Life, the Martial Challenges, and Everything.

Month: May, 2013

Let’s try this again

So I gave blood on Sunday with my girl, my second donation ever.  My first was about two years ago when I was home for Stuart’s wedding.  The donation itself (the first one that is) went well, but a few days afterwards I would get pain in my arm and lose functionality until it subsided.  This pain would come and go for a couple of months before finally disappearing.  My mom thought it was due to BJJ, but unfortunately the evidence all points to the blood donating.  Even the pamphlet said that a rare percentage may experience nerve damage.  Lucky me.

My second donation went more smoothly than my first, even if I did have to wait longer this time around.  My first time I didn’t put pressure on the spot the needle was extracted, so when I stood it opened and I leaked a bit of blood.  This time I ensured that pressure was applied properly in the correct area.

The cafeteria was a bit disappointing, only juice and cookies, but considering it’s a mobile clinic, it’s not too surprising.  My first donation was done at a dedication donation centre in the U of A hospital.  They have a dedication kitchen which has soup, big cookies, juice, tea, and coffee.

For your third donation you apparently get a little Canadian Blood Services zipper add-on.  Part of me thinks that it should be for three successful donations, but one can’t be picky.  After all, I’m lucky enough to have veins easily found with little effort, and a strong enough blood flow that little-to-no additional flexing is required to fill the bag.  Keri started her donation before me and finished about three minutes before I did.

For my next donation I’d like to have a higher hemoglobin count.  I had a count of 152 this time around.  Another thing to add to the short-term goals I suppose.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?


As I child I would travel with my family to British Columbia to visit my mother’s family, or to Ontario to visit my father’s family.  Either trip would be done via car.  B.C. was always inside a day, early to rise, breakfast in Edson, lunch at Mount Robson and dinner at where ever we were staying; typically Aldergrove.

From Edmonton to Carp would take three days of hard travel.  Three days of up early, driving until mid-evening, horrible motels, decently-okay small restaurant food, across the copy/paste scenery of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and northern Ontario.  We always managed to drive through Ontario during forest fire season, resulting in hazy nothingness to look at and smoke to smell for endless kilometres.

We did the Ontario drive less often than the B.C. drive, partly due to the distance and time required – you need a week just for driving – but also because we were slightly less fond of my dad’s family.  A bonus of the Ontario trip was the now-closed Hershey factory on the way to Brockville, and Toronto for all of the cool shops to visit.

My parents usually take shifts driving, but even before I moved to B.C., I’ve been soloing that drive.  My record time is 9 hours from Vancouver to Edmonton.  My average time 11 hours. My parents now take about 14 hours, but they make more stops and drive a little slower than I do.

I’ve also traveled to other countries alone.  To some of my friends, this is no big deal, but to me it was huge.  First was my second-ever trip into the States: Washington for PAX ’05.  I traveled to Vegas with a friend and was thankful for that; Sin City is overwhelming when you’re alone if you’re me.  My non-existent Spanish skills were put to the test when my flight to Mexico was delayed due to snow.  Fortunately I was meeting my at-the-time girlfriend who was studying abroad in Mexico.  Universal hand gestures and helpful airport staff can salvage your day.  Snow will ruin it.

Out of my three trips to Florida, two have been alone.  The other was with an entire team.  To run.  Sometimes I want to be a Customs and Immigrations officer so I can hear the awkward attempts at explaining what you’re doing on vacation.
Officer: “Purpose of your visit?”
Devon: “Running.”
Officer: “Running?”
Devon: “With a team.”
Officer: “And how many are on this team?”
Devon: “Maybe 15?  20?  Hey Kiyoshi, how many people are running the marathon with us?”
Yup, not awkward at all.  Traveling solo is great life experience.

I’m on task to travel quite a bit this year, with a trip to Vernon and two to Kelowna already in the books, along with Quebec City.  Another Kelowna is planned for mid-summer, and possibly Penticton and another place in the Interior.  I had plans to travel to Japan in August, but those have been cancelled (with plans to reschedule) due to unseen outside forces.  I might go back home and see my parents again instead.

Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?

Invite this

…wow, a blog post on time … I remember when that was the norm for me …

“In Jiu-Jitsu you either win or you learn.”

CBJJF hosted their second tournament this year: the Western Canadians at BCIT.  They had six mats laid out, but one laptop broke, so only 5 were running.  That is still one more than their typical tournaments, and two more than they had at Vernon.

As per usual, I competed in the White Belt division, Middleweight category.  My official weight with Gi was 168.5 pounds, my heaviest this year, and second-heaviest competition weight.  There were 12 of us in the div, and we didn’t start until around 1:30PM due to a slight oversight.  Sadly, that is not the latest that I’ve had to wait …

My match ended in about 60 seconds.  I stuffed two takedown attempts and scored my own, landing into half-guard.  My opponent reguarded, attempted an armbar, which I used to try and pass his guard.  He pulled a triangle around me and locked it down tight.  I fought it as much as I could, even rolling him into a mounted triangle to relieve pressure.  Before I could use that to my advantage, he rolled back.  I figured when my tunnel vision closed in enough that I couldn’t see anything anymore, it was time to tap.

He was happy with his win – and who wouldn’t be – but even happier that I managed to fight it for so long.  He learned from our match that he can hold a triangle well, but he needs to tweak it a bit so he doesn’t overtax his legs.  I learned that I need to work on being aggressive after winning a takedown.

“In Jiu-Jitsu you either win or you learn.  Sometimes you do both.”

For the final part of this post, I’ve learned that points are being accumulated by CBJJF medalists, and that the top scorers will be invited to an invitation-only tournament.  This is exciting because winning at certain tournaments gives you points multipliers.  Unfortunately, it looks to be for adult colour belts only.  Seeing as my cousin’s gym RDC has the top name in Blue, Purple and Brown, I’ll have to go check it out and cheer my “Away Camp” on.

The next CBJJF tournament is June 8th in Red Deer, AB.  This one I more than likely won’t make, but there’s another one in Kelowna in July which I should be able to compete in.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?


The internet tells me that May 6th was National Nurses Day.  Me being me, I missed it, along with an on-time blog post.

Most of us have had the misfortune of being to a hospital for less joyous things than childbirth.  And even childbirth isn’t free of bad things.  But every trip to the hospital involves nurses, people who don’t get enough due.

Nurses work the holidays, be it Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, everything.
Nurses work 12-hour days.  Long days, especially when Average Joe complains about his 8-hour work day in an office.
Nurses go to school a lot, and have some long unpaid practicums.  I think teachers are on par with this, but I.T. Specialists are not.

I would like to personally thank the nurses I personally know:
-Courtney and Lisa, for answering all of my (annoying) questions about muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs and what happens when you pee blood.

And then the nurses that I have dealt with, but don’t know personally:
-the three at Richmond Hospital for making my first fracture experience less horrible.
-the multiple at Burnaby General and Royal Columbian when they were dealing with my Baachan pre- and post-surgery, as well as answering my mom’s questions.

Next time you’re in a hospital, for whatever reason, buy your nurse a coffee.  Let her (or him) know they’re appreciated and valued.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototpe”
Your #1 Canadian eh?