Imitative Boxing

I’d like to tell you that my love for kung-fu derives from all of the strenuous activity and food we eat afterwards. You see, if THAT were the truth, at least I’d look legit and stuff… but…

One of the MAIN reasons I love kung-Fu is because of all the animal-inspired forms, also called “imitative boxing“. I mean, how cool is that?? And they even LOOK like the animal that the form is associated with. For example, Colin and I are currently learning the first “Monkey” form. This form includes lots of long arm movements that almost make you feel like an actual monkey running around.

Apparently, there are myriads of different animal forms– so many, in fact, that they can’t be accurately or effectively tracked and recorded. One martial arts studio, named White Orchard School of Kung-Fu, studies the animal forms of Dragon, Tiger, Horse, Monkey, Chicken, Swallow, Sparrow Hawk, Tai, Crocodile, Snake, and Eagle/Bear. All of the different styles have different characteristics. For example, Monkey-style is consisted of, “light and playful movements with deception.”

The studio my husband and I go to focuses on the eagle, monkey, snake, and mantis forms. That’s their “flavor of imitative boxing,” I suppose you could say.

 Tiger Style

 

Snake Style-

So, if you see someone impersonating a monkey in their front yard this summer… that cool person would be me. (:

Nutrition Fact of the Day: Allergies

I’m trying to find a witty slogan for this avenue… Maybe you can help me out with it? But for now, it’ll be called:
Kick em’ Kwick Kelly Krazies!!!

Yeah, please offer up some suggestions.
Anyways… I promised fun and interesting nutrition facts presented by my friend, Kelly (whose-last-name-must-not-be-named), so I heckled her for an interesting one. And here it is!…

“Omega 3 and 6 help reduce inflammation and allergies– eat fish!!”


Wait… fish?

It may seem odd, but Kelly is right on. According to Mother Earth News, there are “allergy-fighting foods” which are rich in omega 3 fatty oils.

“Omega-3s help fight inflammation and can be found in cold-water fish, walnuts and flaxseed oil, as well as grass-fed meat and eggs.” (Mother Earth News)
 
Of course, it might be a good idea to ensure you don’t have fish allergies before trying this one out. That’d be tragic… and ironic.
 
** Please click on the “Mother Earth” link above for more natural allergy remedies! Good luck!
 
 
 

Review: Maharaja Indian Cuisine

Location: West Seattle, Washington. California Ave and Alaska street, on the East side of California Ave. Or, in other words, “in the Junction,” to all the West-Seattlites out there.

Rating:

Okay. I’ve never made Indian food before, but if I ever do, it will never be as good as this food. Does that make sense? Good.

This restaurant is a five out of fiver. The customer service is almost always amazing, and when it’s just okay, it’s still amazing. Having worked in a restaurant before, I know how hard it is to be nice to customer’s 100 percent of the time, and these guys do an AMAZING job at it! Kudos. Here’s a gold star, Maharaja– or, rather, five gold stars!

What I had/usually have:

  • Chicken (or Lamb) Tikka Masala: Well, I TRY to taste different dishes whenever I visit this restaurant,but it’s hard to stray from the best dish in the world. The chicken and lamb are always cooked and seasoned perfectly, and the curry is always beautifully seasoned. You can get yours spicy on a range of one to five, but I’m a wimp, so I get zero spicy. My kung-fu instructor, on the other hand, gets a five. Yeah. She’s hardcore.
  • Naan: You can get all types of flavors here. Garlic is the popular one with my kung-fu comrades, but I personally prefer plain naan (dipped in the Tikka Masala, of course). The bread is soft and delightful in some areas, and toasty and crunchy in others. Man, I’m getting hungry.
  • Mango Lassi: Now, this creamy drink is partial to sugar-lovers. It’s VERY sweet… which I absolutely LOVE. It’s smooth, zingy, and savory–it’ll definitely kill the sugar craving!

