Crane Style Kung Fu

Monkey, mantis… And, now, crane style kung fu! Now, tell me something. Can YOU do THIS?

Once again, this program is called “Fight Science.” You can find their episodes on Youtube and the like. It’s pretty interesting stuff.

Enjoy!

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San Da Tournament

I’m jealous. You know why? Because ya’ll can go to this San Da competition on Saturday the 19th and I CAN’T. Previous engagement and all. And yes, you heard me right. This Saturday, the 2nd Annual “Emerald City” Chinese Martial Arts Championship is being hosted at the Convention Center in Seattle.

Got plans this weekend? No? THEN, GO.

There, now you have plans. c:

Don’t worry– they won’t be wearing the spangly spandex. Although it IS cool. Just saying.

Here are all the details!

  • Who: YOU! And you’ll be watching martial artists from around the country competing different styles of martial arts
  • When: Saturday May 19th at 9:30AM
  • What: A tournament… dur. Oh! And it costs 25 bucks.
  • Where: At the Washington State Convention Center (downtown Seattle) 800 Convention Place
  • Why: Just… because. Gee, all these questions.
  • How: I dunno, carpool, bus it, monorail? Does the monorail go downtown? -shrug-

Yup, that’s the gist of it. Let me know if you go, I wish I could!

*** Our Wushu instructor Mike will be competing. Cheer him on for us, will ya?

This is Mike. With a huge sword.

Fast-Foody Review: Red Mill Burger

In celebration of Colin’s birthday (a month after his birthday), Lizzie, Paul, Colin and I wanted to try some awesome burgers. Where else to find awesome burgers than the Oprah Show’s 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die? That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Not only did Red Mill feature in Oprah, but it’s also been voted Seattle’s Best Burger by the Seattle Weekly 10 years  in a row. Convinced? I was.

And the general consensus isss….

Not too shabby. The “Mill Sauce” that was put on my lovely cheeseburger was really quite tasty. Salty, but kind of sweet at the same time. Maybe it was some kind of aioli flavor? Not sure. All I know is KUDOS BABY. Yummy burger, I recommend giving it a shot.

But pretty greasy. Okay, thank God Almighty I had my cheeseburger wrapped in its wrapper or it would be oozing all over me. When I was getting down to the final bites, I took the diaper off of the thing and there was, like, a POOL of grease. Yum? …no. Still, even with the final few bites of the ruined, soggy burger bun sadly discarded, this burger was tasty.

The Award-Winning Double Bacon Deluxe w/Cheese

And the massive plumber’s crack hanging out of someone’s pants stage-right was just the cherry on top of a fantastic evening. o-o

Anyways, try Red Mill! Their burgers may be greasy, their customers regretfully unaware of themselves, but their special sauce is worth the trek!

Two locations:

  • Interbay: 1613 W Dravus St (206) 284-6363
  • Phinney Ridge: 312 N 67th St (206) 783-6362

SIDENOTE: Both locations are next to Starbucks. c: Noteworthy.

Split Stretch for Dummies- Like Me!

The splits. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Well, you can. But that’s beside the point.

It’s a requirement for Colin and I to do the splits to advance in our Wushu class… I know, right? Ow. And let me tell you, they hurt like a son-of-a-gun! I don’t think I was very excited about this aspect of Kung-Fu until I flew to Georgia and saw Colin’s sister do this:

Miya doing the impossible

And so, the flame sparked. The interest ignited. All of a sudden, I was a flexible-kungfu-master-of-splits wannabe. And guess what? After three months of off and on stretching, Colin and I are ALMOST THERE!

But we don’t want to leave you out! C’mon! Do the splits! It’s as easy as that ^…

Not really, but here are some tips:

