Ouch, my muscles are going on strike, ouch

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I’m not entirely sure why exactly I’m sore from head to toe… I had a Bagua class with John on Wednesday (and Tuesday), and he did torture my legs a bit on Tuesday, but went relatively easy on me on Wed. I did practice on Thursday for a couple of hours, then Friday for a couple of hours, then Saturday was the two hour workshop, but that was pretty easy… then there was that hike on Sunday for a couple of hours up a not very steep mountain, then that walk around Greenlake on Saturday and Monday… I did my 13 ouchy exercises most days, think I skipped Saturday though. All this isn’t that much different from my regular Bagua schedule…. however I feel like I have done the Grouse Grind every single day this week or something. Perhaps it is the fact I didn’t circle walk Sunday or Monday? I know, I’m such a slacker :(. I will circle walk this evening though, and I have a walk around Greenlake planned… Perhaps it’s just that I’m sleeping in a softer bed at my friend’s house. He did mention his back felt better when he stayed at my house due to my extra firm mattress (I’m so nice that way, give the guests the bed). Perhaps I will sleep on the floor tonight and see if it helps.

Speaking of being sore from head to toe, I have a 2 hour massage planned for Thursday. I can’t wait!!!! I don’t usually treat myself to massages since well they are expensive for my low budget, and the chinese ones (which actually work) are just another form of torture lol.

I guess I should do some low circle walking, since John is greatly encouraging it, to the dismay of my legs. One day however I shall have legs of steel. Btw, If you would all be so kind as to vote for my entry for the “Why do you do the Grouse Grind” contest, it would be so very much appreciated! 🙂 Why I Grind I am Athena, the one with the purple hair ;).

I’m getting really bored of blogging

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This blogging everyday thing is getting old. I wonder what the minimum amount of blogging is to still get the 4 free lessons? 😉

Yesterday I didn’t do any Bagua, I was too busy sleeping all day. I walked around Greenlake instead.

Tonight is Bagua class in Seattle, I’m looking forward to it. Before Bagua class is Taichi class, I guess that will be my warmup! I hope my dantien gets a good workout.

I miss Vancouver. John isn’t confirming my next class though, so I can just hope I have one when I return….

Hiking and waterfalls in WA state :)

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I did not practice a single second of Bagua on Sunday, none at all! I was too busy hiking, then too busy eating, then too busy napping, then too busy eating again, then too busy sleeping ;).

We drove out of town to hike up a train to see some waterfalls. it was a beautifully wooded trail which ran along the side of a stream. Very nice views. It was quite easy compared with the Grouse Grind I am used to, more along the lines of the Goat Mountain hike but shorter. My legs were still quite sore from the Bagua workshop the day before, and the other Bagua the day before that. I had to stop for a few seconds here and there for a wait for my achilles to stop hurting break. I was also hiking in my new Merrell Lith Gloves with zero rise, a plastic shank, and water resistant. They are however unfortunately not water proof! I had to place my socks on the heat vents in the car on the way back into town to dry them.

It was definitely raining, which was nice as it kept most of the hikers off our nicely wooded trail; however it also led to a bit of soggyness on our part. I really should have worn the heavier gortex instead of the light water repellent stuff.

After hiking it was off to Chaco restaurant in Seattle for some really yummy raw cuisine. They make the best raw food in Seattle! We decided to opt out of the walk around Greenlake as we were still a bit tired from the hike. It was tempting though.

I slept 11 hours Sunday night, perhaps I have been overtraining again recently or something.

Seattle Bagua! :)

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Can you imagine me going to Seattle and resisting a Bagua workshop on the same day I arrive? Of course not! 🙂 Fortunately said Bagua workshop was only $20, which really helped in the enticement department. Dennis was also taught by Yang Gaotai, so it was Cheng Bagua. I haven’t been to any other styles of Bagua classes, so I’m not completely sure, but another style might confuse me a bit, considering how new I am to Bagua. Speaking of being new, I think I was the longest term student at this workshop. However TF is much better at such things then me due to all of his previous years in other internal martial arts. It was also quite nice to see TF again. We paired up during the partner work. It was rather hilarious when him and I tried to body bang each other and just couldn’t get the timing right.

