spudtater: (Default)
( Feb. 5th, 2005 12:45 am)
Karate was fun today. However, my arms are all bruisy from blocking roundhouse kicks. After much silly kicking practice, the teacher introduced a friend of his who studies a form of karate with chinese and aikijutsu influences. He demonstrated and taught a bunch of wrist-grappling exercises, which were interesting, if tricky. Must find somebody to practice these with, 'cause they really do rock.

Then headed off to the Atle Goose to meet the beautiful, if sleepy, [livejournal.com profile] galaxy_girl00.   8^)

Hrmmm... had planned to head off to Glasgow early tomorrow morning. Am wondering if I can be arsed, though. There's work I should be doing. And I could see the gondoliers, and not miss sunday's karate, and... etc.

Edit: Guess what? I gave up on Glasgow.   8^P
I just couldn't face the prospect of trying to find my way to and round a place I've never been before, since I'd only had six hours sleep or so. So now I am free today.
spudtater: (Default)
( Jan. 22nd, 2005 01:35 am)
"Can I have your email address"? Your email address!? How geeky can you get, spud? *sigh*

In other news, karate was good fun. Was a very active session, with lots of partner-work to promote reflexes. Got to wear silly gloves. Then we learnt part of the 'pinan shodan' kata. Studied correct form for a 'karate chop'. Heh. My hand is practically seizing up now, though, from the tension.

I go sleep now.
spudtater: (Default)
( Jan. 16th, 2005 04:11 pm)

The sky is absolutely lovely right now. I'm sitting in Appleton level 5 labs[0], and the sun's lighting up the underside of all the clouds a firey orange as it sets. An artist's palette of blue, orange and gray in the sky. It makes me happy.

Synod proceedings )

Synod ended at around half-twelve. I briefly considered proceeding to Mission, but decided I lacked the caffiene to get there while still awake. I may instead go to Neon today. I shall remember my earplugs this time. It is on today, correct? Anyone else going?

Karate was fun today; a smaller class than usual, which meant we got through stuff faster. Continuing on from Friday, more simple combination attacks/defences were studied. I particularly like "punch, reverse punch, roundhouse kick" as an attack. Must however practice my triple-punch combo, as I always seem to start with either the wrong hand or the wrong foot.

Oh, and [livejournal.com profile] deralte; further to our conversation about straightening the back leg: I asked the teacher about this (over a pint), and he replied that a straight back leg was indeed sub-optimal in the long run. He teaches the beginners the straight-back-leg posture in order to learn 'correct form', but this form should become less strict and more dynamic as the student progresses to higher belts. Oh, and one of the sequences we studied today did in fact include a kick to the uke's[2] front leg.

Lastly: I keep forgetting to spam on behalf of Zoga. 'Tis a middle-eastern sandwich & wrap café on S. Clerk street, opposite Lidl. £2 for a feta and salad wrap which is both large and very very tasty! Friendly people too. Next time you need a sammitch, try them.

[0] Thor's a skirt-wearing pansy who couldn't hit an elephant from five yards!

[1] Which drink, that is, not which [livejournal.com profile] batswing. There is only one true [livejournal.com profile] batswing, and she is small and purple.

[2] Customary immature *giggle*.

spudtater: (Default)
( Nov. 14th, 2004 04:09 pm)

Karate was ridiculous today; far too much running around for a Sunday morningafternoon. After two consecutive nights of partying, I just couldn't take it, and had to sit out for half an hour to catch my breath again and wait for the room to stop moving. Pah! It's way too much work for a form of self-defence, anyway. I think I'll learn to summon bears instead.

Silly memeage )
spudtater: (Default)
( Oct. 9th, 2004 12:42 am)
Karate was fun today. Instructor introduced the term 'uke' to the class ("it is important for the uke to react to his partner's moves..."). I caught [livejournal.com profile] deralte's eye from the other side of the room and we both grinned. Anime geeks; really!

A very good lesson in general though. The teacher really got the idea of smooth, dynamic movement across very well; just with a difference in stance, I found myself able to do a technique at literally twice the speed I was doing it at last week. Bam-bam-BAM! Excellent. Although thanks to a rather overenthusiastic partner, I expect to be developing some pretty bruise patterns around about the base of my rib cage.   8^[
spudtater: (Default)
( Oct. 6th, 2004 04:25 pm)
The aikido term for the person who gets thrown is the 'uke'.
Heehee.   8^)
spudtater: (Default)
( Oct. 3rd, 2004 04:08 pm)
The idea of karate in general, and kata in particular, is to build muscle memory for sequences of actions that would be effective in a fight. Eg. if somebody throws a punch at your face, you can automatically reel off a counterattack sequence: block, elbow-to-ribs, knee-in-stomach, deposit-on-floor.   8^)

