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The Shogun's Journey


The Shogun

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THE SHOGUN'S JOURNEY
 
 
 
I
 
Food & Finances
 
I'll be recovering from the big hit my finances took during the holidays. I'm not comfortable going after my meal planning and weekly cookouts goals yet, but I can make sure everything is ready when I decide to tackle that challenge. 
 
Intermittent Fasting (16-8)
Tracking Food Intake (Writing journal)
Meal Planning (At least one plan for each week of the upcoming challenge).
Green Tea instead of Coffee (to save myself a few rupees).

 

 

II
 
Bookend your Days: Don't Break the Chain
 
Last challenge I focused mostly on my morning and bedtime routines, when I work on the habits I'm creating.
Last time I went for weekly productivity sprints with the "never two days in a row" rule. This time I'm using Seinfeld "Don't Break The Chain" method with a bet against myself: Every time I break the chain, I'll pay for a co-workers or a friend's meal or bring a big dinner home. I don't want to do this because I'm trying to cut back on expenses but if I need to "punish" myself, at least this way I can do something nice for someone else.
 
My Morning Ritual
 
  1. Wake up (at 4:00am)
  2. Drink a glass of cold water
  3. Bodyweight Workout
    1. Warm Up
    2. Goblet Squats OR Assisted One Legged Squats
    3. Push-Ups
    4. Bodyweight Inverted Rows
    5. Hip Raises
    6. Planks
    7. Stretching
  4. Cold Shower
  5. Grooming, Shaving, etc
  6. Out to work. 
 
My Evening Ritual
 
  1. Write a new entry in my journal
  2. Plan the next day
  3. Turn off computer and put phone away.
  4. A brief session of yoga.
  5. Meditate (Savasana)
  6. Z z z 

 

 

III
 
The Black Belt Test
 
Today I met with my sensei and a partner. We're both making arrangements to escape leave the country soon. (Classified Information from Secret Mission Operation Code Name: Save the Shogun). Sensei decided to schedule our black belt test before the year ends. It's maybe too soon to tell, but apparently I'm traveling to my sensei's city (We don't live in the same place) and training intensively there for two weeks reviewing the whole program and taking the test at the end of that period. To be honest, the announcement of my impending doom made feel very anxious: I sent a message to most of my friends and I actually called to meet with one because I needed to speak with someone about it. 
 
I'm okay now... I think.
 
Starting this challenge I'm beginning a new training schedule. Training twice a week the basics kata and movements on my own, I'm adding cardio to my workouts; and I'm training at least once a week with more than one people. I usually train alone or with a single partner so I need to recruit some people willing to get their ass kicked students.
 
  • Training at least three times a week.
  • Training at least once a week with more than one partner.
  • At least twenty minutes of heavy bag drills every day.

 

 

IV
 
 
A scholar's life
 
I challenged myself to read 24 new books last year. I only read 7. Most the books I read were re-readings.
 
How many times and in how many languages can you read The Lord of The Rings?
 
GIF-I-Regret-Nothing-Regret-Regret-Nothi
 
I want to take back that challenge. At least 24 new books in 2015. Since most of my books are poetry books and I don't like reading those one after another I'm also challenging myself to read one poem a day and share it.
 
I'm also falling behind on movies and documentaries. I used to watch a lot of movies and write a short commentary or review about them to my friends.  I know that once I begin to work, I'll never make time for those things so...
 
Yes, I'm making myself watch movies and read books as a goal challenge.
 
meh.ro7736.jpg
 
This is what I'm currently reading/watching.
 
Poems from
  • Charles Baudelaire's Le Fleurs du Mal
  • William Blake's Selected Works
Books 
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
  • Bram Stoker's The Jewel of Seven Stars. 
  • Last Writings of Charles Baudelaire
Movies or Documentaries
 
  • BBC Frankenstein and the Vampyre, A Dark and Stormy Night
  • BBC The Art of Gothic; Britain's Midnight Hour 1 of 3 - Liberty, Diversity, Depravity.
  • BBC The Art of Gothic; Britain's Midnight Hour 2 of 3 - The City and the Soul.
  • BBC The Art of Gothic; Britain's Midnight Hour 3 of 3 - Blood for Sale; Gothic Goes Global.
  • The Soska Twins' American Mary
  • The Woman in Black

One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.

Current Challenge

 

 

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If you don't mind my saying so, it may be wiser to consider training harder as your cardio, pushing the intensity in each training session and pouring yourself out into the pursuit of ninjutsu. Just saying.

You mean instead of...? I'm not sure I'm following you exactly. #SpanishSpeakerProblems #Its2AM ShutUpShogunYourEnglishIsBueno #ThisIsNotTwitter

Sent disgracefully from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.

