Saturday, April 28, 2018

My Week in Stick Chicktivity - 04/28/18

Happy Saturday!  Here's what I did in the martial arts - training, writing, and the various stuff I stumbled across - this week.

How was your week?

TRAINING

When I'm not sick, I get to have a normal week!

Saturday was a "normal" day. Got in a little kobudo practice and then I attended our normal Arnis class.  In the afternoon, Older Daughter slapped on her Black Belt and helped our teacher and I with a rank promotion test for the TKD students (hey, I'm not a TKD black belt but I've seen SO MUCH OF IT given everyone around me trains in it I know what to look for).  Good day, and overall the kids did great for their rank promotion test.

Monday Arnis at Hidden Sword, Tuesday I took Younger Daughter to TKD, Wednesday more Arnis goodness at Hidden Sword, Thursday was again Younger Daughter's TKD class.

Friday I took Younger Daughter to see "Isle of Dogs".  Good movie; I recommend it.



BLOGGERY

Full week of posting goodness, y'all!


The Stick Chick Blog  is a multi-channel social media martial arts juggernaut. You can find us on  Google PlusFacebookMeWeTumblr, and Twitter. I would add that MeWe allows a black belt, a knife, and crossed swords as reactions to posts soooooo... get over there, y'all!

OTHER MARTIAL ARTSY GOODNESS

True story. My first martial arts school and style - PaSaRyu Taekwondo - is the style created by Kang Rhee, one of the people in Memphis that Elvis Presley trained with.  Our dojo had a big picture of the two of them together.  Also, as a kid, Elvis was alive and used to ride his motorcycle through the apartment complex we lived in.


I am a big fan of Operation Blazing Sword.  It is a program to connect firearm instructors with folks in the LGBTQ community so people can get trained to defend themselves (for free, even!).  I think it's an excellent idea.  Learn more HERE.

Nice, thoughtful post by Joelle White: Accessibility

LAST THOUGHTS:

Today I have some kobudo practice and Arnis.  Tomorrow, I'll be attending a Dan Anderson Modern Arnis seminar our school is hosting - it's gonna ROCK so y'all come out if you're in the neighborhood (event and details found HERE).

Train hard and have a great week!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Questions from Quora: Which is better, Kobudo or Filipino Stick Fighting?


Quora is a leading internet site where questions get asked and answered by people from all over the world!  As you can imagine, lots of questions get asked about the martial arts.  "Questions from Quora" shares a question I find interesting, and my answer to the question.

What's YOUR answer to today's Question from Quora?


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My Martial Arts Refuge

My life is pretty chaotic right now.

I'm in the middle of packing my home for a long-distance move and wrapping up my job before I leave it.

At my day job, I am writing procedures and training documents, and I've started the process of training people to do key functions that I do today.  The routine I had there is disrupted and my work flow is all discombobulated.

Routine at home is not even a thing, really. I am living with bins and boxes and piles of this and that waiting to be packed, and I have a list of chores to do before the move that seems a mile long. 

I have to go through everything we own and decide what goes and what stays.

I have to carefully plan what I buy in terms of food because I want to make sure most of what we have is eaten up by the time we get to move day (this is a non-trivial problem because freezer/fridge items must be used up before the move).

I have to figure out how to get rid of the things we're not taking with us. Some of them are huge or valuable and I have to arrange moving them or selling them or donating them or freecycling them.

That's just a taste of the hundreds of things I'm having to keep track of right now.

As a result, the normal demands and stresses of life are amplified and much, much harder to cope with that it used to be.

Pretty much.

I'm tired, I'm stressed, and mentally, I'm as fried as I've ever been.  By 9 pm at night I am ready to collapse and I usually do.

This would seem like a reasonable time to throttle back on going to Arnis class, going to seminars, and martial arts practice. After all, I have a lot to do and a very hard deadline to meet, and nobody would think that's the wrong thing to do.

Instead, I drag myself to everything on my martial arts calendar.  Except if I'm sick or something, I'm not slowing down on that one bit.

If I don't keep training, I'll completely lose my mind.



In Arnis class, I don't have to manage a thousand little details because my teacher does that.  While the content varies, I have a relatively consistent experience in each class, so it's basically the only normal, regular thing in my going on right now.

