Aahhhhhh outdoor circle walking in the evening ;)

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There is nothing more awesome on a summer evening than circle walking in the backyard on freshly cut grass in bare feet! I haven’t circle walked at night in ages, just the odd time, but not for that long apparently. I also usually do zhaquan afterwards, so I’m sure it ends differently. Tonight was just Bagua. So much for sleep! lol

I might try to get some more in in the morning before it warms up… gotta use this nice short soft grass :>

Ohhh 2 days off :)

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To celebrate the fact that I will (according to some) never get anywhere if I take days off, I thought I would take 2 days off :). Actually what happened was I have been experiencing burnout for quite some time from the races, the hiking, the running and so forth and really needed a couple of days off before I got ill or messed up my health somehow. It really was a pleasant couple of days off. On the first day I went through all my stuff and separated out the stuff I no longer needed, old clothes, nick nacks and so forth. They will be heading out the door soon. On the second day I did a bunch of online work for my business to try to promote my retreats. It really is something I have been putting off for awhile now and I had to catch up.

Well today was meetup. It was really really hot out which made it a bit more difficult to do stuff. We focused on strikes and kicks today. It was really nice to actually be able to do what each movement was with some semblance of doing it right.

Only 1-2 more years to go till level 1! ;)

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If I’m lucky lol. It’s fortunately that I practiced like crazy in my two and a half years, then quite a bit during the past 6 months. Fortunately I’m picking up the pace again; I was really discouraged for a couple of months there after being compared with Homer Simpson and the like (though I think the discouragement was more due to the fact that I wasn’t good enough yet to smack the person who said that lololol). So 4 years until level one, that is a little discouraging in some ways, as it takes that long to even get the simplest stuff, but on the otherhand it is encouraging in that there is so much left to learn and I won’t run out anytime soon!

Here is the article about quantifying your skill with Chen Taichi (sounds really similar to other internal martial arts!) by Chen Xiawang here

John feels that my first year didn’t count, and half the time I agree with him and the other half of the time I don’t. By this I mean the year of practice before I met him. I did still practice for 1-3 hour per day back then…

HOWEVER… and now this is very discouraging. I was reading an article based on Chen Xiawang’s beleif that for every day you skip during your first 2 years (likely four as they were talking about dedicated folks who do four hours per day), you go back ten! So this guy went and calculated this all out and figured out that you can’t actually skip a single day in your first few years and actually get anywhere whatsoever with Taichi ever! Well aside from the health benefits anyways. Well screw him, my health wasn’t good enough to practice 7 days per week at first, and I still improved! OK so not as fast as others with super awesome health, previous experience or… well actually I have only ever met one other person who isn’t teacher level who practices as much as I do.. but anyways… I’m sure there are many many people who practice more than I do, I just haven’t met them in person. Also most people have enough previous experience behind them to be able to take days off, OR have good enough health and/or natural talent that allows for a bit less practice.

So anyways, I sure hope my four years doesn’t start the day I practice 7 days per week for at least per hour per day because there is still the odd day I miss. I have at least learned to double up the Grouse grind or other strenuous hikes or running with Bagua days :).

Oh and those folks who get a black belt in only 2 years time, whatever!

I’m going to event a talking punching bag!

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I keep ending up hiking with people who hike faster than me. I run with people who run faster than me too. fApparently it has helped my cardio. Anytime I had to take a break, or John offered one during class tonight I only had to stop for a second or two. This is much better than the 10-15 or more second breaks I used to have to take, even last week :). I really would like to get to the point where I don’t have to take any breaks at all whatsoever in what is only an hour long class, as well as be able to put 100% effort in for the entire class instead of getting a little tired out from time to time during class. I would have much preferred a faster increase in cardio/endurance, but hey better late than never! I figure it will only keep improving :).

So at the end of class John held the mat and I did the punch and kick at the same time stuff. I said it’s kinda like my punching bag, but with feedback! My punching bag never corrects my posture, or tells me when I’m doing something wrong… so I figure it’s time for a new invention! I can make and sell punching bags that give feedback to martial artists! It would be based on how hard the strike was with some sort of pressure sensor in it or something. Then install a speaker inside. Think anyone would fall for it? I could make a women’s version in pink as well! I was thinking a few good key phrases “seriously, is that as hard as you can kick?” “if you punch that slow you aren’t going to win any fights” “wow that was a good one, if you get someone in the ribs like that they are done for!” “good height on that kick”… then of course some reminders “better posture equals harder hits!” “put more of your body into it” and so forth ;). There could also be a place to attach a photo for needed inspiration ;).

Grouse Grind night :)

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I did a little Bagua in the afternoon, then the Grind in the evening. I went with someone a bit faster than me so made it up the mountain 6 minutes faster than I did last week. However this week I also didn’t take any accidental detours which was helpful, and likely accounted for the extra time last week.

Then afterwards I missed my bus so did quite a bit of stretching and some circle walking. When I got home I still had some energy so I practiced some Bagua, some Zhaquan and played with my sword a bit.

I’m happy to note that my stances are improving quite a bit finally, which is awesome! Yeah for leg strength :).

Martial arts forum! :)

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I now have a forum here on pakua.ca for the discussion of ….. martial arts. You may notice that I don’t have a general discussion area, since well reading post after post about titties and beer is pretty lame. Anyways, the url is: www.pakua.ca/forum

Oh and I practiced some Bagua today.

Bagua is good for loosening up the sore back from… Bagua!

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I felt sort of like a truck ran over me this morning. I’m not quite sure if it was the hike, or holding the pad while John hit it, or trying to give it my all when hitting the pad with John holding it… but OUCH! Only a couple of bruises, but the sore muscles, yikes! I sure do hope this leads to back strengthening :). My legs are pretty good though, they were only a little bit tight during the stretching. I have found over time that when you work an area you have not worked before, or at least not worked in quite awhile, it can get pretty sore until you get used to it. My lower back apparently needs some more work!

