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@mu

Assassin level up

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Hello!

 

I had my first challenge over here (with a wee intro). I do mostly parallettes, low-height aerial (in-house apparatus) and some flexibility/stretching work.

 

My second quest will be some sort of a continuation of that (improve lines/sleakness/stability).

This time around I'd like

  • a bit more focus on strength where it's lacking (shoulder/back, hand and knee grip),

  • get into the habit of having a slot for creative work: movement flow/improvisation/choreography/ a bit of physical theatre. Start small but do something.

 

So here we go (I'm testing the format during this prep week to see if it works, might adjust but more or less it would be like this):

 

Goal 1: bent arm press

 

=> work on that shoulder angle (can't manage 90 degrees atm) and be more stable

3 sessions a week, with the following 3 sets:

 

  • slow press negative to tuck hold x3 x4, bonus point if I can link reps. If I can't, I should get back up with a pike press
    Scoring: points for each rep properly completed, bonus points for linking

  • Straddle bent arm press increase from 3 to 6 reps
    Scoring: points for each rep properly completed

  • Alternating each session:

    • bent arm press hold up to 120s (sufficient max for the purpose, I doubt I will hold that long anyway).
      Scoring: hold time.

    • crane hold up to 120s.
      Scoring: hold time.

    • HSPU negatives x3. With cushions and against the wall...
      Scoring: number of reps + bonus if I can get back up...

 

 

Goal 2: aerial drills

 

=> increase one-hand grip, knee hock strength, and sleakness...

2 sessions a week with two moves in each session:

 

A - Front balance

Basically this move (starting from 2:33 til ~3:10) but a simpler variation after front balance:

https://youtu.be/A7VfGi6Lubs?t=2m33s

Scoring: pretty scores for 3 runs on each side (right & left)

0 is epic fail. 1 is getting to front balance and back. 2 is sequencing a bit further. And the score is adjusted for fluidity / sleakness (or absolute lack thereof!).

 

B - Knee climb

This is a knee climb hocking one knee on each silks from the inside. My apparatus is a bit low so I can't really do more that one step... but it's enough work for now since I can't do a full hang (no hands on) from this.

Scoring: pretty scores for 3 runs, move is assymetrical so no need for left vs right scores

Best score (2/2) would be hocking, hanging completely from the knees only and going up without using the silks for assistance, all the while being fluid / clean.

 

NB: The scores are just there to measure progress if any, I don't mean to hit 100% on each move by the end of the challenge.

 

Goal 3: assassin level up

 

Create a one-minute (or so) aerial mini-choreography with an assassin-related theme, record it with appropriate music, do some video editing, and see what happens!

There is no scoring for this. The objective itself really is to find a regular slot for improvisation, routine work and movement-based goofiness / exploration.

 

It's more likely to happen during week-ends when I'm not in a rush and have a more settled mental & physical space. I want to manage this slot at least once a week. So 5 sessions for this challenge, it's not that much even for a tiny routine. But will see, let's try at least.

 

I want to use the prep week to see exactly what the heck I'm gonna do, get the basic theme and music sorted, and see if I can get some sequencing already.

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Ok so more on goal #3...

 

I have a mini-story/theme idea. Besides swift killing, assassins are good at theft, picking locks... The idea would be to lock my red ball at the top of the silks, get up there, unlock it and swiftly disappear with it. Simple enough.

 

The mood would be sort of Arsène Lupin's style, playful theft, a bit of a show-off (aerial is a performing art after all, I can't just come up and go, I need to elaborate a bit :P ).

 

Music: I checked the theme songs of various Arsène Lupin shows but I'm not so inspired. Right now, my best candidate is an old favourite of mine: Dexter theme song:

https://youtu.be/QhGMGjs3DSs

Which is under 2 minutes as well, I could even shorten it a bit more if needed. No lyrics, not too fast and I think it is the closest to the “mood” I have in mind.

 

Tech bits: I was wondering if I could make a video in black and white, while retaining the red ball colour... To emphasise the dark / noir feel and get the focus on the ball. The video quality of my tablet is not too good, so the plain record will look a bit “meh”. The living room is also not the most interesting set in the world... I cannot change that really... But I do have a decent video editor. Here is a little test from a video I took this morning while practicing my headbutt on the Glaswegian arm roll :P Exported to gif because it's very short:


glasgow-headbutt-bw.gif.e6a47a2041eb2479b9fb5ddba2e1aaca.gif


It's very grainy because of the gif export. The video is clearer than this.
Anyway, so the "chroma hold", that's how it's called apparently (learning stuff!), is working fine, although I will have to be careful about everything in view that is a bit reddish. Not sure about the level of black & white contrast needed for this. And overall is it a good idea or not, or too cheesy :cower::ph34r::unconscious:

 

I might also use my black silks, there are a bit short not sure it will work out... And I need to find a way to make the ball hold up there, while making it easy to unlock... Next brainstorming session...

