Category Archives: taekwondo

Well, what do you know! Mr Dangly isn’t hard at all

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Mr Dangly

Mr Dangly

Meet Mr Dangly.  The sort-of-monkey that I was telling you about recently.  He doesn’t have any eyes yet – I need to go and buy a couple of buttons that are just right, probably in a light natural wood.  I like him, even though I attached his tail somewhat off-centre.  I didn’t have any definite plans for who was to receive him, but I think Lego Nut might just adopt him.  I must warn you that there are a few errors in the pattern, but a bit of common sense will see you through the decreasing okay.

gifts in the mail

gifts in the mail

I had a lovely surprise in my mailbox today.  Beatnik sent me this coffee cup warmer (an attractive alternative to those paper sleeves that you get in coffee shops) and a pretty bracelet with a peace sign on it.  Thanks, Beatnik, I love them.

baktus scarf

baktus scarf

I spent the afternoon at a friend’s house today.  I took my sock-in-progress but felt that I’d rather work on something a bit more interesting.  So I grabbed this skein of James C Brett Marble.  It’s a new colour, romantically named MT21 – a gorgeous blue.  I only bought one skein so I needed a suitable project and so I decided on the Baktus scarf which I heard about on Ravelry.  You start with 4 stitches and increase a stitch every fourth row until you’ve used up half your yarn.  Then you decrease back down to 4 stitches and you end up with a long shallow triangular scarf.

I’m trying to ignore the pain in my left leg at the moment, but it’s really bruised.  We had a heavy sparring class this evening which ended up with me being bright red in the face, sweaty and bruised all over.  I had kicks in the ribs, punches in the face, and right near the end someone’s knee went into the quad muscle at the front of my left thigh.  They call it a “charleyhorse”.  I limped off the dojang floor and when I got home I had a heavenly shower followed by a generous application of arnica cream.

And finally, great news!  My friend who had pneumonia is probably going to be discharged from hospital tomorrow.  It took 12 days, but she’s well enough to go home.  It’s such a relief to see her looking almost her usual self again.

My day

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Something I’ve been interested in for a while is knitted graffiti.  I just signed up for the feed from this blog which looks like fun.  People will make knitted covers for anything.  It appeals to me to use up my leftovers to make humorous sweaters for lampposts and roadsigns and … you get the idea 🙂

I took the two younger boys to one of our regional parks this afternoon.  It was a beautiful sunny day, quite mild (probably about 8 Celsius).  They had sticks with them that they brought from home (because, you know, not just any stick will do, and these were really good “gun sticks”).

A fair amount of snow has melted, but some of the paths were icy where the snow had been compressed and the sun hadn’t reached it.  We took time to stop by the creek and admire the sound that the water was making.  We followed a path new to us and had to take a few diversions to avoid the slipperiest parts.  At one stage, I slipped and fell on my hip and elbow and we decided to go up a different way – and ended up in someone’s orchard!

Back down we went – in the end we had to retrace our steps to get back to the easy flat straight path by the main creek that would take us back to the parking lot.  Before we reached the car, though, we stopped at the salmon spawning creek.  We couldn’t see much water – just a little bit through the small holes in the ice.  The ice made fascinating shapes and we just hung around listening and looking ……… simple pleasures.

I intended to take my camera and forgot, which was a shame as I think I would have come home with some good shots.

As we had made the effort to cross the lake for the walk, we also did two other errands.  I went to Fabricland and bought some fabric to line my knitted bag, two snaps and two buttons.  When the bag is all assembled, I’ll take some more photos.  It should be finished in the next couple of days.  We also went to the temple of conspicuous consumption mall and found some expansion sets for Carcassonne.  Lego Nut decided on the Traders and Builders expansion.  I haven’t played it with him yet as I was at Taekwon-do this evening, but I’m looking forward to trying it out.