We covered circle walking, which one person was frustrated because he could barely get it in the 2 hour timeslot. I told him don’t worry I’ve been doing circle walking for 16 months and still suck at it LOL. I gave him a few pointers after class which help folks who are new at it. Poor guy will be walking in octagons all day now :). We covered body banging against the pillars in the room. One brand new thing I learned was the whole body check the person as you are coming in for a throw idea. I have had this done to me several times before, but I haven’t really tried it much myself, or understood it as much before. I talked TF into letting me try it on him :>.

Dennis also told us about using our entire body to help against an opponent or two. He explained it in such a way that made me understand it even more so. I was fortunate enough to be used as the person demoed on several times, which always helps with learning. One of the most interesting aspects of the class was Dennis covering multiple attackers! He would have two of us attack him, then show us all how this would be taken care of. He was able to easily get us both off balance, or circled around himself at the same time quite easily. He also covered the circle/mud walking force which is used, and how it and the turning can be used to bring another person around you in a circle, a very inconvenient for them circle ;).

One annoying aspect is how one of the experienced students (in some other martial art) was giving me corrections on an exercise we were doing, and his corrections would have changed it from what the teacher had instructed and what I had done previously in a Bagua class, to something not as efficient! I wish if people would give me advice they would at least make sure it was accurate to Bagua in particular first.

One interesting thing was a lady who showed up, who must have been at least 70, with the health of a 90 year old. She was a very good sport, and completed all of the exercises best she could. She would just take breaks when she needed, and used the pillars for support for the circle walking. Her and I had gotten to talking before class and I had told her how much Bagua had helped my health. Boy was she sold after that! She could barely move around, and was pretty weak, however she had a very very positive attitude and actually tried everything, so she might actually last more then a month if she were to take lessons. I was joking with the guys that in a year from now she would be doing hard throws on them all LOL.

Anyways, it was nice to have Bagua near my home away from home :).

After class my friend and I went for a fast walk around Greenlake, then it was off to see Underworld 4. The movie was alright, pretty good for a Hollywood movie. However I liked the first 3 better. In this case they traded out story and depth for special affects and action. It was still fun to go though, and was much better then Haywire!

I live in a fortunate time and place for Bagua!

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Was my thoughts as I was getting in a quick 20 minutes of circle walking at the border while waiting for my bus. I somehow doubt this would work out so well at a border in China. I also doubt that public circle walking would have gone over well at all in China more then 50 years ago!

The amazing part is that no one even batted an eye. Perhaps being a minority on the bus helped somewhat ;). Fortunately also though none of the border personnel batted an eye, even the ones who walked right past me.

Last night at the fancy training place

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I will miss it, it was quite a nice training place. It was warm, which was the nicest aspect, it was large, it had mats, a training dummy, and best of all, a bathroom. However there wasn’t enough people to come out and train, so not worth the rental fee for now. Perhaps in the future.

Blogger1 and I spent a bit over 2 hours there practicing Bagua. I also did my 13 ouchy exercises since I slacked on them yesterday.

I had made some Szechuan spiced shrimp for Blogger1 and I prior to practice; it turned out quite well. It also helped that we didn’t eat too many of the mangostein dark chocolates beforehand. Blogger1 was doing a Bagua and Jeigermister experiment also. The experiment seemed to go just fine. I wonder if her dantien was swaying a little more from side to side as usual? 😉

Well I’m off to Seattle for a few days. I have to get some work accomplished, but fortunately for me there is also a Bagua workshop I will be attending!

And there was circle walking

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I love circle walking! I keep discovering new things while walking :). Last night I discovered that I had times of a feel of smooth walking. My dantien was sort of smoothly pulling me along for a bit, well until it went back to the bumpy moving along that is.

I’ve taken to remembering my dantien exists as I walk throughout the day; I likely get some very odd looks due to my odd walking, but that’s ok I will never see most of these people again ;).