** I’M GOING TO SAY SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT. Are you ready??

  • The lunch buffet is from 11:30AM to 2:30PM, 7 days a week. And only $8.95. Yeah. Tikka Masala for DAAAAYS. Or rather, hours. Or… however much you can manage to eat.

I think it would be silly to ask if I’d come back to this restaurant. Psh. Of course.

As always, the board is open for comments! Have you been to the best Indian cuisine in West Seattle?

San Da Take Down of the Day

One day of training. Three classes. Five hours. And if that doesn’t paint a picture… within the first 30 minutes of the FIRST class, my husband’s shirt was DRENCHED.

Excruciating.

I think I almost puked like three times. (I actually DID puke the first two classes I ever attended. But anyways–join Kung-fu! LOL)

So, long story short, I’m pretty exhausted. That’s why this post is so short. YUP.

Here’s the take down from today! Hope you enjoy! You can try this move out at the next family reunion… or office party. Just to liven’ things up a bit.

 

Send that belly-fat PACKING!

Oh, the horror! The agony! The complete and absolute torture! There is nothing worse than working our your ABDOMINAL MUSCLES. Yet, most everyone I talk with wants either a rippin’ six-pack or at least a toner stomach. Don’t pretend like you don’t know.

If you’re like me, you probably want to start getting ready for bathing-suit season. And if you’re like me, you have absolutely no idea where to start! Well, I’ve done a little research (just for you!) regarding this painfully difficult situation. I’ll let the experts speak for themselves.

STEP ONE: how to get rid of unwanted belly-fat

Apparently, “belly-fat” can apply to everyone, even if you may not realize it! “Wha?” you say. Yup. Even thin people who don’t have a visible Buddha-belly may have this pesky fat stored away, around their inner organs, “where it may pose a silent health threat if there’s too much of it.” (WebMD) Consequently, although belly-fat may not seem like one of your problems, it very well might be. So listen up!

According to the article “What’s the best way to trim your tummy” written by Kathleen Zelman, director of nutrition for WebMD, the first thing to keep in mind is that there is no magical pill, diet plan, special work out to zap away, specifically, belly-fat. But! Here’s the good news. “Ninety-nine percent of people who lose weight will lose it in the abdominal region before anywhere else — and will lose proportionately more weight from the upper body,” says Michael Jensen, MD, a Mayo Clinic endocrinology specialist and obesity researcher, who also is a professor of medicine. (Jensen’s quote is from Medicinenet) Doesn’t he sound all smart and stuff? And THAT is why I don’t try to explain things.

Here are some foods that are good to munch on while trying to lose belly-fat:

  • Whole grains (about six servings)
  • Five servings of fruits and vegetables
  • Three servings of low-fat dairy (I prefer skim)
  • Two servings of lean meat, fish, or poultry

You know what the sad thing about this diet is? No sugar! :c Well, besides fruit… I found that frozen blueberries makes for a nice ice cream replacement late at night! And the best thing about it is– one step closer to a flatter stomach!

Step Two: How to get RIPPED

Alright… I can’t just sit here and pretend like I have this amazing, womanly (ha, riight), six-pack abdominal, Arnold Schwarzenegger thing going on. No freaking way. But I CAN say, in all honesty, that it’s getting there. Our Wushu instructor, coach Mike, got us onto this great routine that works out ALL of your abs and not just the lower ones that are the result of crunches. Try this fifteen-twenty minute ab-exercise every other day for a few weeks and I GUARANTEE you’ll see at least some results!

  • 30 Crunches- Lay on your back with your knees and ankles up. Fold your arms across your chest or behind your head. Crunch away!
  • 20 Front Leg Lifts- Grab a partner, or a chair. Lay on the ground, legs flat on the ground, head between your partner/chair’s feet. Hold onto partner/chair’s ankles (assuming chairs have ankles). Lift your legs straight up toward your partner/chair and have your partner, if you have a partner, push them back toward the ground. Do this 20 times.
  • 20 Left Lateral Leg Lifts- Same thing, but lift your legs to the left, dropping them in a circular motion. Don’t touch the ground!
  • 20 Right Lateral Leg Lifts- Same thing, but to the right.
  • Plank- Okay, so you don’t have to do this one, but if you want, try to go for a minute.

