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The fortunate person learns that true happiness in life can be achieved only through constant dedication to disciplined habit in daily living.  -Koun Suhara

 

 

Tsune is a Japanese term which roughly translates as "Everyday habits."  I read about it first in a martial arts/Budo book by Dave Lowrey, and kind of glossed over it for a bit.  I re-read the essay recently, and felt a great deal more attached to it than I initially felt.  The basic idea presented is that when trying to follow Budo, a practitioner will eventually reach a point where it has permeated their life so much, it becomes almost mundane.  Something you don't think about.  Something that even when you don't want to perform it, you do so anyway, because you almost feel lost without its presence.

 

My training habits, by and large, are my tsune.  Go a few days without some form of activity, and I get anxious, nervous, and grouchy.  Make me miss time on the mat, and I go extra hay wire.  Otherwise, my regular habits of lifting, November Project, and aikido have become so subsumed by me that I cannot imagine a moment without them now - a vast difference from two years ago when I started here.  My habits are well established, and I have goals, but most of these are longer-term goals than a 6-week challenge would allow (besides an over arching Main Goal). 

 

So I'm creating this to document my tsune, and to help me see my progress in the long run, rather than a short snippet of time.

 

Longer term goals, in no particular order:

~BW Squat (~210 pounds) Accomplished 01/31/15

~2BW Dead lift (~420 pounds)

~Learn to properly Clean and Jerk and Front Squat

~Get below 200 pounds in weight Eh.  Ish.  Accomplished 09/24/2016

~Run Harvard Stadium (37 sections) in under 40 minutes Accomplished 02/17/2016

~Run 50 sections at Harvard Stadium Accomplished 05/9/2015

~Run Harvard Stadium in under 36 minutes

~Ruck a full tour at Harvard Stadium

~Run a consistent 8 minute/mile pace

~Prepare to run a Spartan Super race

~Run 50 sections at Harvard Stadium in under an hour Accomplished 08/17/2016

 

To furthering my tsune and beyond.

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Ooof.  Today is a good example of tsune.  My body was not pleased with waking up this morning to hit the gym.  But hit the gym I did.

 

Squats:

45# 10x1

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 5x1

175# 3x1

205# 5x3

 

Form was pretty terrible towards the last work set.  Took everything I had to not crumple.  And the weight felt super heavy.  Maybe this bulk I'm on will help me with that.  Or I just need to work more on my form.

 

Bench Press:

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 5x1

170# 5x3

 

Felt pretty solid, if heavy.  I think this is actually a PR.  I don't remember if I've gotten the full 5x3 work set accomplished before at 170#.  I feel like I've previously just missed it.

 

Deadlift:

135# 3x1

185# 3x1

225# 3x1

275# 5x1 (mixed grip)

 

I was in a rush, and my hamstrings already feel beaten to all hell.  I did want to make 295# my end point, but my body just said no when it got to 275.  For all the early pulls I used a regular grip, and the first pull of the 275#.  Rest of them I flipped my left hand around because it felt better.  It's magic, I swear.  Also that's the leg that my hamstring was crying the most.  Kinda wonder what anatomically happens.  Things to investigate.

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Borked knee is making life difficult.  

 

But I did a boat load of walking/hiking on Saturday, and 2.5 hours of hiking on Sunday.  All really nice, but my knee is now in such pain.

 

Dammit.

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Ice and rest :-(

I'm a big fan of constant icing.  Keep that thing chilled twenty hours a day for at least a couple of days.  Then start a little slower on the hiking, my friend. :)

 

Have I mentioned I'm impatient?

 

Gym this morning, after a hiatus because of company and the injury.  But I went light.

 

PLP Day 11.

