Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween face painting

The predlets were having a school Halloween disco and for a change I thought I would give Face Painting a try. I popped along to the local Hobbycraft and bought a small set of paints then wondered what to do. For predlet 2.0 I liked the skeletons I saw on various Youtube tutorials (of which there are many) The way the mouth and teeth are exaggerated looks very spooky. However he also wanted to be a bit zombie like. So I did a hybrid. I sketched a rough idea using a pen on my Samsung Galaxy Tab. Tablet sketch of predlet 2.0 face painting before 1st ever attempt Then gave it a practice go a few days before. Result of first attempt at predlet 2.0 facepainting For predlet 1.0 it was a bit more tricky as she didn't want "a lot of that stuff" on her face. I found this great example of a face like a shattered mirror So I gave that a bit of a go. Cracked face predlet 1.0 face painting attempt I had to make sure I could also do these in the time, as there was only a short gap between finishing school and getting back for the Disco too. Anyway it seemed to work Predlet 2.0 had a skeleton costume ( a hand me down from predlet 1.0 though hence the hearts) but he was happy with his hair spiked. Untitled I added a bit more dirt on the green side just after this picture. The skeleton eye socket could have been better but as I had just spiked his hair (unlike in the practice) I couldn't put my hand on the top of his head to keep him still :) With predlet 1.0 I had done the original practice with brown lines, but went for black this time. White highlights for the edges. I added more blood and also used some glitter in the small breaks in the middle where the extra fracturing occurs. That was very effective. Untitled They looked the part and had great fun. I was quite pleased with the results but obviously practice is needed as this is quite an art form. Untitled Untitled

Friday, October 04, 2013

Predpets in transit

Predpets in transit, originally uploaded by epredator.

we now have 2 more members of the family. Now named Rocky and Snowy (snowy is the mostly white one). Guinea pigs/cavie, with a nice hutch outside to avoid any allergy problems with the rest the house. They are the predlets responsibility but of course we will help them :)

Predlets and predpets

Very excited green belt predlet 1.0 pil seung

Predlet 1.0 graded this week at Basingstoke CKD. She moved to a green belt and is very excited as this is half way to her first blackbelt. She gets some exciting new techniques and a great pattern. It seems like we only just started Choi it is amazing how time flies when you are enjoying yourself. Thankyou Master Scrimshaw and all the students and AI's at the dojang

Monday, May 06, 2013

M day approaches - update (we have moved :) )

After a very, very long process of chain breaks and chopping and changing we are finally 2 days away from moving house. The loft is empty, the garage is full. Walls are bare and flat pack furniture is once again flat. On Wednesday 8th we head to the new place, though tomorrow we have the removals people come and get most of the stuff. Then it will be the slightly tense wait for money to flow form solicitor to solicitor to get the completion to happen. It also needs to happen in enough time for the removals people to be able to unload before their cut off. We are in a chain of 10 houses but as we are about 3 or 4 or the chain and the money starts form the bottom we should all be ok. None the less we automatically took out the late key waiver insurance. It is going to be strange leaving the area as we have lived here for 23 years now. Which is a long time in anyones books. It is only 35 miles up the road but there is a whole new area to explore with the predlets. After the move we have the fun of re attaching all the important utilities (water, gas and electric obviously are there) but we need the phone and internet enabled. That will take an extra week or so and we probably wont be getting superfast broadband despite the exchange being enabled. A bit of a pain to say the least but its all check and balance. I think the clocks will be ticking a little slower today as we all do the last bits of shuffling of house things around. Fingers are crossed and roll on Wednesday night when we will be installed at last in the new place. Update... We moved, it worked and there has been lots going on. The house is an older one, build in the 50's as a bungalow, turned into a house in the 70's The new abode We are busy changing things. A new front door (the old was draughty). A large workshop and 3 green houses have been removed and the concrete base broken up ready for an extension to be built. Roof tiles have been reset. Some electrics have been rewired. We had a gravel driveway with a tree in the middle as a roundabout (that's still there) but there were some raised beds with a 2 brick high wall shaped around the outsides. We all managed to bump our cars into the wall (even the ones with parking sensors, so they had to go. We got a huge grabber lorry (the same one that removed 2 loads of broken up concrete from the back, to remove the soil. The small wall was a few days of toil with a sledge hammer (but great fun and good choi training) We also built a new shed (that took 2 days) Shed making (day 1) Shed complete 2 day job they said 1/2 a day :) Luckily we had a very warm and dry summer as between the workshop being dismantled and the shed being constructed we had nowhere to put things (the garage was full) So I put up a large tent to act as a shed for the summer :) Tent Done you can get a lot in there. We also inherited a pond with a lot of very large koi carp in so I have been busy learning how to look after these beasts. Which included going for a swim in the pond to try and find the filter pump. The pond seems stable now though. The predlets are in a new school and that seems to be going well. We walk everyday about 15 mins to get there. Life is almost settling back to normal, apart from all the building work. We have an internal wall we want to remove so have had a structural engineer do the calculations, which will lead eventually to a new kitchen layout. The current wall has a large aquarium in it, with a red tailed shark and several tiger barbs, again we got those with the house. So I will have to find a new tank location and rehouse them. Basingstoke is proving to be very nice too. The park out the back is great fun for the kids lots of frisbee throwing this summer :) We are close to town and to leisure facilities. Minutes from the station for @elemming. So we often pick her up from the station on the way back from Basingstoke Choi Kwang Do. She has also started Choi on Saturdays and recently graded (despite having a broken wrist from ice skating !) New choi belts great birthday present

