Life, the Martial Challenges, and Everything.

Category: How To

Making good

Very recently I publicly stated that I was going to learn how to skip rope — or jump rope as some call it.  My reasons for wanting to learn involved many constraints including time, space, and weather.  Well, shortly thereafter I got in contact with a classmate who does some personal training out in Surrey.  With his help and skip rope, I had a starting point that wasn’t as terrible as I remembered.

After my first solo 30-minute session, I wondered what made the difference between 2011 and 2016?  You see, little known fact: I used to kickbox before jiu-jitsu, and our warm-up involved three two-minute segments of skip rope.  And I was downright terrible back then, always coming to a sudden and often painful halt less than 15 seconds after starting.  Let’s try to compare then and now:

  • Then: rubber skipping rope, probably 9 feet in length.  Possibly ball bearing setup in handles, handles made of wood
  • Now: rubber skipping rope, probably 9 feet in length.  Ball bearing setup, handles made of plastic, notched for comfortable grips
  • Then: barefoot on 24mm puzzle mats over concrete
  • Now: in running or wrestling shoes, on hardwood dance floor or carpet-over-concrete
  • Then: mirrors in front and behind
  • Now: some mirrors, location dependant

The quality or make of the skip rope may have played a factor, but I believe the biggest factors are footwear and being able to not look in a mirror.  Even if I skip at school, I can actively shut out the mirrors — mirrors that are on adjacent walls to each other rather than opposite.  In this tiny sample size that has far too many unchecked variables, I have done three bursts of 30 seconds without missing a skip.  All three involved alternating single legs and then back to doubles, something I likely would not have been able to do back in 2011.  Whatever the cause of my improvement, I seek to improve upon that.  Fellow blogger Jennerosity commented on my last post with a YouTube channel full of tutorials, so I thought I’d share it with you all.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army

Soaptacular Facts

Ringworm is a common affliction to those of us who grapple on a regular basis. It is so common that virtually everyone who grapples will have knowledge on how to deal with it. Being a fungal infection, ringworm takes time and diligence to deal with. There are steps you can take to keep your defences in check and stave off such infections for your entire career.

Tea tree oil is often used in soaps, and has long been used as a topical treatment by the Australian army for a variety of purposes (Barnetson, Bell, Satchell, & Saurajen, 2004), mainly due to the major component of terpninen-4-0 L. As many companies will tell you: tea tree oil has tonnes of antimicrobial properties; that is why it is a key component in many products. Barneston et al. (2004) conducted a study on a mix of male and female patients totaling 158 total, all between the ages of 17 and 83 years old. The group was randomly divided into three groups: placebo, 25% tea tree oil concentration, and 50% tea tree oil concentration. When the study wrapped up, it was found that an effective cure – defined as both mycological and marked clinical response – was found in up to 50% of the participants in either tea tree oil group, versus less than 15% in the placebo group (Barnetson et al., 2004).

While greater amounts of tea tree oil is required to reach the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and the minimal fungicidal concentrations (MFCs), as compared to fluconazole and N-terminated palmitoyl lipidated peptide Pal-Lys-NH2 (Abruzzetti et al., 2009) it was found to reduce Microsporum canis and Trichophyton rubrum fungal biomasses in a statistically significant manner.

There is a lot more research to be done with tea tree oil, as seen in clinical reviews, such as one by Bagerhani, Kazerouni, Pazyar, & Yaghoobi (2013). The current research suggests that tea tree oil can assist in removing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, or more commonly known as an antibiotic-resistant staph infection) from the skin, is a good alternative antioxidant, and has potent virucidal effects against herpes simplex virus I.

Now what does all of this mean in plain English? It means that tea tree oil is a viable agent in the fight against fungal infections commonly known to us as ringworm, athlete’s foot, and jock itch. It can also help prevent damage to cell membranes caused by free radicals. All of these positive effects and very few negative effects – barring the occasional adverse reaction – coupled with a fairly open and accessible market means skin care products with tea tree oil are a great way to stay healthy and keep training!

And what’s better: tea tree oil is featured in all of the soap products offered by the amazing Arm Bar Soap Company. Chad certainly knows his stuff when it comes to blending the right ingredients together to create amazing products, and he offers them up at a great price – even for us Canadians (available through, where you get Canadian prices from a Canadian company).

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army

About the author: Kiyoshi is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and completing his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Coaching. He takes advantage of the peer-reviewed databases at his disposal to research important topics to his grappling and educational careers..




Abruzzetti, A., Arzeni, D., Barchiesi, F., Castelletti, S., Cirioni, O., Ganzetti, G., Giacometti, A., Kamysz, E., Kamysz, W., Offidani, A.M., Riva, A., Scalise, G., Silvestri, C., Simonetti, O., & Spreghini, E. (2009). In Vitro Susceptibility of Dermatophytes to conventional and Alternative Antifungal Agents. Medical Mycology, 47(3), 321-326.

