Monday, November 30, 2009

End of Day 1 Relaxation

It was hard keeping up the the warrior today. He just wanted to keep going and going. I guess that is due to all the training he does. In the end I was able to convince him to pace himself for the next 4 days. We are now winding down the day with some wine, beer, and blues.

Hanging out in the Venetian

Busting some moves on the marble floor and playing Q-bert on the floor when nobody is looking.

Ready for the games


Hanging out at the Luxor

Just hanging out with some old friends.

Time for the fun to begin

We are now in Vegas. Let the games begin!

Shadow Warrior Enroute to Vegas

After a small delay and a missed flight in Atlanta, the shadow warrior is over Arkansas at approximatley 35,000 ft. He is getting a little excited and won't stop talking about the slot machines.

Sitting in an airplane at PNS

The warrior woke up a little groggy, but made the flight from Pensacola to Atlanta...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Follow the Nabard Warrior as he travels to Las Vegas

Follow along as the Nabard Warrior travels to Las Vegas with Michelle and I next week. I will post pictures of the places that he visits during this trip. These photos however will be the only glimpse allowed into this trip because we all know; "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...".

Thanksgiving Week & Schedule Correction

Well, Thanksgiving week was a little slow around the academy as expected. Many people were traveling out of town or feeling a little over stuffed. Next week however should be a bit different where there will likely be some guilt with regards to the amount of food eaten and the lack of exercising throughout the thanksgiving week. Time will tell how many of us fall into this category.

Schedule Correction: There was a communication error between Master Safakhoo and myself when I prepared the updated schedule of classes. A corrected schedule is shown below.

5:30 am - Nabard Combat
5:00 pm - Nabard Combat
6:30 pm - Log Training

5:30 am - Nabard Combat
5:00 pm - Nabard Combat

5:30 am - Log Training
5:00 pm - Nabard Combat - Sparring
6:30 pm - Log Training

5:30 am - Nabard Combat
5:00 pm - Nabard Combat

5:30 am - Log Training

9:00 am - Log Training

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Continuation of My Last Post...Kind Of

Tonight I was engaged in a nice conversation with Master Safakhoo and Brian over coffee at Panera. Throughout our discussion we covered many topics. A few of those topics lingered with me more so than the others. These topics are included below for continued discussion and observation. They are, in a way, a continuation of my last post "Knowing Your Body...The Greatest Quest"

The first of these topics is "learning how to learn". All new students. I repeat; all new students, struggle with learning how to learn. Without fail, each new student experiences an inner feeling of failure at some point when they struggle with their body. Every new student quickly realizes that although attached to their body, the feet and hands are not always where you expect them to be. Through our training there is constant focus on the position of the feet, hands, head, and overall movement of the body. It is here where the frustration starts. When a new student focuses on the feet, the hands, head, or body is often problematic. The same can be said for each of the other parts. These problems can only be overcome by time and practice. The Nabard Combat style involves total body movements and therefore attention must be given to each part individually and within the collective as well. It is therefore a critical component of each student to learn how to learn. Preconceived ideas and the refusal to submit oneself to the exploration of their body positions and movements are the largest barriers to learning how to learn. I should also note that every new student experiences this issue, and it is for this reason that we are all so willing to help one another. We know how uncomfortable this can feel, and we also know how empowering it is when we make progress within ourselves.

The second topic is "working through the resistance". If a student stays completely within a comfort zone, then their growth is limited at best. Each student has their own set of limitations and while care should be given to prevent injury, the student should be continually pushing their own limits. It is through stretch-goals that a student progresses the most. Each student should constantly seek that next level in speed, weight resistance, stamina, and technique. Working through the resistance is critical for growth within Nabard Combat.

The final topic is "respect". Each student within Nabard must respect one another. Through mutual respect we all learn, even if we are responsible for the teaching of others. Respect is also crucial for trust, which is a requirement for true knowledge sharing between instructors and students. Without respect and trust, growth and progression of the student is severely limited. Respect for oneself is the most important of all however. If you do not respect yourself, how can others respect you?

These are but a few of the things we discussed tonight. I am sure there will be more thoughts similar to this as we move forward in our journey through Nabard Systems.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Knowing Your Body...The Greatest Quest

It has been a little over two weeks since my last post due to my work/life schedule being so busy. Well, now things are a little more normal and so here goes another post.

Today I was helping a few students during our Combat class and then in Log Training class as well. During my time with these students, each differing in time spent within our academy, I was able to see how much we rely on our developed ability to understand our body.

It first started when I worked with a new student who has participated in Combat and Log Training classes for a few months now. Although he still feels at odds with his body (most notably his feet), he is doing quite well. I worked with him for a while on his footwork at the end of Line 1 and tried to explain to him how I was able to feel when my feet were correctly positioned within a front stance. I explained how the pressure on my feet is noticeably different when my feet are turned in or out too much, and how the pressure feels against the outside arch of my foot when I am in a proper front stance. I explained that it comes from repeatedly focusing on how my body sends signals to my brain and that it becomes more natural and easy over time. After moving on to work on my own forms I observed him paying attention to his feet more closely and within a few minutes he was much more consistent with his stances and he looked much more comfortable as well. He still needs to continue working on his stances, but he picked up on it very well when he was made more aware of how to focus on his body.

My second exposure was when I was working on the fan technique with a fellow senior student. We were both reviewing our form and were helping one another with various parts of the form. Working with her in this situation provided a very different experience for me. Our hand, foot, and/or body position was more of a remembrance factor than a new discovery like a new student. We have each been exposed to the signals our body provides in these situations for quite a few years now, so it was much easier for us to rediscover and correct some of those form movements which were fuzzy to us for some reason or another.

Lastly, I was helping a very new student during our second class of the evening which was Log Training. She is a student of another martial arts style, and has recently begun taking classes within our academy. During this class, which was her very first Log Training class, she had some difficulty flowing into the training movements. This was not because of her fitness level. On the contrary, she is very fit. The difficulty however was due to the lack of experience with our movements and how she could not coordinate her body as well as she liked. In the end she confirmed the merits of our Log Training class, and is looking forward to her next class where she feels that she will perform much better. She also believes that our Log Training exercises will benefit her transition into Nabard Combat, which requires a lot of movement and fluidity that is not a part of her previous martial arts style. All of this confirmed to me that once we better understand how our bodies move, behave, and react, we are much more able to develop ourselves.

Each of these situations reinforced to me how important it is to know your body. Knowing your body does not come quickly, and not always easily either. Through continued exploration and self study, each of us can become much more than we are currently. Once a person becomes aware of this and accepts the inherent challenges therein, that person begins one of the greatest quests in life. This is the quest of constant improvement. Within this quest, a person realizes that the more they know and understand currently, the more there is to improve upon and the more there is still to learn.