Talking of Taekwon-do, which I wasn’t going to, but now that I’ve mentioned it…. class tonight was great fun.  Our instructor seemed to be in a lighthearted mood.  We warmed up with games – foot tag, trying to grab the white belts tucked into others’ belts and make them do pushups, chickenfight (everyone holds their right foot/lower leg with two hands and hops around trying to push others off the training floor), and a form of dodgeball played with a sparring helmet.

Then we practised our testing patterns – the ones that we have to learn at our level.  So the three black belts did Gae Baek, Po Eun and Kwang Gae (Gae Baek is the best one for tournaments so we really have to perfect that one for the upcoming tournament), the black stripe practised Choong Moo, and the red belts did Hwa Rang.  We did them step by step and ironed out a few wrinkles and had our questions answered.

Now for frequent repetition over the next few weeks…..

It feels so good…

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…to get home from a long evening out, part of which was spent trying to punch and kick someone, and getting punched and kicked even though I was trying not to, get a snack and a hot drink and pjs and just relax!

It was the in-house tournament at Taekwon-do this evening.  We had to be there at 5pm – not only were Ninja Boy and I sparring but we also had to be available to judge.  The hoodie I planned to wear wasn’t clean enough so I ended up freezing my arse off while waiting for my turn to spar.

So we ate dinner at 4, arrived at 5, did our thing, and were done by 8.  Bonus – I got to see my instructor’s cute little less-than-4-week-old baby – awwwww!

Neither Ninja Boy nor I won our matches, unfortunately.  Oh well, live and learn.

It’s so nice to think that tomorrow night I can get into my pjs straight after dinner as I don’t have to go out anywhere.  Busy weeks like this make me appreciate the usual slow pace of my life.  (My knitted bag is proceeding very slowly, but I am reminding myself that the enjoyment is in the knitting process, I love the yarn I am using, and I still haven’t decided how to finish off the top of the bag and how to do the handles so there really is no need to rush it.)

Spontaneous skiing

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That word doesn’t look right….I typed “spontaneous” for the title and it just looks weird.  However I’m pretty sure it’s correct 🙂

I had an early call from my skiing partner today – she was back from Vancouver and wanted to get out for one last cross-country ski session before packing her skis away for the season.  As it happens, my calendar was free, and I just had to eat breakfast and get my duds on, ready for her to pick me up.

The snow was perfect – not too icy, not too soft – it was around minus 5 Celsius, mostly cloudy though the sun did try to come out once or twice.  We made sure to pause often and just soak up the stillness and the beauty.  I chose the trails this time – I went for the ones marked “easy” on the map!  We did two short loops and then a third which was longer and a little more challenging.  I was better at getting up the hills today and more relaxed about the downhill bits – except where I approached a bend and the groomed tracks suddenly stopped and I ended up in a snowbank, arms extended, up to my shoulders in snow.  The next time I found myself in the same situation (the tracks disappearing, not face down in a snowbank) I executed a lovely snowplough and managed to control myself way better.

We were skiing for two hours and as usual it felt wonderful to get the ski boots off and relax in the chalet near the woodstove, devouring our packed lunches and drinking hot tea.

It’s a crazy week for Taekwon-do.  Monday night was a fundraiser for the upcoming tournament.  Whenever there’s an out-of-town tournament, we have a kickathon to help with travel and accommodation costs for the students who are going.  The smaller kids do 1000 kicks, the teens and adults do 2000.  We did our 2000 kicks in an hour, with a quick water break after every 500.

Tonight was our regular red/black belt class and we had fun practising self-defence against knife attacks (using special flexible plastic knives, of course).

And tomorrow night is the monthly in-house tournament.  We have to get there at 5pm, as red and black belts won’t just be sparring, we’ll be judging too.  I was freezing last time, sitting in one corner of the sparring “ring”, so I will be wearing a sweater over my dobok this time.

I hope I do okay in the sparring.  I’m up against a 2nd Dan black belt and she’s taller than me, which means she has a longer reach, but I’ll do my best.  Ninja Boy is pitted against a boy of about the same age and size, but a lower belt, and I think he has a good chance of winning.

