Archive for January, 2009

I noticed that one of the searches hitting my page was for “blackwater” and “davis,” and it made me go back and take a look at my original post. The original post has a mention of the YouTube video for the quads portion of the Blackwater 100, and you have to go over to my Vodpod to find it.

Well, since then, WordPress made it easier to embed videos (or maybe I just figured it out), so I thought I’d update the post and embed the vid. However, going back to YouTube, I see that the original poster of the video has added the Day Two video of the Route 93 crossing for the two-wheelers. So I’ll embed that for ya.

One thing I noticed–which doesn’t bear mentioning except to true dirtheads of a certain age, is that most of the bikes I see there do have the mono-shock rear suspension, by this time. I remember when that was a big deal and people were still debating the efficacy and safety of the design. I think at the time my family visited the race, that was still a very big question, and indeed most bike were still of the two-shock rear suspension.

My brother’s Yamaha XT 200 has two, if I remember correctly. This last year, my Uncle Dan took the bones of that one down to his place in Georgia and is restoring it. I bet it’s a real peach, now! 😀


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Argh. I twisted my knee again last night. It’s not terrible, but it’s darn aggravating having to limp around all day.

Since I didn’t go uptown to work yesterday, I was able to attend the Mary Wash Tuesday fencing practice. So I went, and had another all-sabre day. Which was cool; I was able to instruct some people who have been playing with sabre in some of the finer points of guards and parries.

Alas, at the end, I was bouting pretty hard with a fellow, Drew, when I took a lunge and I twisted my rear knee just enough to know, “uh-oh.” I felt that twinge, and knew that I had hurt it a little. Ever since really hurting both knees a few years ago at my cousin’s wedding, I’ve re-injured each of them a couple times. Each time, I’ve injured them less, and they took less time to come back. But obviously it’s a pain in the… knee.

It actually doesn’t hurt very much, just stiffened up so that it doesn’t bend very well, and I can feel it easily twist out of socket if I hit the wrong position. And I want to train tomorrow!! Darn. Well, I’ll figure out something. If I can’t be very mobile, then I’ll probably just end up doing a bunch of grinds, rather than repetition lifts.

Out here.

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So, we have a new President. Even though I didn’t vote for him, I still wish him God Bless and God Speed. He’s *our* President now. One of the great things about America is that even though the country has elected one person for this office, we still see him as human, and fallible (well, at least some of us do). I don’t expect him to have all the answers, and although there exist checks and balances that not only slow down the good that he could implement, they also would help contain any harm that he could cause.

I have to admit, I was getting a little choked up during portions of the ceremony. All I would have to think about is the fact of this calm, even cordial shift of power from, in this case, the Bushes to the Obamas, and all that that says about our democracy and rule of law, and I’d get that catch in my throat. Even a little as I write this. Yeah–okay, so I’m a weenie. But that’s how I feel. When I walk out of some building and the Flag is flying there, I look up, and I feel it.

I admit it, I’m proud of my country, with all of its goodness, and yes, it’s faults. And even though I didn’t vote for Obama, I certainly understand the multiple layers of importance of his being voted in. I do worry because of this cult of personality that has grown up around him. But as I said, I think there are checks and balances. I’m not one of those who want him to fail in leading the country.

There are attitudes that he brings to the table that I agree with, at least as far as has been reported. He’s given a back seat to the “just do it” mentality that Bush employed. I’m just hoping that he does it in a balanced way. One of the essences of being America is that there IS a time to “just shut up and do it.” But I AM happy to hear that he does listen, and is willing to consider other points of view. America sees that as a strong point at this time in our history.

History will tell how the Bush administrations fared, and what the outcomes will be. It’s too early to tell, of course. Partisan recriminations were off the scale against the Bush administration, and in part as a result of the campaigns that Karl Rove managed. Rove’s drives for the White House were aimed at causing fear and saying that Bush was the one to save you (from terrorism, from gays, from whatever ails you). If you actually watch President Bush as governor of Texas, you see that the man was indeed a uniter, not a divider. Over the last eight years, no matter what the Bush administration did, it was “wrong.” And what you will see in the coming years is a lot of the same actions, much as when Clinton was in office. But because it was done by President Clinton, or will be by President Obama, well, then it’s okay.

Understand, I’m not a Bush apologist. Remember the “Axis of Evil”? I watched that one live–and I cringed. I shouted, “No, no, nooooo!!!!” It’s hard to convince people to come to your side if you call them evil. Duhhhh. I know what he was thinking–Reagan called the Soviet Union the “Evil Empire,” and Bush wanted to stimulate the peoples of those countries to forsake their governments and come to freedom, and to help the US understand the threat, as Reagan did. But it was horrible, and a horrible mistake.

But mostly the Bush administration was torn down by critics because it was Republican, and many people just felt huge antipathy towards Bush himself–without even meeting him. I remember the same thing during President Clinton’s tenure. And it was bad. I thought Clinton was kind of slimy, myself, and there were a lot of weird things happening in the background (forgetting even about numerous affairs of Bill Clinton) that have been conveniently buried by the media.

