New Year, New Me

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Hey everyone! Wow..100 followers. Thank you guys! I apologize for not having time to blog in the past 3 months. Let me tell you…. I was one busy man. I had a regional conference in Charleston, South Carolina for my business fraternity, I was in another Greek fraternity (which I later resigned from), I started working a new job, then finals, school, and..you know what? No excuses.

To be honest, in the past few months, I haven’t even had the time to practice much. But, hey…New Year, New Me! I pretty much got lazy and last semester with everything, but this year is a whole new story. See, just recently I resigned from my Greek fraternity so I could dedicate more time to my business fraternity, Pi Sigma Epsilon.

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Yes, that’s them! Beautiful people, with bright futures, business majors, and just a lovely family of friends. This picture was actually taken at our regional conference back in November. Anyway, they have become my life. This semester, I was named Recruitment Chair and Production Assistant! So exciting right?!  Additionally, I’m keeping myself busy by working a job as a professional fundraiser at Ruffalo Noel Levitz. It’s a pretty boring job, but I get paid to just talk on the phone so I guess it’s not too bad. Plus I’m keeping busy with taking 15 credit hours this semester.

So in conclusion, I’m going to be busy, but I will try my best to set aside time to talk to you guys! My plan is to blog at least once or twice a week. Plus, it keeps my martial arts studies sharp when I take a moment to review my path and reflect on what I’ve learned. Anyway, I’ll leave it at that tonight. Look forward to some new post this year, and new techniques, tutorials, and much more! I’ll try my best to keep this active! Thanks again for all the support, and keep on training!

 

My Favorite Art?

Hey everyone! For all those who have been keeping up with me, you guys know that I’m fairly well rounded in martial arts. I have Tae-Kwon-Do, Gong Fu, Wu Shu, Shitoryu, Karate, and whatever else in my background. Well, I was talking to a few people about that, and the question was what is my favorite art. Well, to be honest, I don’t have one. I am a firm believer in that every style has its weaknesses and strengths. There isn’t one martial art that is better than another, but if I were to describe what I like to do in martial arts, well my favorite thing is probably learning the traditional ways of each style.

Karate has taught me that martial arts is infinite. Meaning, there is an endless amount of techniques that you can do. My favorite thing to do is learning traditional forms, then trying to figure them out and dissect the forms movements. Stances are cool and are important during competitions and performances, but my interest lies solely in the hand movements. Of course, sometimes stances can play a role in the technique, but generally stances are used as a base for forms. I’ll demonstrate a few of these techniques in later post, but for now, to all my fellow martial artist, think about what you do in your forms! A punch isn’t just a punch, and a kick doesn’t have to be a kick.

Women in Martial Arts! #WCW

A common misconception is men dominate martial arts. I’m just saying, there are some badass girls out there who are absolutely incredible martial artist! I’m pretty sure the women I’m introducing today would be able to kick any guys’ butt. Girls, these women should be your idol. Not going to lie, I sometimes wish I was as good as these ladies!

1.) Chloe Bruce. She is probably my favorite. I legit have the biggest crush on her. She has incredible control in her kicks, handles weapons like a boss, and is super flexible.

2.) Nikki Stanley is also another really good martial artist. Though her video seems more like she’s doing gymnastics with all of her tumbling and everything but she is still really good with weapons and really good control with her kicks.

3.) Mackensi Emory. This girl is like lightning fast! All of her movements are really flashy but still has great technique, nice stances, and again incredible speed.

4.) Sammy Smith. Very similar to Mackensi, lightning fast and very flashy but still a prime example of a great women martial artist.

Back to Shaolin in the Summer

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Hey everyone! Guess what? I’m going to China again in May! Every year I go back to China to visit family but aside from it, I also go to an amazing school named Tagou to study WuShu and Gong Fu! I have been studying abroad there for the past 5 years and this will be my 6th! I’m a little more excited about it this year because I am probably going to get some experience coaching more and probably learn some new dramatic form! Anyway, the purpose of this post today is to primarily talk about the cite that I study abroad over the summers. Every year, I study at Shaolin Tagou School of WuShu. It is a school that will whip you into shape with an intensive schedule but still fun!

Entrance to the old Tagou.

Entrance to the old Tagou.