I skipped my running group this evening. I think a rest after the last couple of days of exercise would be best in the long run, and best in the short run too.

I got some stretching, then bagua, then Zhaquan then more Bagua, then more zhaquan then more bagua in today. Fortunately the Bagua loosened up my back slowly :). The Zhaquan then proceeded to loosen up my legs, or torture them more, I’m not entirely sure which.

There wouldn’t be all these mountains surrounding the city if they weren’t meant to be climbed up! :)

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I don’t even remember what I did on Friday, but I’m pretty sure it involved lots of resting in preparation for Saturday! 🙂 It did also involve some Bagua and some Zhaquan.

On Saturday I thought I’d go on a 9.5 hour uphill hike through the local mountains. We started at Deep Cove, hiked to Lynn Canyon, had lunch at the end of the line store there, then hiked to Grouse mountain. Well apparently hiking and crohns and an entire litre of pineapple juice aren’t a good combination. There was about an hour there where I wasn’t doing so well and not sure if I could finish the hike. Well fortunately I had enough electrolytes on me for 5 people, so managed to become functional again and finish the hike. The last hour sort of sucked due to foot pain, but at least we made it.

As soon as I got home I did as much stretching as my worn out trashed body could do. Then I got out the massage ball and did much leg massage. I actually felt pretty good the next day considering. I found that the carb drink mix I bought really did make a difference in my being able to hike uphill ability. It was basically like powdered energy gels. If one takes energy gels on a marathon, why not on a 9.5 hour hike? Boy was I happy I did!

I skipped my running group Sunday morning. Something about the long hike the day before and only six hours sleep. I did go to meetup however. John tried to cancel on me, but I was already halfway there and had skipped running so I could function for meetup… so I talked him into it ;). I was the only one there; everyone else was off working or camping. It was an awesome meetup! There was circle walking at first, and since it wasn’t a class officially, I was more relaxed and not worried about the whole “teacher watching” thing, so could just enjoy it. Then John got out the pad…. love doing the punches and kicks, so much fun. Accept on Sunday since I was the only student there, I would hold the pad as John hit it in each way many times across the school area. Then it would be my turn. Then he would feel I hadn’t quite gotten it well enough, so then he would whack it with me behind it… It’s amazing how tiring it is to be whacked while holding a pad! You would think that this wouldn’t be tiring at all, but it is if the person whacking actually has some strength!

I was quite surprised how hard John was able to whack it, without really even using that much force… gotta love internal martial arts. I held the pad wrong a few times and ended up with my own fist or elbow in my throat or gut, youch! Overall it worked out pretty well though. Lots of fun hitting it and not having to worry about hurting the other person. The pad worked just re-proved it really is all in the angle. I was a little amazed that my 60 year old teacher didn’t even break a sweat or even get slightly winded during the entire time, whereas I had to keep taking breaks for a few seconds to catch my breath. I asked him why this is because if we ran around the school a few times he would tire out faster… he explained it is all anearobic. I think part of it is also what you are used to doing. For example people who walk up hills everyday have no problem with that in particular, but tire out doing other strenuous things.

I asked John if there is anything else besides swimming I can do, and he said he will think about it… he looked sort of doubtful though. Who would have thought that one has to take up running and swimming to get better at martial arts?! I guess that is why in some other classes I’ve been to, there are some extremely difficult warmups, such as the scorpion crawl and so forth.

Daily martial arts practice :)

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I’ve been practicing at home daily and am just loving it! I practice once or twice per day, usually in the morning, then sometimes again in the evening. They aren’t hour long practices usually, but at least it is regular again.

I’ve been feeling how my body moves and powers the movements more. I also feel more flexible in many areas.

For Tuesday I just practiced martial arts at home, that was about it. I also went down to visit my friend who runs the martial arts store. He will be closing at the end of the month; this makes me quite sad because he was the one I used to talk to for hours daily about martial arts when I first started. I only go in once per week at most now, but will still miss having the store and him there to come talk with and hang out with. Also dim sum just isn’t the same without his company.

On Wednesday I did the BCMC trail, which is pretty much like the Grouse Grind, but more scenic, a slight bit flatter, and a bit longer. I enjoyed it much better :). My time wasn’t the best though since I did take a couple of detours on the way up, oops!

On Thursday I was pretty trashed, but still got some morning martial arts practice in, then evening class. The class was fun. Apparently my Bagua is ever improving. Then we focused on kicks and the snake creeps down stance.

John is cruel… he thinks I should take up swimming now! OK the running, that isn’t so bad once you get used to it, but swimming ugh, so boring AND it involves chlorine for most of the year :(. Well that and it also involves shoulder motion… He feels it will help with breathing and anearobic stuff. I think I’ll ask him if I can just buy a training mask instead lol.

Played hooky on my running group :)

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It was too hot to run. I was made organizer of this running meetup, then showed up 3 weeks ago, and there was another lady that was officially the organizer… kinda odd… but it’s working out very well for me now since I am not officially the organizer I can keep RSVPing not attending. I decided to be irresponsible and NOT show up this evening. Instead I went indoor rock climbing! That was so MUCH more fun than running in the hot sun! I had a blast :). My poor innocent forearms kept getting sore and I had to keep coming back down. I figure over time though that the ouchy forearm thing will pass as they get stronger. The whole idea was to strengthen my arms, so I think this will work.

The only catch is that you always need someone to go with. I’m going to try out the bouldering gym instead the next time, since you can go there anytime you like, alone.

Now why folks would want to do things like planks and weightlift when you can just go rock climb or boulder instead I’m not quite sure!