My body has traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fight Quest - Krav Maga

Didja catch Friday's episode of Fight Quest - Krav Maga?
I friggin loved it. Dude you're dead, there's no ring timer in a war zone.
I haven't trained Krav but Cole has and my student Chris is one of the top ranked guys in Commando Krav Maga in the US.
I've seen them train and yeah, it looks earily close to that. Many of the same drills, all to simulate situational experiences. Hell, his training parnter was late to an early morning workout in the park. What did Chris do? He carjacked him when he showed up and someone called the cops.

Finally a great episode. Loved the looks on their faces.

Monday, February 25, 2008

And the hits keep rolling

Trying to think back over the Nationals weekend and come up with a general theme. Not being much of a writer (not all Steve's are named Perry) the best I can come up with is it was one series of great moments after another. Just when I thought this will be one of the most memorable moments, another would come along.


Leaving for the Airport bears discussion.

First I was quite concerned and extremely distressed to find that my teacher Mushtaq would not be making the journey with us. I kept telling myself Randy was pulling a fast one on me. But moreso, he was quite sick and we were all concerned that he was going to get worse and we were off selfishly having fun.

I asked my wife what time she thought I should leave for the airport as she does a fair bit more flying than I do. She said 7:30. In answer to my query why, she said "cause knowing you, you won't leave till 7:45". Right. Well, I'll show her.

I had all the bags packed in plenty of time so I wasn't rushed to leave and forgetting something. I told Cole to go warm up the truck. When he came back in I didn't hear it running. You guessed it. Keys were locked in it. After some frantic searching for the spare, Cole brilliantly suggested calling Onstar instead. Bright boy that one. They had it unlocked in 5 minutes and we were on our way by 7:43.

Now why is this so significant? I had just called Onstar a week prior to let them know I probably wouldn't be continuing on with them after my initial year as it was too expensive for the few benefits I got.

Boy, the possiblity of missing my plane sure changed that eh?

But I got to thinking, if they can remotely unlock my truck, can't they just as easily remotely LOCK my truck to make me realize I really do want them???????

When we left is was a bloody cold 20degrees.
LA however was a comparatively balmy 65. I stayed in shorts until midnight 5 days later.

After some sprited driving around LA (abought 2 hrs at 15mph) we arrived at the Best Western (hey, they had a hot tub!).
Afer a quick check in, we headed of for the first momentous point. Seeing my good friend Roger Agbulos.
Roger and I met several years ago by phone and hit it off quite well. We've stayed in frequent, fond contact and Roger has also aided me in some high quality distance learning as well as council as to who I am and where I'm going. Needless to say, we were both pretty geeked to finally meet in person.
Roger is one of Edger Sulite's Lameco Orihinal backyard students. In that tradition, he and his wife graciously hosted our group in their home and spread out the Filipino food. Roger has a beautiful house and great patio surrounded by fruit trees to train in. As an additional treat, my good friend Master Gabe Rafael and son Gerald of Upakan Bara Bara were in town for Nationals and dropped in as well, also being friends of Roger.
And yet even further as a show of our friendship Roger invited top US Tapado Instructor Joe (dammit, dammit dammit, I can't remember his last name!) along for the night as well.
I really enjoyed meeting this skilled, quiet gentleman and having him grace us with a demonstration of Tapado. It was something I was always curious of, videos not doing it justice. I now have a dramatically improved understanding of the power and concepts. It is the real deal.

Myself, Guro Gabe, Guro Roger, Guro Joe.
Interestingly, Joe took a fond liking to the Navadisha movements I showed, saying "that is the old way". That's why we're doin' it!
Roger also demonstrated his concepts from his system Astig assisted by his student Marco. I don't know if the kids grasped it all but I have video of both of them which I won't post here out of respect.
The only downside was that by the time we left it was 2AM at home and the kids were pretty worn out. Me, for once I could have stayed another 5hrs. It was certainly an experience the kids won't get every day in the midwest.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Boat Top Scabbard

Didn't get time to put up a pic before we left because it wasn't finished until just two days before leaving.

But here it is, the finished scabbard. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, considering making one is not my bag of tricks.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Nationals update

Quick update before we leave for the beach today and the airport later tonight.

Team Navadisha sweeps!

I took 1st in traditional Forms, Mariah took 1st in Forms, 2nd in single and 1st in a hard fought double stick and Cole manhandled and dominated his way to 1st in both single and doublestick divisions.
This was a great weekend of many memorable moments, too many to list.
I'll start trying tomorrow

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

These are the memories that made me a wealthy soul

Women have come, women have gone, Everyone trying to cage me.

Some were so sweet, I barely got free,Others, they only enraged me.
Sometimes at night, I see their faces,I feel the traces they've left on my soul.
Those are the memories that made me a wealthy soul,
I tell you, those are the memories that made me a wealthy soul.

Travelin' man, love when I can,Turn loose my hand 'cause I'm goin'.
Travelin' man, love when I can,But sooner or later I'm goin' on.
Travelin' man, travelin' man.