A quick update – mostly about Taekwondo

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Not a lot to report, hence the lack of blogging.  Taekwondo was mostly pattern practice on Monday and Wednesday.  At our level, Ninja Boy and I have to remember a fair number of patterns.  Apart from the basic four direction punch and four direction block, we have to know Chon-Ji, Dan Gun, Do San, Won Yo, Yul Gok, Chun Gun, Toi Gye, Chung Moo (that’s one for each coloured belt/stripe level) and Gae Baek, Po Eun and Kwang Gae for this black belt level.  That’s 11 patterns to keep straight.

Add to that all the other material we have to remember and it gets to be quite a challenge for the brain as well as the body.

Here is a site which I just found that has a demo of some of the black belt patterns, if you’re interested.  Under the picture of the three black belts, there are links to videos demonstrating some of the patterns I mentioned.

I messed up Gae Baek tonight.  We black belts (about 5 of us) were lined up with the red belts watching, and it makes me nervous when there’s an audience (even though I have been in tournaments before with way more people watching)!  I had to restart, which meant of course I was out of sync with the rest, and finished after them.  Oh well, I did it better the second time.

We also spent some time sparring.  Our instructor has come up with a new idea – he’s set up groups for the teen/adult students, green belt and up, and we will be having a monthly sparring “tournament” within our groups. My group includes six or so women varying in age from 18 to 40-something, green belt to black belt. We will spar for three 2-minute rounds, which is way more than we would have to do in a tournament, so it’ll be good for our stamina.  Sparring is not my strong point – I need to be a lot faster – but I don’t mind it as long as I don’t get hit too hard!

I was in a tournament once where a woman brought her leg up to do an axe kick (a straight-leg downward kick aiming for the shoulder) but because I didn’t read her move, I moved towards her and ended up getting kicked in the chin as her leg came up.  My head snapped back and it brought tears to my eyes.  I continued on, but was very upset afterwards.

I have since fought again with no further injuries, thankfully, but I’d rather do patterns 🙂

The Western Canadian Championships are coming up in Calgary, I think, in March.  I don’t know if we’ll go – it depends on how much it all costs.  Before we went to Prince George, everyone in the club did a kickathon (2000 kicks) to raise money and ended up getting the bus and hotel costs completely covered.  If that happens again, then I’ll be more likely to consider going.

Happy Wednesday

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After my flurry of activity at the beginning of the month, I seem to be leaving gaps in my blogging! Hmmm, note to self:  try to blog every day.

One change I have made to this new blog is to remove the “snapshots” windows that pop up when your cursor goes over an image.  These popups annoy me, they annoy my husband and I have found a way to get rid of them (insert evil laugh here). 🙂

I have lots of sore muscles today.  Monday evening saw Ninja Boy and me back at Taekwondo.  It was a good workout class.  It wasn’t only the two of us who’d taken a break – the club had closed for two weeks over Christmas and I’m sure plenty of the students had over-indulged in less-than-healthy food.  Our 4th Dan instructor, who is from Hong Kong, VERY fit and VERY fast, led the class.  He had us doing lots of jab punches (oh, my sore arms) and kicks and stretches.

Tonight (Wednesday) our regular 2nd Dan instructor had us doing mostly pattern practice plus some pad kicking, so it was more of a technique class, though the spinning back kicks up and down the room were good cardio!

When we arrived at the dojang on Monday, we received our black belts.  These are the belts that we tested for at the end of April 2008.  Yes, 8 months ago.  They have a number 1 on them (for first Dan) and our names in yellow embroidery.  They are lovely, except for one thing.  On one side of mine, my last name starts out in one line, then for the last three letters there is a jog and they appear higher than the rest.  I discovered that the woman who embroiders these belts is local (another reason to be pissed off about the long delay) but the fact that she was willing to let this belt leave her hands without being perfect does not impress me.  I believe I will eventually get another one, but who knows how long that’ll take!

Anyway, apart from that, it’s great to be back in class.