 

DLs:

135# 5x1

185# 5x1

225# 5x2

275# 3x1

 

Squats:

45# 10x1

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 5x1

155# 5x2

 

So the Deads felt pretty good, though I need to work up my weight again.  Kinda figuring it's just being slightly off from a week's lull in the gym.  The squats felt fairly solid.  Solid enough that I decided to go to 155#, and do two sets.  But... my form is a bit off.  When I squat, I've read you should have a 'triangle' from your big toe to the heel to the pinkie toe.  I tend to really only feel that stability on the Big toe-heel line.  While my knees don't cave, I don't have the stability from resting on the side.  Unfortunately, the knee injury is hit when I land on the inside of my foot... which happens when I squat.  But the lifts felt solid, so I didn't feel much at first.  Getting out of my car to walk into work?  Oh.  Dear.  Gods.  My knee hated me.  My muscles all tensed up around the knee, causing me to limp again.  Hoping some ankle mobility work and my LAX ball to my quads will help.

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Any chance of going in for another massage?  Might help?

 

Honestly, I don't feel as though I need a massage right now.  I feel pretty loose and limber, and things that don't I can tackle with a mobility cart of toys we have in my apartment (seriously, it's a glorious thing that I now live in a Bro/Nerd apartment).  Besides that, money right now needs to be reeled in a bit.  Been a bit more free with my monies than I should.

 

But there is a car buffer I have access to...

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Good gym day.  Good, good gym Day.

 

PLP Day 13

6/4/3

 

Squats:

45# 10x1

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 5x1

155# 5x1

185# 5x3

 

These felt really, really solid, especially since I have been worried about my knee.  Of which, I need to remember to keep my knees pushed out a bit more to give myself more leverage to thrust against.  But these felt really good.  Except for that fraction of a second where I went below parallel and then almost didn't make it back up.  But huzzah, below parallel!

 

DL:

135# 5x1

185# 5x1

225# 5x1

275# 5x1

305#x1 (1RM PR)

305# - Fail --> Poor set up

305# - Fail --> Grip failed

305#x1 --> Mixed grip

 

So yea.  This felt pretty awesome.  The first 305 I had a bunch of adrenaline pumping through me, so that helped.  I wanted to try to do another rep.  Then failed for poor set up.  And then tried again.  And my grip gave out about half way up.  And then my iPod played "The Last Stand" and I thought "Aww, hell.  I should do this once more time."  Switched to a mixed grip (because as previously noted it is magical), and pulled that bastard all the way up with no problems.

 

Soooo... gotta work on grip strength.  Just toying with the idea of do I Want to have higher weights and use a mixed grip, or lower weights until that grip matures.

 

BP:

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 5x1

155# 5x1

170# 5x3 (Workset PR?)

 

So this also felt awesome.  I'm about 90% sure I have never made the full 5x3 workset at 170# in the past.  I need to go digging through my lifting journal, but I remember 170 in the past giving me a lot more issues that this did.  Yea, the last reps were a bit tricky, but not "Oh my god going to die" tricky.

 

So again I say.  Good gym day.

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Squats:

185# 5x3

 

DL:

305#x1 (1RM PR)

305# - Fail --> Poor set up

305# - Fail --> Grip failed

305#x1 --> Mixed grip

 

BP:

170# 5x3 (Workset PR?)

 

My name is Raptron and I approve these lifts! Nice, dude. Also, are you telling me that your first 305# was double overhand? Lol, you fucker. 

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Good gym day indeed :-)  Some of the stuff here may be of help:  http://www.reddit.com/r/griptraining

 

Knowing reddit, I was a bit worried about what their grip training would entail. :P

 

Definitely will skim over it, and I have a few grip training tools I can use from TinMan's arsenal.  

 

My name is Raptron and I approve these lifts! Nice, dude. Also, are you telling me that your first 305# was double overhand? Lol, you fucker. 

 

Hahahaha

 

Yea, first was double overhand.  I knew my grip was going to be an issue going into deads the other day.  But... welp, shocks all around.  And reconfirmation about magic.

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Knowing reddit, I was a bit worried about what their grip training would entail. :tongue:

 

Definitely will skim over it, and I have a few grip training tools I can use from TinMan's arsenal. 

 

You should have seen one of the r/Judo articles I read a while ago.  It had some disturbing recs.  I think I bookmarked a few particularly good resources.  Will try and send them on to you.  Kishi also reminded me to train both the extensors and the flexors.

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Gym this morning felt solid, though a bit wobbly because my knee is acting up after I was an idiot and went to the dojo last night.

