Technology Trials: While Starting Staff Training

I really enjoy irony, and with my project this week it’s been upfront and central. I’m taking an online educational technology class, and my internet was down. Therefore, I was without technology in my home for a couple of days; I had many ideas of what I should be doing, and no-way of following through. Frustration, agony, and peace were all strangely intermingled as I wondered what I was to learn from this.

Photo Credit: aliceheiman Flickr via Compfight cc

I’ve learned that I need to download YouTube video’s so I have this content on my computer instead of trusting YouTube, but I still don’t know how to do that.  Using the staff is tough, I’d planned on practicing every day; without a video to follow it was impossible.

Instead, I stretched in the mornings, worked on sit-ups, planks, push-ups, and doing three forms of Tai-Chi. Doing sit-ups, planks, and push-ups have been a shock to my body, but it feels good. I’d forgotten how Tai-Chi puts me mentally in the zone, and how wonderful it feels to move my body this way. Maybe, preparing myself like this is the best way to proceed before I start my staff classes.

Photo Credit: Kuan Ching Tao Flickr via Compfight cc

At the beginning of the week I did do one staff class with “Bo Staff Class for Complete Beginners – Yellow Chevron”. When the instructor tells you to “follow through the video without giving up”, you know his workout is going to be difficult. I tried to keep up and enjoyed the workout. My hand positions with the different strikes feel awkward, I feel unsure and inadequate.

I hadn’t thought through the amount of space needed to practice using the staff and realize my small apartment could be problematic. The staff gives a much wider reach, and space is important; I might have to go the park to practice.

My staff right now is my garden hoe, which is weighted at one end, it’s not the best tool, but it’s OK for now.

I have never made a video of myself before, and this was something brand new for me. Trying to figure out where and how to position the iPad took time and some ingenuity. I made this video during my second review of the “Bow Staff Class for Complete Beginners – Yellow Chevron“.  Once the movie was made I had to figure out how to edit it. I watched “Clip and Trim iMovie 10” although this was great, I had to watch it several times to understand how everything works. I’m really pleased I figured this out. The movie I made shows the level I am at now, which is an excellent base line.

As with all martial arts, I need to practice my staff skills. The hand positions felt awkward and uncomfortable. The teachers of any martial art make things look easy, and it isn’t. To get better I need to practice every day. I have practiced four times with the beginner video this week. I had hoped to practice more but with the internet being down it put a halt to my practice schedule.

This is the video I’ve been using this week to learn basic stances and strikes.

 

 

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Introduction to my learning project

Learning to Use the Staff

I have always been interested in martial arts. I’ve studied several different forms of Tai Chi and enjoyed them all. Tai Chi is more physically demanding than most people realize, as the slower the motion, they greater skill and strength needed.

While I lived in Korea, I studied their traditional martial art called Taekkyon. At first, I didn’t think I could really jump and kick like Bruce Lee, but after being in classes 5 nights a week I became really quite good. In fact, I competed in Seoul’s first Women’s National Taekkyon Competition. Although I didn’t win a medal the Grand Master was impressed with my abilities and called my Kwan Chan Nim (Teacher) to his office to congratulate him for being a good teacher.

Taekkyon sparing.

While living in Humboldt Saskatchewan I joined the Tae Kwon Do club. The physical demands of this martial art were difficult, but again I became stronger and stronger the harder I tried.

Winning 2 silver medals, 2013.

I managed to attain my green belt, and as I was preparing for Western Finals Competition my knee gave out. My martial arts career was over.

Now I’m living in Regina, and still love martial arts. I’ve studied the basic 24 movements of Tai Chi with Master Li a year ago but haven’t practiced. My intention with this learning project is to get focused and make my body strong again. I want to practice Tai Chi every morning, as that strengthens my body and mind, and I’ve always wanted to learn how to use the staff. All of my other martial arts classes focused on me using my body to protect myself; I’ve never had any training using a weapon. I’ve always liked the simplicity of the staff, and yet when used with skill it’s a great tool for protection. I plan on looking for articles, watching YouTube videos, asking for help in Twitter, and seeing if I can find classes in Regina. I understand we have only a short time frame to learn this new skill, but this is only the beginning of lots of hard work.