Goals for 2013

Strength training -Keep up the bodyweight training, include explosive weight training and to restart my cardio (especially after             this week of eating way too much! I think I was able to eat alot this year, because I did a heavy week of fast swimming last week, and doing some crazy training with my brother.

Goju Ryu- To try and practice Sanchin and Shisochin kata s everyday, when possible. I think both kata s have a nice balance to them, and in the last few weeks (except when I had to stop to focus on a course) Sanchin kata has actually improved the speed in my punches, but also my grounding.

Writing-To continue writing my first novel, and to start one of my big ideas. Even if the story itself is set years before the main story continues.

Adventure- I will lay the stepping stones to be able to go on another adventure of a lifetime. I will also try to have my own adventures  and try to explore my homeland even more.



Philosophy- my way of the world

After years in the darkness,

of feeling rejected by you,

But I could never turn towards,

Science for its arrogance that its always right,

Or to Religion which thinks  that nothing is closer to the truth,

And of haven’t to go through my struggles and lessons of life,

I can now consider myself a Man of your stature again,

At your heart you don’t always believe you are right,

You believe in the search of truth,

Not of what others think the truth should be,

Your way of thinking,

Created Science and religion and psychiatry,

Science was once known as Natural philsophy,

And even though I thought i failed you,

And turn my back on your teachings,

I now realise that the true strength of you,

Is not in the end,

But in the Journey itself,

And While I have no great ego,

In thinking I will be the best,

I now know that you will guide me to find my way,

Like  everyone else who walks upon your path,

The truth of your power,

Lies in the fact that I can not claim to know anything,

Which means I will no longer be blinded,

By my once self-righteous arrogance,

I am now ready to learn

To walk the path,

Of a philosopher

training with my brother

It has been awesome training with my big brother during the holidays. We both like to come up with new tortuous ways to beat each other to see who is the best. But that is really only a small part of it. I like training with him, as he is 16 years older and has been living in New Zealand for the past 12 years I rarely get to see him. It’s very nice to have this brotherly rivalry when we workout, as it spurs both of us on to become better than what we were.

I showed him some lovely workouts that I made up on the spot (well I am a philosopher after all) and he introduced me to the beast maker, which is fun, in a tortuous sort of way.

In a lot of ways I have always idolised him, his luck with the ladies, that he got to travel the world, and even though he is my half-brother, if he ever ends up reading this I want him to know that I think of him as my full blooded brother, and I think it’s a shame we never got to hung out more when I was a kid.

Achievements of the year.

After the high of my adventure in China, this year I felt a great low. In my heart I am an adventurer, and when I am ready and have achieved certain goals I will go on the biggest adventure.

But when I look back on it, I have achieved much more than I have in the past with my goals. My fitness training as literal sky rocketed, some of the things I can now do I never thought possible.

My martial arts have evolved alot, since I have been aware that I’m not as strong as i use to be (well it was more of my own perspective  and getting some bad injuries, helped me to be more understanding of others in training and help to train with them at their level. One girl said to me that before China she was terrified to train with me, because I’m naturally heavy handed. But now I’m much more aware of what I can do. She also said that the reason she passed her last grading was because of me, when she couldn’t do a certain technique I didn’t let her give up, and we adapted it until  she could manage it. She said to me that I would never know how much it meant to her for me to help her. And she will never know how much a comment like that, has had a profound effect on me.

I started to help teach kids karate, and gained more confidence in myself because of it.

I started writing out the three main ideas I have for my three big fantasy stories, I have developed those worlds more than I thought I could, although they can always do with more work.

I have finally had the balls to create a blog, which has enabled me to get use to writing frequently, the standards of my writing has evolved alot more than I thought possible.

And through this confidence, and the inspiration of the hobbit I have created a second blog, to start writing my first novel. Although I know it will be rubbish, it will be my first attempt, and instead of planning it out like the big stories I hope to one day write, I’m going to write it the same way I write poetry, off the top of my head.  And with much more practice I will hopefully get alot better at it, and can in future start writing one of my big ideas.


How I have grown this year as a martial artist

This year has been a good year for my martial arts training, training in china changed me in more ways then I now still don’t fully understand. I still train for strength, but I now train for speed. I have learnt alot this year because I have been able to compare what I do, what others do, and what I did in China. I have questioned and reasoned and I have probably mentally matured more as a martial artist then anything.