Monday, April 15, 2013

More upgrades

green belt, originally uploaded by epredator.

It has been yet another Choi Kwang Do packed week and weekend.
After the week of lessons, helping teach and learning and honing it was time for a grading at the full time Dojang.
Predlet 1.0 had a great grading and was awarded her gold belt senior. I was able to move to green belt in my grading too.
That is the halfway point in the journey to black belt! The time has flown and there is still lots to learn, and there always will be.(That is is part of the fun).
It was also brilliant to be able to help all the other belts too in particular the people grading for the first time. Many of them from our school. There were enough assistant instructors to be able to hold all the equipment for many of the other gradings. A wall of blue doboks, all of us different sizes and shapes, but all smiling :)
The energy that everyone puts into the grading and the buzz when they get their belts is fantastic.
That was Saturday. Sunday was another day of Choi. Helping Black belt academy (the extra fun lessons for the under 12's that both predlets attend).
This is always brilliant.
I also got to experience some of the power of 3rd Dan Blackbelt Mr Liam Bicknell's kicks as he demonstrated to the kids how to go from shield to shield doing a spinning side kick.
we always train with respect to person holding the shield but I did give him the nod to kick as hard as he wanted. It is hard to describe just how hard the kick felt through the very thick shield, but the impact point felt it came right through the shield. A focussed ball of energy that then pushed all 16 stone of me back. Everyone learns to kick hard but very often as we are just all learning the force if sort of dispersed more across the shield. We all make people move back but this was something else :) I never thought getting kicked could be so enlightening :)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Official Full Time Dojang opening

Today was a very good day for Choi Kwang Do in Hampshire. A full time facility has been created by Mr Evans who runs ChoiKwangDo4Health it is in the space above ASDA at West end. As with all Choi it is very much a shared family location. Open Day Today was the official opening and the Mayor came along and cut the ribbon as part of a general open day. Lots of photos were taken but not by me as these doboks don't have pockets. We all took some time today to reach out to the local community, handing out leaflets for the open day and explaining the family nature of Choi Kwang Do. Choi Kwang-Do opening The rest of the time was spent in the Dojang helping new people get a bit of a go at some Choi Techniques on with us and with various pieces of equipment. There were lots of visitors of all ages which was great. There were also a lot of people from the wider Choi family visiting from all over the country so it was a really fun day. The predlets had a great day too. Predlet 1.0 in particular was enjoying battering BOB. Ckd open day Ckd open day The wavemaster was also set up to for a little bit of fun too. A sensor counts hits so we had a play. I thought I had shot more video but apologies to Mr Keens as I only took a still of his super speedy go on the kit. Ckd open day However I did video Mr Close (and he also grabbed my iphone and videoed my slightly rough around the edges attempt) and I thought I would try the iphone version of imovie to edit it up for a bit of fun. Mr Close is a brown belt senior, next step blackbelt. I am orange senior not quite half way :) We all work to our own levels in Choi. What a very rewarding and fun day to round of the week. Tomorrow there are black belt gradings at the Dojang. Good luck to everyone Pil Seung!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Trying some new gloves

After a slightly failed attempt with a heavy punch bag and a wall bracket I invested in a full free standing structure for my Choi Kwang Do practice. The start of my mini dojang #ckd The good thing about this stand is the pulley system that makes it easy to lower the bag and then move the stand. After a bit of a workout using my choi hand guards it became apparent those guards are not idea with the plastic finger guides for full on uppercuts to the bag. So I ordered some gel filled MMA wraps by RDX today and I am looking forward to seeing how they get on on the bag. Usually on shields we don't wear the hand guards, though we do when dealing with Redman. However the bag is very much heavier that the shield we train on so some hand protection makes a lot of sense. Gel mitts for punch bag

