Well I’m back. My lower back is at 95% and I’m once again drug-free. I eased back into exercise on Friday and by Sunday I went almost full-bore. Minus a little stiffness things are holding up!
I’ve decided to quit running for the 10th time — we’ll see how that goes. I know running was the reason I strained my lower back, plus, I can get cardio from other exercises that are safer, so I probably need to let it go.
I had a week without forms practice so I was worried I had forgotten what I had learned. Not so. It took me three tries but I was able to remember where I left off. After I had that down I delved deeper into teacher’s DVD and made it as far as “wave hands like clouds.”
Wave Hands Like Clouds
A game I play is to work through teacher’s DVD and guess the martial applications. Then, on my monthly visit, I confirm if I was close. I also try to avoid YouTube so I don’t cheat. Since I was having trouble getting “wave hands like clouds” down, I violated my rule by resorting to YouTube:
The Chen short form has you stepping left while simultaneously doing this movement. I was messing up badly so had to just stop and practice the hands part. Concerning martial applications, well, I am guessing that you can use the movement to tie up someone’s arms. Then again, that could be my Mantis/Chin na talking. While I was “cheating” I noticed this video that demonstrates another application:
(Start at 8:07 if you are impatient.)
This Saturday I may find out what martial applications teacher teaches.
I’ve started to jokingly refer to this Wild West town as the Outer Rim from Star Wars.
The Outer Rim was the least widely settled and explored expanse of the galaxy before Wild Space and the Unknown Regions. The largest region in the galaxy, it was strewn with diverse worlds, and rugged, primitive frontier planets.
This pretty much sums things up. It also means that access to martial arts–at least those I want to try–are pretty limited. The plan is to stick it out here for three to five years and then move on. With luck I’ll land in a Western state and city that offers the holy trinity: Bagua, Xing Yi, and Tai Chi Chuan.
For sure I will continue to peck away at the Chen short form and also continue my monthly 3-hour drive to teacher’s school. It’s not ideal but I am making progress.
Okinawan kempo vs. aikido
I’ve ruled out Krav Maga and a formal return to Tae Kwon Do. The former because the live testing I saw is probably more than certain old injuries can take; and, the latter because I’ve accomplished most of what I wanted to during two runs in the art.
I am going to visit the local dojo that teaches Okinawan kempo and it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that I may bite. As for aikido, well, I’m not sure. When last I contacted the local teacher he had just re-started his school after a lengthy closure. At that point I had no desire to be his only adult student so I let it pass.
Ironically I saw the guy on television last Friday. The local news station runs an exercise/fitness segment each Friday morning. The general theme is to pair the newscaster up with a local expert and demonstrate a few simple exercises. Last Friday they had the local aikido guy teaching the ditzy brunette how to do a chop with the boken. The hilarious part was the look on her face when explained the step back and pull.
“Okay, raise up and step forward while you bring the boken down. Next, step back and pull the sword out of your opponent’s skull.”
The look of horror on her face was priceless.
As for Tae Kwon Do, well, when the weather gets nice I’m considering a review of the Taeguek forms 1-8 and Koryo. It’s been at least a year so I’m curious what, if anything, I can recall.