I just got back from a wonderful vacation in beautiful Maui. Sigh.
Sometimes you just need to get away, take some time for yourself, enjoy nature in all it's glory and hit that reset button.
I usually practice at home and train wherever I go, but I have to say, for probably the first time ever, I did not train for the week!
I know, I know, all those picture perfect opportunities of practicing my forms in the sand with palm trees swaying in the background or kicking the waves in the ocean like Daniel did with Mr. Miyagi in "The Karate Kid" come to mind.
But instead of thinking about the new curriculum I had to learn, all the new names and faces I had to memorize, or the lesson plans I had to create, I just relaxed!
I ate, swam, hiked, snorkeled, ate some more and just soaked in all Maui had to offer with no stress of the mainland on my mind at all. Yup, I hit the reset button HARD and I have no regrets ;)
But now I'm back and ready to start my new journey!
New schools, new experiences and SO MUCH new stuff to learn quickly.
Let's do it!
Flashback to last year at Rose City Comic Con.
One of my favorite pics ever.
When you get to take a pic with the cast of Karate Kid / Cobra Kai and your Master Instructor = winning at life!
Got to chat a bit with Ralph Macchio & William Zabka too & see their Cobra Kai panel at the Con.
Looking forward to Season 3 of Cobra Kai cuz...Ali with an "I"
#karatekid #cobrakai #ralphmacchio #williamzabka #martinkove #johnnylawrence #dannylarusso #rosecitycomiccon #rccc #rccc2018 #portland #portlandlife #pdxcomiccon #comiccon
Argh! I've developed bone spurs in my left heel :(
My poor left leg can't catch a break. Tendonitis in my quads, torn hamstring, knee joint pain/swelling and now bone spurs.
Can I just order a new leg???
Second thought, I just spent 2 years getting a tattoo sleeve on it. Never mind, I'll deal with the pain.
It could always be worse - at least I have both my legs and can still move them!!
Grateful for what I DO have and for what I CAN do.
Sorry bone spurs, you're not gonna stop me, I'm not done yet!!
#martialartist #martialarts #femalemartialartist #girlpower #fightlikeagirl #breakingstereotypes #martialartistover45 #martialartistwithink #blackbelt #perseverance #martialartistwithinjuries #bonespurs #painful #DoWhatICan #modify #imnotdoneyet #listentoyourbody #Martialista #kickpunchlove
When you know someone who knows someone and they have a martial arts school and they invite you to come play...you do! And boy, did I sweat!
Thank you KJN Jeremy at Dynamic Martial Arts in Gresham, Oregon, for inviting me to your dojo to train, for your words of wisdom and for the cool "Six degrees of seperation" thing with some of my old mentors & instructors from California!
I'll be back!
#dynamicmartialarts #sixdegreesofseperation #martialarts #martialartist #networking #martialartsnetwork #martialartsfriends #taekwondo #muaythai #mma #escrima #kickboxing #blackbelt #greshammartialarts #pdxmartialarts #femalemartialartist #martialartistover45 #breakingthestereotypes
Yesterday (Saturday, Jan 26th) I attended a Butterfly Knife & Nunchaku Seminar/Workshop.
It was held at Ernie Reyes' World Martial Arts (Hillsboro, OR location) and was conducted by Guro John Daniels.
Guro JD is a full instructor under Sifu Dan Inosanto (Bruce Lee's famous student) and a 7th degree black belt under GM Al Dacascos. He has over 30+ years experience in the martial arts, with an extensive career in movies and television, including popular tv series Leverage, Grimm, Z Nation, and The Librarians.
Guro JD is considered one of the foremost experts in the Filipino arts including butterfly knives and nunchaku!
Here is a pic of me and my fellow Dragon Brand Martial Arts teammate, Geoff, with Guro JD
I am always in awe of the experts and how easy they make these things look as I stumble and fumble and do my best not to hurt myself.
Luckily, we were working strictly with "Trainer" butterfly knives and foam nunchucks so the pain was minimal (although dropping a trainer knife on your foot still smarts!)
When I walked into the school, I immediately noticed that the sparkling clean and brightly colored school was full of positive energy amid all the various activities. I was greeted with smiles and a friendly welcome from KJN Gwen (and a sweet little girl named Abigail who is testing for her Blackbelt this year...we became fast buddies) and I felt right at home.
