Underdog

I’ve always been an underdog, ever since I came out of the womb. Its so weird hearing from my mom that I was born premature, in an incubator, weighing in at ~4 lbs. A fighter I was, and a fighter I’ll always be. You see, life is quite funny. When you look back you can look and see who had faith in you, and saw your potential, and those who underestimate you. Sadly, I had to drive myself to do most of the things I love. Support from my parents was never really there. It really sucked, actually. When you’re young you rely a lot on your parents to give you some guidance. But everyone has their story, right? I think I turned out all right for the most part. :p

That brings me to another point. My friend and I were talking about underdogs the other day, and she mentioned that she and I are underdogs in different ways. It makes sense. We’re pretty much young guns in our industry, just trying to do the best we can do with what we’re given. I personally like climbing the ladder. I’m not sure what it is. Something about proving to others I can do it? Possibly. I think its more about gaining the respect of others around me. Respect, unlike power can only be earned by jumping through fire with your peers.

Here’s a vid that I really enjoyed. The Last Pick – Jeremy Lin

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Cruisin’

My car is my safe haven. Everyone stresses about something. This was especially true when Iย used to feel a lot of stress on my shoulders,I would just drive around, blasting music. When insomnia hits, I drive.

Here’s a short background: My car’s name is Kennin, which means perseverance in Japanese, Kenny for “short” ;). I wanted a meaningful name that was an extension of myself. I mean in a way your belongings/those you associate with/children are essentially an extension of yourself, right? I consider myself strong in the sense that I will never give up. I may not be the fastest learner, but I have a ridiculous work ethic.ย Give me time, and I can, and I will do it.

Anyways, there was a lake next to my college, and right before the lake there was an awesome area where you can look out and skip rocks (I love skipping rocks). It was one of my spots off campus where I’d just go to release alllll my tension and get away from it all.

I’m writing about him today because when I got home, I popped in a CD that had more than just songs on there. It portrayed raw emotion. For me when I listen to certain songs, it brings me back memories, good or bad. It kind of caught on to one of my heartstrings and didn’t let go…so I broke down, and Kenny caught my tears. Some people may think its weird to have an appreciation for an inanimate object, but I really do love my car. This is a thank you to him, and the comfort and protection that he gives me on a daily basis. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now its time time to wash the lil bugger! Do you guys have any strong attachments to inanimate objects?

Kenny

 

The Color Run 2013

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Crossed off one of my yearly bucket list items! The Color Run! Our team wasย Cutting Colories ๐Ÿ˜‰ Cute, no? Hahaha we also made our own tutus! It was a 5k run, with color stations every kilometer. The cool thing about this run is that it isn’t timed, so I saw an array of people. From old to mamas with babies in strollers, and big brothers running with their little sisters! ย ๐Ÿ™‚ Overall it was SO MUCH FUN!

The aftermath was ridiculous. We stuffed our faces with Shabu Shabu and milk tea! It took forever and a day to wash all the color out, but it was all worth it. Even if I have pink boogers for a few days ;).

Leveling Up!

So I’ve been quite busy recently…you know doing the usual. Remember my post Brave back in early October of last year? Well the new wind finally came, but its not just any “new” wind. Its a damn HURRICANE! Things have been going really, really well for me recently.

“Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.”

I have a new job, and reminded everyday that I am surrounded by amazing people. ๐Ÿ™‚ This post is a reminder to myself to really appreciate what I have. With a crazy economy and competitive environment, many 20 somethings have struggled so much in find a job. ANY job. I was very, very fortunate to be employed right after college. Aside from that, at the company that I worked for, I was surrounded by positivity and love. I was blessed with coworkers who truly cared for me. (They could possibly be reading this right now ;)) HI GUYS! They set the bar quite high, and though I’m looking forward to the next step in my career, I will never forget the good times I’ve had at that company ๐Ÿ™‚

Growing up is not easy, but taking the time to really be appreciative of what you have really helps. ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’m going to cross off a 2013 bucket list item TODAY! THE COLOR RUN! ๐Ÿ™‚

Living Life to the Fucking Fullest

Happy Monday!!

Fucking Inspiration

“Believe in your fucking self.
Stay up all fucking night.
Work outside your fucking habits.
Know when to fucking speak up.
Fucking collaborate.
Donโ€™t fucking procrastinate.
Get over your fucking self.
Keep fucking learning.
Form follows fucking function.
A computer is a Lite-Brite for bad fucking ideas.
Find fucking inspiration everywhere.
Fucking network.
Educate your fucking client.
Trust your fucking gut.
Ask for fucking help.
Make it fucking sustainable.
Question fucking everything.
Have a fucking concept.
Learn to take some fucking criticism.
Make me fucking care.
Use fucking spell check.
Do your fucking research.
Sketch more fucking ideas.
The problem contains the fucking solution.
Think about all the fucking possibilities.”

