Sunday, August 14, 2005

Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music

Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music

Excellent guide to the myriad of genres that fall under "electronica"

Friday, August 12, 2005

Badass Parkour Video

Perhaps you may have heard of Parkour, the art of freestyle urban movement which originated in France. Check out this entertaining short action movie featuring Parkour.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Kid Beyond feature on Ableton

Kid Beyond is an incredible human beatboxer. Frankly, the last beatboxer I had heard of was the guy with Run DMC. Kid Beyond operates at an entirely different level. Ableton's article on Kid Beyond describes his choice of tools and has a video demo.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Steve Maxwell on Dragon Twisting

The Dragon Twist is a sophisticated squatting exercise presented on Steve Cotter's Full KOntact Kettlebells Vol.1 DVD. The general guideline presented on the DVD is to master the bodyweight-only version first, before adding resistance in the form of ketttlebells. The DVD does not specify a recommended performance level with the bodyweight version before moving on to the first kettlebell version.

Steve Maxwell in this post recommends 20 reps a side.

I'm definitely guilty of skipping the bodyweight version to work on the racked KB version. Since my current low back injury situation restricts the amount of exercise I can do with a load, I'll use this opportunity to work on the unweighted version.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Prasara-Softwork Weekend Seminar

Some thoughts concerning the Prasara-Softwork Seminar Weekend (July 23-July24):

Saturday - Prasara

I wasn't sure what to expect - the Body-Flow™ DVDs have over 30 biomechanical exercises (the "basics") and 10 kinetic chains - these plus Prasara is a lot to squeeze into 4 hours. As it turned out, the focus for this day was on Prasara. We covered 3 of the 5 flows.

Forest - Rise into a Tree pose, do a variation of 4 Corner Balance drill, and lower yourselfon your leg, then a negative screwing pushup (I can't describe this well, of course I forgot in what direction to screw too).

Flock of Pigeons - As the name implies, a bunch of Pigeon poses sandwiched between Body-Flow™ moves. I finally learned how to do a Double Shin Roll.

Spider Monkey - Quad Squat to Side Plank to Side Crow to Bridge/Table to... I forgot. We were shown a mobility drill for the arms in which the back of the palm is placed against the ground, as compensatory movement for the demand on the arms imposed by this flow.

Forest was the shortest of the flows. The other two were fairly long. Everybody that I spoke to loved the Prasara flows. For those of us, such as myself, who could not do the full versions of the movements (eg. I can't do Side Crow because I can't do a Crow (aka Frog Stand) for more than 10 sec.), we were presented with "training wheel" versions to use.

Sunday - Softwork

The focus for this Softwork seminar was on ground engagements. We were shown how the Body-Flow™ moves relate to Softwork. We were also shown some hip mobility drills - some from Body-Flow™, some from Warrior Wellness™, but done while lying down.

First we did some partner drills with one person on the ground, the other attacking. There were a bunch of them... I can't remember them all. But it seemed that the common thread in all of them was to look for your partner's tension chain and use that to for your advantage. The more experienced guys let me "get" them to understand the feel. It wasn't really about grappling in a competitive way. At least I don't think so. As the "defender", the objective was clear enough - as the attacker I didn't really know what to do, but I played as best as I could.

Then we moved on to basic shock absorption. Things got interesting really quick when we got into groups of 3 and 4, with one guy on the ground and the others stomping on the guy and/or wrestling him. I learned during my first multiple attacker session to not close my eyes. I was doing that to try to relax and absorb the kicks, knees, etc. That was fine, but being "blind", I was moving right into someone's attack. I also learned that its hard to get my own attacks in as one of the multiple attackers, due to the others getting in my way and the skill of the guy on the ground.

I don't consider myself a martial artist. Though I've studied a bit here and there, I don't practice MA (unless you count CST) now. As such (I think there was at least one other - be interesting to read his perspective), I came away with a better understanding of how Body-Flow practice can be useful training for grappling. I remember when I tried Judo and BJJ, how hard it was for me if I ended up in the bottom with somebody on top of me - even if the other person was cooperating in a static drill. Today, without any grappling practice in over 4 years, I noticed a greater comfort level and ease of movement in grappling than I ever did before. I credit this to the mobility I have gained from solo CST practice.

A-NO-NE's Mac OSX Maintenance Tips

A-NO-NE Puter has a page on Mac OSX maintenance tips from the perspective of a professional musician.