  • Front leg stretch
Crunch. © 2008 Paula Tribble
  1. In preparation for the front split stretch, do this stretch
  2. From a kneeling position, put one leg up straight in front of you onto the mat/floor (flexibility allowing).
  3. Make sure only your heel is on the mat/floor.
  4. Your back leg should be at a 90 degree angle, and your hips should be “square” – they should be facing the mat, not turned one way or the other.
  5. Keeping your front leg straight, lean forward as far as possible.
  6. Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds at a time. 
  • Runner’s stretch/hip-flexor stretch
  1.  Also in preparation of the front split stretch, do this stretch.
  2. Kneel with one knee on the floor, the other up in a 90 degree angle.
  3. Push your hips forward, “square” like before.
  4. Keep your torso straight
  5. Hands on hips
  6. Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds
  • Front split stretch (both sides)
 © Tracy Wicklund
  1. Here’s the tough one. Try to actually do the splits. How else you gonna learn, eh?
  2. Start by rocking your hips back and forth, sliding your front foot forward, heel on the ground.
  3. Gradually slide your back foot out.
  4. Balance your weight in between your legs.
  5. Keep your head up, looking straight.
  6. For more advanced stretching, lean forward for twenty seconds, lean backwards for twenty seconds
  7. Perform the whole stretch for two minutes.
  • Butterfly stretch
  1. This stretch is to prepare  you for the side splits–it opens up your hips muscles. Yowch.
  2. Sit on the ground, fold your legs in so that your feet are touching each other.
  3. First, grab  your feet and bounce your knees up and down for fifteen seconds.
  4. Now, hold onto your feet and pull your chest towards your feet, as if a string is drawn from your chest to your feet.
  5. Keep your head up.
  6. Hold this for 30-60 seconds.
  • Side split stretch
© Tracy Wicklund
  1. Here’s the fun one. The side split.
  2. Stand with your legs spread out as far as you can.
  3. Lean foward, touch the ground with your hands.
  4. Twist your hips back and forth, heels on the floor, until the pain is excruciating.
  5. Hold it
  6. For more advanced stretching, lean forward with forearms on the ground.
  7. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

 

Annnndd… wallah! Split stretches! So, by next year, we’ll all have them down, right? c:

 

Chocolate: Good or Bad for you?

I’ve been on a journey. I’ve been searching. For reasons, excuses, justifications, to eat my favorite thing in the entire universe… Chocolate.

My dad’s pretty convinced that chocolate is good for you, and I’m inclined to agree, due to my passionate addiction to the thing. But, still… it’s chocolate. It can’t be THAT good for you, can it? I dug up some studies again, check it out!

THE PROS OF CHOCO-LATTE!

  • Decreases the risk of strokes.Studies show that eating more than 2 chocolate bars a week (yes, that’s right.. MORE THAN two, I know it’s tough) led to a 20 percent decrease of strokes in women. Apparently chocolate has this thing called “flavonoids” that possesses some antioxidant properties that help fight strokes. Yay flavonoids! Gold star.
  • Reduces likelihood of heart attack and diabetes. In a study that included 144,000 people, those who downed the MOST chocolate had a 37 percent lower risk of heart disease and 31 percent reduced risk of diabetes. The reason why? Flavonoids. I think they’re my new best friend.
  • It helps with… math? Huh? Yeah, apparently those flavonoids carry blood up to your brain faster, which helps you figure out math problems. Keep that in mind for your next math test!
  • Can prevent certain types of cancer. Believe it or not, those flavonoids are even more beneficial to your health– they can prevent cancer! Apparently, the cocoa can block pathways involved in cell proliferation and, as a result, inhibit tumor formation.
  • Chocolate isn’t bad for your skin. Wait, really?? I was always one of those people that thought chocolate was horrible for your skin! Apparently, chocolate isn’t evil in the realm of break-outs.
  • It is a natural antidepressant. Well, that’s a given. Whenever I’m having a bad day, chocolate ALWAYS makes me feel better. It’s all chemistry: seratonin inside of the chocolate makes you feel less depressed. On top of that, most people (especially women, I’m guessing) release endorphins when they eat chocolate which results in happy happy fun feeling. Yay!

Now, everyone knows that chocolate (especially certain kinds) can contain a buttload of sugar, calories, and fat. My answer to that? Don’t go overboard. If you’re like me, that’s impossible to do… but I’ll say it anyways. Don’t go overboard. There. c:

Go eat some flavonoids!

A Kung-Fu Story

Today I think I’ll tell you a little story. So wrap up in some cotton blankies, grab your hot cocoas, and take a seat!

Once upon a time… well, the other day in kung-fu class, we were learning some eskrima (stick-fighting) drills. I was partnered up with my good ol’ pal, Noel, and we were struggling, as per usual, to figure out what the heck we were doing.

We longingly searched for our Sifu. We beckoned for instruction with the intensity of our stare, until she graciously relented. She grabbed sisook (sp?) Lisa for a demonstration, armed with two lethal weapons: HER FISTS.

Just kidding. She had her eskrima sticks.

And you know what happened next? Well, here’s a better question: do you know what a load is?

A “load”, at least in the realm of eskrima stick-fighting, is a strike that is the result of resistance. The individual “loads” the eskrima stick against something (hand, crook of elbow) until the pressure builds up, resulting in a sling-shot reaction that can put someone on da floor with birdies dancing around their head.

Yeah, that happened to Lisa’s FACE.

All of a sudden (it all happened so fast), the stick propells into Lisa’s mouth; Sifu, of course, is horrified; and the entire dojo is as silent as an angry rhino… wait, that’s not silent. As silent as a baby in a clean diaper? Sure.

