exercise for it's own sake" twice a week. Week 1 - Focus on practicing my katas, both karate and kobudo (the kobudo katas aren't really needed for the grading but I think we'll be expected to do some demos for the juniors and their parents during the day). Week 2 - Maintain kata practice. don't neglect HEMA. Week 3 - Begin learning next karate kata and kobudo kata. Week 4 - Go camping. The Nitty Gritty: Week 1: Less coffee, more breakfast, more veggies, less grains - as outlined above. Karate Kata every day, even if it's just a quick run through of a single kata. (Naihanch Nidan is a particular weakness for me so it's the main one I'm trying to smooth into my conditioned reflexes). I'll also try to get my Sai and Bo Katas up to scratch for demos on the day. I'll be skipping my HEMA practice on the Sunday of my grading so I'll do my utmost not to miss the Thursday sessions on ether side of it. Frequent moderate exercise: I should be involved in two kayaking instruction sessions and an overnight island expedition this week so it should cover the FME aspect. I'll try to get some walking and "exercise" in as well but daily kata practice is more of a priority this week! Week 2: Less coffee, more breakfast, more veggies, less grains - as outlined above.Keep practicing the katas that (hopefully) got me my black belt! Keep up with the HEMA - If I have the free time, I'll begin putting together longsword and cutlass syllabuses. Keep practicing katas every day. FME: Again, I might be doing kayaking and such but if not, I'll be sure to get in the walks and exercises (most likely squats, pushups and kettlebells). Week 3: Less coffee, more breakfast, more veggies, less grains - as outlined above. Keep on keeping up with the HEMA - If I have the free time, I'll begin / continue putting together longsword and cutlass syllabuses. Keep practicing katas every day. Pick a new* karate kata and kobudo kata. Begin training. FME: My "job uncertainty" means I really don't know how active I'll be but if not otherwise active, I'll be sure to get in the walks and exercises. *by new I mean one which I don't really know. Week 4: Less coffee, more breakfast, more veggies, less grains - as outlined above. Keep practicing katas every day. Keep practicing the "new" katas. HEMA - If I haven't already begun, now's the time to get the HEMA syllabuses on the go. FME: Again, my "job uncertainty" means I really don't know how active I'll be but if not otherwise active, I'll be sure to get in the walks and exercises. Go Camping: I intend to head up into the hills (or paddle out to an island) and do a solo overnighter. Nothing fancy, I just want to take the step and consider this the first of a regular thing.
Immortal words of a Ninjutsu instructor, some years ago: <brandishing a pair of Sai> "Right! Anyone who thinks they're Raphael from the Ninja Turtles can just ***k off!" My Karate Sensei likes to include some kobudo in the class. Specifically we have been working on a couple of Bo katas and he is keen to have us learn at least one Sai kata (once more of us have our own Sai). The other day I saw the trailer for the upcoming Michael Bay TMNT reboot and that got me thinking... I've always liked swords. Now I'm learning some Bo katas and have the opportunity to learn Sai katas... all that's missing is the Nunchucks and I've got the whole TMNT gang! So why not go for it? TMNT originally appeared when I was a kid so it's of my generation. I've nothing to loose by learning some (more) Sai, Nunchaku, Sword and Bo techniques/katas! Furthermore, why not make it a TMNT themed challenge? Well, I don't do Ninjutsu these days but I do often wear a bandanna with lizards or newt shapes on it (I don't know why so don't ask) so Karate Newt might be more appropriate than Ninja Turtle. (I'm also very much NOT a teenager ) Fitness: April: Attend gym for some kind of strength training at least twice a week. May: Some kind of strength training at least twice a week. Probably bodyweight & kettlebells. Probably in my garden. Cardio: Walking, sprinting, swimming, cycling... anything - just Move! Str +1, Sta +1, Dex +1 Con +1 Karate: Keep attending weekly lessons. Keep practising the basics - stances, strikes, blocks, kicks. Do my grading. Dex +1, Wis +1, Cha +1 Unarmed Kata: Keep practising Fukyugata Ichi and Ni. Keep practising Pinan Shodan through Yondan. Learn Pinan Godan. Learn first three "two person katas" (can't remember what they're called): Kumite Katas Sta +1, Dex +1, Wis +1 Weapons: Keep practising Bo Shodan. Finish learning Bo Nidan. Learn one Sai Kata. Buy or make some Nunchuks and then learn one Nunchaku Kata. Find or develop a simple sword kata. Learn it. Str +1, Dex +1, Wis +1 Bonus: Get my own pair of Sai. Attend the Friday class (further away - more costly to get to) Wis +1, +1 Cha.