Life, the Martial Challenges, and Everything.

Month: September, 2014

The Little One!

Well, it has been an eventful week.  My great friends Stuart and Dani have given birth to their baby boy, and he is an adorable little dude!  I spent most of Wednesday running around between the hospital, their place, and school.  Their poor dog Bentley was confused, but we got some good play-times in and I made sure he ate foot and had water.  Their car was parked in what has to be the most expensive ImPark lot ever built, so thanks to the SkyTrain I moved it back to their place.  But I was happy to help them out, and on Thursday I got to hold the little one.  He is truly squee-tastic.


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

Season-based cleaning

With my summer semester over and Keri having more than one day off in a row from the hospital, we’ve had time to start our “spring” cleaning.  I know, it’s more like late summer/early fall cleaning, but the truth is there’s never a time not to go through old stuff.  Now that we’ve settled in comfortably to our place, we can start going through the boxes to see what is no longer needed.  We’ve already taken care of our closet, the result being three recycling bags full of clothes and a lot more floor space.  I used to have near a dozen duffel bags full of stuff, now I’m down to the basics: a duffel bag for BJJ, a duffel bag for tournament travels, and a suitcase currently holding my cosplay stuff all in one place.

We’ve also done the dresser, but I don’t feel like I made much headway there.  I did make space, but then filled it all back up again with some stuff from my closet.  I’m storing my tournament shirts, gym shirts, and running shirts there, with the idea of having a patchwork blanket of their logos.   I will have to return to the dresser, but at a later date.  The crawlspace comes first, and the kitchen.  It seems that for every mug we donated earlier in the year, my mom has given us something else to replace it.  Most of it is very useful, like spoon-holders I can use while cooking, a recipe sheet holder, jars to hold spices and the such, etc.

The bright side of all this cleaning – apart from having more space and less clutter – is finding things that I’ve wanted to find: my old USB drive, and my “winter” running gear: long-sleeved shirt, long-sleeved top layer, and gloves.  And there are a few things that are sell-able, which certainly helps.  I thought my DVDs and books would be a lot harder to part with, but apart from two titles in particular, it wasn’t a problem.  The rest went on a list, partly to see if any would sell at reduced prices, and partly to make it easy to take to a local second-hand book store.

While the cleaning and purging took up a decent chunk of my break, it was worth it.  11 boxes came out of storage on the first day, and only four went back in.  Some of these boxes have been with me since Alberta, and I haven’t looked at them since.  We don’t foresee moving for a while, but we must remain open to the idea depending on where Keri is hired.  If we do end up moving, then we won’t have as much useless stuff to worry about.  Instead, we just have a bit more furniture to move.

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

A new tail

We have a new addition to our little family: Helo.IMAG2142

Helo had three other brothers and sisters, all of them grey tabbies, and it was a toss-up between him and one of his sisters.  Both were cuddly and affectionate, but we figured having another boy would be nice.  A kitten is the best way to acclimatize our current cat – Iris the tuxedo – to her own species.  Iris was a barn-rescue, left behind by accident when her mother and siblings moved.  She’s under-sized, and a little anti-social, but since I’ve known her, she’s warmed up to humans considerably.  And she’s quite relaxed around dogs.IMAG2189

We worked consistently in the first week to get Iris acclimatized to Helo and vice versa.  I tried using towels to let them smell each other without being in the same room, but letting them stare at each other through a mostly closed door worked better.  We borrowed a baby gate and started feeding them wet food on either side, and that made some great in-roads.  The wet food was a bonus for both of them: Helo was still pretty tiny and could use the extra protein, and Iris had been hiding and not eating or drinking as much.IMAG2118

They had their first acceptable meeting purely by accident; I wasn’t fast enough to keep Iris from hopping the baby gate.  We supervised their first several interactions, and once we were confident there wasn’t going to be fur flying, we let them have the run of the house.  Iris was more than happy, she didn’t like having to be restrained to one part of the house or another.  Helo enjoyed not having to be locked in the room while we were out.  They started playing with each other – or rather Helo started playing with Iris who would bat him away – and establishing boundaries.  Helo will submit, belly up, if he knows he’s pushed Iris too far.IMAG2129

We’ve only had one recorded instance of both cats sleeping on the bed with us, but Helo is starting to nap more on the bed when Iris is also there.  Helo is moving closer inch by inch each time, and Iris seems to be quite comfortable.  When we sleep, Iris tends to stay in the living room or on her cat-tree, while Helo sleeps on our pillows and apparently has to be touching my head as we all sleep.IMAG2157

He is now around 14-15 weeks old, and he’s grown quite a bit.  It will be interesting to see how big he gets, and how Iris deals with that.

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


The summer semester is long over, and the fall semester has begun, marking my fourth semester in college.  Thus far I’ve taken a veritable mish-mash of courses, essentially just whatever I could get my hands on.  Near the end of the winter semester I started to track and plan what courses I would need, and now I have a better understanding.  Technically I’m juggling a diploma course and a degree at the same time, with slightly different requirements.  The Sport Science diploma requires 18-30 credits in Sport Science courses, plus 24-36 credits in electives, and 6 credits in English.

The BPEC degree also requires 6 English credits, 60 credits in Sport Science courses, 12 credits in Applied Methods courses, 27 elective credits, 3 Philosophy credits, 3 Math credits, 9 Science credits, and 8 Fieldwork and Portfolio credits.  I’ll have to juggle some of my electives around, but I can make it happen.  The Academic Advisers at Douglas College have thus far been prompt and helpful with their answers.  I’m sure they don’t hate that I’ve organized all of my questions  Just one or two more things to clear up, and I should be good until I’m nearly done my diploma.