As for things on the diet side, since Tai Chi Man and I did the strict pH Miracle Diet for the whole of August, we are still keeping the principles in mind every day.  Tai Chi Man is very disciplined – he’s still taking the green drink, drinking litres of water, eating lots of vegetables and salads and buckwheat.  He eats whatever I make for dinner, which is not always 100% alkalising (it might be rice or chickpeas) but during the day he follows the guidelines.

In addition to the vegetables and salads, etc, I am eating fruit, even though it’s not alkalising.  It’s not something I want to give up.  I am, however, finding it easy to avoid yeast, vinegar, sugar, mushrooms and fermented foods, and for now I have decided to stop buying chocolate.  I was getting a bar nearly every week and having a couple of squares after dinner each day – I grew up having dessert every night after dinner, and it seems to be hard to reprogramme myself out of the expectation of something sweet at the end of a meal.

I am glad that, apart from my splurge of mince pies over Yule, I have not indulged in my usual “baked goods frenzy” that usually starts as soon as autumn hits.  This means that I have not put on the weight that I usually gain every winter (and then kick myself every spring  because I then feel the need to try and lose it again).  So staying away from yeasted bread, cakes and cookies really does the trick.  (Duh!)

My knitting is unexciting at the moment, so no photos to show.  I have finished the leg of the Grand Canyon sock in elann esprit and will start the heel flap next (probably not tonight, it’s getting a little late).

I have played around with my Bond, making an unusual scarf out of some leftover Lion Suede.  Anyone who’s knitted with this before will know it’s not the easiest stuff to hand knit.  Inspired by a pattern in a library book, I machine-knitted three narrow strips and braided them.  Joined them at each end and ended up with a somewhat short scarf.  It was shorter than I’d planned as I ran out of yarn!  However, it matches  a bag that Lego Nut made for himself some time ago so I gave it to him.  He seemed happy.  🙂

I also made two dishcloths in about 10 minutes with some craft cotton.  This is a good use for the machine – when you want something utilitarian in a hurry, it can do stocking stitch (stockinette) REALLY  well.

Knit on!

Yarn Day!

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My order from elann arrived in the mail today – ten lovely bright balls of elann esprit for five pairs of socks. I have three sets of 4mm dpns so when I get started on the socks I think I will knit two at a time.


Not only did I have the pleasure of yarn in the mail, but my husband brought home ten skeins of James C Brett Marble. The photos don’t do it justice – it’s made up of shades of brown with a hint of turquoise. I made a scarf with this once and gave it away and then had trouble getting more. So I special-ordered ten skeins from a local yarn store. It took ages to arrive, but I had a call this morning from the shop and then called Tai Chi Man to see if he could pick it up for me. Synchronicity rocks! He was, at the time of my call, sitting in traffic just waiting to turn into the very street where the yarn store is! Really! Within a few minutes of my call, he had picked it up – I’ll have to go in there next time I’m over that way to get my frequent shopper card stamped. In the meantime, I have lots of knitting time planned.


And I will have a little more knitting time than usual in the next two months as Ninja Boy and I decided to take a break from Taekwon-do for November and December. I felt like a break, and Ninja Boy was quite happy to go along with it. I consider it a mild protest on my part – we still haven’t received our embroidered black belts and I am expected to buy another dobok (uniform) since we changed our alliance to ITF. So the break will save us a couple of months fees and we intend to go back in January.

During this time, I also plan to try out a yoga class with a couple of friends, and finally (something I have been promising the kids for a couple of years) get to the indoor climbing gym.

And finally, I keep meaning to mention that I have Nan to thank for the xxtraordinary blogger award in my sidebar.

Dr House (and some other less important things)

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I found out something amazing yesterday. When I actually pick up my sock and knit on it, it grows quite fast! I am almost as far as the heel flap on the second sock. Obviously I don’t knit socks as fast as Torrance. This crazy lady made four pairs of socks in five days. Wow!