Current Challenge

 

 

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Huh. I must have been confused my own self. I read your thread and read it as you saying that you were going to add separate cardio sessions rather than just training harder, but it looks like that's what you're doing.

 

So, uh. My bad. Sorry for the confusion. Your English is better than mine. #awkward

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Black belt by the end of the year!!! What style/lineage of ninja are you? You inspired me to travel to my teacher who is 2 1/2 hours away from me. He is not my teacher yet, but he will be.... he will be.

We do not rise to the level of our expectations in a fight.

 

We fall to the level of our training.

 

 

 

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That seems busy! Very best of luck

It is certainly a busy lifestyle. I hate it. I'm tired and I want to go home.

Dude I love the style of this and bookending the day is actually rather brilliant! Best of luck! I'll be watching ;)

It's the only way I can work it out with my busy schedule. At first I thought I was crazy for considering training at 4:00 am or doing yoga before bed but it turned out the most comfortable way of training for me. The only thing I CAN NOT do at that time is go running (not unless I want to run for my life instead of for healthy reasons) or hit the heavy bag, but other than that I like training alone before the sunrise when everyone's sleeping. #NinjasOnlyTrainInTheDark #IDidntChooseTheNinjaLifeTheNinjaLifeChoseMe #ThisIsNotTwitter.

Huh. I must have been confused my own self. I read your thread and read it as you saying that you were going to add separate cardio sessions rather than just training harder, but it looks like that's what you're doing.

So, uh. My bad. Sorry for the confusion. Your English is better than mine. #awkward

Oh, Yes! I'm training harder, but in my path there isn't much you can do alone. We only have ONE (maybe two) kata. For the rest, I need a partner. I'm also incorporating heavy bag and jump rope. I want to lose a few pounds to feel comfortable enough to go out and run at sundown. #ViableExcuse #NotBuyinIt #StopTheBullshit #AgainThisIsNotTwitter.

Black belt by the end of the year!!! What style/lineage of ninja are you? You inspired me to travel to my teacher who is 2 1/2 hours away from me. He is not my teacher yet, but he will be.... he will be.

It's not technically "Ninjutsu". That's the generic name we use with ninja muggles to save us the struggle of explaining what we really do. I practice Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. You're in the internet, you can google it.

Traveling is an essential part of being a martial artist. I always hear tales from the grandmaster of how many miles he had to travel to train with his master and I love reading about legendary martial artists touring the world looking for a challenge, looking for a new opportunity to learn. Traveling 650kms to meet my master is the way I honor that legacy of sacrifice and discipline.

I need a rising sun and waves crashing on a cliff behind me now, please.

Today's update

Ok, so I went back to school today. All I can say at this time is of the day is "Fuck! I'm so tired."

Luckily I rode on the wave of profits I got from preparing ahead. I woke up at 4 and had my bottle of water at hand. I rolled down to the floor and did my first set of push-ups to warm up and wake me up. After Push-ups, Inverted Bodyweight Rows, Squats, Planks, I'm taking a Cold Shower and out the door before I can think of what I'm doing. I love the fact that things are becoming sort of automatic. I wasn't really aware of being awake until I was at my office, until that moment I was on autopilot.

Skipped breakfast, drank tea. A highly out-of-character move from me, my coworkers think I'm sick and worry. I utterly fail at telling them what I'm doing, but that's how I roll. I don't like strangers knowing. Classes all day, midday break with lunch: ground beef, white rice and plantains. (Plantains are a huge hit in my country). I spent the afternoon preparing the upcoming teacher's appreciation day performance of my students. Went back home.

Once at home, I went straight to practice a new experimental ritual. I'm a creature of habits and rituals, as I'm sure you can tell, and I'm currently trying this new ritual to replenish my willpower levels and STOP ME FROM HITTING THE KITCHEN AND EATING EVERYTHING AT SIGHT. Why the caps? I...don't...know!. I call it "The Unwind Ritual" and it's just an hour right after I get home from work: First, I force myself to change clothes and put everything back in its proper place instead of blindly throwing everything away at random places. That usually takes me about 10 minutes. After that, I do a little physical catharsis with my heavy bag. I channel my emotions into my punches — anger, frustration, fatigue, overall sadness and despair about living in a god forsaken hellhole—. That way I don't lash out and hurt anyone but the bag and sometimes myself ... maybe I don't do it enough. After that, I have a 20 minutes nap.

I didn't feel like studying today, so I just stayed in bed and read a few chapters from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I came to the PC and once I'm done here, I'll prepare things for tomorrow, write an entry in my journal (I think I have just done it) and do some yoga and meditation before bed.

Oh! And the poem. Today I forgot my poetry books at home, but minutes before starting my first class, I read the poem from The Grey. You know the one

“Once more into the Fray.

