Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

I'm Taking Up T'ai Chi...

...due to distance, schedule fluctuations, time and space restrictions, T'ai Chi is accessible to me, where Isshin Ryu Okinawa Te is just not feasible at this time.

I greatly miss my Karate class, but it's too much and too far.

I was able to take a few classes locally of Cheng Man Ching-derived short-form T'ai Chi Chuan, and it is accessible to me through books, videos, and meet-ups. It also requires a minimum of time and space to practice, and is sustainable as I age.

So, for now, the way forward is through a different way.

Still, I will always remember the nearly three years I spent on both Tae Kwon Do and Isshin Ryu Okinawa Te, and hold them in the highest regard. Perhaps someday, I will be able to pick up my Karate again, and add it to my T'ai Chi. In the mean time, I must continue learning, and this seems to be the way forward that the Universe has left open for me.



Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Empty Hand: Taking Tai Chi Chuan...

Temporarily at least, I am taking Tai Chi Chuan at the Theosophical Society ( ) in Wheaton, IL. It's only the energy work and exercise portion of the form, but it's GREAT exercise. It looks slow and graceful, and it is, but it also breaks you into a sweat after 15 minutes.

I'm really loving the class, but I also greatly miss my Isshin Shorinji Ryu Okinawa Te.

The issue is, there's 45 minutes travel to the karate class, and no space for practice in the small condo I now call home.

I still need to think of a way to make it happen, though. Hopefully, I'll come up with a solution soon.

Meanwhile, I think the Tai Chi will help me be in better shape when I find my way back to karate.



Saturday, October 2, 2010

I Put A Call In To Sensei Yesterday... see if he's still teaching the class at the YMCA, and find out when would be a good time to start back, etc. I'm leaning toward early January so that my Y membership renewals come up at that time. We'll see. I haven't heard back yet, but Sensei is a good guy, and I'm sure he'll call when he can.

I'll probably go visit the Y soon to see, too.



Path Of Jubilation...

Path Of Jubilation...

It was a year-and-a-half ago I was broken,
Wounded bird unable to fly,
Passing the seasons in injury's chains,
Wondering what the sight of recovery would mean.

The Tinker Man fixed me with bolts and braces,
As if I were a thing of tin and oil,
Yet it worked in its fashion,
In its sweet time.

I wondered then if I would walk again,
Then I wondered if I would dance,
Would I ever know the grace of the Katas,
Let alone run forward in life?

I walked and walked and walked,
Doing everything the healers bade me,
Bent and pulled and pushed,
Eventually gently danced - muted with caution.

Today the Tinker Man declared me free,
To kick and jump and run,
Race to the Moon if I dare it,
Stand in for Bruce Lee if I feel silly.

Kato I'm not,
But I'll be back in class soon,
And I'll keep walking,
Even run a little.

I am healed, and I feel fine.


By: Daniel A. Stafford

Back story:
Many of you know I suffered a severely broken ankle in February of 2009. It was put back together surgically, the bolts and braces are still in it. I slowly went through healing, physical therapy, walked further and further a little at a time. I even got to dancing again a little. Still, there's always a little twinge now and then, a slight reminder that it happened. I've used care and caution and stayed out of karate, never ran one single stride since, not jumped an inch. I went to the surgeon's office yesterday afternoon to see if they were going to have to take the hardware out. The surgeon was amazed at how well I've healed, and the strength and flexibility I've gotten back. I'm within a degree or two of my original range of motion in two directions, and the other two directions are as good as before the fall. Not only did he tell me that I don't have to get any hardware removed, but I'm fully cleared for any physical activity I wish to pursue within normal human limits. I plan on being back in karate by January at the latest, and to try running a bit very soon. Needless to say, this is a huge relief, and I celebrate it.


Saturday, February 13, 2010


I started practicing again finally, it went pretty well.

I was able to recall the 8-point soft blocks, Empi Kata, Take ko ichei, nee, & son, and most of the 14-point hard blocks.

I think I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and get re-upped for the YMCA, then pay for the next class session. I need to get back to class.

The problem is, at some point, my surgeon is going to want to remove the two larger screws from my ankle, so I'll be back out for several weeks - including two weeks in a boot and off work. I'll get definitive answers on time-frame from the surgeon when I schedule the surgery to remove the screws.

I'm holding off on the ankle surgery, because I have to get some dental surgery dealt with first. Yikes!

On top of that, I'm having a lot of trouble with my right sghoulder, and it's been going on for three months. I haven't even had that looked at yet.

Having just turned 48 this past Monday, I uppose I have to expect some of this stuff, but it is still frustrating.

On the positive side again, I have been adjusting my diet, walking briskly for an hour twice a week, and swimming an hour on Saturdays - so my weight has dropped about 10 lbs in the past two weeks.

Now, I need to get a little aerobic exercise (disco dancing & kata practice) added back in to take it to the next level.

I'm going to gradually ramp it up, and when the legs are out, I'm going to find ways to work the upper body and legs above the knee.

Hopefully, I'll be in MUCH better shape by the end of 2010.



Thursday, October 8, 2009

Last Day of Physical Therapy...

I had my last day of PT today. A week from tomorrow, I'll go to the Y and sign up for the current Karate session.

I'm not 100% yet, maybe 80. I'll still have to be careful of the ankle. No sparring just yet.

The wierd thing is, my foot FEELS like it's pointed straight forward when it's really pointed 5-10 degrees left now. I don't know if or to what degree that will go back.

Also, in th January/February time frame, I'll have to get two of the screws removed. That will have me out a few weeks while the bone fills back in.

We have a great workout room in our condo complex. Checked it out and got keys today. I'm starting up tomorrow.



Thursday, August 20, 2009

With a little luck...

I'll be back at class next month.