Anyways, it was insane. Lisa didn’t even cry (at least, it didn’t look like it), but she had a fat lip the size of a golf ball, accompanied with a blood blister. If that was me, I’d be in the fetal position with my thumb in my mouth, with a face like dis:

Today, I ran into Lisa randomly, at the place she works. I brought up this whole ordeal, and she responded with this kind of look.

No, seriously. SHE DIDN’T EVEN REMEMBER. Something like that would be IMPRINTED in my memory banks until I was 81 years old. Maybe 82, depending on the extent of my memory loss by that point.

Lisa=hardcore.

THE END.

-applause-

No Sweat! Little Ways to Burn Calories

I feel mean. I’ve been telling you about all these amazing foods–burgers, bacon, chocolate… yet, I have forsaken the very means in which to burn off all those unwanted calories. I have forsaken health tips. How does that make sense?

Here are some quick ways to burn off calories throughout the day! (And most of them are so easy–you won’t even break a sweat!)

  • Park your car further away than usual. Get your body walking! Especially when it’s a nice day, how could a little more exercise hurt?
  • Sleep. Getting fewer than four hours of sleep over an extended period of time slows the metabolism. Experts recommend aiming for between seven and nine.
Me burning some major calories in Nicaragua. 
  • Do things by hand. We live in a world where everything’s EASY–we have dishwashers, microwaves, take-out… Wash your dishes by hand. Cook yourself a meal. Save yourself the money, and lose more calories, by exploring your culinary expertise.
  • Drink coffee.Studies show that drinking a cup of black coffee (no sugar, cream) could help you lose calories. Apparently, it can increase the rate in which you burn calories. Shoot, I’m gonna get me some coffee right now!
Mom and Grandma drinking coffee in the Seattle Snopocalypse
  • Eat light and often. Instead of the usual (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), try to eat little portions throughout the day. That way, your metabolism is constantly working to burn off the calories, and you won’t be so hungry come “midnight munchies”.
  • Laugh. Someone tells a funny joke? Laugh. Someone tells a stupid joke? Laugh even more. Laughing for 15 to 20 minutes a day can burn 50 extra calories. Surround yourself with clowns (but not real ones, cuz those are scary).
Friends Jacky and Krystal at our wedding
  • Drink lots of water. Though I can never make myself do so, drinking 8 glasses of water a day is the recommendation.
  • Chew gum. Burns a few calories and keeps you from mindlessly grazing.
  • Sit up straight. It’s not just good manners. Sitting up straight can actually help tighten your abs and burn a few extra calories.

There are definitely more little hints to lose calories, but these are some of my favorite. What are some of yours?

Chocolate-covered Bacon

So, you know the saying “everything’s better with bacon.” I can’t say that I’ve ever had an insane desire to test that prediction out– but I CAN say that I’ve always wondered about chocolate-covered bacon. And today at Shanghai Red’s brunch in LA, I finally satiated my curiosity…

… It was nasty. HA! Basically tasted like salty, greasy, bacon. Couldn’t even taste the chocolate. But, hey, at least I can say I tried it!

Jojo nommin on some chocolate bacon.

Jojo, Colin’s sister, said it was good. I guess it just depends on the person.

Ever tried chocolate-dipped bacon before?

((Sidenote: There is absolutely nothing healthy about chocolate-covered bacon. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.))

Fast-Foody Review: In N Out Burger

Okay, don’t judge. Before tonight, I’ve never had an In N Out Burger. I know! Absolutely unacceptable! But to be fair–I live in Washington where there are no In N Out joints. Colin and I are in Los Angeles for his sister’s graduation; and we were thoroughly hammered over the head (no, not that kind of hammered, silly pants) about never being to In N Out. Well, Colin had been. But I didn’t… So, I tried it. And here’s what I thought.

So, my brother Isaac got on me for being “too nice” in my reviews. Therefore, I will try to be more “mean”… :c

I ATE A CHEESEBURGERRR. NOM.

Please don’t stone me, but… not the BEST burger in the world. I have to admit, it was pretty dang good, but I’m kind of biased after Dick’s burger in Seattle. It was just so… oniony. I could have gotten it with no onion, but I think that even without the onion, the burger patty was just like any other burger I’ve ever eaten. And the bun was chewy. Like, stale chewy. I dunno, are they supposed to be chewy? o_O;

But, like my brother says, it was “edible,” and even more “edible” because I was so gosh darn hungry (all I had were Gardettos on the airplane). AND I didn’t order the ANIMAL STYLE burger, and I heard that those were the best. So next time I go to In N Out, it will be an “animal style” burger for me!

**

Have YOU been to In N Out burger? What did you think? (Especially in comparison with Dick’s burgers, if you’ve ever been there before?)