 

PLP Day 16

6/5/3/2

 

OHP:

45# 5x1

65# 5x1

85# 5x1

95# 5x1

 

Squats:

45# 5x1

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 5x1

155# 3x1

185# 3x1

205# 5x3

 

DL:

135# 5x1

185# 5x1

225# 3x1

275# 3x1

305# 5x1 (Mixed grip, Workset PR)

 

Note here, simply because a freaking huge DudeBro commented that my 305# pulls were "a solid weight."

 

Thanks, DudeBro.  Thanks.

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Novermber Project in the morning was a Frogman1, or 50 sections to do.  Thankfully they had scaled options, and instead of aiming for the 50 I targeted 40.  Now that I know I can do 40, I can definitely push myself to do that a bit more frequently.

 

That being said, I h ad to claw out of bed this morning to go to the gym.  Spent a good 30 minutes last night stretching and foam rolling in some form, because my quads and calves were killing me.  My knee was less-than-pleased from the sections I did that morning, and I couldn't tell if the knee pain was from muscles being overly tight or if it was the injury from 2 weeks ago.  My guess is a little of both.  So this morning I didn't want to kill myself, but still wanted a decent amount accomplished.  I think I managed.

 

PLP Day 18

5/5/4/3/1

 

I was aiming for 5/5/4/4.  But on what was supposed to be the last set I got to three and stalled.  Ugh.  So.  Close.  So I did that round, and then did my one, lone rep set.  Did a fingertip pushup for that one, because TinMan suggested it last night and I figured it was only one.  This is starting to get tricky, though. >.<

 

Squats:

45# 5x1

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 5x1 (pause squats, 3 count)

135# 5x2 (pause squats, 5 count.  Last rep 10 count)

 

So my knee is giving issues, and my quads are beaten to all hell.  So I wanted to give myself a rest.  Cheechoe suggested I do pause squats, instead of volume squats, since my quads were being dumb.  I've never done pause squats, so I wanted to go light.  I probably should have upped the weight to 155#, but c'est la vie.  I also should have counted as 1-Mississippi-2-Mississippi instead of my 1-2-3-4-5, since it was a quicker count.  a 5 count for me turns out to be only a 3 second pause.  Things to fix next time I try these, right?  To kinda make up for it I did a 10-count at the very last rep.  Over all, it didn't suck.

 

BP:

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 5x1

175# 5x3 (Workset PR)

215#x1 (With some help from Spotter)

 

I wanted to do BP today more than deads, and with time running out, I'm kind of glad that I did.  The 175# workset is definitely a PR.  I've never been able to get all three sets to 5 before.  Usually I miss one and end up 5/4/5 or something like that.  Had to push, but it wasn't a push in a "Dear Gods this is going to fall on me and crush me to death" push.

 

Then I got thinking.  I want to try to do a BW bench press.  For me, at the moment, that's 215#.  That seemed doable.  I had heard that a 5RM is about 75% of your 1RM.  So some quick math had me note that with my current workset, I could potentially have a 1RM of ~230 pounds.  So I went for it.  I waited a good 5 minutes to recover from my workset, and I grabbed a guy to spot me, with instructions that really I wanted to do everything by myself.  So unrack, bench, re-rack.  He was there in case I almost die. Taking the weight off felt decent, the down felt decent (thanks, Gravity!), then it was a bit of a wobble.  Then it got 3/4 of the way up, then the spotter took a tiny fraction of it and it shot up the rest of the way.  He helped with the re-rack a little, and I popped up.  So it's *almost* there.  I think if I had done it fresh, without doing the 175# sets I could have gotten it.  Honestly, if I had been given a cue to push it harder I probably could have gotten it.  But for the end of a workout, I'll take it.

 

And with that, I leave you with a picture of me being silly while running up Stairs at NP:

 

458737_837275976296772_37251452470918395

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Yesterday was a good gym day.  The extra food I'm eating definitely has been helping with getting a bit stronger.  Small mercies to the bulk which is screwing with my mind because of fat.

 

PLP Day 20:

5/5/5/5 - Neutral grip pullups

 

I think this is the first time I've managed to do consistent 5 pullups in a row.  That's kind of like a PR, right?