I get physical and mental exercise without being driven to utter exhaustion (like I am while I'm cleaning and packing at home).

You know what the best thing about going to martial arts training?  It's clean.  It's organized.  It is not done amidst stacks of boxes and bags and trash waiting to go out to the curb because your bin's too full right now.

Training is the place where my brain can relax and I can just let go of everything for a couple of hours.  

It's my happy place while the rest of my life undergoes the necessary devolution into chaos a big change like we're making requires.

I don't know how I'd do all this without having my martial arts refuge, I really don't.

How does martial arts training help you cope with the stresses in your life?  Is the mat or dojo YOUR refuge?  What positive effects did you see from your training?  Let us know in the comments!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Week in Stick Chicktivity - 04/21/18

Another week in the books!  Here's what I did in the martial arts - training, writing, and the various stuff I stumbled across.

How was your week?

TRAINING

Saturday I attended Arnis class and then I went to my second-to-last Kobudo class.  We worked on learning our Kama Ichi form, then we seniors (and yeah, it still weirds me out that I'm a "senior" in there) helped out the juniors with Bo Ichi.

Sunday night I started getting a really bad migraine episode (that hit really hard Monday mid-morning) and it knocked me out of work and training and writing and most everything, really, until Thursday. So that was fun.

Thursday I took Younger Daughter to taekwondo.

So basically, training-wise, it was crazy light due to my brain deciding to no work more gooder.

That's me, in the foreground. There's a part in the form where we change to reverse grip
and I was trying to figure that bad boy out.
BLOGGERY

Because of the stoopid migraine, not much fresh content on the blog this week. Sorry, y'all.


The Stick Chick Blog can be found on a profusion - nay, a veritable plethora - of social media platforms.  Google Plus, Facebook, MeWe, Tumblr, Twitter.  The Facebook page is the most active of the bunch, but I'm trying to make the MeWe group busier, too.  So if you do that social media thang, I'd love it if you connect with me there!

OTHER MARTIAL ARTSY GOODNESS

Any week with a fresh video from Master Ken is a good week.



Reasons fooling around with a live blade is SERIOUS BUSINESS (no matter what they show you on television or in movies), example 442:



LAST THOUGHTS:

Today is a "normal" training day - kobudo practice and Arnis.  Our school is also doing a taekwondo rank promotion today, so I'll stick around to help out.

Hope your week was awesome, and have a great weekend.  See you Monday, as long as my brain decides not to be a jerk.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Questions from Quora: Nunchucks Legal to Carry?


Quora is a leading internet site where questions get asked and answered by people from all over the world!  As you can imagine, lots of questions get asked about the martial arts.  "Questions from Quora" shares a question I find interesting, and my answer to the question.

What's YOUR answer to today's Question from Quora?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

My Week in Stick Chicktivity

Here's how my week of training, writing, teaching, and miscellaneous Filipino Martial Arts-y goodness went.

What have you been up to this week?

WHAT I DID THIS WEEK:

Maaaannn, it was one of those weeks.

Saturday I got in three hours of training at my teacher's instructor course out in Bridgeport. We worked on some of my favorite material - empty hand drills and tapi-tapi - so it was a good day.

Sunday I took my kids and my older daughter's boyfriend to one of my favorite places in Dallas-Fort Worth, Trinity Treetop Adventure.  IT WAS SO FUN (as always).

Monday I attended Arnis class at Hidden Sword.

And then... life intervened.  I spent the rest of the week doing stuff related to my impending move in a few months that just had to be done this week.  Given I only have less than two months to go, that's probably going to happen off and on.

But hey, there's actual video of me working out this week. This is me working with one of my teacher's Instructor's Course students with some empty hand flow drills.


BLOGGY GOODNESS:

Monday: A Form is a Form is a Form
TuesdayTo Learn, Teach
Wednesday: I had major computer problems with TWO computers (thanks, Windows!)
Thursday: 4 Things I'd Change About the Martial Arts World (That Will Never Happen)
FridayQuestions from Quora: How does Escrima or Kali teach you how to use any weapon if it's mostly using sticks?

You can find this blog on your favorite Social Media platforms!  Check it out:
So be sure to follow, like, join, or whatever you do with the Stick Chick Blog on the channel you like most!