I still think he was a pretty good Republican president though… 😀 Well, even though his ticket said “Democrat,” anybody that backs Free Trade gets a star in my book. I wasn’t too happy with him saying that we were going to go into Former Yugoslavia–for a year, max. Read my lips… 😉

And a lot of people feel the same way, but even more so toward Hillary Clinton. But I think she’ll be an interesting, dynamic Secretary of State. My problem with her has never been about her intelligence, or her competency, but rather her motivations and direction. I think she is the perfect example of a naked will to power, and will do or say anything to realize it. And you can see that she has always shifted her message, if you will, to reflect that. Iraq war? Vote yes! Not the popular thing to do–uhhh, well, uhhh… And I’m not cool with her visions of universal health care and other such things. But if I had her as my executive, BAM! Whatever it is that I needed done, I would have complete confidence that as it is written, so shall it be done.

So, I’m behind the new President in continuing to try to make our country, and our world, a better place. I think that his new face on the scene really shows that freedom and democracy, and all the civil rights that we as a country implemented can work. That we, as a country are who and what we say we are. And that’s not nothing.

As anyone who knows me, or if you’ve read my blogs in the past, you know that I am not a race-based person. From who my friends are, to who I’ve dated, to who I admire, ethnicity is the last thing on my mind. To me, ethnicity is something about a person I just find fascinating–what is your culture, where did your ancestors come from, what makes you, you? I love that stuff. I’ve got an Anthropology degree to prove it… 😀 (I’ve already posted my agreement with Dr. Joseph Graves in my non-belief in actual biological “race.” I’m not going to go into that argument here. I leave that as an exercise for the student… 🙂 ).

I don’t use “race” or even gender to choose who I vote for. I’ve had seniors, peers, and subordinates of varying ethnicities, male and female, and I have to say that most important thing is the individual and their beliefs and ethics and values, not that of the box they check when they fill out the application.

So, that’s one thing that really bothered me about the Obama victory. As I was watching the final result roll in, and Obama declared victory, Juan Williams of the Fox News Channel and NPR, declared–somewhat smug, but with the wherewithal to be a little abashed, “that the African-American vote was overwhelmingly for Obama, and in some districts it was 100%.” The show went on to catalog that “White” voters were much more evenly split, but with a definite majority for Obama (mostly along party lines). And as we know, many more of the older category of voters, especially “Older Whites” went for McCain, and younger voters (of all ethnicities) went for Obama.

It seems like at least *a portion* of the population is beyond politics of skin color. But now that we’ve had “color” in the White House, perhaps those of us “of color” will feel that they have been heard, and that the next era of voting and governing will be about competency and direction, rather than just “someone who looks like me.” I believe we’ll get there. Heck, this is America. Yes, we can…

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And in other news… it was my privilege to start off the Spring semester with the Mary Washington Fencing Club, once again. Today was an all-sabre day for me. I fenced sabre with every one I fenced, some more experienced, some less. But that’s what I’m there for. I may not be the best sport fencer these guys will ever go up against, but I have enough skill, athleticism, and experience that it’s worth their while (while not paying for a coach).

I don’t care to be specialized in sport fencing, although I DO love the sport. But I’m a martial artist first and a sport guy second, and that’s the perspective I bring to the club. I’m knowledgeable about both in that I talk about real combat, but also about the sport side of things (how to make sure the judge sees what you need them to see, making sure you do have right of way, etc.).

I fenced at varying degrees of intensity for about an hour straight. Well, I took water breaks. But that’s it. And it was fun.

About an hour before I started bouting, I got in a ten minute LCCJ session with the 24 kg. Five minutes each arm. Slow, methodical run-through. Even so, I put the bell down a little after I hit the three minute–each arm… but only for a few seconds. But they were good reps; I made sure to get a good rack position and hold it, elbow to iliac crest, et al.

So, good stuff. Good training on both ends.

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So, last night’s longsword practice was a good recovery from my CFT (Controlled Fatigue Training), from the night before, Thursday.

Not to beat this to death, but I’m still gonna log it. Maybe I’ll stop that at some point, but for now, I’m going ahead and logging it. After all, Thursday’s controlled fatigue training was just… rude… 😀

To vary a bit and see what would happen, I utilized Scott Helvenston’s “Ultimate Aerobic Workout” (UAW) for the Pre and Post Fatigue sessions. I’m not sure if I got it totally right, because it’s been so long since I’ve actually viewed it, but over the years I’ve ended up with a really basic but sweaty calisthenic workout that I’ve derived from his Elite Fitness Systems video. It’s a pretty simple calisthenics routine that you just end up repeating twice for the full workout.

So for this CFT, I just split his workout and did the session once before the Core portion of the CFT, and one time through again for the Post Fatigue.