There are 2 Tagou Schools, one is new and one is old. I generally go to the old one because I love the atmosphere more and I love the international group. Plus the old school is closer to the actual Shaolin Temple and it is closer to the mountains for hiking. Of course, I’m not downing the new tagou at all. There are opportunities to go there and study too but it is closer to the city. If you like nature and hiking like I do, Old Tagou is where it’s at!

 

Just a few training buddies and I hanging out at the entrance of the Shaolin Temple

Just a few training buddies and I hanging out at the entrance of the Shaolin Temple

The most intense thing is probably the schedule:

5:30 am-7:30 am Morning run and Stretches

8:30 am-11:30 am Class/Workout

3:30 pm-6:30 pm Class/Workout

Anyway, I love the training and I love learning new things so i’m looking forward to this trip again! I will also try my best to put up blog post while I am there. Hopefully, I’ll have better pictures with more scenery than just your typical gym or dojo floor so stay posted for the summer!

Kicks going up on a Tuesday!!

The Tornado Kick

While Drake is turning up, partying, and making the club go up on a Tuesday, I’ll be practicing, working hard, and making my kicks go up on a Tuesday! Kicks take a lot of practice. Think about a kicker on a football team. Sure it may seem as though he has the easiest job and all he’s doing is swinging his leg, but there are a lot of technical procedures that a kicker must follow to generate the most powerful and accurate kick to score for his team. To a martial artist, technique is everything! Without good technique, both strength and accuracy are lost. Today, I’ll be describing your first advanced kick, the Tornado Kick (AKA: 360 Kick, 360 Roundhouse).

 1.) Start with a balanced stance.

2.) From the balanced stance, you want to start turning the opposite direction of the foot you are going to kick with. Notice: I am using my arms to help me turn.

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3.) After turning about 180 degrees, lift the opposite leg you are going to kick with.

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4.) Next, jump off of the leg that you are going to kick with. (Still turning)

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5.) Finally, the kick! You are going to land on the leg you lifted up on step 2 and you are going to do a switching motion then land. You can either do a roundhouse kick or crescent kick. Either way, you end up with a tornado kick. Personally, just starting off, I would go with the crescent because it is a little easier while spinning.

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In full motion it looks like this:

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Again, notice I am using my arms to help me turn. Additionally, you can definitely improve on this kick! You can train to spring higher and turn faster so you can get a 540 degree or 720 degree or 900 degree tornado kick if you wanted to! Here is an example of a 540 from me:

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Here’s a 900 degree kick that I wish I could do but I will continue to train until I can get this! Although it is a hook kick, the concept and steps are similar. It is all based off of the spring and spin.

All You Need is a Little Laughter!

Training can be tough, and training can be hard. Sometimes, you may just have off days but all of that is understandable! Sometimes, all you need is a little laughter to light up the darkest of days. So if you’re down about your training or feeling stressed about something or just having an off day, take a moment and watch these videos. These are my favorite karate parodies! I love watching these whenever I need some cheering up.

1.) Welcome to the Dojo! This is the first episode of the Enter the Dojo series. It is my favorite out of the series because I think it shows the most ridiculous situations. Anyway, totally check this video (and if you have time the series) because these guys did a great job!

2.) Gangnam Style Fighting!! Omg, this video had me laughing my butt off and rolling on the floor laughing so hard! Who knew 16 seconds could make me laugh so hard?! Who knew you could use a Korean dance in sparring?

 

“Music Makes Me Loose Control!!”

One thing that I love to do while practicing or working is jamming out while I do what I love. Do you have a favorite song that you listen to while you workout? Well here are some of mine. Feel free to comment suggestions as well!

1.) My music genre generally revolves around pop punk and alternative rock, but a little techno never hurts! Sandstorm by Darude is probably my favorite techno song! The beat just makes me want to run or do parkour or something.

2.) The Eye of the Tiger by the Survivors is a fun song to perform to! Back in the days, I would have a solo swinging the staff and performing katas with this song!

3.) When I’m about to start a hardcore workout, one of my favorite songs is Frontline by Pillar. This song just pumps me up. Its like a song they would play right before a fight as the fighters are dramatically walking into the ring!

4.) Another good song to have in the background while working out or performing is Awake and Alive by Skillet. Skillet is like my all time favorite band, so if you get the chance, please check them out! Warning though, they are a little on the hard rock side even though they are considered Christian Rock.

5.) Last song I’m going to suggest is the Mortal Kombat theme song. Don’t judge!! It’s a good song to workout too!