OTHER STUFF THAT I SAW/DID:

The final post in this series was published, so I'm keeping this here so you can read and share (and please do).
Those computer problems I mentioned above caused me to post this little gem on my Facebook feed instead of the post I was planning.  I"d say I'm sorry, but I'm not.


SUPER-FANTASTIC post by Wim Demeere on his blog that I can't agree with more: How to never stop improving in your martial arts training: Randy’s Law

There's LOTS of other stuff in my MeWe group and my Facebook page so go check those out, ok?


FINAL THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK:

It's a "normal" day today. I take younger daughter to Taekwondo, then I go to Arnis class, then I have my second-to-the-last kobudo class over in Dallas.

Y'all take care and have a fun and productive training week!

So what did YOU do this week?  What did you train? What did you teach?  Did you see any really cool martial arts stuff online?  Let me know!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Questions from Quora: How does Escrima or Kali teach you how to use any weapon if it's mostly using sticks?


Quora is a leading internet site where questions get asked and answered by people from all over the world!  As you can imagine, lots of questions get asked about the martial arts.  "Questions from Quora" shares a question I find interesting, and my answer to the question.

Got a martial arts question you want me to answer?  Send me an "Ask to Answer" on Quora, and I just might!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

4 Things I'd Change About the Martial Arts World (That Will Never Happen)

If I had a magic wand, there's a lot of things I'd change about the world.

You know what I mean.  Things like ending poverty, hunger, and Christmas music being publicly played outside of the month of December.

STOP IT!  IT ISN'T EVEN HALLOWEEN YET!!
Here's how I'd take that magic wand and change the martial arts world. It would take a magic wand, because there's no way these things will happen without one.

SELF DEFENSE TRAINING IN SCHOOLS

If I had my way, we'd teach self defense (along with bully prevention) in schools.  Lots of countries have some martial arts program in schools (the Philippines does, for example), but I'm not thinking any given style, just fundamental self defense concepts that are not even mostly based on physical skill.  I would love for every person to have a safe and secure grounding in the law, social customs, de-escalation, and what to do when all that fails.

Why it won't happen:

We don't have enough serious research and evidence to prove what works best, or doesn't.  And we'll never, ever agree on a curriculum that would be taught everywhere.

KICKING OUT SENSEI SCUMBAG

You may recall I refer to any martial artist who uses the training environment to prey on victims of sexual or emotional abuse as Sensei Scumbag.

"Hate" may be a strong word, but it's the correct one for people who take a community based on trust and helping people defend themselves and pervert it into abusing other people. I literally hate Sensei Scumbag.  If you're reading this and ARE one of those people, just look in the mirror and remind yourself that the Stick Chick literally hates your guts, mmmmkay?  Then turn yourself in and take your punishment, you asshat.

I have a few extra in my other jacket.

With my magic wand, I would have a consistent way to identify who these people are and get them out of the martial arts before they can victimize anybody.

Why it won't happen:

Sensei Scumbag is so good at hiding in plain sight that I'd actually HAVE to have that magic wand to make this happen - heck, we can't figure this out in any realm of society, much less our subculture.  We just have to get better at creating a training environment that's more difficult for Sensei Scumbag to take advantage of.

NO MORE ARGUING WHAT WORKS "IN THE STREET"

My god, people, stop beating this dead horse. There are MULTIPLE ways to deal with real-life threats and so many variables no one single style or system can possibly account for every single one of them.

Until it's actually tried and succeeds more than once, (as anything could potentially work once, I suppose) there is no way to prove it.  Well, mostly.

Exhibit A.

Why it won't happen:

Because the internet exists, and there is no shortage of people who believe only their system or style is the "one true way", and other people doing it differently threatens them so much that they just can't help themselves.


GOODBYE BELTS AND RANKS

I see why they exist and I admit they serve a useful function.  But I also think that they're a distraction, become so important in themselves that it overshadows the skill sets you learn, ranks are easily faked or lied about (there are more online belt mills than I can count), and well, I just think they're more trouble than they're worth.

There's so much politics and hoopla around it all, y'know?

Why it won't happen:

Human beings just can't let go of anything that helps us establish our status in groups.  We're sort of built that way, and well, as soon as we get in any groups of any size, we establish a pecking order.  My wish would have to change fundamental human nature.