Leg Lift:

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Plank:

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Arnold Schwarzenegger:

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Man, that last name is a doozy. Schwarzenegger.

Please comment if you have more suggestions on how to annihilate belly fat or crank out some muscly muscles.

(I think he’ll be back. Just sayin.)

West Seattle Woman Sexually Assaulted; Defend Yourselves!

Horrible news, guys. On Sunday night, a woman was attacked after getting off a bus on Delridge and Trenton Street in West Seattle. According to KiroTV.com, the woman had been talking on her cell phone when she noticed she was being followed. The attacker (who was armed with a gun) grabbed her, pulled her into an alleyway, sexually assaulted her, took her cell phone and walked away.

And the guy’s still out there. Yikes! (For the full story, click here).

Last night was the first time I heard about this. Colin and I attended our kajukenbo/stick fighting class (lots of self-defense moves) at the Seattle Wushu Center on California Ave. Sifu Restita told us about this assault and, very sternly, warned us to take our training seriously so that we are able to defend ourselves.

Here are some self-defense tips to keep in mind:

  • Go for the soft spots- Don’t waste your time kicking or punching their arm and shoulder. In a life or death situation, you wanna go for the sweet spots. Punch their face, poke their eyes, slug them in the stomach or ribs, kick them in the groin… it may sound like “dirty fighting” but hey! Whatever works!
  • If you get knocked down to the ground, cover your head and vitals, (fetal position) and wait for an opportunity to stand up or attack! Don’t stay on the ground for very long.
  • Make a lot of noise! Scream for help and don’t stop screaming!
  • If you are being followed, make sure the follower KNOWS that you know they’re there. Turn around and say, “Hey, how’s it going?” with your cell phone in your hand, preferably with a friend on the other end of the line who can call the cops if the pursuer tries to attack.
  • To prepare for situations like these— work on stamina and cardio! After about a minute of defending yourself, you might just get exhausted and consequently lose the fight. Jog every day, beat up a punching bag (or air-punch), sprint, join a martial arts club (Seattle Wushu Center is on California Ave), or whatever. Just get yourselves in shape!
  • Don’t walk alone at night! Bring a friend, bring your brother, bring your cousin, bring a taser…

I’m getting so tired of seeing horrible things like this on the news! Please, be careful out there and keep these small tips in mind when you go out at night–there’s all sorts of creeps on the streets these days! And once again, I recommend taking a few self-defense classes. Either that, or I recommend bringing along a friend who knows some kung-fu, jiu-jitsu, martial arts madness.

Or, as my buddy Corina says: “Pack a steel bat in your purse.” That should work, too.

Wing Chun and Boom Noodle

Has anyone seen the movie “Ip Man“? My husband and I LOVE it! It stars celebrity martial artist Donnie Yen as “Ip Man”, a grandmaster of the kung-fu branch called Wing Chun. So, it’s basically this kick-booty movie about Ip Man’s life throughout certain events in Chinese history; along with quite a few Hollywood-ized embellishments.

The following video may be a bit brutal. Fair warning. This is from the first Ip Man movie. The guy in black is Yen, using the style of Chinese martial arts called Wing Chun.

Anyways, Colin and I meet this guy last Thursday after Colin’s birthday dinner (happy birthday bibi!) when we were walking by his “Wing Chun” sign on Capitol Hill. Knowing about this particular style of kung-fu, we investigated.

It happens that this instructor (Stephen) is YIP MAN’S first student’s student student! If that makes any sense… of course, we were amazed. Then, the guy goes on to demonstrate his kung-fu on us while we’re in our city clothes, and we were absolutely powerless to this close-combat and relaxed martial art. Cool dude.

We went to a class last night. Wing Chun is a LOT different from the other styles of kung-fu: it’s very relaxed, there are only three forms, doesn’t require much physical exertion, and it focuses on two key concepts (the scooping elbow and knee strength).

