29 October 2009

Oh Happy Day!!

When I first got my practice jien, the first wet season it went through, a part of the guard warped and separated from the blade. This is because it was made in a very cold, low humidity and it is now in the exact opposite. So Sifu arranged to get it sent back to his friend who made it to get another one fixed.

Fast forward to a year -year and a half later, I finally got it back.

The reason was that get guy fixing it had one of those unexpected massive heart attacks and passed away. So Sifu had to wait until he went over to Alaska to visit before he could really get my sword and the rest of his back and send them back home.

But I have my sword back, just needed to glue the new guard plate back on and let it sit in clamps for a couple of days.

I had been using one of Sifu's swords in the mean time, although I gave that back yesterday. And I have to say that my forms feel really different now. I suppose it's just a matter of getting used to the feel of the sword (the weight, grip etc) again.

So yeah, very happy at the moment to have my sword back. I'll post a pic when I get home ^.^

Currently Reading: The Dwarves by Marcus Heitz

21 October 2009

Nearly Didn't Happen

I've been training with Sifu now for around two years.

In that time I have acquired some skills with the Jien (Chinese Straight Sword), including two forms (Liang yi Jien and San Tsai Jien), techniques and some drills (good forearm strength!).

Last night Sifu said as that I was (virtually) the only student who consistently serious about the jien, said that he would start teaching me Kun Wu Jien. He showed me the first 6 or so movements and I have to say I love the feeling and expression of the form already. It's a fairly long form at around 45 movements long. So while it will take a while to learn (and then years to master), it shouldn't take as long as Lian Yi Jien. As that was the first form I learnt and had to learn a great many steps and sword techniques just to be able to perform it.

I've seen a youtube video of Adam Hsu performing Kun Wu Jian and that is just incredible to watch.

Looking forward to the next couple months of sword classes :)

Currently Reading: The Dwarves by Marcus Heitz

13 October 2009

Push - Push back

I've just been going through some of my posts (fixing the many, many spelling errors :sweatdrop:) and I came across this post last year.

I use to follow the 100 pushups before I realised how much it was overtraining my arms and stopped. But on a whim I decided to do a quick exhaustion test (ie keep doing push ups until you can't to anymore).

My score? 30. The last one (see link), I managed to complete 28. So in the year and a half I have been seriously focused on kung fu has helped me keep up the strength in my arms and shoulders. Cool.

We don't train push ups because they set muscle strength in a limited range of motion. For practicioners of kung fu, we need to have a greater range of motion. If we did train in push-ups it would be counterproductive.

12 October 2009

All Good Things Must End?

It's a bit sad, but my second job is coming to an end today. I'm picking up my last paycheck tonight.

The store just isn't making enough warrant keeping me on for the couple of shifts that I do. While it's a bit unfortunate, I'm not that upset because the job isn't worth that much to me anymore.

When the previous manager was running it, I was making around $300-350 a week extra in my pocket (mind you I did put in a quite a few hours to get paid so well). But with the new manager I was lucky to get $150 a week (the hours got cut right down).

So while the job was very good for me in the sense that it paid for my trips to Japan and New Zealand, I'm not sad to be leaving it. I was starting to looking for another job closer to town anyway.

Now I just need a replacement so that I can keep saving for Europe. I'm thinking of finding some work in a restaurant bar or something like in hospitality the hourly rates are quite good ^.^

Here's to hoping...

- Grover


Yeah so it's been a little while again. Time seems to be very slippery of late.

Didn't get the job, but came second in the interviews which isn't too bad I suppose. Makes a pleasant change from the couple of shocking interview performances I've had previously.

But I am currently applying for a Project Officer job with Weed Management that sounds right up my alley. All dealing with stuff that I've had experience in before. I'm just spending a bit of time getting the application as perfect as I can to ensure that I'll get an intervew.

Here's to hoping...

- Grover

13 August 2009

GAH!! The wait = Torture

I'm waiting to hear about a job I had an interview for last Thursday. Really hope I get it. Would love to be a permanent AO4.

The chairperson said they hoped to have an decision made by Friday, so hopefully I'll hear tomorrow whether I'll need to go back to Police or not.

Hope not, would be nice to go over to Europe on a 4's salary rather than a 3's.

- Grover.

10 August 2009

Movin' Right Along...

Heh, my brother-in-law finally gave me one of his old bikes to cycle to work.

I only live 2kms away from where I work, so it's ideal for me to be able to ride back and forth around town.

In fact I can ride quicker than what it takes me to drive to the carpark then walk to work.

So, I'm not using fuel during the week, I'm also saving at least $12 a week on parking fees (I know that it's not very expensive but that's still $600 a year).

However the greatest thing I should save money on is how much I spend on lunchs and drinks and snacks throughout the day. By eating lunch at home instead of buying lunch so that should save nearly $100 or so a week. Quite shocking when you think about it.

Another benefit is that I can more easily fit in some Baji practice into my day. Whereas before I was struggling to fit it into my day.

I'm able to get it done in around 20-25 minutes, then have a shower,lunch, then head back to work.