-Brian Buirge and Jason Bacher

I’m a fan. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Fighting Spirit

Tournament Reflections:

I always get extremely nervous when entering any type of competition, or performance. So naturally, the support of friends mean the world to me. Before we get into the deets of the tournament, I just wanted to say that I am SO thankful for those we made the trip to Merced with me, and some who drove alone just to watch me compete. Its those types of gestures that I’ll remember.

I competed in Individual Traditional Kata, Team Kata, and Sparring. I placed 1st in Ind. Kata, 2nd in sparring, and our team placed 1st in our division. I was runner up for Adult Grand Champion for Tradtional Kata. We tied, and we both decided to do show of hands for the winner. I lost to a Gentleman who trained in Shotokan…he had SO MUCH POWER. I would love to learn how to generate more power in my hips! Great person, with a lot of knowledge to share in such a short amount of time.

So…where to start? Overall it was a very humbling experience. Competing with beasts of martial artists tends to have that effect.

Here’s the video for my Ind. Kata and Team Kata. Enjoy! Critiques and feedback are always welcome and appreciated! ๐Ÿ™‚

After performing our Team Kata, I was tightening my ankle brace when a mom and a little boy came up to me. His mom congratulated me and said I kicked butt (Aww), and then proceeded to take her seat. The little boy stayed though, and asked what was on my foot. I told him “Ohh, I hurt my ankle a few years ago, its is to help prevent further injury! Be careful when you train, okay?” He responded with an exasperated “OoOoh…” Then, trying to spark some conversation I asked what he trained in, and what he was eating. He said “RICE KRISPY!…be right back, stay here!” He then ran to where is equipment was, and grabbed a bag of Doritos! LOL…and offered it to me! I told him “Oh no no no, its okay! That’s for you to keep your energy up!” The boy insisted I take it. And oh my gosh. He gave me the BIGGEST puppy dog eyes EVER. So…I took his Doritos and he ran off hella happy. Gosh I love kids. They’re so pure in their intentions. ๐Ÿ™‚ I always speak about small things that people can do to make someone happy…this was one of those moments. ๐Ÿ™‚

“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of oneโ€™s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have livedโ€”this is to have succeeded.”

-Ralph Waldo Emmerson

A little off topic: It makes me proud that I could overcome different obstacles in my path. One of my friends laughed at me the other day when I jammed my finger playing bball. I told her that I don’t get injured, and when I get hurt, I see them as mere inconveniences. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And like any inconvenience, you have to move on, because there’s nothing you can do about it, anyway!

The feedback from this weekend was positive, so I think that its safe to say, I am improving. ๐Ÿ™‚ Its one thing when you put your heart and soul into training, but when others notice it as well, you feel that you’re invincible, and on top of the world! But now, its time to train even harder than before. Can’t wait until the next Tournament. Until then, FIGHT ON! ๐Ÿ™‚

I know you guys were waiting for it…pictures! Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜‰

Photographs by Scotty Asai & Stephanie Louie

Pre-Tournament Pep Talk and Thoughts

AHHH! Tomorrow will the the first tournament that I’ve trained for in 3 years. The past few months of training have been a lot of fun…and filled with buckets of sweat, and lots of scrapes and bruises.

When I injured my ankle a few years ago, I wasn’t the same fearless little asian girl from before. Though I still trained hard, and told others I was fine, in the back of my mind, I was afraid of getting hurt again. That mental barrier crippled me. But after a a few months of laying low, I knew I had to get back into action. Real action. A few torn ligaments aren’t going to stop me, are you kidding? The first steps towards rehab were NOT fun. But I told myself no excuses. If you want to get back, you’ve got to push! I knew it wasn’t going to pretty, and it was going to be a long journey. Train without equipment, train on concrete, but move forward.

When people ask if I’ll be the same as before, I tell them no, I’m better than before. And tomorrow, I’ll have to do more than tell them, I’ll have to show them.

Here are just some thoughts that go through my mind:

Forms

You’ve done this before
Make the judges and audience feel your passion
Slow down, breathe, focus
Keep the intensity, stay grounded
A good martial artist can see their opponent, a great one is able to portray the opponent to the audience, too

Sparring

Practice control, but don’t hold back
Stay light on your feet
Hands up, eyes up
React
Dash forward, retreat back
The floor is yours, take control

Overall, I believe I’ve trained hard. I’m one that believes that if you go through pain today, you will feel less pain tomorrow. Though I’m nervous as hell, I keep reminding myself to control that feeling to perform better. I have high personal expectations, and though I’m not looking to win anything; I am looking to better improve myself as a martial artist.

The time is now. LETS GO!!