Well, I promised a restaurant review. Across the street from the Wing Chun studio in Capitol Hill is a restaurant called “Boom Noodle” (it’s actually a chain of restaurants–there’s one in Bellevue Square that I know about as well). Here’s what I think about it:

Boom Noodle-

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The two stars are mostly for the impeccable customer service. Very nice, even when I asked questions about all of the food I was eating for this review. The food, on the other hand, was not so nice.

This is what I had:

  • Potstickers- Colin noticed right off the bat that they were the kind you buy frozen from QFC (not even the Ling Ling brand, which would have been semi-acceptable). They were cooked okay, kinda burnt on the bottom and steamed all the way through. The ponzu dipping sauce was yummy, though.
  • Yulu Lemonade- If a star and a half was dedicated to the customer service, then the rest of the second star would go to this tart and fruity drink. Yulu is apparently a Japanese citrus fruit (“like prickly plum” says the waiter) that has a sort of flowery, sweet taste. The only downfall to this drink was the price–almost five dollars! I’d say it’s worth it though.
  • Tokyo Ramen- When I go out to eat, I expect to eat something that I couldn’t make myself. Tokyo ramen was pretty disappointing. It didn’t have much flavor. It’s basically Top Ramen in a soy-miso broth with some rubbery pork steaks floating around in there. If I wanted Top Ramen, I would buy it for ten cents at the store and make it myself! Colin’s “Tonkatsu” ramen tasted amazing though–next time I’m going for that one!

** While I still have yet to have a good experience with the food at Boom Noodle, I would definitely return to try some of their other dishes. Mostly because I keep hearing about their amazing food and I am dying to finally try some of it.

Well, let me have it. Who likes Boom Noodle and thinks I’m pretty far off the mark?

Ni hao!

That’s how you say “hi” in Chinese, right? I wouldn’t know.

It may seem a little strange that someone completely novice in the ways of kung-fu (not to mention, someone Japanese/American) would make a blog about the sacred martial art. I think it’s weird too, actually. And really, I am in no place to be instructing anybody in kung-fu, how to eat, what the best work-outs are… 

But, why not? Sure, I’m no expert in martial arts (only been doing kung-fu for about two months) and definitely no expert in nutrition (I’m a little nuts about chocolate). But I know people. And my people know people. I don’t have to download my own wealth of knowledge and wisdom (which is nonexistent) when I have my kung-fu Sifu Restita and instructors Mike and Guro. I’ll let them speak for the butt-kicking, muscle cramping, sweat-inducing sport.

And nutrition? Kelly. She’s awesome. She’s a general studies major at the university we both attend. She studies Spanish, Theology and Science (which naturally involves a ton of health classes), and you can count on her in every conversation for a helpful health and nutrition fact. On my honeymoon nine months ago, the moon was doing something funny, looking all orange and stuff, and you know what I said to my husband? I said, “Man, I wish Kelly was here. She’d know exactly what’s going on with that lunar giant.” She will be my source, backed up with fun articles I’ve found online regarding the specific issue at hand.

So, yeah. That’s covered a couple of the bases. But what’s with this “foody” part of the “kung-foody”? Well, you can read all about that in my bio, but ever since I started practicing the kajukenbo, san da, and wushu martial arts, I have found myself immersed in an entirely new group of friends that like to go out for a celebratory meal after a strenuous work out. Mostly on Thursdays. Sometimes on Tuesdays.

And yes, I’m no expert on restaurants either. If you are a professional or even self-proclaimed restaurant critic, I would love to hear your comments on the restaurants I post about! Of course, the restaurants I review will be based on my own personal opinion, backed by my own personal experiences and my own little taste buds. That’s all I’ve got to go off of.

In conclusion, this blog is for people like me. Those who like a good work out, who enjoy martial arts (whether that’s by watching awesome movies like Ip Man or Kung-fu Panda or actually participating in the sport), and who like to eat after sweating your face off, welcome to my blog! You are now an official “Kung-foody”!