Awww, it is the end of barefeet on the grass in the sun Bagua season :(

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I will miss all those nice practice sessions where we went out onto the grass in bare feet to practice the Bagua, nice soft cool grass. However it is starting to get slightly chilly in the evenings now. This may have been the last barefeet on sunny grass Bagua class, darnit. Good thing I have those barefeet shaped shoes!

We were both exhausted this evening from our other Bagua practices during the week, but we managed a 2 hour class anyways, we just did gentle Bagua, and a little talking. We actually covered quite a bit considering. We also went over the neigong again trying to remember as much as possible.

oooh leg strength from jumprope!

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I have noticed that I can get down quite a bit further in certain stances, suddenly. The only new thing is the jumprope. While I’d be surprised if it kicked in so quickly, it really is the only new and different thing I have done lately. OK so perhaps the jumprope torture is worth it :).

I have also noticed that my balance is improving a bit more again which is nice.

Jumprope, how do I loathe thee

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Well I improved 10-fold from yesterday. I’m really glad that I got a little cardio in before meeting my new training partner at the gym! I can only imagine the humiliation if I had only lasted that long in front of someone else, who likely would not have crapped out that quickly. I hope to keep seeing improvements until Monday. Then from Monday on it will be onto the treadmill and some other interesting stuff; weights too.

*pout* I really miss the fighting :(

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Yes, yes I know, condition and build up and get everything all proper before using Bagua for fighting… but damn, I really miss the light sparring practice I used to do *pout again* lol. Sure there are a few apps when I train with my teacher, and sometimes I show th em to my students, but those are far from the main part of the practice, and it just isn’t the same.

I’m half tempted to go join some folks sparring, but unfortunately my sparring skills leave very much to be desired… well that and I wonder if going off and training something else or joining some other group will mess up my Bagua?

Apparently I have another 4-5 or so more years to go before the fighting bit… aaarrrgggg!!!! Some of the Bagua teachers I have talked with say that the apps and the sparring aren’t the most important part of Bagua, but they are what keeps the students coming out. Now I know why ;).

Maybe I should do my iron vest and etc. training in case I give in and go find some local sparring group…

This motivation stuff is difficult some days!

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I did morning practice just fine, mostly circle walking and the form. Then during they day I thought I would dust off my jump rope to get my cardio back up a little more before going to the gym with my gym buddy. Yep I made it an entire 20 jumps before I had to go sit down for awhile :P. Then later on 20 more, then 20 more a couple of hours later lol.

So I might have done an entire minute all together? LOL They say 10 minutes of jump rope is about equivalent to half an hour on the treadmill. Well it is really difficult to imagine lasting 10 minutes with the jump rope! There is this jump rope video a friend of mine sent me, where the couple teaching the video was actually able to calmly talk while continuously jumping rope, as in not getting out of breath talking! I can do that while jogging (when I’m in shape) sure, but most definitely not while skipping rope.

The cardio and going to the gym ideas didn’t seem so appealing after the jump rope today LOL. However I’m going to do it each day until Monday when I meet my gym buddy so that I last longer than 2 minutes on the treadmill! Perhaps I should move some weights around before then as well, since it has been a very long time since I have done that either. Fortunately though there have been some really heavy packages I had to carry around and lift for work, so my strength hasn’t faded nearly as much as my cardio.

Then it came time for my evening Bagua practice (simply because the morning practice wasn’t a full hour), and the last thing in the world I wanted to do was Bagua. No wait, Bagua was the second to last thing in the world I wanted to do, jump rope was the last thing. So to motivate myself I decided to catch up on my staff exercises, as those are always a bit more fun :). Then after staff, I got a few other exercises in. I’m glad that my teacher has thrown in some staff training to motivate me :>.

Well crap, it appears I need cardio :(

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I haven’t done cardio in ages, unless you count the odd bikeride here and there, or sprinting for the bus once in a blue moon ;).

I feel that I have to get back into doing cardio again, darnit. Cardio is difficult, especially at first. Once you have been doing it for awhile it is bearable, but not within the first month back!

My poor poor innocent lungs!

So I found someone to go to the gym with, and we are going to go 3 times per week. I should probably be excited about this right?

I wish there was martial arts related cardio I could do, then it would be a lot more fun! I mean in a class setting though, since I’m not always the best at self motivation when it comes to cardio (unless I’m training for a half marathon, and I don’t feel like doing that again). Why are there not martial arts classes a whole bunch of days per week? I mean that aren’t cardio kickboxing! Well I guess there are aikido classes, but I don’t really enjoy aikido much. Someone needs to start teaching Bagua classes 4-5 days per week here in Vancouver!!