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Thanks!

I tested a few things to hold the ball (tape, string...), and in the end I think the best is to attach it in the middle of the silks with a ribbon:

ball-01.jpg.fc1e9b0f0a054e4727f06fdc807365f6.jpg

 

It is easy to remove and I may actually have found a quick exit for the ball. Also found some weird middle-age assassin shapes like:

 

ball-02.jpg.845c5254500e2dd78519748fad396525.jpg

 

:D:D

 

But that's all for now.

 

Re Goal #1 and #2, so far I have done two test sessions to see how it goes. I link a few videos for reference.

 

Bent arm press

 

Pike press to tuck negative: first test, I did 3 unlinked reps, but I managed to link 2 reps this morning! Very happy about this :barbershop_quartet_ it's the first time I manage linking reps.Usually I would just collapse when trying to go up.

 

 

Straddle Bent arm press: first test I did 3 with a fall on the last, and today 4

 

Rotating drills: so far I did a bent arm press hold (15s), and crane on parallettes (21s), I also tried crane on the floor to see the difference, held 22s. And I think I should do it on parallettes because my elbows flare out a lot, and it's worse on the floor.  It's a bit of a climb on parallettes, I still have difficulties to get over my knees proper, not to mention the higher face plant if things go wrong. Googling up, I'm not sure what the difference is between crane and frog. Crane might be on straight arms ( it's the bent arm version that I want to practice). Mine clearly qualifies as frog I'd say :D  You can have a laugh at the big cushiony pile :P
 

crane-plt.jpg.58b3c67133bbd3fdf7500d84372515c2.jpg


 

Aerial drills

 

Front balance

 

Did several tests, starting after a climb but I don't have space up there to wide straddle, and I start spinning, getting into trouble with the bars. So I'm opting for a floor starting position so that I can focus on the move rather than the bloody bars. So far I can manage a straddle to front balance and back to straddle, and every so often to move into a hip lock transition. But it's pretty ugly and there is ample room for improvement (really slowing down, straightening legs, nicer straddle, longer front balance hold etc..). 

 

This is the best run I could do so far:

 


Knee climbs

 

So first attempts were really sloppy, but it's getting better. I can't hang from knees though, and it feels far away, even if I climb with bare under knees / flesh out. Will see how it goes over the next weeks. This is how it looks like for now. And I see now that I should get the silks back up in the crease of my knees, it would help hanging from there:
 

 

 

So overall I think those exercises are ok for me to progress on. Not too hard and not too easy either.

 


 

 

 

 

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This is so cool! How long have you had the setup in your house, and do you ever go to a gym/studio to train or just work on your own?

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1 hour ago, tei_ said:

This is so cool! How long have you had the setup in your house, and do you ever go to a gym/studio to train or just work on your own?

 

Hello! I used to do aerial in a studio and go to classes, then I had a break (a few years). And unfortunately I don't have access to classes where I am now. I live in Tehran (Iran, the birthplace of the real Assassins wut!)  There is actually a lot going on, on a word of mouth basis. There might well be some training going on with silks and rope somewhere, but I just haven't heard of it yet.


There is maybe one place I could go to (about one hour from my place, with like-minded people doing physical theatre) but I haven't been able to assess if it is secure enough for aerial rigging yet. In the meantime, I got this apparatus (3-4 months ago) and I'm very happy with it. I got my parallettes around last May. Before that I would go to the gym to do powerlifting + body weight routines,  yoga classes once in a while. But I'm ok with my current programme at home for now. I might reach out a bit more in the future  :P

 

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In on this. :) I love the concept for your challenge!

 

For smoothing out your sequence (which is pretty cool, btw) I think you've got a good idea of where to go. If I could offer a little advice--start with getting your feet and toes pointed (really pointed!) and your knees as straight as possible. It makes a huge impact on how everything else looks. What really helps me is to think of every time I get on the apparatus it's a performance, rather than just getting through the motions. Go slow, make every movement purposeful... oh, and don't forget to breathe. ;)

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2 hours ago, sylph said:

In on this. :) I love the concept for your challenge!

