Return to Blogging

It’s been 4 years since I updated this blog. I wasn’t able to train much and haven’t gotten much closer to the goals I posted. What I’ve been doing:

  • I finished the Gracie University DVDs.
  • I weight train a few times a week.
  • I went to a free bjj class but lasted one day due to anxiety and intrusive thoughts. The moves were unfamiliar and I felt helpless; my ego was crushed. The teacher and students were unfriendly, but I’ve trained with mean people in boxing and judo and also met countless bullies in 12 years of weight training.
  • I watch martial arts tutorials on YouTube. Some are pretty helpful.
  • I started running, I SUCK at it and am trying to improve my 1.5 mile time to 10 minutes. I got two “calf heart attacks” and pulled my achilles tendon.

It seems like martial arts/physical training is my “passion” and I need to follow it or be miserable. To make real progress I have to join a martial arts club/gym but my anxiety is preventing it.

Finished Gracie University Beginner Program

It took about a year to finish the 13 DVDs. Now I have some idea of what jiu-jitsu is about. I’ve seen a lot of criticism of the course on internet forums, but I thought the videos themselves were fantastic. Detailed explanations, useful techniques, and good structure. The course doesn’t replace personal instruction or rolling, but it’s a great supplement.

I will re-watch the series again a few times and practice the moves on my own. I hope to join a BJJ gym soon but my anxiety makes it difficult.

Back to the Boxing Gym

Last week I joined a boxing gym after a layoff of about ten months. My endurance was surprisingly good; I was able to do ten or more rounds of training without too much difficulty. Maybe my performance was due to a foundation of endurance I’d built up by doing 108 bows every night for the past month and a half. My footwork was light and accurate, much better than I remember it being when I was last in the gym. I just “got it” finally, without any effort, despite not being able to “get” the movement in my early months of training.

I think I will be going to a different gym despite having signed up and paid 100,000 won at this gym for a few reasons. First and foremost, one of the trainers, a guy in his 30s, has taken a dislike to me (already!) which could intensify into something ugly. Second, the receptionist girl was deliberately and intensely rude to me but I could just shrug that off as K-bitches being K-bitches. Third, the training didn’t seem too rigorous. The gym’s primary marketing theme and revenue source is boxercise classes for women who want to lose weight. Some of the male students were doing advanced combinations and mitt work, but their form seemed sloppy, indicating that the trainers didn’t bother to correct their form despite letting them learn increasingly advanced moves.

Anyhow, the few days back at the gym have resurrected my passion for boxing, the martial arts, and living the life of a martial artist. After quitting the boxing gym in February, I’d been backsliding physically and morally and deviating from the spartan life that I was starting to live when I was going to the boxing gym. I even intend to join a judo club soon; I’ve discovered that my mom has a few bank accounts in my name and one of them has 800,000 won in it that I hope I can withdraw, which will let me pay for a few months of boxing and judo as well as a judo gi.

Slowly improving

After a few months of going to the boxing gym, I feel like I’m slowly improving. My footwork is getting better and I’m able to jolt the heavy bag a little when I punch it. The key to power punching seems to be a fast punch with tension upon contact with good technique.

Goals

2 years (age 40)

  • 1st dan in judo
  • master the basics of boxing and be able to “use” it for self-defense
  • squat 150kg, incline bench 100kg, power clean 100kg, shoulder press 80kg
  • master the basics of capoeira and be able to take part in a skilled roda

5 years (age 45)

  • 3rd dan in judo
  • “expert” boxer
  • “expert” capoeirista, visit Brazil