Into the last good fight I'll ever know.

Live or die on this day.

Live or die on this day."

Which lead me to this piece of work from Dylan Thomas that almost brought tears to my eyes

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.

Current Challenge

 

 

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I like the idea of the unwind ritual very much. I'm a creature of habit too and I think something like that is great. For me, I get home and do housework, because I know that if I hit the sofa, that's it.

The Dylan Thomas is beautiful.

This is more of a preventing housework ritual. I actually do housework during the breaks of my pomodoro timer during study time.

Sent disgracefully from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.

Current Challenge

 

 

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Rituals are powerful things, and they help us a great deal. Should be interesting to see what a Challenge's worth of two rituals will do to you.

It will lead to great things. Ritual is just another word for habit and good habits make people better!

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Level 3 Martial Monk, True Neutral

STR: 6.5 | DEX: 6 | STA: 7 | CON: 9 | WIS: 8 | CHA: 6

My First Challenge

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Do you remember the Black Friday shopping chaos? Imagine that, but every single day and to buy diapers, milk, formula, food, medicine and other primary goods. People have started sleeping on tents waiting in line outside the stores on the days in which the suppliers truck will arrive to the stores. People on the streets are on the edge, and the air feels uneasy with rumors of riots and coups.

 

Why do I tell you this? Not because I am a huge fan of The Hunger Games, not because I want to use it as a crutch nor that I'd want to bring you down but because it's important to me to let my friends abroad know how bad the situation in my country —despite how hard to imagine it could be— really is. My family, friends and workmates are fine. Almost all my friends have left the country or are currently making plans to leave it (including me) which makes it somewhat worse, having your friends spread around the globe. You really get to know people, because this whole situation brings out the worst in people.

 

Luckily, I've been blessed with honest and kind friends. And I'm thankful for that.

 

Now that the Gotham City News Flash is over. Let's go over my challenge's general progress.

 

Food & Finances

 

I have skipped breakfast every day and ate dinner before 8 and nothing after it. Tracking my meals I have discovered that I can get away with what I usually had for breakfast, despite not being paleo. I also noticed almost all my coworkers try to eat healthy, everyone having their own concept of what that is. At least no one has ever tried to teach me how to eat healthy. I need a new tea infuser. What I'm currently doing is preparing the tea at home (while I workout) and take it work with me. I started using Kanbanote to get a bird's eye view of my meal planning and recipes notes in Evernote. I recommend it if you're a big fan of Evernote like me.

 

Bookend your Days: Don't Break the Chain

 

Woke up at 4 on Thursday and practiced Sanshin no Kata and Kihon Happo for 45 minutes, took a cold shower and went off to work.

Woke up at 4 on Friday and found out I needed a more effective way to warm up. I downloaded Sworkit app today and I can't wait to try it on Monday. (Tomorrow's rest day).

Woke up at 6 Today. Not because I wanted to, but because my body's getting used to waking up early again (which is good). I had skipped training because I had planned to meet with a friend to train, but he canceled at the last minute. I bought ice cream for everyone at home.

 

Tomorrow's rest day.

 

Went to bed at 11 on Thursday and Friday, after sticking to my usual routine. But I had to drag myself to do it, I'm thinking on putting myself a mini-goal relating my yoga practice or my writing habit so I have a compelling reason to do both things. Meditation is actually something I look forward every day.

 

The Black Belt Test

 

The goal I have made the less progress and it's the most important one. Someone approached me looking to train Wing Tzun but I had to decline the offer since I'm focusing strongly on Ninjutsu. Maybe I lost a potential student or training partner there, but I had to do it. 

 

My master called me on Friday to notify me that he'd already asked for my Menkyo (license) in Japan. It's a sign of the confidence that he has in me, and that this thing is really happening. I'm going crazy trying to acquire the foreign currency to pay for my license, my test and other expenses, but I have found a way. I'll update you on this on Monday. (If I haven't told you this before, there's a strict foreign currency control policy in my country)

 

It is long waited and fought dream, and I need to pursue more than any other thing right now. It is what will get me a job and bread on my table once I leave the country too, more reasons to get serious about it. 

 

A scholar's life

 

I've been reading but not tracking the progress or sharing what I've read. I have... ahem <.< legally acquired the documentaries I intended to watch and I plan to watch the first one tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

May the odds be ever in my favor.

One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star.

Current Challenge

 

 

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So I guess it is official. Time to flee the burning building. I guess that's about all that's left. If ninjutsu represents the best way for you to get out, then I guess that's how it has to be.

 

Your sensei wouldn't have that confidence in you unless you earned it. But that's no reason to slack off. If anything, you need to train harder and better, so as to validate the faith he has in you. You can do it.

 

Come up here so we can teach you real martial arts. :P

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