It makes for a busy day, but at one filled with lots of positives!! ^.^

- Grover.

26 July 2009

Done and done

Finally seen to have mobile gmail working from my phone. Happy days!

Enables me to check my emails without having to turn on a computer.

Oh well enough laying around. I've got to finish a job application.

- Grover.

25 May 2009

Japan 2007.

Okay, now that I've got NZ out of the way, I think it's time for me to put in all I can remember about the Japan trip. I do have a diary that I kept for the first two weeks, though the last two will have to be dredged up from my memory...
- Grover.

07 May 2009

Planning for UK/Europe 2010.

Well I've hardly finished putting up all the entries from New Zealand 2008 and I'm already planning a trip to UK/Europe in 2010.
It appears I've been well and truly bitten by the travel bug.
I've been careful when taken recreation leave for the last couple of years so that I could build up the maxium credit (I'm actually two days in excess of the maximum). Plus I have Long Service due around the middle March nex year.
I have been thinking of what to do with my long service ever since I had accrued 7 years worth pf service in 2007. Nothing definate, but just keeping it in the back of my mind that I'll have three months with which to do something.
Then at the start of the year, Mum mentioned that my great Aunt in England is turning 80 and that she and Dad (along with half a dozen other family members), are planning to travel over for it and visit the UK for a month in 2010 and would I be interested in coming along.
I said of course immediately yes. Then that got me thinking. If I stay longer and use recreation leave until my long service accural date then I would be able to take my long service as well.
So the plan at the moment is as follows.
18 Jan 10 - Fly to England
19/01-18/02/10 - Looking at Wales, Ireland, Lakes district, London.
19/02/10 - Wave goodbye to family as they going back home.
20-28/02/10 - Scotland
March - 1st wk of April France and Spain.
2nd - 3 wk of April - France again, Hungary, Chech Rp
4th wk of April - France again.
May - Denmark/Sweden/Norway
June - Netherlands/Belgium/Tour de Mont Blanc
July - Italy-Austria
August - France
September - France/England fly home.
It's a bit of a strange itinerary I know, but that's because I might be meeting up with a friend and do Italy-France together.
Although it's all subject to change ^.^
- Grover

29 April 2009

Weathers, they are a changing.

So it's two days away from the official start of the Dry season (what we call our winter), and already there has been a big change towards cooler temperatures.
No joke, it's as if someone has flicked a switch to make it cooler, the change has been that sudden.
Everyone is now talking about how low the humidity is, and how cool it was last night. It got down to 21°C, with humidity hanging around 50%. This is down from 26-27, and humidity can remain over 70%
Although to give this a perspective, we spend most of the year in hot to very hot conditions. With humidity from high to very high. So any time the weather conditions change like this it's very noticeable.
So you can understand how we get so excited for the Dry season. It the best time of year and everyone longs for the dry season to arrive. I'll start to see people wearing old, worn jumpers about town soon. You can tell that they have been in storage since last year. They are really out of date fashion too, because people keep them for years because they only get used a couple of months every year. Then get stored again.
It's just amusing to see everyone so excited and talking about it. You can tell the seasons in Darwin by the conversations that go around the office.
- Grover

03 March 2009

NZ Holiday 2008

Finally found my diary that I kept from when I went to NZ last year.

I'll start posting the day by day entries, then refile them on the day.

Start [Here]

- Grover

25 January 2009

Slinking in to the New Year...

Ah yeah, happy new year and all that jazz...

Slunk into new year without too much fuss or fanfare.

Looked after my Sister and Brother-In-Law's place while they went and visited Mum and Dad.

Started up at training at Mantis, Tai Chi and Jian again.

Heh, actually last Thursday after training, Sifu, took me aside after the lesson just to let me know about about some of the disciple stuff and what he will be teaching as a disciple. And Sifu told me he is unsure what to teach me first.

To explain, Sifu is quite traditional in the sense that although Sifu knows a LOT of styles, he will only teach some of it to disciples. This, from what I can gather is what he knows of Ba ji, Pi qua and Bha gua. These are some very nasty styles. Don't get me wrong, if you came to him and showed you were really sincere about wanting to train, he would probably teach you. But this would also probably be the basics. The higher level things he would leave until you became a desciple.

Same with Tai chi. He has got quite a few forms, but will only teach the second one once you have been training with him for many, many years. He says it would be a waste of time. You would need those years getting the energy right.

Anyway anyway anyway.

Apparently he is unsure what to teach me is that with my body type (stocky), I should be a ba ji or a ba gua (short powerful strikes), but I am also good at some of the flowing movements of pi qua.

We'll sort it in the end I suppose.

Oh yes, also found out what the style of Mantis Sifu is teaching me. It is called: Cha Chui [cha chew-wei]. Smashing Fist. It's the signature move of the form.

It's about 5-6 months until Sifu Wong comes out over from Alaska. Really looking forward to that.

Sifu is also going to be doing another couple of seminars next month. One on San T'sai Jien, or Three Powers Sword. This time teaching the other side of the form. One on a mantis form, and one on Qi gung. I'll probably go to the first two.

- Grover.