a kettlebell training log, and
a launch pad for aberrant missives

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Taiko Festival!

I'd like to invite everyone to my taiko group's upcoming Meigetsu (Harvest Moon) Taiko Fest to be held on September 12th, 13th, and 14th at Dance Mission Theater in San Francisco. As some of you know, my journey in rhythm began at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, where I studied tabla (North Indian drums) with Pt. Swapan Chaudhuri for many years. I took a break when I transitioned to a career in movement instruction, and I also spent a couple of years with two Chinese classical dance groups. Last summer, I got smitten by kettlebells and decided to prioritize my training for the RKC certification. That meant I had very little time left to devote to martial arts and kung fu, yet I missed that warrior energy that had been part and parcel of my being ever since I learned that immensely satisfying round-house kick way back in 1996. But, the Universe always provides what is needed at the moment. By happenstance, I discovered that Sensei Bruce “Mui” Ghent was offering an introductory taiko class in September 2007 at Dance Mission, and it took me less time than Usain Bolt’s 100-meter dash to decide to sign up.

Taiko turned out to be exactly what I needed. It’s got rhythm, kung fu stances, rousing dynamics, fat-burning mechanics, and great spirit – of the peaceful warrior. Taiko drumming is a group endeavor. It is constructive, creative, communal. While I still love to watch bloody UFC fights, kickboxing class has long since ceased to stir my soul, and in any case who wants to fight with guys who never wash their hand-wraps?! And by the way, the kettlebell snatch is the best GPP training I could have done for taiko class. Arm strength, shoulder ROM, cardio endurance – HardStyle provides. Folks in class are taping their hands for blisters, and to help with the grip. I think Pavel would say, “Comrades, soap up the drum sticks, smoke the grip!” Here’s to you, sir -

I wear my well worn RKC calluses with pride,
and take my sweaty RKC palms in stride.

So, come see the taiko get pwned.

Meigetsu (Harvest Moon) Taiko Fest
A Benefit for the Maikaze (Dancing Wind) Taiko School

The performance will feature many renowned taiko artists and ensembles as well as the Maikaze students. Most of us have studied taiko for only about a year, and we’d love to have your support! I will be in two pieces – the first and the last.

Friday, September 12, 8 PM
Saturday, September 13, 8 PM
Sunday, September 14, 6 PM

Dance Mission Theater
3316 24th Street (@ Mission)
San Francisco, CA 94110

The venue is directly across the street from the 24th / Mission BART station. Parking is available at the Mission Bartlett Garage, 90 Bartlett Street - enter on 21st Street.

$14 pre-paid, $17 at the door
$15 pre-paid, $20 at the door
Fundraiser Package
A donation of $30-50 (sliding scale) for one ticket and one t-shirt to benefit the Maikaze Taiko School, with priority seating.

The pictures above show the front and back designs of the t-shirt. To purchase tickets and / or t-shirts, please email me or leave a comment here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Barely Legal

Much has been said about the prepubescent Chinese girls who tried - and succeeded, with the complicity of an entire nation chasing Olympic glory and that international emblem of corruption, the IOC - to pass off as 16 to compete in the gymnastics competition at the Beijing Olympics. Notwithstanding the fact that they are indeed terrific gymnasts and athletes, there is something hugely unsatisfying about watching little girls compete against adult women. The playing field is not level - body proportions are different, and that affects the strength requirements of the different routines - and aesthetically, it's just not the same. The best way that I can put it is this - Would you rather see Angelina Jolie naked, or do you prefer kiddie porn? Enough said.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hole In One

I want to congratulate my client Ian for hitting a hole-in-one on Wednesday - 220 yards, he said. Ian has been doing pilates for 4 1/2 years, 2-3 times a week, and recently added kettlebells to his workout. This is the WTH ("What The Hell") Effect in glorious display. If you swing kettlebells, crazy things can happen. Ian is your IPO go-to guy. If you have a cool company (alternative energy, solar) that needs some financing, call him up for a game of golf.