 

OHP:

45# 5x1

65# 5x1

80# 5x1

95# 3x1

105# 5x3 (Workset PR)

 

I keep being lazy about OHP.  But I knew I had to do it.  I'm lazy mainly because it's my weakest lift, and I don't like it.  Need to not fall into that trap.  But, I managed to get my full workset in at 105, which I've never done before.  Not only that, I could probably manage another 5 pounds.  Guess I need to start working on it more.

 

Squats:

45# 5x1

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 5x1

155# 3x1

185# 3x1

205# 5x3

 

Just getting back to snuff after my knee was borked.  It's amazing how light 185# feels after I broke through that mental barrier.  And 205# feels heavy in that I need to push a bit, but I can definitely lift it.  Only thing making me not at the moment is my bad left knee, and my right ankle is doing something weird so my mobility in it is a bit borked.  But even so, my squats feel pretty decent.

 

DL:

185# 5x1

225# 3x1

275# 5x1 (Last rep Mixed Grip)

(305# 5x1 - Can't remember if I actually did this)

315# 3x1 - Weight PR / 3RM PR

 

So I ended up working in with a guy who was using the DL rack.  He gave a few tips, mainly on wrapping your wrist around the bar (which I instantly related to an aikido technique - funny how that happens) and keeping tension to help engage your lats before the lift.  Gave it a shot.  Feels a bit odd, but definitely useful.  At the very least, trying to keep tension upwards on the bar before the lift will help make sure the bar doesn't suddenly slow down from hitting the weight, right?

 

Anyway, here's the video of the 315 lifts, because I like my w00ts:

 

 

Yea, back needs a bit of work.  But I'm willing to claim exhaustion as it was the last lifts of the day.

 

Now, my body has a good bit of post-workout day DOMS.  But for 2-3 PRs, I'm totally okay with that.

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Ugh.  I feel like such a slacker.  My last work out was 10 days ago?!  Whaaa? (Granted, 5 days were pretty much spent dealing with NY Comic Con.  No regret!  Kinda!)

 

Anywho.

 

November Project.

 

6:30 AM.

 

A 35-pound ruck sack.

 

And 25 sections in sticky, humid weather in a little over 44 minutes.

 

I'll take it.

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Clearly I'm crazy.  And my quads hate me for it.  Even though I foam rolled and massaged the hell out of them last night.

 

Gym this morning felt somewhere between 'steady' and 'rough'.  I have DOMS like all hell, and being sick last week and no chance to recover means I was trying to take it easy.  Kinda succeeded.

 

Squats:

45# 5x1

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 5x1

155# 5x3, Pause Squats, 5-ish second pause

 

So when I did 135# pause squats before they were too easy.  155# pounds seems to be a good balance between "I can do this" and "Holy hell the BURN."  However... my poor, poor quads.

 

PLP Day 31

 

Dear gods, the lunges killed me practically more than the pull ups.

 

DL:

135#x5

185# 5x1

225# 5x1 - Double overhand grip

225# 5x1 - Mixed grip, Right hand under

225# 5x1 - Mixed grip, Left hand under

 

Was running out of time and wanted to try using my right hand as the under hand for the mixed grip.  For some reason I really prefer doing my left (non-dominant) hand as the under hand, but wanted to try to see how it felt.  Felt okay, nothing special.  But my grip was shot to all hell by the end anyway.

 

I now need to beat the crap out of my quads. >.<

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Soooo, when are we doing a challenge? Spring? ;)

 

Also, I feel like I read that there is not much of a point in changing which hand is in front for mixed grip deadlifts -- just stick with the positioning that feels the most natural to you and double overhand as much as you can before swapping over. Maybe learn hook grip if you're feeling monstrous. 

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Soooo, when are we doing a challenge? Spring? ;)

 

Also, I feel like I read that there is not much of a point in changing which hand is in front for mixed grip deadlifts -- just stick with the positioning that feels the most natural to you and double overhand as much as you can before swapping over. Maybe learn hook grip if you're feeling monstrous. 