Btw, the first exercise in the video for week 4, well my left shoulder has some animosity towards John for that one currently! I hope it heals soon. No one beleived me when I called John the torturer of shoulders…. Being as my legs are currently happy it’s obvious I haven’t done my super low circle walking he suggested currently.

I am completely clueless and terrible at the fighting stuff!

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Since Bagua was my first ever martial art and you don’t do much sparring for some time, and then only with people who also practice Bagua… I have never learned standard fighting stuff! For example I have no idea how to fight (though when I was younger someone did tell me I had a good right hook, after they got back up), or how to kick really, or the standard tricks. I don’t know how to keep from being taken down (proof of this is my amazing ability to end up on the ground in a bad position for me every serious attack or fight in the past). I also don’t know many distance techniques. I have learned some up close stuff which I quite like, but have one hell of a time when someone keeps me at a good distance.

I also have no idea how to avoid punches. There is the dragon palm of course, but I am so very inefficient at it! I don’t really know many blocks; and I’m not all that good at redirecting anything with strength. I’m also terribly slow! If someone attacks fast, they would probably get 2 out of 3 of everything in!

I also have no concept of my center line, that people keep talking about. I have had it explained to me a couple of times, but don’t quite get it yet. Apparently it changes, and so does the other person’s depending on angle.

It is terrible! I have been practicing Bagua for 16 months now, and am still clueless about all this, as well as terrible at it! Perhaps this is the frustration of internal martial arts.

Perhaps part of the frustration is that it is experienced folks, far more experienced then myself who I always have attack me in class or sparring or whatever. I’ve never done partner work with a newbie like me before. Usually other newbies just happen to have several years of previous experience in something else and/or are so strong all the have to do is use strength :(.

Well fortunately, the number of people who wish to attack a 40 year old woman aren’t very many, and who wish to attack me are fortunately nil from what I can tell. However as a teenager the numbers were quite different. Now I only get someone attempting to attack me when I’m in a third world country alone. Perhaps I will need to book a “how to defend against machetes” lesson before my next trip to Haiti ;).

Nothing like 3am practice!

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I was too tired to practice in the early evening, so I took a nap instead. Then when I woke up at 2:30am, it was off to circle walk. I tried to do low circle walking for some leg torture, er strengthening I mean. It felt like I got REALLY low! In reality, it’s more likely that I just got a tiny bit lower. Whenever I feel like I’m going really low, a photo or video always lets me know the reality of the situation.

So I discovered a neat thing tonight, I don’t roll my dantien around like I thought you do, but instead it rolls me around :>. Or so it seemed this evening. It was as though my dantien was this motor pulling me, most predominantly my legs, around the circle. At first the feeling sort of came and went, then after I time I was able to move in a way to keep up the connection for about 20 minutes.

During this time, I got this suddenly feeling of my waist or dantien or something around there connecting up to my shoulders. It felt as though at first a couple of bungie cords attached up my body, then later on a couple more. After this happened, it felt more like my whole body was all connected together. I know this may sound odd, but I had not experienced that before, or at least not more then intellectually or trying and not really succeeding. It was pretty neat. I don’t think it’s something I can make happen, more like does, from using my dantien to move my body I think. I guess my body just figures out what it’s supposed to do and how its supposed to connect and it just happens :).

I finished practice at about 4am, and am now realizing that there is a drawback to practice at this hour relating to being wide awake instead of sleeping in the middle of the night!

Damn, health isn’t so good for the past month

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I’m just so weak and wobbly during my circle walking, and so tired out when I bikeride, and have had to give up running for more then one short one once per week. I’m not sure what is going wrong, but apparently a trip to the dr. is in order. Perhaps my iron transfusions or b12 shots need to be updated, it’s been a few years. Or perhaps bronchitis kicks your butt for longer then I realized, even though I am most definitely over it and have been for a 2-3 weeks now.

I have been keeping up my practice, but I know I’m not putting enough power or getting lower into it as I should be.

In other news, my dantien is very slowly just starting to figure out how it might turn and join in. I can tell it most definitely has a long way to go though.