Bagherani, N., Kazerouni, R., Pazyar, N., & Yaghoobi, R. (2013). A Review of Applications of Tea Tree Oil in Dermatology. International Journal of Dermatologiy, 52(7), 782-790.

Barnetson, R.S., Bell, C., Satchell, A.C., & Saurajen, A. (2002). Treatment of Interdigital Tinea Pedis with 25% and 50% Tea Tree Oil Solution: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Blinded Study. Australian Journal of Dermatology, 43(3), 175-178.

The First Week … ish

I was planning on a “first week back” post after the first week of the Fall semester, but it ended up being a different first “week” than what I’ve associated with “normal.”

  • I have two Biology labs now.  Fun.  Right now there’s a huge difference in the skills required: I have a couple of weeks of microscope stuff that Anatomy & Physiology I has already run me through, but on the flip side Anatomy & Physiology II has thrown us in the deep end.
  • We had our “Violent Intruder Drill”, which I thought was usually in October.  This one was less terrible than the last two I’ve sat through.
  • We had an unexpected fire alarm.  Even this early in the semester, we took our sweet time evacuating.  Hooray for the burning alternative?
  • I’ve completed my first Fieldwork session, and with the schedule I can accommodate, I have plenty of leeway in my hours.  I hope my next Fieldwork placements allow such scheduling ease.
  • I could have waited until I had my first quizzes, but by that point I wouldn’t get something up until October.  First month is more like it.
  • I’ve missed an alarm already — user error — but had a cat as backup.
  • I’ve experienced first-hand what happens when the parkade closes and your car is still inside.

So there is my first extended week.  Maybe the semester won’t get any worse.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army

Katana BJJ Roots Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Challenge III

Saturday August 8th was the 3rd Roots BJJ Challenge, hosted by Katana BJJ.  Originally I wasn’t going to compete, deciding that I wanted to work my game a little more between tournaments.  They changed venues, from the Fridge Gymnasium to the Richmond Olympic Oval.  This move immediately solved the parking issues, even if it did mean paying about $1/hour.  The space inside meant they could run four mats instead of their usual three, and they had a good sized bull-pen area and a clear entrance/exit for the paramedic.

I volunteered for most of the day, being the scorekeeper  for Mat 4.  I got to see a few great matches and watch some teammates and friends compete right in front of me, which is always a bonus of being front row.  I also decide to compete, joining my usual Master’s 1 Middleweight division.  I was a comfortable and relaxed 168 pounds with my gi on, and the third man in my three-man bracket.  Yo Sik and Joshua went first, with Joshua falling prey to a triangle/armbar combination.  After they rested, I faced Joshua and won 10-0 after trying and failing to secure two submission attempts on him.  After another rest, I faced Yo Sik in the Gold medal match, and got myself on the scoreboard thanks to a great single-leg that led to a scramble which ended with the 4-point rear-mount secured. Yo Sik managed to slip out before I could go for any submission, and I stopped his great scrambles and kept him off of the scoreboard.

I had fun in both matches, and so did my opponents.  As it turned out, it was Joshua’s first ever competition, and I’m certain that he took the experience well and will be a force to be reckoned with soon enough.

My cousin Courtenay managed to make it out to watch me compete and record my matches, and she had a lot of fun.  I want to sit down with her and provide some commentary on the positions, scoring, and why we do the things we do.

Maybe the key to success for me is zero prep for two weeks, just something to consider.  For now, back to the academy to train!

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army

First Aid

Well, I spent my weekend gaining my Standard First Aid certificate with CPR-C and AED training for school purposes.  It was a 2-day course put on by St. John’s Ambulance, and I had a great instructor.  Having an active certification is a prerequisite to graduate from my program, and also required before I start my fieldwork courses.  All I have to do is submit my proof – a.k.a.  my certificate – in person to the Sport Science Department office and I will be good to go!

It feels good to have current First Aid knowledge, and a great resource book on hand to reference.  Given all of the training that I do, I cannot say for certain which of my teammates are trained as well; knowing that I am relieves a large burden.  My next step is the purchase of a proper First Aid kit and a few other accessories, especially the ever-versatile triangle bandages.

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army

2015.5 Goals Update

Now, the .5 is for “half”, not for the month it is published in, just thought I would clear that up.

Back to the goals!

Still to-do/long-term from 2014:

  • earn my purple belt in BJJ
  • research the time and cost for becoming a Registered Massage Therapist (to supplement BA and MA)
  • re-start my running exercise, re-time my 1-mile, 5k, and 10k times
  • improve upon my 1-mile, 5k, and 10k times

New short- and long-term for 2015 and beyond:

  • earn my diploma in Sport Science
  • enter the Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching program
  • graduate with my Bachelor’s degree

Because bullet points tend to mess with me in terms of getting the format correct, I will simply make each one a new heading and list the updates below!

1. Earn my diploma in Sport Science: my original plan was to get an interdisciplinary diploma, as the requirements were broad and forgiving.  But given the courses I have taken, I am two courses away from completing the Kinesiology specialization.  Those two remaining courses are required for my BPEC graduation as well, so it is a Win-Win situation.

