Archive | January 2015

Move over, June Cleaver… It’s a new era!

I’m off work today in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. I haven’t been off on MLK Day since I was a kid in school, so kudos to my employer! I’m off work, but it’s been a busy day.

I went to the shooting range first thing to work on my aim. Which isn’t the best, which is why I was at the range. I thought I did OK (meaning I hit the target) but my aim is off and I pull to the left a bit. I sent a photo of my target to a friend who replied, “Was this with a shotgun?” OK, yeah, it does look like a shotgun did the damage!

BobNext up was the nail salon! I’d trashed my nails more than usual this past week shopping, cleaning the garage and chasing the dog, and my nails needed a total re-do. I certainly hope this isn’t a weekly habit; gel manicures aren’t cheap! But I do love how my nails look when they’re fresh. My nail tech commented, “This is the only girly thing you do, isn’t it? Get your nails done.” Hmmm… Sorta.

After a quick run to the grocery store, I came home to bake cookies. Tomorrow is my baby’s 24th birthday! He loves Oreos, so I baked some Cookies & Cream Cookies for him. (I’ll post that recipe later this week when I’m not shooting, kicking, or baking.) I might have taste-tested the Oreos along the way. And thus ended my domesticity for the day. Happy Birthday to The Pretty One! Cherish your kids – they grow up way too fast.

Cookies & Cream Cookies

I’ll be ending my day at the dojo. Tonight is Weapons class, and I’m ready to see what I drop on myself this week. That’s not a joke. I’m such a klutz lately! =D

Well, this is as “girly” as I get. Nails and baking. But I would also argue that the shooting and martial arts are girly too. At least these days they are!

I know very few women (OK, none) who wear their pearls to vacuum and whose big goal of the day is to have the perfect dinner on the table when their breadwinner husband comes home from work. I do know quite a few women who are the breadwinners, who enjoy martial arts as much as a manicure, and shooting a pistol as much as playing in the kitchen.

This is a new era. Many of us have chosen to embrace our “girly” side. ALL of our “girly” sides, including the pedicures and the pistols. Personally? I was never the pearls and vacuum type. Move over, June Cleaver. This is a new era, and it fits me well!

Mirrors, Mirrors on the Wall…

Mirrors, Mirrors on the Wall

How the heck do I use you??

 

The hombu has some really nice mirrors. They’re great for making sure my obi is tied evenly and my “Suck it up Cupcake” headband is on straight. They’re even great for checking to see how red my face is during a workout.

But as a workout tool, I’m having mixed results.

For 6+ years I learned without mirrors, except for my visits to the hombu. Dodgeball courts don’t normally have mirrors. We mostly learned things by feel – stances, blocks, strikes were corrected and we learned what feels right, as opposed to what looks right.

Occasionally I could use a window with a darkened hallway behind it as a mirror. But for the most part, we learned kata by following behind Kyoshi while he was leading, and then he would have to turn around and show us any intricate moves he was doing that we couldn’t see.

I wished we had mirrors in the dodgeball court. I thought it would be easier to learn moves with them, and for some things, I still believe that. I like ghosting an opponent, using my reflection in the mirror to see where my punches and blocks might land. I like checking my stances in the mirror, seeing if my feet and hips are in the correct position. And I like being able to see what my training partner is doing when one of us is learning self-defense techniques.

Mirrors can also be useful when learning kata. I can see what Kyoshi or another student is doing even if they aren’t in front of me. But recently I was learning Chinto and trying to follow Kyoshi using both Real Kyoshi and Mirror Kyoshi, and the mirrors were really distracting! I wasn’t sure which Kyoshi I should watch. My mistake was in going back and forth between the two. I was so confused I waffled between frustration and laughter.

Me: “I always thought it would be great to have mirrors. But now that I have them, I don’t know how to use them!”

Kyoshi: “They’re messing you up, aren’t they?”

They were! I didn’t know where to look. It was funny and not funny at the same time.

But wait! I may have figured it out! If I’m a total rookie on a new kata, trying to match my movements to the figure in the mirror throws me off. I need to go back to the way I learned for 6+ years and follow Real Kyoshi. But if I know the kata a little bit, I can follow Mirror Kyoshi because the mirrors are just a prompt to the movements.

Familiar Kata = Mirror

New Kata = No Mirror

 I’ll give that a try.  Do you use mirrors? Do you find them helpful or distracting?