Blast From The (Martial Arts) Past

I found this epic/kind of funny pic of the team I was on back in ’09 that I wanted to share! Ahaha this pic kindddd of proves the saying “all asians look alike” :p! I’m 3rd from the right if you were curious :p

Seems like a lot of you have been asking a lot of questions about my Martial Arts background. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve trained 2 years in Taekwondo when I was young, 4 Years of Kemscrima Doh, and 4 Years of Mixed Martial Arts. A big chunk of my Martial Arts experience stems from UC Merced’s Martial Arts Club. We proudly represent and respect many disciplines of Martial Arts Taekwondo, Shotokan, Capoeira, Kempo, and Kung Fu, to name a few. Aside from respect of disciplines, we also respect all types of experience levels. On the team there were members with 10+ years of experience, and others with none. As long as you have a willingness to learn, we’re willing to train.

I’ll try to dig up some more photos later! In the meantime you guys can check out 2 performances. The most recent performance was actually from last year where the new team invited back some Alumni to perform.

As I mentioned above, we pride ourselves in being unique and accepting all types of Martial Arts. This form of which we named Chouseki, is a combination of 4 forms: Koryo (WTF Taekwondo,  Empi (Shotokan), Ao Shiro Budo (MAC), Po Eun (ITF Taekwondo).

In my last year studying at UC Merced, I was the President, as well as Head Demo Team Captain. This was when I suffered my first serious injury 😥 I’ll never forget that day. As a team, we’re used to practicing anywhere between 2-5 hours a night. We often stayed up until 2 or 3 am to train to refine our katas. As you can imagine that took a huge toll on our bodies. Well…we were practicing for the first performance of the year. We proceeded by practing the usual, and coach told us this was our last run through, and to “take it easy”. I didn’t hear the “take it easy” part. Last form. Last kick. Tornado kick. DAMN YOU TORNADO KICK (it is now the “forbidden kick”)!! I tore 2 ligaments in my left ankle 😦 I was supposed to rest for 3 months…HAH! The little brat in me decided that 3 months = 3 weeks (more on that another day). Long story short, it was a tough start to an extremely tough year. We all have obstacles blocking us from success, and this was mine. Needless to say I got through it, and learned a lot about myself, and others during that process.

Here’s one of the performances my Senior year.

Chill With The Chancellor ’10

Let me know what you think! I hope the videos entertained you for a little bit 😉


9 thoughts on “Blast From The (Martial Arts) Past

  1. My thighs are burning just watching that. I’m going to want more inspiration and stories when I get to start training again in January. That’s if you take requests of course. 🙂

    • Haha of course I’ll be glad to share stories! Thank you so much for taking your time to read/watch…it was kind of an unintentional long-ish post. I’m really excited for you to start training again. January is just around the corner 😀

  2. I should really make an effort to learn hand-to-hand combat. The closest things, besides kendo and naginata, were judo and a few lessons in bujinkan. I think I got too caught up merely watching seido kaikan and kyokushin tournaments all the time. Your post had inspired me to look for a good dojo, worst case I’ll just practice naginata kata in the park (hopefully the neighbours won’t freak out).
    Nice post!

    • Hello, and thank you so much for the comment! I’m glad that I can make at least a small difference in your training routine! 🙂

      I’ve ALWAYS wanted to learn Kyokushin, intense in so many ways. I don’t know if they have any Kyokushin dojos in California, though. Training methods seem to be quite rough. I love watching Kyokushin sparring :p

      Good luck in your search for a good dojo, I would love to know more about your training background!

  3. Yes, Kyokushin IS intense! Although some of the matches are stretched out those fighters sure know how to take a hit.

    California is a pretty large region so even if you are able to find one hopefully it’s within a reasonable distance.

    Lucky for me Kyokushin Canada is based here in British Columbia and they recommended a dojo which is actually along the commute to my university. What are the odds! I’m going to take a look this week and observe one of their classes. Should be interesting! Just have to make one last physio visit before I start anything though.
    As for my background I did 2 years of judo back in elementary school, 4 years of kendo in high school, and 3 years of jikishin kage-ryu naginata during my stay in Japan. Strangely after doing all of this I took up ballroom dancing for a little while (big fan of doing the tango.). From the looks of it you’ve defintiely got rhythm!

    • Agreed! Ahh you should definitely try out that Kyokushin, I’ll live vicariously through you! :p You know what’s funny? A lot of martial artists also take up dance! I think its because Kata and choreography are kind of similar! I’ve been learning how to break dance recently, and BEFORE I started training, I was dancing hip hop! 🙂

      I would love to go to Japan to train! How was that experience?! 3 years, what an adventure!

  4. You did hip hop dance?? That is crazy! I was actually taking hip hop lessons every time I flew back to Canada just for fun so I never thought of how it might have tied in to martial arts or ballroom dance. Biggest change was how I walked when switched to ballroom. Someone said I looked “royal”.
    Japan was a life-changer for me. Totally changed the way I looked at the world and life. Learned the language (avoided speaking English as much as possible), learned the culture, visited some other countries I never thought I could ever visit, and became a completely different person. I should also mention that the 3 years was for naginata ONLY. My time in Japan was much much longer than that. 😉
    Hence the reverse culture shock.

  5. Its really interesting to see kata performed like that, and to music! What was the main style of UC merced, or is it a blending of styles? How did you cope with your prolonged injury? Sorry for all the questions, its just a really interesting post! P.S you don’t all look the same.

    • No worries I love answering questions, this is part of what a blog is for! 😀

      Most of us were from Karate and TKD background! Since we all came from different styles it was definitely very tough to blend together, but we all had to make some sacrifices along the way. Since the top dog was from a very Karate rooted background (Kemscrima Doh) we converted to him.

      I didn’t necessarily cope with it very well. My ears were bleeding a lot from everyone yelling at me for training with an injury. In retrospect, I probably should have laid off on the hard core training, but hey, I’m young, I make mistakes ;). When there are competitions, and your team is depending on your to deliver, all you can do is focus on the team as a whole. So that’s pretty much what I did. Pushed all my personal issues aside, and focused on maintaining discipline in/on the team. It definitely wasn’t easy. Since I was captain, I wasn’t comfortable with showing any signs of weakness (aiyahh). Little did the team know I was icing like crazyyy after. I HATE icing! Epsom salt was my best friend :).

      The worst part is that I’m still coping with the injury. Since I trained on it when I wasn’t fully recovered, its more prone to injury. I still have to wear an ankle brace for extra support. However, I’m determined to strengthen it every day. I stretch and strengthen my ankle every other day to hopefully prevent more injuries to come!

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