 

Shhhhhh....... Just because I have a ruck.... and steal bricks to train with it....

 

I saw a debate going on over in the Warrior's Guild about it.  Heard from both sides, figured I'd just try it.  Left hand under feels a lot more solid to me, so when I get that heavy I'll probably default to that.  But it was really just an n=1 experiment.

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This morning was a toss up on if it was going to happen.  Thankfully my body overruled my brain and I dragged myself out of bed.  Nothing spectacular, but I wanted to test out my knee after doing 9 hours of aikido this weekend and beating it up a bit.

 

PLP Day 35

 

Deadlifts:

135# 5x1

185# 5x1

225# 5x1 (Mixed Grip)

275# 5x1 (Mixed Grip)

 

My grip was killing me after the pull ups.  So I stopped at 275.  Also I felt like my form was off.  Need to fix that.

 

Bench Press

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 5x1

 

Literally just did this to burn time until the dude curling in the sole squat rack left.

 

Squats:

BW squat 10x1

45# 5x1

95# 5x1

115# 3x1

135# 3x1

185# 5x1

 

Really fast squats, because I was running late to work (Thanks, CurlBro - not only have you offered crap advice you make me late).  Really, I just wanted to test out how my left knee felt.  A bit weak, but decent enough.  Humorous observation for the morning was feeling how the 185# squats, while heavyish, didn't feel as daunting as they have in the past.  Guess I finally broke that mental barrier.  Now I just need to get well over 1xBW.  Preferably to 300 pounds.

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November Project this morning.  Someone had carved a pumpkin with an NP stencil look-alike.  I'm calling it the NP-umpkin:

 

10704388_848823968475306_874254714619707

 

Target today was 40 sections, though I knew I was unlikely to get it.  My knee has been a bit off since the 8-ish hours of aikido this weekend.  But I threw on a brace and chugged along.  A bit before the half hour, my left knee started to bother me in a more-than-muscle-tightness kind of way, so I decided to stop at the half.  The result was a half tour in 20:08, which I think is a PR for the half tour.  If I could just keep that pacing for a full tour, I'd be really close to that sub-40 minute tour I've been eyeing.

 

Anyway, I stopped at the half, and decided to cheer people on.  Then I got bored and decided that even if I'm not pushing myself up the Stairs, I can probably hike them just fine.  So I got back out there (in the rain!) abd slowly pushed through some more sections.  Thirteen more, to be exact.  At section 7 (which is 30 sections total, which I was okay with), I decided to bolt up to end the workout on a high.  At the top was one of the Co-Founders, Brogan.  Who saw me bolt up, cheered me to keep pushing, and when I got to the top yelled at me to do one more.  So I did.  Don't dispute the founder.  That's gonna be in a rule book somewhere.

 

So 31 sections on a rainy Wednesday morning.  Not too shabby.

 

(Also last night at aikido we had a new student, so the instructor broke up the fairly small class into groups so she could watch over the new guy, and sent us 3rd kyus into the back.  She kept coming over and saying an attack, and we had to do any technique we could think of out of it.  There were three of us, so we acted as if it were a mini-Randori.  Turns out the instructor's blue print was just telling us to do the test for shodan (first degree black belt).  So I got a good workout in last night, too.)

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Sometimes I wonder how the hell I manage to pull myself out of bed on Thursday morning.  Because I really just want to sleep.

 

But I prevailed.

 

TABATA Burpees.

 

Because Cheechoe hates the Monks and made us a TABATA mini-challenge this week.  Being a good GL and participating.  Ow.  Also because three Bros were camped in the squat rack.

 

OHP:

45# 5x1

65# 5x1

75# 5x1

85# 5x1

105# 5x3

 

This workset felt really heavy.  Almost didn't get it locked out at the top a few times.  Maaaay have ended up doing the last sets as push presses, instead of a strict OHP.  I honestly don't know.

 

Squats:

45# 5x1

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 3x1

155# 3x1

185# 3x1

205# 5x3

 

The 205# squats still feel pretty heavy.  I need to take a good few seconds to compose myself between reps, which falls somewhere between not enough time to freak myself out with 200+ pounds on my back but long enough to pysch myself up.  I'm hoping the next time I try this it'll feel a lot more solid.  Of course, the next time I do this I might be starting my crazy-ass cut.  So we'll see how that goes.

