BLOG OF POOTENHEIMER... Fear it, Love it
Adventure - night blog!
Yes, I'm blogging at night. It's a change. How strange. But I have much to say. Still no time to format photos, ugh. I have so many. But I have... other things. Read on, if you're curious. Well, if you're here, you'll probably read on, even if you're bored out of your skull.
Okay - so to start - the weekend! Woo! It was CRAZY. Let me tell you. See, it all started on Saturday, very early. The tournament! Yes, indeed. I had to get there before 8:30, which sucks, let me tell YOU. Especially since I'd been hanging out with some friends the night before until some rather late hour. But yeah, I got up and went over. Apparently there was a typo, too, because Sifu had put on the program that registration started at 8, instead of 9. So a rather large number of people were already showing up early. Which was both good and bad. But things got under control, and we started getting everyone signed up and seated. We had a record number of people show, which was awesome. Except for YOU - you missed out. Should have been there, I'm telling you. (Except for Courtney - she did make it. You can ask her how cool it was.) Yeah, our demos to open turned out very well. Started with our lion dance. Three lions, yet again. And I got to be the gold lion, woo! Which is the "head" lion. And I was the head. To confuse you further. Yeah, our stunts turned out well, and we nailed the stack without any issue, which surprised me, but pleased the crowd, I think. I even extended my raised leg, to show more clearly how we were positioned to the crowd. We got a very good round of applause for that, and I was happy it turned out well for everyone.
So after that it was more demos from other schools. Some were cool, some were weird. We did have one from Sifu's original Sifu, a guy named Don Morrison. He did the first two thirds or so of Gung Gee, with iron rings on his arms. He did the stances quite low, and went through the form very strongly. It would have been impressive, even IF he wasn't freakin' 63 years old. Yeah, it was cool. And then it was our turn to do all our demos. It started with the kids. They all did Lau Gar Kuen (our first form), by the numbers. They did well! And then a few did Sam Yin Kuen (the second form), also by the numbers. After that, we had a couple of kids do individual sets, but Robbie won a lot of the crowd over, simply by the fact that he's about 6 and around four feet tall, but shows more ferocity than most of the adults. And he's quite good, too. After that, the kids all did some board breaking, which is always good. And then it was time for adults. So we start by doing Lau by the numbers, only the full set, where the kids only do the first fourth or so. And then the other Eric and I did the first sparring set, which turned out well. And after that, the bending of the rebar, between Justin and Eric. They did very well, and we awed some members of the crowd. I was quite proud of them.
From there the tournament really started, beginning with the kids' horse stance competition. They all did well, and the winner was actually from another school, with a very impressive two minute horse. Well, just under two minutes. And then the adults did their horse stance competition (which I did not enter, I save my pain for full-contact training). We did quite well, and the top two winners were from our school. Ron was the winner, with a 2:55 horse. The third place winner was from another school, and it was funny to see him after he fell, because he got up after he fell and promptly collapsed. I guess he didn't realize his legs were kind of dead. But he was okay. And the rest of the day was standard tournament stuff. It went well, though. Eric and I entered the group competition with the sparring set, and won our category, and then won grand champion, which was cool. We had a lot of complements on it, so that was good.
After that I just helped here and there, watched our students compete, and even helped judge one of the rings for sparring. It was only at the end I got to do my competitions, which were in weapons sparring (I won second and third, one in each weapon) and continuous sparring. Weapons sparring was a ton of fun. It was more amusing than any of the others. Eric kept playing when we'd practice by throwing the sword from a distance, and landing it. He and J.R. were competing, and Eric did hit him once like that. It was tied, 4-4, one point for the win, and J.R. threw the sword at Eric and nailed him. The look on Eric's face was priceless, but Sifu didn't count the point. Shannon won the staff competition, and ended up winning grand champion, by beating J.R., who had the sword. That grand champion competition isn't really fair, but it's funny to watch.
Black belt sparring! Yes, that was my category. Alas, only three black belts braved the category - one was a heavyweight karate master (big black guy), one was me, and the other was Shannon. Yeah, so I sparred Shannon. And he took me out pretty easily, but not as badly as last year. He nailed me with two very nice sweeps. One of them threw me on my face, but I caught myself just in time. The other swept my feet completely out from under me, and my back hit the (gym) floor. Hard. I couldn't help but smile when it happened. I did nail him with one of our combos we've been practicing, which meant about three continuous shots in the face. Hee hee! I'm catching up to him. Oh, and FYI, for those who don't know - Shannon is slightly senior to Justin. He's the old senior student. He's rather good. Since he has more than twice my experience, I don't think I did too badly.
It was a long day, and after that, it was time for relaxing. To prepare for the next day, which was the day of the workshops! I didn't get up too early, so it wasn't too bad, but I did manage to get up a decent amount of time before I had to be there. Well, before the workshop, actually, there was a storm. That's news. Because (and if you live in town this probably is no surprise) there was a very mighty crack of thunder. And most likely a very mighty strike of lightning that preceded it. Yes. I was on my way downstairs to my car, and then it hit. POW! So I jumped. Seriously. And then stepped into the garage and... nothing. It wouldn't open. Because the power was OUT. Argh. And I was going to be early, for once, too. So I called Sihing and he came by to pick me up. While I waited, I watched some TV. Yes, with the power out. My new UPS battery came in handy! I'm thinking it may have saved several of my system components too, so I got it just in time.