So what would YOU change about the martial arts world if you could? What do you think of my list? Let me know in the comments!


Saturday, April 7, 2018

My Week in Stick Chicktivity - 04/07/18

Here's how my week of training, writing, teaching, and miscellaneous Filipino Martial Arts-y goodness went.

What have you been up to this week?

WHAT I DID THIS WEEK:

Saturday I went to Arnis class, and we started covering the Kombtan staff material, which is really fun.

Sunday was Easter and we did our family's traditional Easter thing, which is go to a Japanese Steak House.

Monday I went to Arnis class at Hidden Sword.

Tuesday I took younger daughter to Taekwondo class.

Wednesday I attended Arnis class at Hidden Sword.  That night, I had my first ocular migraine in 42 days.

Thursday I ended up having a full day of on-and-off ocular and vertiginous migraines in a big swarm, and Friday I had Post-Drome (the after-migraine "hangover) so I stayed home and slept much of the day.

No new pictures of me this week, but here's one from waaaay back in... 2013 maybe... of me helping out my Teacher with the AKATO Kobudo black belts on Arnis concepts. As you can see, I was a brown belt then!





BLOGGY GOODNESS:

Monday: A Creature of Habit
TuesdayThe Purple Knuckles Club
WednesdayLeaping Into the Unknown
Thursday: Four Downsides to Being a Filipino Martial Artist
Friday: Nothing, I was passed out ;)

You can keep up-to-date on the Blog and all sorts of other martial artsiness on my social media channels!


So be sure to follow, like, join, or whatever you do with the Stick Chick Blog on whichever martial arts social media channel you prefer!

OTHER STUFF THAT I SAW/DID:

Friend of this blog Cathy Chapaty has written an excellent five-part series published on Bullshido, tackling the topic of sexual abuse in the martial arts (as of this writing, four of the five articles are published).  Big thanks to Cathy and Bullshido for this!  Read AND SHARE this series in all of your martial arts channels:


Oh, Diemon Dave, you were chock full of sage advice.



Goodness me, Master Ken published TWO videos this week.





Please, please PLEASE stop going to the YouTube dojo.



FINAL THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK:

Today I'm helping out at my teacher's monthly Arnis Instructor's course out in Bridgeport. And tomorrow we plan to go to Trinity Treetops Adventure!  Yay!

Have a great weekend.

So what did YOU do this week?  What did you train? What did you teach?  Did you see any really cool martial arts stuff online?  Let me know!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Leaping Into the Unknown

I'm running out of time.

My move 500 miles north is getting a lot closer.

I'm getting invited to participate in martial arts things that I have to decline because I won't live here any more.

I have two Kobudo classes left.

I have two big Arnis seminars left.

Don't get me wrong, I am excited by the potential of what I'll do next.  I spend a lot of time researching and thinking about it. I'm antsy I can't just get started on all those things.

You see, I love to plan things and then just execute the plan.  The waiting I have to go through SUCKS and I hate that part with the passion of a million burning suns.

You and me both, pal.

I've re-started my martial arts life twice. Once in Nevada, once in Texas (as I started training two moves ago). I know well the frustration of trying to find a new martial arts home, the place that "feels right" where we can settle in and train.

The truth is, though, I'm a little afraid to leave the martial arts life I live here in Texas behind..  Eight years of training here have been kind to me, and to my family.  It really has become my martial arts home.

I have a really good teacher. I have training partners.  I have friends and connections, more than I can count, and I appreciate that community I'm a part of.  It's comfortable and I belong.

But all that is going out the window.

I'm taking a great big leap into the unknown when it comes to the martial arts, and that's really scary.

Could be...
For some folks, this would be a time to just stop training.  After all, I'm a 2nd degree Black, and I could "take a break". Lots of people make this choice when they move or have some other big life change.

Yeaaahhhh....

No. Can't do that.

Remember, I train not just so I will become one of the toughest little old ladies you ever met.  I train for my health.  Physical, and mental.

I just can't imagine how I'd live without training, I just... can't.

So look out, Kansas City.  The Stick Chick is coming to town.

Have you had to change cities and re-establish yourself in the martial arts?  How did it work out for you?  What problems did you have?  Let us know in the comments!