Travelin' Man by Bob Seger

Heading out to Nationals tomorrow in LA. Hard to believe this will be my fifth one.
Each one has been unique and different.
Hearing this song yesterday brought back memories from a Martial Artist and Man who I have the utmost respect for, Tyrone Johnson.
Tyrone and I have traveled and roomed together in many, many places and he has the most unique and endearing wisdom as well as stories.
If you meet him and have a half hour, just ask him about the traveler's walking stick made specifically for him by High Zulu medicine man Credo Mutwa in S. Africa when he was there.
Tyrone goes way back, heck he was on the Western Michigan University TKD competition team already in 1975. Btw, Shaykh Tanner was there at the same time.
We were sitting in a hotel room in London 2002 having one of those deep, existential, prefight nervous discussions that seem to occur when you're in unfamiliar surroundings. Tyrone always had a unique and wise take on competition too.
"Winning or loosing really doesn't matter. We both know within the first 30 seconds who really won and was better anyway. All I want to achieve is to do the best I can and make my teacher and school look good" And he always did both. And I've seen much younger guys who beat him not be able to look him in the eyes later.
I said "Tyrone, what are we doing here anyway then?"
"Memories Steve, we're building memories is what we're doing"
That about covers it :-)
God, I love that man. Named a combo after him last week too.
Only thing I'm really worried about is making Navadisha look good. I no longer have anything wrapped up in competition results.
Thanks for all the wisdom Tyrone

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Demo time

Put on a weapons demo at the TKD dojo a week ago.
Trying to drum up some interest and introduce me to the larger group.
Once they meet you, the guy with the pointy stuff isn't quite so scary.
By all acounts went very well.
Did some Hapkido, Aikido, empty hand FMA, padded stick sparring and full contact sparring.
And Cole did an excellent job as assistant. Kept his ego in check.
It's getting out of hand at times but I suppose going into Nationals that's not necessarily a bad thing. We'll reign it in later if the tourney doesn't do it for me.

And this is my favorite picture, classic Navadisha form.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

No workout today

Yet another winter storm.

I'm not really an old-timer but this has been one of the more quirky winter's I can remember.

Severe storm seems to hit on a weekly basis and dump more snow. Usually warms up in between but we've already broken the record for season snow tally this week. Not that I'm complaining mind you. More snow means more opportunity to ride the newest snowmobile (and that's turning out to be a nice exercise plan, I'm usually whupped later).

As for driving in the storms, well what a better season to have gotten the Hummer. I'm really pretty much not worried pulling out of the driveway.

Snow? What snow? Had to get the trailer out of the back field last week. Just lock it in 4 Hi and go. It's like there's not even really snow there.

The only frustration on the road is following the people who's vehicles are unprepared for winter or those who really shouldn't be driving either. Pulling away from a stop is so uneventful.

I even figure, hey if there's even a few cars on the road, a Hummer should be OK. Now Chuck gives me a reality check and says "4WD only means you're stuck that much farther from the tow truck" and I heartily agree. I'm no fool and don't drive beyond the limits of a vehicle. This one just seems to have higher limits. In fact, I'm usually one of the slower ones if the roads are icy. 4WD means nothing then, I get passed alot and will see alot of fools in the ditch.

Now along comes today. You can't see squat.

It was 37 degrees yesterday and today it ranges from -1 to 3 degrees all day.

Well hell, Nationals start Friday and Cole and I both need the practice and Mushtaq needs to do the final wrapping on my scabbard.

Went out early for gas to run the snowplow and it wasn't too bad. Driving 50-55 before I realized it. Just brief white outs lasting 2-3 seconds.

I guess things changed a bit between then and when we left for good a few hours later. Figured I'd have to drive a bit slower so the trip would take 60-70 minutes rather than 50.

Yeah. Made it about 6 miles before I hung up the cell phone on Randy. I couldn't even see 1-2 car lengths beyond mine. I had a hard time finding a spot to pull a U-turn and I new exactly where I was.

Driving an hour in that is just plain brain-dead zombie thinking. And here 5 hours later it hasn't let up either.

Stuck my camera out the wind on the way back and got these. This was about double the length of visibility I saw on the maid roads.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Two weeks out

Two weeks out from Nationals and I'm pretty pleased.
The kids are looking great.
Both giving as good as they received here!
Neither going for blood, just a nice spirited training round.

Better to have them fight anyway. I'm having to fight them as an opponent they might meet, not as myself. I seem to get waaaay more beat up that way. Thanks go to Mushtaq for teaching her limb destructions!!!! We counted 8 on my arms after one round.

I'll be feeling younger again when this is over I think.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

surprise visitor

Saw this pretty guy at the feeder Sunday.
Not a normally significant event (it's not an Ivory Billed or anything).
But you'd think living on the edge of a large (for Michigan) forest, we'd see more woodpeckers.
Usually just the Downys but the more interesting ones stay away. I did see a Piliated once.
I can draw in Orioles and Grosbeaks, even flickers and bluebirds in the spring, but the more interesting woodpeckers stay away.
I think maybe this one was attracted to this dead standing pine I have yet to cut down (and now have an excuse not to).

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Lets go down to the river

Went for a few more rides on the snowmobile this weekend.
Friday night was a high speed jaunt to the river and down the gas pipeline to Fennvile.
Fast and Beautiful after another heavy dump of snow.

Then went again Saturday with Kristen, Cole and his Girlfriend. Another ride but an hour east instead. Get to see some areas of the Allegan Forest not otherwise seen.