I have read even more martial arts books, I experiment with things in class, even if some blackbelts look at me odd. I have learnt that the way for me to learn is to experiment, I no longer take the same things for granted. I’m nowhere near the finished article but I am now adapting what I learnt in china to the style that I love to learn.

I will keep up with the training as well as I can, I will still strength train but this year I’m also going to go back to cardio, it is amazing the lasting affect I have had from all the running in china, and while this last year has been good to rest the joints from it (I tend to swim alot) I will have to face the devil I know if I want to feel like I’m ready for my next grade, Shodan-ho.

Strengths of this year, and a idea for next year

If I were to categorise this year of strength training, I would definitely say it was the year of the pullup. My back muscles have increased alot on strength, which has provided me with alot more speed and power in my martial arts. No longer will I separate the two entirely.

This has also been the year of bodyweight training, and I turned away from weight training, but after this year I want to bring both back into the fold. However I will not go to the same pattern as I use to follow, just one week at the gym when I followed a bodybuilding type programme and I felt really stiff slow and sluggish. When we grappled in training I felt more vulnerable because my muscle were so much stiffer. It really made me see the light. I want to incorporate my explosive training such as kettlebells, clean and presses and still adapt my workouts as I see fit.

I will only do my heavy lifting kind with a weighted vest, doing bodyweight exercises to help me train my different kinds of strength.

Watching videos like barstarzz on youtube is really inspiring, so while I will maintain on doing even more pullups, this year is going to be the year of the core, as that is a really weak area. Sure this year I can now do hanging knee ups and hanging leg raises but the core is the centre of our strength nor only in training but also in the martial arts world and the real world.


2012-the best year of my strength training so far!

2012 has been my most successful year of training to date. After going through a dark period in my life and working to see the light, china helped me to not only get fitter but to change my perspective on the way I live my life through fitness. Before China I could do 8 pullups (10 on a good week) and I was fairly strong on basic exercises which were heavy dumbbells.  When training in china I lost my weight training considerably, we had a ghetto of a gym at the kung fu school, and even though I was having protein powder everyday we all got weaker on our gym strengths.

At the time this was really scary, I don’t like being weak and I was scared about how weak I was getting. But My power and speed had increased tremendously I was faster more nimble, my back muscles had actually become stronger through martial training, I could now do 14 pullups.  All the old Chinese masters prefer the use of light weights to heavy weights, they don’t think that kind of bulky strength works. I noticed a huge difference in my martial capacity when I got back.

Most people at the Kung Fu school lost weight, I pretty much stayed the same, it wasn’t until I went travelling around China for three weeks with Ronny that I lost alot of weight rapidly. Even though the Kung Fu school did me alot of good, I was over trained hence why I was getting weaker, more frequently injured. With the travelling our diet wasn’t great but we walked great distances, in China you have to walk everywhere.

Okay back to 2012, if training in China was the best thing for me, why do I think that in both terms of strength training and martial arts that 2012 was a better year. I think China gave me the tools to train smarter, to experiment more and enjoy the fitness more. Before I would stick to my own routines which were in conflict with my martial arts training. Now I knew there was a way of combining them, for the majority of the year I turned away from weight training and stuck with bodyweight training, pressups, dips, burpees, pullups, chinups etc. I did some lighter weight dumbbells in conjunction with it, but nothing to heavy focusing on strengthening my smaller muscles.

I trained with bricks in my hand to gain more speed in my punches, tried out different workout programmes and experimented with them to make them better, I tried P90X to see what it was like, until I over trained and injury my back. Which was annoying as I needed to get ready for my grading, and push came to shove I had to grade and hope my training would hold. This allowed me to experiment with the Armstrong workout (its free on the web) which I adapted, and I loved it but overtraining caused a elbow injury. This allowed me to adapt and try GTG routines and this year has been the year of experiments.

I can now do pullups at 19 reps, prior to my elbow injury I had done chinups at 27. This is about me bragging, quite the opposite, I am in shock that I could do such feats, for prior to china 10+ pullups always seemed impossible.

China taught me that I needed to increase my volume alot more, it taught me to experiment and it taught me that with the higher volume overtraining can occur.

Recently my brother has returned for the holidays, and we have been experimenting even more. Lets hope I can carry this on to 2013 and more.