This week’s DVD watching has been season 4 of Corner Gas. This is a great little comedy set in a little town in Saskatchewan, Canada. After all the episodes of House MD and various British murder mysteries, it is a refreshing change – no dead bodies, at least! (I can’t believe I just googled House MD and it came up on Wikipedia!)

Talking about House, here’s a little bit of Hugh for you…Ahem…attention, please. Thank you.

Anyway, what was I saying. Oh yes, this evening was another sweaty session at Taekwon-do. We didn’t go at all last week. Today I was vacillating about going, feeling lazy, not wanting to go out on a cold dark night, but as usual Ninja Boy and I made the effort and really enjoyed it. Ninja Boy finally received his new instructor-type dobok (uniform) which has a black edging to the jacket. The club recently switched from ICTF to ITF affiliation (International Chang Hon Taekwon-do Federation to International Taekwon-do Federation) which means everyone’s doboks have the wrong logo on them and have to be changed. However Ninja Boy’s new one is the new style and it fits him perfectly – I don’t have to shorten the arms or legs.

In theory, I should buy an ITF dobok, but am reluctant to do so at the moment. We still haven’t received our embroidered belts and certificates, even though we passed our test at the end of April. I am reluctant to pay out more money until I have received the outstanding items, and have told the senior instructor so.

The class tonight was a “conditioning” one, which translated means “I’m gonna make you sweat and get you fit whatever it takes”. Lots of jab punches, dizzying combinations of kicks, push-ups, sit-ups, stretches. I feel great – when it’s over! I told the instructor that he should be my personal trainer and make me do that sort of workout every other day, because I certainly don’t make that amount of effort at home!

Maybe if I sent the kids to school and hired a maid, I’d have enough time in my day for everything I’d rather be doing. Just kidding ;o)

Teaching Taekwon-do

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We had some fun today. Ninja Boy and I went to one of the local elementary schools to help our instructor with a class. This was a BIG class – 60 boys and girls in Grade 6. One of the girls comes to our Taekwondo club and her black belt mum was there to help too.

So with four black belts and two teachers, we did our best to keep the mob under control!

I think most of the kids had fun. We did a warmup, some front and side kicks, some partner kicking and self defence. Towards the end, the instructor asked Ninja Boy to demonstrate some more advanced kicks, which he did, and then he set up a board break.

Three children crouched down next to each other and Ninja Boy performed a flying side kick over them and broke the board. I was so pleased that he did it – and the kids watching were impressed. (Unfortunately I didn’t take the camera.)

The other mum and I did a bit of sparring with all our protective equipment on too.

I think our instructor will find a class of ten kids easy after today!

Knitting stalled…stop…life getting in way…stop

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A quick telegram – er, I mean blog post – to say the baby blanket has not grown at all the last two days.

Monday is usually my housework day. I did the bathrooms but the vacuuming was put aside so I could start blitzing the kitchen. Dusted the tops of the wall units – yuk, don’t do that job too often, the dust was flying everywhere! Started tidying and cleaning drawers and cupboards. Still lots to do on that.

The joy of cleaning was interrupted by a visit to the dentist – we were collecting a nightguard for Computer Geek (so he can’t grind his teeth in his sleep).

And Ninja Boy and I had a Taekwondo class in the evening. So the knitting was neglected.

I did get to the vacuuming today. I also had a haircut this morning and a visit from a friend this afternoon (we traded fruit – she brought prune plums and took peaches home).

At 4.30pm, Ninja Boy and I were to be found at the Taekwondo dojang again. The instructor had asked us to help out with the kids white belt class as there were some new students and he would appreciate the extra instructors. There was a good instructor/student ratio in that class – four black belts and six white belt kids. After that class, there was another for kids with a bit more experience, so we stayed to help out at that one too. And THEN we trained in the mixed family class – all ages and belt levels. And that’s not all – we stayed on for a fourth hour and participated in the boxing/kickboxing class. It was a mighty relief to get home and have a shower and something to eat!

I shall have to drag myself off this computer soon if I am to knit a few rows before bed – so no Bookworm for me tonight.