This is all very well, but I worry that the next time somebody puts their hands over my eyes to play guess-who, I'm going to react by sweeping my arm around into an elbow-lock and then punching them in the kidneys before I figure out what's happening. This may well be sub-optimal social behaviour.
spudtater: (Default)
( Oct. 2nd, 2004 03:45 am)
Finally managed to find the Shukokai Karate club this evening. Had none of the bullshit of Aikido, and the instructors were friendly without being unprofessional. However, it is a hell of a lot more difficult. Apparently, you actually need strength in order to hit people effectively. Who knew? The instructor told us to do twenty fast press-ups during the warm-up... look, that's just not going to happen. I did four, and was fairly happy with that. And I really can't jump up onto my feet from on my back. So while everybody else was jumping to and from their feet, I was rocking back and forth on my bum like a prat. *sigh*

However, I got to knee somebody in the stomach repeatedly. That was fun. (He was holding a big padded shield-thing at the time, but no matter.) And I know what to do if somebody's got me on the floor and is trying to strangle me. (Box ears, elbows into elbows, grab lapels, roll over, brace, punch in face.)

After karate went to [livejournal.com profile] anjylle's birthday party. A great success. I ate much pizza and cake, but I left behind a similar value of vodka, so it all balances out.
spudtater: (Default)
( Sep. 29th, 2004 06:31 am)
Went to my first Aikido lesson. Am still unsure about it; it does seem just a touch culty. The thing is that they don't appear to even realise this. The teacher placed a picture of the founder of Aikido on one wall, and as they step onto the mat they bow deeply in that direction. I asked them about this and got a mumbled response basically saying "it's traditional".

I sort of did a half-bow because I didn't want to make a fuss on my first day. But I have an unspoken principle of never bowing to anybody (or anything) who doesn't bow back. This includes pictures. I think I'll have to sort this out with them. I'll bow to the teacher, sure. I'll bow to my classmates, no problem. But to a dead dude's portrait? I'd really rather not, thankyouverymuch.

As for the actual art, it seems pretty neat. The first thing we learned was how to fall over.   8^)
Then we did a whole bunch of stuff revolving around one person grabbing the other's wrist, and the latter trying to break free or to force the former to fall over. It kinda suits me because the whole idea is to find ways to move such that the opponent can't resist in any way. So it's less of a physical struggle, and more tactical.

Now for karate on Friday. Hope I haven't missed too much.
spudtater: (Default)
( Sep. 27th, 2004 02:26 am)
  • Stupidly thought karate was at 2:00, but it was at 1:00. D'oh!
  • Weather was lovely this evening. The wind was carrying the clouds past at great speed, and the moon was lighting them up in iridescent colours as they passed. I had to sit and watch them for a while, despite the cold.   8^]
  • Neon was really fun. I was dancing without any inhibition, just letting my stresses out to music. Perhaps it was the fact that yesterday I was karate-dancing in my dressing gown; suddenly nothing seems too silly any more...   8^)
    Notable music played included Pounding Techno Music, Atomic (yay!) and the original Gloria Jones Tainted Love.
    Unfortunately, the combination of an enthusiastic DJ and the crap Subway sound system meant that it started getting altogether too screechy towards the end of the night. I had to leave before I got an earache or migraine. Next time, I'm bringing ear plugs. No, really.
  • Finally, I think I'll resurrect the interview meme. WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY!
Went along to the New Scotland Country Dance Society's beginners lesson last night. I was a little nervous at turning up to a dance lesson alone, but I think a lot of people were in the same boat.

As far as actual dancing was concerned, it was a bit disastrous! Most people had at least a general idea of how to dance, unlike the usual society ceilidhs. So I felt a bit bisinistrapedary (i.e. two left feet.)

However, the social side turned out to be a very good idea. I'm so used to being in social groups where the men outnumber the women, the idea of hanging around women who aren't being chatted up by at least one man at any given time is somewhat new! In fact, when the dance leaders called for couples, I could just cast my eyes around and take my pick from a selection of unaccompanied women. Some of them even asked me for a dance!

*Mind boggles at concept*

So, am looking forward to turning up at that every week!   8^)



In other societies news, tried to go to karate today. However, I could not find the bloody place! Where the hell is "St. Leonard's" if not on St. Leonard's Street?   8^S
spudtater: (Default)
( Sep. 16th, 2004 01:50 am)

From the leaflet handed out by the Aikido society:

The founder of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, felt that the true spirit of aikido aimed to create a world without enemies. "This world was designed by our creator", he said, "there is no need to fight against its natural harmony. With true mind of love and compassion we can go back to the original principles of creation, end establish noble and pure world. [sic] This is what we are obliged to achieve and this is the purpose of our life".

Okay, non-violent martial art: good. Talking like a freaky cultist: bad.
From the next page:

Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), the founder of aikido, was possibly history's greatest martial artist. Even at 80, Morihei could disarm any attacker, repel multiple opponents, and pin a man with a single finger.

Ummm... the first two claims were stretching credibility. The last one's just silly.

.

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