 

For smoothing out your sequence (which is pretty cool, btw) I think you've got a good idea of where to go. If I could offer a little advice--start with getting your feet and toes pointed (really pointed!) and your knees as straight as possible. It makes a huge impact on how everything else looks. What really helps me is to think of every time I get on the apparatus it's a performance, rather than just getting through the motions. Go slow, make every movement purposeful... oh, and don't forget to breathe. ;)

 

Hey hello again! Happy new year! and I hope you are feeling better!

 

Yes, you're spot on exactly! I need to work a lot on my lines, microbends, pointed feet and so on (besides building up my strength/flexibility again :disgust:). My New Year's quest!

For microbends, I have a nice drill, I mean that worked for me in the past, let's see if it does the job again: I work on floor straddles while holding a ball on my flexed foot (I talked about it here with a pic). This is really hard and my ball is falling a lot still, meaning I'm really not there yet. Grinding it!

 

Thanks for passing by!

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Ha on a side note for parallettes / tuck negatives, I will aim at 4 reps instead of just 3. To give me a chance to link reps a second time if I manage one but fail the next.

 

Today was streeetching and ball exercises (foot manipulation and arm/chest rolls).

 

The cat has found a way to reach the silks when they are held up and I am extremely annoyed: kitten, I know it's a great toy but you cannot stick your claws in my silks!!@#! :angry:
and she knows it and she is totally teasing me, the little bugger, look at this: "Talk to my bum, my head is busy"

 

claws.jpg.08f9800c183cc075e3c2dde03c393afb.jpg

 

I need to find another piece of clothing to protect them more fully...

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Today still in the prep zone:

 

Bent arm press
 

Pike press / tuck negatives: rep 1 = fall, rep 1 bis + rep 2 linked, rep 3, rep 4 fall, rep 4 bis ugly. I'm feeling the pike press... and can't link more than once at this stage that's for sure

Straddle press: 4, felt easy in comparison, but need to watch my form, was a bit sloppy

HSPU: here I have a bit of a space problem. I don't really have a proper space where I could practice belly against the wall. For free handstands, I go next to the bed and bail out with a roll there if needed. But I need support for HSPU. I did them against a bookcase to have a look. I managed to get back up once but it's no good really. I need to fix my descent form first. My elbows are flaring out a lot (as if doing wide-stand pushups instead of elbows-in pushups). And I cannot go up with hands at shoulder width, I managed only by reshuffling my hands at a wider stance when I reached the bottom... and still it was hard, very wobbly, and going all banana.

It's no good to practice like this.... I will just get myself into bad habits. So I will have to find some space somehow. Maybe shuffle stuff in the bedroom to free a bit of wall. And then, just focus on the descent with no elbow flare first.

 

Assassin level up
 

Tough and frustrating. I have some idea on how to get up, some idea on how to get down. Actually I had a LOT of ideas but doing it, not many things were feasible... I had to simplify to the extreme. And the whole thing is currently a struggle: the little height I have is now taken by the ball, I have to move around it and it keeps falling down. Not sure how I can get from this mess to something fluid and sleek... My assassin stealth level is definitely in the negative right now :disgust:

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Thanks!

I was reading a news article about new year's resolutions and there was a link to a quizz to Gretchen Rubin 4 tendencies. I heard about it before, and was curious to check it out.

Basically she categorizes people in 4 tendencies:

  1. Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations
  2. Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves
  3. Questioners resist outer expectations unless they can make it an inner expectation; they'll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense, hence the questioning
  4. Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike

Depending on your category, there are different strategies to ensure you commit to your resolutions. For instance, if an Obliger wants to start running, he/she might do better running with somebody else (outer expectation). She has videos on YouTube on this.

I turned out to be a questioner :P  yes, indeed, I can see that, in particular at work.

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Hey hello again!

 

On 12/29/2017 at 11:16 AM, @mu said:

Tough and frustrating. I have some idea on how to get up, some idea on how to get down. Actually I had a LOT of ideas but doing it, not many things were feasible... I had to simplify to the extreme. And the whole thing is currently a struggle: the little height I have is now taken by the ball, I have to move around it and it keeps falling down. Not sure how I can get from this mess to something fluid and sleek... My assassin stealth level is definitely in the negative right now :disgust:

 

An idea popped into my mind on how to deal with this. It adds to the theme while making it easier for me...