Sihing picks me up and we get to the workshop, where Sigung is. Buck Sam Kong! He's the man. And several students where there, all standing, listening to him very attentively as he told them bits of very good info. It was awesome to see how much respect they each had for him. The first workshop was over the 12 Hands of Hung Gar, which has some very good techniques. I need to remember to practice them more in sparring, though. I think a lot of people learned quite a bit. After that, time for some lunch at Subway, where I got some story time from Sihing. So here's the story! This is about something that happened over at Eastland Mall around the beginning of April. Why I never heard about it until now, I don't know. But it was Sihing and his girlfriend, walking back to the car after their mall excursion. And as they're walking, three Mexican guys start following them. Justin's girlfriend speaks Spanish and knew they had malicious intent, so she started getting a bit nervous. Sihing told her to just get in the car, that he'd take care of it. So they approached him, and apparently put their hands up in preparation for a confrontation. Well, Sihing was prepared. As they closed on him, he threw a round kick, striking the front guy's thigh with his shin. The guy immediately collapsed to the ground, screaming, and the other two guys, paused, and then thought better of their intentions. The cops showed up later and asked Sihing if he wanted to press charges. He simply said, "No, that's okay - I think they learned their lesson well enough." Apparently he broke the guy's leg.
So YES. Be cautious if you pick on guys that look like potential prey, even if you outnumber them, because you never know what can you may have opened. It may be a big can of worms, or if you're REALLY unlucky, a big can of whupass. I think that's what these guys managed to crack open this time.
Anyway, that was our lunch, then back to the kwoon for our full contact workshop. And I loved every minute of it. It started with Sigung telling us about what full contact is all about, and stories of how his students have entered into various competitions. How in China, where they entered against very strongly trained fighters, they learned how thoroughly some people train. And what works in a fight. I guess there were some taekwondo guys who entered, and Sigung said that there were Mongolian fighters who would rush them every time they tried a fancy kick and simply pick them up, slam them down. Sometimes in the ring, sometimes NOT in the ring. Even Sigung's students got their clocks cleaned a bit, but they did get in and fight, and didn't do too badly. The main thing Sigung said was that any time you get into full contact fighting, you WILL get hurt. The amount of training you have only determines how much you'll get hurt. And the training he put us through was great - mainly repetition of some basic combinations, some of which I'd seen before, but they're all quite effective. I'll say this - my whole back was sore the following day, from learning how to put the body behind each attack. The extra bonus was that Sigung picked me to be the demo guy. He'd look at me, smile, and then just say, "Eric!" and motion me over, so he could show how you're supposed to most effectively smack someone with a particular technique. I was honored; I think he likes me.
Sifu did get all of it on tape, so I have footage of it, and stuff to study, which is good. Yay! Maybe if you're curious, I'll show you someday. There may even be good shots of Sigung slapping me around.
After all that, it was Mother's Day, so it was time to take care of my mom. I had the family over and made everyone lasagna, which turned out moderately nicely. And baked bread, plus some wine (and Pepsi, of course), and cheesecake that my sister made. I plunked it all down for them while they watched Lethal Weapon 4, which is a great movie. I think everyone had a good time, and it was a lot of fun.
So yeah, BUSY weekend. This week's been very busy at work, especially with the consolidation of all the IT groups that has been announced. It's not a bad thing, just changes everywhere. I've been productive, though, which is good.
Something I found this week online I have to share. Not really a random link - this should be something you use, so I'll link it directly: maps.google.com. I think Google has a ton of doctors working for them, or something, because they make freakin' good stuff. Maybe someday I'll be over there. It'd be cool. Anyway, check out their map stuff. You can click and drag on the maps, they scroll very nicely. Zoom works well. Put in any intersection you want, any address, you can even get directions. And for a kicker, try clicking that link over there that says "satellite". I was wowed.
And I'm heading off to Kansas City later this month for a wedding. My friend Seanicus is getting married! It should be exciting. This has inspired me to consider purchase of a new toy. Something I'd use, especially since I'm going road tripping later this year. My consideration? A GPS receiver. A rather cool one. Yes, it's expensive, but I've been stressed enough about being lost in the past, that I think this will be worth it. I'm still in the consideration stages, but the more research I do, the more I lean towards picking one up. I'm all about having new technology toys. I can only get them every now and then, and in this case, I think it'd actually be USEFUL. We'll see.
Okay, super long nighttime blog is now over. Time for random links. And to cap off my super blog, two links. Two very special links. I know I haven't talked about recording music in a while, and mainly it's because I don't have the time. But lately I've been thinking a little more about it, and I went ahead and semi-finished one of my songs. So I have two. With lyrics. Yes, I wrote all of them. And sang them, too. Make fun, if you will - the second one I intend on redoing, but for now, I'll share it. So I'm opening my SOUL to you, be nice. Yes, the songs are rather bitter, but it's stuff that most people write songs about, so it was easy to use for lyric writing. I still don't like my voice, but maybe you'll be able to deal with it. The first song is about being a little Too Late, and the second about things that are No Longer there. Tell me what you think!
Oh - and BONUS random link... just found this. It's brand spanking new. For gamers everywhere - this is the future.
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as of 10/23/03