Oh well, I’ll just go with the treadmill for now, and some weights. I always find the weights fun, and the treadmill can be OK with my headphones on full blast…

Staff is a hell of a lot of fun! :)

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Sifu thought he should teach me the staff form. We are still making our way through the empty handed form, but he thought that the staff form would be beneficial for me. I definitely like the variety, since we have been going over the same empty handed form for the past year, and still only as far as the 3rd gua. It is nice to have a bit of a change as well :).

Also the staff practice definitely gives a good arm and shoulder workout! Or so my arms and shoulders are informing me anyways. Said arms and shoulders are also quite happy that Sifu said to get a rattan staff instead of say an oak one! My fingers are extra happy that the staff is light. It is difficult enough to twist the 6 foot long stick around my 3 fingers, without it being even heavier.

So far the staff exercises are more twirling it around my hands and fingers, as well as a few basic movements. I have also learned the first gua or two of the form, but more time is being spent on getting the basic movements down. Heaving a weapon really does liven up the practice and make it more fun. My students are pretty excited about getting to learn the staff as well. However I won’t be teaching it to them until I get better at it, as well as more training in it.

I have found that the faster I can get that thing going, the easier it is to keep it going. I have also found that keeping them all nice and polished and pretty looking definitely isn’t going to happen as I tend to drop it often. I am supposed to sand my staff down, will have to get to that soon.

Since the staff practice is so much fun, to make sure I get my other practice in, I have been saving the staff practice for last, and doing it once I have all of the other stuff finished. If I just started with the staff practice, I’d tire myself out with the most fun parts, then be too tired to continue with the other Bagua lol.

My legs are joyful!

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I’m going to miss Sifu, but my legs aren’t! LOLOL

That whole training 7 hours per day stuff, is a lot of fun… well actually a bit grueling by day 4, a bit torturous by day 5, but it is really nice to know that I won’t be doing Bagua for more than 2-3 hours per day for awhile ;).

Sifu came up to visit for a couple of weeks. Well visit and do some workshops here and on the island. It was pretty cool to have him up. It was really stressful though when he told me to teach class like usual while he would watch. We all were stiff and nervous LOL. Fortunately he say that and decided to just jump in and do all the teaching. It was app day, which of course is always a lot of fun.

There was also the 2 day long neigong workshop to start, with myself and my 2 students. I learned a LOT during that time, which was handy to bring into my training after.

Then we spent 3 days correcting 1/4 of a form! 3 days! My frustration level was high. Sifu did warn me that he teaches like that, first the overall movements, then later a bit deeper, and deeper. In other words what he meant was over and over and over and over again till I got it to the exact millimeter. That is how it felt anyways. Apparently it keeps going for the rest of my Bagua training, the same form even deeper and even more precise. I’m sure that’s a good thing, even if it is torturous.

Then we took 4 glorious days off! I did not move much in those 4 days, just enough to get food and to the ice pack lol. Then it was back at it with 2 fun days of staff training! Staff training is Sifu’s favorite, so it was a lot of fun.

My body feels like a pretzel still, and I think another visit to my chiropractor might be in order :).

I sort of wonder how Sifu can train 5-7 hours per day and barely feel it, then run off to the island to teach a medical qigong workshop for 4 days, then come back here and train some more. He’s like the Bagua energizer bunny :>. One of my kung fu friends tells me that these 7 hour training days will really improve my kung fu in the long run. I’m not sure how that works exactly, but I”m good with that. It is a good thing that I like Bagua so much.

My Chiropractor says I’m in good shape!

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All I can figure is that I have muscles in my back for him to say this. He was also rather surprised at how much martial arts I do lol, though it did explain why I came in not for any particular injury, but just from overuse of certain areas!

I feel a bit better, my back I mean. My legs well, I’m having trouble walking still, especially stairs LOL.

I still say so worth it ;).

Too much Bagua!

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Amazing but true. This evening I had to tell Sifu that I could only do another hour instead of 2 like we had planned. So I “only” did 6 hours of Bagua today lol. Since I have done 39 hours worth in the past 6 days, Sifu fully understood my inability to continue lolol.

Last night after the 7 hour day, I got home, had the best bath in the world of hot baths, then lay down. There was food in the fridge, however it took me over an hour to recuperate enough to make it the 25 feet to the fridge!

I think my thighs might forgive me next year sometime… ;).

Sifu and I have been covering the form. He is making sure I fine tune it even more, and go even deeper with it. He is also having me redo each and every movement 100 times, or at least it seems like 100 times. I’ve heard the word “again” more times in the past week than in my entire life I think. I’m really glad he is putting the effort in, and taking the time to make sure my Bagua improves… lots.