A lesson in exercise and mood.

Photo Courtesy John Chan I haven’t been to class for a week, and I’m feeling low. Somehow, it didn’t occur to me until an hour or two ago to connect the two. I had good reasons for the hiatus – schooling commitments, lack of sleep from an overly busy week, plus having a cold. I couldn’t make it to our usual Saturday workout, and when Monday’s class came around it seemed like a smarter idea to stay home and go to bed early. Apparently, I was wrong. The last two days I’ve been able to feel myself slipping into old patterns – feeling generally tired, over-sensitive and unmotivated. This was particularly problematic today, which I was supposed to spend catching up on all the things I haven’t had time to do, particularly starting to arrange my practicum for next year. Instead, I’ve spent most of the in that tired, guilty…

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Valkyrie Women

The Valkyrie ladies are getting tired of beating up men in class. They have decided we needed to recruit more women, and our current method of reaching students doesn’t seem to be working. So, they put together this video in order to recruit more women to their cause. Please share it around.

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Fighter 2.0

Now it’s time to get better. For better or for worse, today, you are the fighter you have made yourself into. It’s time to get better. Or else maybe consider taking up cello, or calligraphy or something. To improve, you need to understand precisely where you are now. The most common flaw in fighters is the flaw of assuming what you are doing is just fine, and that your development is great. When I say assume, what I mean is that there is a tendency to evaluate yourself based only on your feelings and perceptions. If I have two fighters spar for a few moments, and then individually ask them how they did, it’s not uncommon that their impression of their own performance will be wildly out of line with the touches that I took note of. Winners think they lost, and losers think they only ceded a few touches.…

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An Introduction

This is my first-ever attempt at a blog post, so bear with me. A couple of days ago, it was suggested that we add the voices of one or more Valkyrie WMAA students to Box Wrestle Fence. It occurred to me that my voice could provide an interesting counterpoint to David’s. Before this past September, my martial arts experience consisted of 2 months of kickboxing lessons 15 years ago, and 2 introductory rapier classes 10 years ago (and several months apart). I have never set foot in a gym outside of public school.  Beyond our society’s obsession with fitness and working out, I’d been told for years that making some moderate physical activity part of my routine would help greatly with my on-going struggle with depression. Every now and then, I would try to make a habit of going for a half-hour walk every day, or going to a couple of yoga classes every…

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Post Assessment

First run of assessments done. Rapier sparring took up our entire night on the previous Monday, and the wrestling assessments completely destroyed the whole class and left us exhausted enough that we finished class a half hour early on Thursday. It will take me another week to work through all the video footage, alone and with the other instructors, to write up and clarify the individual assessments. Rough initial impressions are already done. All that is left is to justify our impressions with detailed review of video. As a teacher, it’s been an wonderful process for me. A quick glance at the first summary has given me months of lessons to teach, as it easily revealed some common weaknesses in the school. The process will take some streamlining. Our first plan was to have each student take center stage and fight for five touches against all the other students. This…

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