East and West and Up

Worf and Squeak were back in class last night, freshly jet lagged from visiting Austria and Poland. It says something about dedication to training to be hitting class less than 24 hours after touchdown. I fell asleep last night reflecting on the odd dedication we all have to our class. If someone misses a week or so of training, they don’t talk about missing class, they talk, with almost fear, about losing their edge. It’s as if each and every single class yields a palpable gain to each student. Taking two weeks off leaves you feeling like you have to put in a ton of extra work to catch up. It’s not like we have any concrete way of measuring progress. We don’t record number of wins or how long you held a handstand or L-sit, or how many cartwheels you did. We don’t count submissions for or against. There…

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Not So Brave

So I’ve been seeing the Disney news lately. They’ve done the usual thing with Merida from Brave, prettying her up to make her fit more in line with the Disney Princess model of looks and behavior. It’s not surprising. Disney is a marketing engine, a big-league one. They have a goal of billions of dollars with a product, not millions of dollars. You can’t get that without making each product as broadly appealing as possible. You might think it’s crazy to destroy the central idea, the thematic origin of a character, to appeal to a broader audience…when Brave made over six hundred million dollars in worldwide box-office and domestic DVD sales. To put that in perspective, since it’s release Brave, on the list of top box office money makers of all time, rates one step above The Empire Strikes Back. It was a fantastic success as a movie, and needs…

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Grind Grind Grind

Moving to three days a week training just might be the death of me. Judging from how I feel this morning, anyway. It’s not muscle soreness that’s the issue, it’s just fatigue. I could blame it on getting older, but that’s not the issue. Rarely is. Getting older isn’t a problem. What is a problem is that each habit you’ve picked up in your life starts to build up. I’m wiped out because of 14 years of desk jobs. I’ve mostly gotten over that with the last few years of new training, and jobs that involve more walking, but there are still issues. I’m over most of the bad body alignment and posture issues, but it’s still “new muscle” holding everything in place. It’s still work to sit up right, to walk right. I have to remind myself to do things the right way, and every once in a while…

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Strong or sharp?

I dearly love to punch people in the head, but not as much as I like to kick them in the thigh. Alright…I lie a little. I like punching people in the body more than the head, but that’s not as “punchy” as an opening line, so there. It’s a lovely little pleasure to generate a good solid rotation, hit someone just right, and watch them just up and fly away. Doesn’t happen too often. Seems that people don’t like me getting that close to them when we box. Meanies. Stabbing someone with a sword is a different kind of fun. There is a real satisfaction in landing a precise shot that seems to have a life of it’s own, landing in just the right way. When a good shot lands, the opponent sags a little as their brain forces them to acknowledge that they have been truly bested in…

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Take a break and behead the flowers

Lilac. Sage, Lavender, Mint, Cedar. Grass, and the scent of leaves, with a hint of ocean and river just under all of it. If you pay attention, you can actually smell the different scents put out by the different trees. More birds than I know how to name are chirping in front and back, and gulls and crows are off in the distance. A single croak of a raven, and a solitary bumblebee making his rounds. If I care to listen, cars and planes…footsteps from the upstairs neighbour, and one of the cats scratching with a bored focus at some poor insect on the inside of the window. The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away. We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains. Li Bai was one of us…a swordsman and duellist. A poet. Self-defense is a pointless skill if…

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Anabasis Marozzo

We’re transitioning to three days a week of training at Valkyrie WMAA. The plan is to keep the Monday and Thursday night slots ongoing at One Thousand Rivers, and start outdoor classes Saturday afternoons, taking advantage of the awesome Vancouver weather and beautiful parks and beaches. For the next little bit our schedule is a little changeable, due to us giving up a few of the Monday night slots so another group can get some heavy rehearsal time in. In exchange for this we are getting some indoor Saturday slots. I toyed with the idea of just taking Monday’s off, but I realize now it would be better to just jump into the three day training thing now. To keep up on the latest updates to classes, check out our facebook page. Things will be a little more regular in June, or when we get enough students to start looking…

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