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spezzy

team two: monks!

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team members:

hotacidbath

halftruths

Agent9578

Topher

Don Dudley

about monks:

This isn’t the monk you’re used to. These monks can kick your ass with their fists and feet, and they will do it before you even knew what happened. Incredibly agile, lightning fast, and loaded with power, Monks specialize in martial arts to stay in shape and destroy the opposition.

Training is mostly spent in dojos and in the ring, with some weight training thrown in to help produce stronger punches and kicks. Monks only carry enough weight and muscle to provide maximum efficiency with each attack. Muscles are compact and powerful, core strength is high, and speed is favored over size.

Primary Attributes: Agility, power

Training: MMA, Capoeria, Muay Thai boxing, Tai Kwon Do

Real life example: Georges St. Pierre (MMA fighter).

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Goooooooooo MONKS! Yay! So, a quick intro. 22-year-old college student trying to lose weight and get faster. I really want to improve my speed in tae kwon do sparring. I'm not an extremely aggressive person so my sparring suffers, but if I increase my speed than that will definitely improve the sparring and will hopefully increase my confidence as well. I also hope to start learning another martial art after I get my black belt in TKD, which I am hoping to get in May.

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Bossanova! I've always wanted to be a monk!

Anyway, quick intro: I just turned 25 and I've done martial arts a few times in my life, but never long enough to get anything higher than a yellow belt (the lowest one possible...). Anyway, I'm just now getting into lifting some weights at the gym so that I can build strength and start to lose weight (which is working) and I want to get back into martial arts soon. We'll see if I can get my wife interested :-)

Good luck to all of us! I'll do my best to follow you guys/girls and give encouragement, praise, and a kick in the ass if required :-) Please do the same to me!

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Time to pull my finger out of my nose and toss up the intro:

Upper end of 28, female, 5'9", 134 lbs. I'm looking at maintaining my weight and building muscle, but will also accept muscle-related weight gain. I trained in TaeKwon Do for 5 years, then moved on to belly dance for 6 years (pretty intensely - it was just about the only thing I did when not studying or working), and earlier this year cut WAY back on the dance and rediscovered martial arts via Wado Karate. My karate classes involve a fair bit of conditioning, usually a 30 to 40 minute run at the start of each class, and I do circuit training and body weight strength training at home. I'd like to improve my striking power and learn to use my arms instead of my face to block. It'd be fun to study some other styles of martial arts, too, but between karate, dance, night classes, and other commitments, I've run out of time to schedule more fightin' classes! I do Karate with my hubby, and seeing as I'll probably reference him quite a bit, I'll let you know that he is 31, 6'2", 149 lbs (oddly enough, he has REALLY broad shoulders which make people think he's heavier than he is).

We still need a team name! Because I think about food way too much, my suggestion will be punny and food related. How 'bout "Kung Pao Commandos"?

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We still need a team name! Because I think about food way too much, my suggestion will be punny and food related. How 'bout "Kung Pao Commandos"?

I love the "Kung Pao Commandos" idea! +1

IMA 23 year old help desk technician. I am 5'9" and 305lbs. Since I am more concerned with my BMI than I am with total weight, I'm currently wearing a 46" waist and 3XL/4XL shirts.

I've been fat most of my life, but just recently started missing out on life experiences. While becoming large enough to create my own gravitational field may be cool, I think it's time for this train to change tracks.

A friend at work talked me into trying out his MMA group. I went for a couple of weeks and had a blast. My lack of flexibility and my disproportion of upper body strength to my body weight held me back. It's given me the drive to get in shape so I could go back in and kick ass with the rest of them.

I'm currently working on the couch to 5K program, the "hundredpushups" plan, and attending yoga 2-3 times a week. I'm about to enroll in a gym so I can start a free-weight regimen. I may also have an opportunity to join a small Kung Fu group here in town.

I am all ears on any advice. I am still very much a Monk in training, but I learn fast and I'm willing to experience as much of life as possible. I can't stand settling.

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Heya Rob! Welcome, and good on you for taking charge of your health. Monking is crazy fun and awesome for getting into shape.

Couch to 5K is a great program, as is the 100 pushups challenge, especially if the participant is internally motivated like you are. And just about any home benefits from having a few sets of freeweights around. Between body resistance training and freeweights, you don't need any fancy gym equipment.

One of the things I've found is that it helps to have a few fitness DVDs on hand that you actually like. Buying them can be expensive - go to your library and raid their collection. Give anything and everything a try, and you'll hit on a few that you really like. I've become very fond of several of Jillian Michaels DVDs, and having them on hand makes it incredibly easy to get my workouts in on non-activity days. Once you get comfortable with the routines, you can modify them to keep the challenge suitable to your level. I've started adding hand weights on to cardio circuits - jumping jacks are much more difficult when you start adding a few pounds to the end of each arm - and I often use heavier weights that what is demonstrated in the video.

I really want to add more power to my strikes, so I've started doing hand strikes while holding weights. And I'm doing my own pushups challenge, too - we can bounce off one another for that. :mrgreen:

Kung Fu is awesome for cardio and explosive power. And MMA sounds really fun! What sorts of groups are available in your area? It's nice when they can offer a free class to let you see if that club's dynamics, style, or overall vibe are a good match for you. What sort of yoga are you doing?

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Thanks for the welcome! :D

That's a really good call on the DVD idea. That thought never crossed my mind. And it seems like such a great idea. I will start looking tonight. I wonder if Netflix streams fitness videos...

For yoga, I was invited to the class by a friend. I've just kept attending and have never tried a class anywhere else. The instructor's website says she combines Asana, Pranayama, and Yoga Nidra. She mixes things up from one class to another and focuses on teaching us sets to use at home (Sun/Moon Salutation, etc). It's great cardio and I've begun notice big differences in my stretching from class to class.