Apart from writing down what courses I must take, I’ve also written down some of the electives and made note of what sounds interesting.  I’ve also asked former and fellow students what courses they enjoyed and added them to the list.  I’ll have to see how well I manage four courses plus a lab this semester, and if it goes well then I should be able to hit up another four in the winter, and possibly do the summer semester again.  I don’t look forward to the summer hours of the cafeteria, for whatever reason the Tim Horton’s closes about halfway through the semester and leaves us all stranded in an ocean of caffeine withdrawal.

The research has also gleaned some other interesting information: I must obtain two separate NCCP certifications, my basic C-level First Aid and CPR, my BCRPA certification, and my High Five certification for Childhood Development.  I foresee a busy summer going for those.

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


Fans can be extremely weird and picky, and none more than MMA fans.

I read an article about UFC 178, and it went on at length regarding numbers – from 5 to 300 – about how anticipated a particular bout is.  I couldn’t discern what sort of formula was used to create these numbers, but I took them with a grain of bullshit.  Yes, Weidman/Silva II was highly anticipated and a big draw thanks to longtime middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva.  The article had interest in the Cerrone/Alvarez bout at 12, Nunes/Zigano at 9, and the Flyweight championship bout between Johnson vs. Cariaso at 5.  Old numbers are big, new numbers are small.

The article also mentions people walking out mid-bout during the last Vancouver-based card at UFC 174, which is a shame, because it was a real pleasure to see Johnson outperform Bagautinov in every aspect.  So maybe the author believes that Demetrious Johnson (@MightyMouseUFC) isn’t a worthy draw for a pay-per-view (PPV) event and should be relegated to the free cards on Fox.  However, I believe that people walk out of every card early in order to get a head-start on home before the crowd hits.

Now, MMA fans – UFC fans in general – do have cause to be weird and picky.  The UFC has plans to air 16 cards – both free and PPV – from August 30th to December 20th, which makes 16 events in 17 weekends.  It gives fans the cream of the crop to pick from, and allows them to be extremely choosy and finicky over who they become fans of.  Add in ONE FC cards, Bellator, Invicta – to name a few – plus all of the local cards, and you’re looking at a lot of events in very little time.  On top of that, the UFC has cancelled a couple of cards in its day, which creates a bit of wariness when choosing to buy tickets.

Of course, I am not saying that you have to like every champion and their bouts.  For a while I was not a fan of Jon Jones, and while his personality still needs some work, his skills are undeniable.  In my opinion, Jones won the bout against challenger Alexander Gustafsson.  Likewise, I was a fan of Rory MacDonald, until his personality turned sour.  I do not doubt that his skills will get him a title shot, but I will hope that he gets the slobber knocked out of him.

I keep picking on this article, but only because I find it ridiculous.  The author also mentions UFC 177 and the rematch between TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barão, and how the entire card is a snooze-fest.  In a theoretical world, or simply on paper, he’s correct.  Dillashaw earned a TKO victory after over 20 minutes of dominating the then-champion.  Even if he had not won decisively, it was looking to be the first time a champion lost via decision when fighting at home.  A lot of lesser-known fighters from the cancelled UFC 176 card made their way to the 177 card as everything was reshuffled.  Of course, two fighters falling ill right before the 177 weigh-ins doesn’t help my case, especially when the headlining fight is changed to TJ Dillashaw vs. UFC-newcomer Joe Soto for the belt.  But that’s only the theoretical view.  I’ve seen big-draw cards end in boring decisions, and I’ve seen ‘lame’ cards end in first-round finishes.  I watched Stipe Miocic earn a dominant victory on his first PPV bout a few years ago and enjoyed the entire card.  I told the tale of the card to my boss, who dismissed everyone he hadn’t seen before, and then he watched the card later on and changed his stance.  And of course, notable highlights of the 177 “snooze-fest” include Bethe Correia tore through Shayna Baszler for a wicked TKO, and Dillashaw pummeled Soto for four solid rounds before sealing the fifth with a head-kick KO.

It all comes down to the fighters and their performances, big cards are usually exciting, and ‘lame’ cards have been boring.

Take for example UFC 180: Velasquez vs. Werdum.  Tickets sold out in eight hours, and right now – on paper – the incomplete card sounds ‘meh’.  But the draw of Cain Velasquez is great, especially since he reclaimed his title from Junior dos Santos.  So maybe all fans want to see are bigger guys engage in bloody wars that only result in TKO/KO victories.  I enjoy those types of victories as much as any other fan, but I also enjoy submission victories – especially a come-from-behind like Joe Lauzon almost pulled off against Jim Miller during their bloody war.

I don’t consider myself the ‘average MMA fan’, and I’m thankful to have many friends who aren’t the ‘average’.  A common denominator in our favour is martial arts; be it BJJ, TKD, MMA, kick-boxing, boxing etc.  It’s not fool-proof, but I think with training we can look at aspects for strengths and weaknesses, not just how flashy a spinning back-kick is or how sweet an arm-bar attempt is.  We enjoy a flashy show like everyone else; Edson Barboza’s back-roundhouse/spinning wheel kick was an amazing knock-out, Anthony Pettis’ “showtime” kick against Benson Henderson was awesome, and the now-unlikely prospect of Jose Aldo Jr. vs. Anthony Pettis would have been the most acrobatic fight since Capoeira.

In closing, look forward to a card, even if you don’t know everyone or anyone on the card.  Open yourself up to becoming a fan of someone, sit back and enjoy the bouts as much as you can.  Nothing wrong with a good meal, a few cold pints, and the fights on TV.

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

Happy Labour Day!

The first Monday of September is Labour Day, so enjoy a day with no labour!  (I hope)

Happy Labour Day eh?!

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