For the Core exercise portion, I then did the usual kettlebell drill of the upside down pyramid (UDP) using descending weights in the LCCJ. In between the LCCJ sets, I did sets of velocity training. First velocity was sprinting (in place) with 1.5 lb dumbbell, second was kali sticks vs heavy bag, and third was punch/kick/tackle vs heavy bag–each set was a minute.

So it looked something like this:

“Ultimate Aerobic Workout” — Part I

10 four count jumping jacks
10 dive bomber push ups
10 four count run-over-the-line (hard to explain)
10 triangle push ups
10 four count box jumps (legs together, jump forward, to the side,
back, to the left; at a count of five, reverse)
10 four count jumping jacks
10 four count reverse crunches (leg raise plus thrust legs up)
10 four count run-over-the-line (rotl)
10 four count twisting crunches (elbow to opposite knee)
10 four count box jumps
10 regular crunches
10 four count jumping jacks
10 four count forward lunges (alternating legs)
10 four count rotl
10 two count power lunges (start in lunge position, jump up and reverse feet)
10 four count box jumps
10 four count squat thrusts


1 min, each arm, LCCJ (32 kg)
1 min, sprinting in place, dumbbells (1.5 lbs)
1 min, each arm, LCCJ (24 kg)
1 min, kali sticks vs heavy bag
1 min, each arm, LCCJ (16 kg)
1 min, punch/kick/tackle heavy bag

“Ultimate Aerobic Workout” — Part II

Repeats Part I

Breathe. Cool down. Stretch.

The astute observer will note that the UAW Parts 1 & 2 also have the characteristic of alternating velocity moves with strength moves. And intentionally so. The only thing I left out of the UAW for this time was the pull ups. I don’t remember if they start off Parts 1 & 2, or are at the end. Doesn’t really matter. Helvenston’s workout was pretty advanced, and obviously uses the same principles as the CFT. But it also shows that you can play with the variables of intensity and strength training at about any scale.

By itself the UAW is CFT, and a really intense workout if you make it so. I didn’t time the workout, but the longest portion is the UAE. You can usually do the UAW in about 20-30 minutes total. One part runs you about 10-15 minutes, of course. So the whole thing was about 40 minutes, max, not including the afterwork stretching a meditating/breathing. Maybe less.

So for a good, speedy workout, you can try this at home. Just make sure to bring the bucket…

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I decided on how I wanted to figure the wattage of the long cycle clean and jerk (LCCJ). Whereas before, I calculated the snatch based on one stroke, but couldn’t figure the LCCJ, because it’s a two-stroke movement. But since I rack the weight for an undetermined length of time before I jerk it, I didn’t feel comfortable assigning a time count for the whole movement.

The solution, of course, is to just beak it down into the two movements and calculate the outputs of each, then add them up. So: you clean, which is about a one meter arc, rack, then jerk–where the weight travels about another meter.

From earlier, we remember that:

1 kg x meters squared
————————– = 1 W
seconds squared

So that’s:

16 kg x 1 meter squared
————————— = 16 W
1 seconds squared

So then you add:

16 W (for the clean) + 16 W (same calculation for the jerk) = 32 W (total)

Pretty simple, eh? As we saw in the earlier post, one 16 kg snatch generated 64 watts, and therefore 25 of them totalled 1600 watts.

For the same amount of LCCJ you would be causing 32 W x 25 LCCJs, which would equal 800 watts. Half the wattage of the snatch. So you can see why the snatch seems so intense.

Looking back I see that I estimated about 25 16 kilo snatches for one minute, and about 10 32 kg LCCJ for a minute. You know, I don’t remember now if that was one minute each arm (for a total of 20), or just one minute. Well, whatever. For now let’s just compare 10 LCCJ (32 kg) to the same minute for 25 snatches (16 kg). That’s an interesting comparison.

As stated, one minute yielded 25 snatches from the 16 kg kettlebell. Using the method for LCCJ calculation for 10 LCCJ (32 kg), we get:

32 W + 32 W = 64 W (one LCCJ)

10 of those, or course, gives you:

64 W x 10 LCCJ = 640 W

Hmm. That’s compared to 1600 W for one minute of 16 kg snatches (25 of ’em), and one minute of 16 kg LCCJ (if you did 25 of them) giving you 800 W.

Veddy interesting. But here’s the thing: the perceived level of effort for doing those 10 32 kg LCCJs is much higher than the 25 16 kg snatches, at least for me. I guess what that means is that I need to keep getting stronger… 🙂

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So last night’s German longsword training was really good. After showing us the Zorn-Oort, and the various plays resulting from that, we got into some good training about “Windings.” I had some confusion on those. I had read Tobler’s book, and I’ve practiced a good bit with Chris, but I hadn’t been around for one of the Winding-intensive practices. So he quickly went through them again, and I finally saw the light. Now I have a much greater understanding.

Thanks, Chris!

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