 

DL:

135# 5x1

185# 5x1

225# 5x1

 

Short on the DLs today, because I needed to run to get ready for work.  I really was trying to focus on making my form really, really solid, so I didn't mind the lower weights.  Mostly felt okay, with a few less-than-ideal pulls that I felt on my lower back.  Lets not do that in the future with heavy weights, hmmm?

 

Overall, not the worst of days.  A solid day of maintaining.

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Welp, the challenge has ended, and I'll probably keep chatting in my thread in general, but let's keep the ball rolling here, shall we?

 

I started a cut yesterday.  The goal is to do ~2000 calories per day total, which gives me ~800-1000 calorie deficit, for the two weeks before the next challenge.  The problem with that is with my lifting, aikido, and running that may cause me to fall flat on my ass.  So on days where I double up (lifting/aikido, NP/aikido, lifting/runningmaybepossibly) I think I might be okay with eating more like 2300.  Need to see how my body react this week.  This is going to be one of my most severe cuts I've ever done, so I fully expect it to suck.  But, the goal is do it for two weeks, and then for the challenge bump everything up to a slightly more reasonable level.  Or if things are decently functioning then maybe keep it for a bit longer.  Don't quite know yet.  We shall see.  Last night I had ~2050 calories.  Today I'm forecasting about the same, and Wednesday ~2200.  But again.  Everything is a bit in flux until I see what my body does with a crap ton less food.

 

Gym this morning was fairly solid.

 

Squats:

45# 5x1

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 3x1

155# 3x1

185# 3x1

205# 5x3

 

Squats at 205 still feel rough.  Definitely need to work on form, as I felt myself rolling forward while trying to deal with the weight.  And for more fun, I almost got stuck at the bottom once or twice.  I want to keep upping my squat, because I should be able to lift SO MUCH MORE, yet it's this crazy plateau.  At least I managed to finally break 200#, I guess.  Took me a while to break that barrier, so maybe I'll need just as long for the next increase.  Which would suck.

 

Bench Press

95# 5x1

115# 5x1

135# 3x1

155# 3x1

185# x1

215# x1 (PR)

 

This probably should have been a workset instead of a PR hunt.  But whatever.  215 felt pretty solid.  Had to force up a bit, but it was still good.  I probably could have tried 225 and still gotten it.  I did have to yell at the guy spotting me to not touch the weight, because he got dangerously close to trying to 'help' when I just needed a bit of an extra mental push for myself.  To his credit as soon as I yell "got it" he back right off.  But still, precious mental energy spent there.  *grumble grumble*  Anyway, with this cut I'm expecting this to be the last PR I see in a long, long time.  And I needed that today, because thus far my week is pretty much guaranteed to be a suckfest.

 

Deadlifts:

135# 5x1

185# 5x1

225# 3x1

275# 3x1

295# 5x1 (Mixed grip)

 

These felt really good.  I was trying really, really hard to keep my form better, including shoulders just ahead of the bar instead of crazy in front of them, or behind, or whatever funky positioning I've been using.  One of the reps at 275 I apparently set up so well that I just pulled the sucker up with what felt like no resistance.  Hopefully I can get these things down a bit better.  Welp, Nerd Lifting in a few weeks means I can pester people who know better.  Just need to remember to take better notes this time.

 

Um, lesse.... Aikido last night was fun, helped me burn off some energy.  Definitely felt the cut by about 40 minutes into class though.  But the great thing about aikido is no strength or energy is really needed.  So maybe the cut will help with my technique?  I do think that barring proper circumstances I'll be limiting myself to a single class instead of trying to double up - if one class wipes me out, two could be dangerous.  In other news, worked on some koshinages (hip throws) with some other 3rd kyus to prepare for our eventual 2nd kyu grading (not that any of us are thinking of testing anytime soon).  I at least know the basics, I just need to stop loading people up so high on my back.  That won't do at all.  But practice makes perfect, and for the time being I'll pick light ukes. :P

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