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Monday, October 10, 2005

I have a couple things I want to post. The first is about this bad ass rock I found. But I am not prepared to share that with you as of yet, being that I am still working on writing something about it -

In the meantime, I give you the second thing...

It seems alot of you are curious about the sword class I have been taking. I appreciate your interest and am please to let you in on what I've been up to -

The Karate Studio that I work out at has added a Samurai Sword class as part of its cardio workout regiment. The class consists of about 8-10 sword-strapping women. The sword is actually a wooden training device, shaped like the traditional Samurai sword (hence why Earl has renamed the class “Women With Wood”). It weighs about 1-½ lbs, although it feels more like 25 lbs after an hour of slinging it around.

My instructor “H”, who also teaches the kickboxing and power pump classes, was trained in Samurai technique by a student of the woman who taught Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill" and Tom Cruise in "The Last Samurai" - Yes, a woman taught those two kids their mind blowing movie sword skills (and for the life of me I can not remember what her name is but her success as an instructor in the field was a featured article in this month’s Penthouse Magazine - for those of you who actually read the articles).

And now I am proud to say that H and has officially been certified in Samurai Sword technique by that very woman herself after a grueling 8-hour test of skills in Manhattan. In addition to teaching us little Samurais all she knows, H continues to learn new techniques by remaining a student herself under her own instructor.

So far we have learned several different cuts, one being the horizontal cut used to slice off the head. I particularly like this one because it is very smooth and feels good to twist in such a way. Of course, we are not really cutting anyone’s heads off except our own in the mirror, but you get the idea. We don’t even spar with each other because the intent behind the class is for exercise, not actual fighting.

This workout concentrates mostly on the upper half of your body. And because you are keeping your core muscles tight to steady the sword (no wobbling people, please), it is the perfect ab exercise - Not to mention all the twisting involved with each different cut really helps shapes those obliques.

But it isn’t all for the upper half – there are several squats and lunges involved too as one must thrust a sword into an opponent’s naval from time to time… And believe me, H makes sure we get plenty of lunges under our belts, as well as making us hop left and right into each squat.

First we’ll start with a warm up where we’ll repeat several cuts in a row, concentrating on form, breathing, and everything else under the sun. Then we’ll move into the combinations of different cuts, which is my favorite part because it truly feels like you are dancing. The Samurai warrior had to be graceful. That big huge dress he wore was designed to disguise the movement of feet so that his opponent could not tell which way he was about to move. So in our class, along with the multiple things one must remember, we must move with grace and ease.

It’s no wonder how scientific studies have proven that an hour of practicing sword techniques can burn a minimum of 350 calories and a maximum of 720! Astounding, isn’t it. You can see how Uma and Tom got into such great shape just by practicing multiple combinations of cuts in proper form.

One day, I shall be a mighty and fierce Samurai warrior princess. You will see me walking with my cane (the cane with the sword inside, of course), ready to lay my smack down on tha niznext beyotch who tries ta pizzy they ride in friznont of mah driveway. Yeah.