 

First I thought, well I should look into more static poses first. Get ideas that work at least statically (shapes) or with very tiny sequencing. Then find transitions.

 

And here we go, the goal is to create a video, it's not a live performance, so let's use that for transitions :ph34r:

 

The idea is: this is a magic ball, each time I touch it, I disappear and get teleported elsewhere on the apparatus (video cut right there). So instead of having a longer sequence from beginning to end, which really sounds difficult for me to achieve at this stage, I can have smaller sequences, hopefully easier to work out.


And the final scene is freeing the ball without touching it directly (undo ribbon > ball drops in my lap). Once it's free, its magic power will be mine too, and of course I will be immune to it, so I can grab it and run away.


Crazy maybe, but it feels more feasible all a sudden. I have to check how it could look on video.

 

 

 

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Okidok, I'm starting the challenge today! My spreadsheets are all set and ready to go.

I woke up one hour earlier to do some assassin level up as well because we might go to the mountains this week-end and have a guest, I'm not sure I will be able to do much. If I can then that's great, that will be bonus time.

 

Goal 1: Bent arm press - session 1/15

 

Pike press / negative to tuck / bonus linking: 1 fall, 2 reps with linking, 1 fall, 1 rep, 1 rep => 4/4 for reps 1/3 for linking

Straddle bent arm press: 3 reps, a bit disappointing but the cat came all over me on rep 2, it was a bit distracting to say the least... I could have tried another set though but didn't (not enough time this morning)

Bent arm press hold: a first attempt that was not great, and 27s on the second.

 

This is the cat's moment, seriously... :cat:

 

Goal 2:aerial drills, session 1/10

Front balance: right 1.3 / 1 / 1, left 0.5 / 0.7 / 0.9 - Left is unsurprisingly weaker, barely managed to go back to straddle, and was not pretty at all

Knee climbs: 1 / 1 / 0.9 no way I can hang from knees only, looking from here I'm not sure how this can improve really

(all scores are over 2)

 

Goal 3: assassin level up, session 1/5 (1 hour)

I rigged the black silks, which are a bit more majestic but shorter...

Took quite a few videos, tried different things from footlock, double footlocks, monkey stuff from the bars, climbing under and hip locking from bars under the ball and going through, tried a francesca version of that. Now I have to go through the videos, edit and see if I can get a magic ball + teleportation feel from this. And see what moves / positions work and how I can improve them next time.

 

 

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8 hours ago, LouCarJo said:

The cat seems very annoyed at how you dared to move position there...

 

Yeah, I should have held a planche right there for her majesty :D

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3 hours ago, millhavenslottie said:

I am jealous of all of your equipment! I am in the same boat of suddenly having to go pretty far away to find an aerials studio. Gonna follow to see how your routine turns out.

 

Hello! yes, I read and answered on your thread!

 

Yep we will see how the video routine turns out. It's a bit of a vulnerable place to be in.  I lost strength / stamina / lines.  And this apparatus, although it's quite cool and handy - I'm happy with it, it is still very very different from a 6-8 meters silks practice in open space. It's a whole new apparatus on its own that I need to get used to, like one gets used to silks / rope / trapeze / pole and so on.

Now beyond excuses, I think if I had set myself this challenge a few years back, I would still be struggling with the feeling of "it's not good enough" or "I'm going to embarrass myself". I'd like to get past that feeling a bit and just do it, if it sucks it's still ok right? I'll try again later. It's practice, it's not lost.

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3 hours ago, @mu said:

the feeling of "it's not good enough" or "I'm going to embarrass myself".

I think this is pretty universal for anyone in a performance-based art.

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2 hours ago, sylph said:

I think this is pretty universal for anyone in a performance-based art.

 

It is also a good thing to want to do better of course. And it's fine as long as it doesn't have the reverse effect of preventing you from doing things (or finishing them). It think it's more of an injured ego/low-self esteem/perfectionism issue. I had that same feeling at the end of my PhD. Ok a PhD viva is some sort of performance but the main problem was writing up and well putting the final point to it. And it was the same song, not good enough, what are you even doing here, and so on.

On the other hand, most if not all of the professional performers I have met were able to get past this. I remember one also saying to us "Never apologise for your art", which was extreme for me  to hear at the time (in my conditioned state of feeling sorry to always produce crap - I have made progress on it but my inner critic used to be fairly destructive and can still be).

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