The Chain

Well the formula 1 season is about to begin so we will be hearing The Chain again on BBC1 very soon. Likewise our housing chain has reformed again for the 3rd time. Fingers are crossed

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Orange belt senior

Orange belt senior Predlet 2.0, originally uploaded by epredator.
Another great grading this weekend. This time Predlet 2.0 and I wen to Orange Senior. It was also the first grading at the new full time dojang at West End. Dojang panorama It was also my first time wearing blue and helping properly at grading. It is quite a different experience and a highly positive one.
It is great to be able to help everyone and also get to get you mind into gear and ready to grade too. Pil Seung

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Still moving house - crumbling chains

Our continuing saga of trying to move house edges forwards then careers backwards with increasing regularity. We are now back on the market again as the housing chain collapsed once more. This time the entry level buyer a few down in the chain pulled out.
That means the buyers of the house they were buying can't buy the house that our buyers were selling, which means they can't buy ours, we then cant buy the very specific and ideal house we found, the owners of that can buy their new place, and so on a couple more iterations!
It is a crazy system as we have all locked in (though nothing is legally binding). We have all spent money on surveys and conveyancing solicitors but we can't just go ahead with the sale. As houses are so ridiculously expensive there is no real possibility for anyone, including us to just inject the cash into the chain.
I am sure bridging loans were once possible but several hundred thousands to put into new home whilst the equity and mortgage is being held on the old home is not very doable. So we are in a half packed state, not a perfect show home state and are ready to show new people around the place in the hope it doesn't mean we lose where we were heading. It's the 2nd or 3rd collapse of the chain. Other times it has re-established.
I am also sure everyone involved is as disappointed as we are but these things are nobody's fault. Small blips and mistakes in the chain have consequences all the way along. So for now the the treasury are missing out on a huge pile of Stamp duty tax payments. It is a pity that those payments can't be used to create a fund to help long chains move with bridging loans. Though property and debt are not flavour of the month with austerity high on the agenda. Still, all these things happen for a reason. So for now my wife will have to keep commuting the 2 hours each way to London, my in-laws (whose house has sold already as we were combining households to a place with a separate annex) will have to remain camped out in the spare room. The Predlets will keep going to the same school and constantly have leaving parties with their friends.
 The house is online here if you know anyone who needs a good family home, near a very good primary school (hook with warsash) close to corner shops, a pub and the sea then please point them our way :)

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Belts, Badges and Blue

Today has been quite a day in our Choi Kwang Do journey. In fact it has, and continues to be quite a week. Our home Dojang of South Coast CKD opened up two new venues this week. It means we get to go and do multiple family and then adult classes every day of the week except Fridays. So we did. That included a great class with Master Brophy who came down to teach us at the Gosport opening.
Today (Saturday) was grading day for Predlet 1.0 as she moved to Gold Belt. A great achievement and she did brilliantly.
Well done Predlet 1.0 gold belt #ckd
Also though I was not grading I turned up in my full Dobok, which confused some people as I did not join my fellow belts for grading.
However just before the final white belt grading sessions the entire grading lined up, filled the hall and we got to see Sabumnim Webster (who runs South Coast CKD) get his blackbelt second dan certificate.
Then the took the floor and announce to everyone that I was now joining the ranks of the Assisitant Instructors. Those who wear blue and are called by the name Kyosnumnim. I had to dash to the form and receive my new blue dobok, then dash off and change into it straight away and get to helping with the white belt and white belt senior grading.
It was great to be able to dive in and help though to start off with I did wonder what to do first. However it became clear we all just help one another.
As it was such a big grading though all the instructors were called to the floor to hold shields and focus mitts in the drills so that broke the ice and started me on this part of the continuing and very exciting journey.
Time to get the sewing kit out #ckd
I now have to quickly sew my badges on the new uniform as tomorrow we are all heading to a massive instructor training course.
So that is Choi 6 out the the 7 days and all very intense and exciting.
Whilst I will miss my first class on Monday as I am doing a BCS presentation in Southampton (which includes Choi Kwang Do) I think I may need a moment to gather my thoughts anyway :)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Another grading

Predlet 2.0 and I both graded this weekend along with about 130 other people ! It was a big hampshire Choi Kwang Do grading.
Orange belt Predlet 2.0
It is a year since we started CKD and it gets more interesting every week

I can haz orange belt too