There were classes going on in 2 different rooms and there was lots of great merchandise & gear for me to fawn over
(I'm a sucker for merchandise!)
Just check out these pink polka dot gloves!!!
I SO wanted to buy them but I had to control myself
There was about 40 of us in attendance. It was a mixture of different ages, skill levels and martial arts styles. I loved that everyone was happy to share their knowledge with each other and yet be humble enough to learn from each other...no matter the rank or title.
Here is a group pic of the participants (Aren't you LOVING all the females who participated!!)
Thank you to KJN Dan & Gwen, for making us feel at home and providing a informative yet fun event. I can't wait to return to your school!
Ernie Reyes' World Martial Arts - Hillsboro
Well, I wanted to roll in the new year with a shiny new blog post but I spent so much time planning that I didn't do enough doing!
Be on the lookout for a new post coming soon!
I listened to a podcast yesterday about the paradox of being overweight in martial arts.
( Whistlekick Martial Arts Radio Episode 303 )
I didn't know what direction it was going to go and I listened with an open mind. I sorta, kinda agreed with the information as much as it goes against the Martialista spirit of inclusion for all, but I understand his POV for sure. Not to mention I believe Mr. Lesniak was primarily talking about leaders and instructors who have been doing martial arts for their career as opposed to newbies like me who just wandered into a dojang to try it out for the first time.
And yes, you will have to listen to the podcast to know what I'm talking about :) Its less than 15 min long.
Walking into a class where I was the biggest (and almost oldest) student was something that I just had to push through. There were times I almost gave up thinking that there was no way my body could do what martial arts expected of me. But then one day, I saw a blackbelt class demo and there was a larger, female blackbelt in there with everyone else, doing her thing, holding her own, and honestly, THAT is what kept me going. I didn't know this woman and I didn't even tell her how she inspired me until almost 2 years later. Now we follow each other on social media and we support each other's journey to this day.
Once I knew in my heart that I wasn't just "trying" martial arts, that it was a part of who I am and that I wanted to inspire and encourage (and maybe someday teach) others, I felt in my heart that I DID need to get in shape and push myself to do all the things that my severely overweight (ok, obese) body was stopping me from doing. Thus began my weight loss and strength training push that I have been working on since August 2017.
As of yesterday, I have dropped 60 lbs and I am going strong!
LEFT PIC -Oct 2016 , Mighty River Classic, my first tournament as a student of Dragon Brand MA @dbmartialarts. I had been training for 2 years already but humbly started over as a white belt.
RIGHT PIC- May 2018, Recommended Blackbelt. Just 3 months until my black belt test!
My gi is way too big for me now & I had to wrap it around myself with lots of fabric to spare!
50 lbs down, about halfway where I want to be but I am feeling good about my progress!
White will never be my favorite color, but I've gotten to be a little more comfortable in it ;)
2015 vs 2018
Last month Striking Image Photography came to Dragon Brand Martial Arts for our photo day.
Last time I took professional martial arts photos in 2014, I was uncomfortable, self conscious and was nervous about how they were going to turn out.
This time, I was more confident and found that I didn't have the body image issues I had before. Not only because I lost about 45-50 lbs since then, but I just felt stronger, more confident and more accepting of myself...flaws and all!
Next time I take professional photos I will (hopefully) be a black belt and (hopefully) have lost some more weight. But regardless, this is my journey and I will document it no matter how it unfolds :)
Some behind the scenes pics
Woman warriors all dolled up for pics
Nick practicing his jumping action photo. He jumped OVER his kids!
Some members of the STORM Team
On February 16th 2018 I received my RECOMMENDED BLACK BELT! WOot! Although my mindset ahs always been "Every day is black belt training", things are getting real and I truly AM in black belt training!
Working with some yucky ongoing injuries (quadriceps tendonitis and knee pain in my left leg & torn hamstrings in BOTH legs) is making things a little tricky but I am modifying enough that I am (hopefully) not re-injuring anything but still getting enough training in and pushing myself a little more.
Anyway, here are some pics from our Belt Ceremony. As you can see we are a goofy, loving bunch. Enjoy :)
Amy Frugoli, 46 yrs old/young