Tag Archives: one-arm cartwheel

Day 2 of Going Back to Ninja Training – Err… Parkour/Freerunning and Martial Arts

I feel sore.

In places I didn’t expect, though in hindsight I should have expected.  After all, going back into tumbling after a few weeks of not tumbling is bound to make one sore in the core.  It’s just that I expected to feel it more on my abs and sides, and I’m feeling the soreness on the sides of my lower back.  Must be all those cartwheels.  Yup, definitely all those cartwheels.

After a long period of relative physical inactivity due to suffering and recovering from sinusitis (hey, remember when I said my week-long headache may have been caused by my dental issues? Yeah, turns out it was acute sinusitis.  Go figure.), traveling out of town twice – first for a wedding and then for a live audition (more on that on the next blog post), and then recovering from said travels and THEN recovering from having my wisdom tooth removed, I finally officially returned to my regular physical training routine.  It helped that yesterday was a holiday, which meant I didn’t have to worry about getting things done by 7 so I could leave for work by 8.

So before breakfast I worked on:

  1. Cartwheels – both regular (2 arms) and single-arm cartwheels for my right side, which is my stronger side; and regular cartwheels for my left side.  I intend to work up to doing single-arms on my left as well, but all in good time.  I have noticed a significant improvement on my left: I’m more stable and I travel in a straighter line than I used to.  So it’s just a matter of time.
  2. Parkour rolls – on a yoga mat over a tiled surface.  No, I’m not bragging.  Okay, maybe a little.  But only because I used to stack said yoga mat over some thin kiddie puzzle mats.  No more.  If I’m gonna train in Parkour and Freerunning, I’m gonna have to get used to rolling on hard surfaces.
  3. Jump rope intervals – this is a new one for me.  I’ve never used a jump rope as part of a regular routine before.  I patterned my intervals after the Tabata protocol – 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest x 4 + 60 seconds cool down – but I rested 20 seconds instead of 10, and I didn’t go all out like you’re supposed to in Tabata.  Hey, I’m jump rope virgin!  It’s okay to take things slowly.

After breakfast I still had some time to kill before a 10:00 meeting, so after I felt reasonably settled in my stomach, I proceeded to practice the 13 basic strikes of Kali.  I would have finished it with a minute of Carenza (free play) but my son borrowed my stick and we ended up playing sword-fighting.

In the afternoon, I was still feeling okay so I decided to practice some Aikido sword movements then finished with the 24 forms of Taichichuan.  I learned the 24 forms a few years ago when I was in graduate school.  I only took a few lessons though, just enough to learn the forms.

So that’s what I did yesterday that left me feeling sore.  This morning I worked on my straddle press to handstand and freestanding handstand.  For straddle press, I worked on doing the against-the-wall progression where my head and back are supposed to press tightly against the wall as I stand in a straddle and roll up into a leaning handstand and slowly roll back down.  I still can’t quite do it – and I’m pretty sure it is more psychological than physical – so I placed two chairs behind my legs, placed one foot on each chair, then rolled from there.  After a couple of reps, I kicked up to a handstand against the wall, then worked on pulling away both feet and holding that freestanding position as long as I could.  To date, I have never gone past 4 seconds.  It’s pretty frustrating, but it is what it is.  Sometimes all you can do is just train your ass off.  It is comforting to know that even though I can’t still pull off a 10-second freestanding handstand, I can tell that I have gotten better in the past year or so.  This time last year I was still struggling to kick up to a handstand (again, it was more of a mind thing than any actual physical shortcoming).  And as I’ve mentioned earlier my cartwheels have improved, which can probably be attributed at least partially to my handstand training.

Well, there you have it.  Two days of ninja training.  The original plan was to also include pull up training this afternoon, but I ran out of time.  Oh well.  Next time.  Tomorrow is recovery day, and I’m looking forward to a massage in the evening.  Yippeee!


Hello again! Lemme try somethin’ a little different…

Whoever you are who might have read my previous posts and then wondered “whatever happened to this guy and why isn’t he writing anymore?”, if you indeed exist, hello again!  And if this is your first time to check out my blog, welcome and hello to you too.  Check out my page for more info.

So it’s been a while, and now that I’m back I want to try something a bit different with this blog.  In the past, I’d just write in a really long burst and then edit and rewrite and hopefully it would take less than an hour or so.  It was also less structured and kind of write-as-I-go – which is how I’m writing this, actually.  I think I’m going to be just a little bit more structured and concise so as to save on blogging time (so I don’t have the excuse of “I can’t blog right now because I don’t have time”), which will allow me to blog more days a week while juggling everything else.  Here’s what I mean: I will blog maybe two or three times a week, keeping it short and focused on one major topic or category.  So one day I’ll blog about my parkour/freerunning training and it’s just that – and it will be categorized under Movement with the tags parkour, freerunning, etc.  Then maybe the next day I’ll blog about my songwriting or about music in general.  Then the next day I’ll focus on Zen practice and maybe some of the concepts (though I’m not confident in talking about those).  I’ll still keep it a bit loose, just not too loose so that I don’t spend too much time editing (’cause honestly I can be a grammar Nazi and that takes time).

That’s pretty much it.  Hope you’ll all enjoy the new – I don’t know the word – format?  Style?  Whatever.  I hope you enjoy reading Zen, Music, and Movement.  And I’ll end this post with a photo of me doing a one-arm cartwheel on the beach.

This is how I do the “Y” when dancing to the Village People’s “YMCA.”


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