I've got to work on my pushups, I know my form is off but I'm more concerned with building strength and losing weight. I may have to do the hundredpushups program again in the future, with emphasis on correct form!

As I am an overweight noob to martial arts, would you have a recommendation for which to begin with? The Kung Fu opportunity just sort of presented itself to me. I know MMA is tons of Judo and Jujitsu.

I crashed and burned this last weekend thanks to Thanksgiving, but I'm back on my game today. Looking forward to the gym tonight. :D

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Do any fellow Monks train/use the Vibram Five Fingers? I've been wanting a pair for awhile and I wonder how they handle in the gym?

One of my karate classmates uses Vibrams, and he loves, loves, loves them (he also loves the attention they get him, but that's another story ;) ). He really likes how they allow him to grip the floor while still retaining nearly full sensation in the soles of his feet. I'm considering getting a pair myself, but will definitely need to try them on before ordering.

As I am an overweight noob to martial arts, would you have a recommendation for which to begin with? The Kung Fu opportunity just sort of presented itself to me. I know MMA is tons of Judo and Jujitsu.

It's hard to say! The best suggestion I have is to scope out a bunch of different styles and see what appeals to you. Some styles of Kung Fu can be pretty hard on the joints and might be best once you build up some more flexibility, but that's not to say that goes for all styles or clubs. I started with Tae Kwon Do, and it is a very athletic, aerobic style - it is very good for building up your fitness level. The same goes for many styles of Karate and Muay Thai/kickboxing, but with Karate it seems to depend a little more on how fitness focused the sensei is. My primary sensei is very fitness focused, and my endurance and running ability has certainly improve because of it. Judo and Jujitsu may not be as aerobic as the upright striking styles, but will definitely help to improve agility and overall body-space awareness (I want to try Jujitsu to learn groundfighting and to get over my fear of breakfalling). MMA will give you a mix of all of it, but you may find that the focus provided in single-style training is preferable. It all really, really depends on how you like to experience class! When scoping out clubs, also take into consideration how competitive you tend to be and whether or not the feel of that club seems to match your own inclinations - that can affect how you feel about your training and may impact your motivation.

A big recommendation I have is to never pay for a full year of classes up front. Look for something that offers a semester or month-by-month fee structure. That way if after a few months of training, you find that you genuinely don't like it, you haven't flushed away a whole pile of training fees. I am currently training primarily through the university, which has a flat fee for approximately twelve to fourteen weeks of training. When Campus Recreation is closed, we move to an alternate facility and pay a single fee for about four or five weeks of classes. I like that structure, as four months was enough time to decide whether or not the hubby and I wanted to continue with that group, and it also allows us to play around with our schedules a bit. Anything that requires a year long commitment makes me leery. Also, keep your eyes open for clubs that don't necessarily operate out of their own private studio/dojo/facility. Many excellent clubs hold their classes in school gymnasiums, or community and church halls. Expanding your search to include those groups will greatly expand your options!

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Do any fellow Monks train/use the Vibram Five Fingers? I've been wanting a pair for awhile and I wonder how they handle in the gym?

One of my karate classmates uses Vibrams, and he loves, loves, loves them (he also loves the attention they get him, but that's another story ;) ). He really likes how they allow him to grip the floor while still retaining nearly full sensation in the soles of his feet. I'm considering getting a pair myself, but will definitely need to try them on before ordering.

Sorry to jack your team thread, but WHERE O WHERE can I find some Vibrams in Edmonton??? MEC carries them but like most of their popular items, they NEVER EVER EVER have them in stock! :evil: I think the staff there are pre-programmed with a canned response of 'Sorry they're not in stock, try next season when our next big shipment comes in.'

I'd have no problem ordering them from somewhere online, but like you I want to try them on to find the proper sizing/fit for me first!!!

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*threadjack*

Sandman, I ran into the same problem. Does your MEC have ANY of them in stock? The one in Calgary only has 1 style, but a variety of sizes... I went to MEC, figured out the size, then ordered the style I wanted online. You two will have to come visit me, I guess.

LOVE vibrams, though barely used them so far. Bought a pair, was adjusting to them via walking and short runs, then decided to do a longer run with regular shoes and promptly broke my foot. : P Was very impressed with the awareness and control they give you. When you sprint, you can grip the ground with your toes and spring off the arches of your feet for twice the speed (or it seems like that), and I can vouch that it forces you to adjust your stride... I ran a lot lighter with them. Can't wait to try climbing with them... I think they'd blow climbing shoes away.

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<threadjack>Friggin ridiculous. Our MEC never EVER orders enough of the popular sizes of anything. They have 50 million extra small of everything, but never any mediums, larges or extra larges in stock.. like EVER. Hello, there's more than just 80lb granola eating pixies that shop there!

The only vibram they've ever had in stock is the too small for my foot demo shoe, and they only carry one particular model. Any time I've gone in it's never been in stock for me to even try sizing.

I'm looking in particular for the KSO's in a fairly neutral color. We're coming up to visit family in Airdrie for xmas. If we stick around long enough I just may have to head into town and check out the MEC there.

IMO I think the vibrams would be SHITE on a climbing wall. You'd think you'll have excellent grip because of the flexibility, but in reality it's the flexibility that will get you. Climbing shoes have a VERY solid sole that leads to a very fine point where your toes are. Ever read about chinese foot binding techniques? I imagine these are akin to what a proper fitting climbing shoe feels like. ;) The shoes are meant to be very tight and effectively turn your many jointed, floppy foot into a solid piece of climbing machinery. A skilled climber will likely tell you to buy a climbing shoe that's actually half or one size SMALLER than your regular street shoes, as it will allow for stretching but still keep a snug hold on your foot.</threadjack>

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