2. Enter the Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching program: the BPEC program accepts applications in the beginning of each year for the fall semester.  Deadline application is April 1st, with some applicants being accepted as early as March 1st.  Conditional acceptances are given as well, which is what I received.  The conditions were:

  • Program deposit paid by April 6 2015 (Completed)
  • Background check paid and submitted by April 15 2015 (Completed)
  • BIOL 1109 Human Anatomy & Physiology I completed with a minimum of C-, final grade to be submitted by April 30 2015 (Completed)
  • BIOL 1209 Human Anatomy & Physiology II completed with a minimum of C-, final grade to be submitted by December 19 2015 (Pending)

3. Graduate with my Bachelor’s degree: this goal will be two more years or so, depending on if I can get into certain courses and successfully complete them on the first try.  I don’t anticipate a lot of problems – at least, no problems that can’t be solved with proper studying.

Now let us readjust those goals.

Short- and long-term for 2015 and beyond:

  • earn my purple, brown, and black belts in BJJ
  • research the time and cost for becoming a Registered Massage Therapist (to supplement BA and MA)
  • re-start my running exercise, re-time my 1-mile, 5k, and 10k times
  • improve upon my 1-mile, 5k, and 10k times
  • earn my Sport Science diploma, Kinesiology specialization
  • enter the Bachelor of Physical Education and Coaching program
  • graduate with my Bachelor’s degree

New for 2015 and beyond:

  • research institutes for Master’s degrees in Science of Kinesiology or Sport Psychology
  • continue coaching the NWSS Hyacks
  • complete rough draft of paper on BJJ for peer review and editing

Yes, it seems as though I am merely adding more goals without striking any off, but I am also painting these goals in broad strokes.  I have a running list of courses that I have taken followed by the courses I have yet to take.  It helps me stay organized and provides some direction when it comes time for course registration.  I may upload it as a progress report, currently it is on paper so I can better manage it and myself.

Do you have any updates on your goals?  Any new ones set?  Comment below!

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army


Review: Female Under-Gi Gear – Special Guest Reviewer!

This update is brought to you from a special gal in my life: Keri, a.k.a. BlackGryphon03, a.k.a. my girlfriend.  She’s a talented BJJ practitioner and aficionado, so without further ado, here she is! Read the rest of this entry »

Exam rituals

One thing they don’t really tell you in high school: you’ll get a lot of exams in post secondary.  Of course, they might have mentioned it, but high school was so long ago that I’ve forgotten.  Regardless, in 13 weeks, a student will typically see 2-3 in-class exams and then final exams.  I’ve written in-class essays, multiple choice/true-false on scan tron, short answer, and long answer; I’ve used pens, pencils, erasers, protractors, and rulers.  Studying prior to the exam is fairly key – which I would state is obvious, but I don’t always study if my understanding is already excellent – but the moments before starting the exam are crucial.

  • Liquids: If it’s a morning exam (8:30AM or 10:30AM) then I have a coffee with me.  Regardless of the start time, I always have a bottle of water.
  • Bathroom: Even if I feel like I don’t have to go, I go anyways.  It’s tough enough to sit in a room for 150 minutes, much less if you have to pee.
  • Hands: This goes hand-in-hand with the bathroom, but I always wash my hands before an exam.  I hate being distracted by sticky hands, especially if I’ve been handling a coffee cup.
  • Fingernails: Alright, so I’m pretty odd with my fingernails, I like them very short.  But as a nervous habit, I start “cleaning” my nails, which makes them a tad longer (to me) and then serves as a distraction because I want to trim them.
  • Writing utensils: I try to have two pens, two pencils – sharpened, because dull pencils suck, and mechanical pencils hate me – and an eraser; plus any other required tools.

And gentle pre-test banter doesn’t hurt: for my Academic Writing final, we talked about craft brews and good pub food until we were given our exam booklets.  But it’s not necessary, just really fun.

What are some of your pre-exam rituals?

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Triangle Army, Respect the Technique

Review: Arm Bar Soap

Hygiene should be important for everyone, but it gets special consideration for athletes.  We get dirty, sweaty, and possibly bloody.  And we get the dirt, sweat, and blood of other athletes on us as well.  So we must take extra care before and after sessions to ensure that we are clean and healthy.

A couple of years ago I started my journey looking for a soap to use.  I came across several that piqued my interest, but I wanted to make it as allergen-free as possible.  My first choice never kept anything in stock and sold out of new batches inside of a couple of hours, so instead of continued frustration, I switched to another company.

The Arm Bar Soap Company, run by Chad Hospodar, is into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  He got a nasty ringworm infection, and vowed to never let it happen again.  Thus the Hawaiian-based company was born.  I have thus far “sampled” their Cocoa, Hawaiian, and Peppermint bars, and with great delight!  They last about a month in this household, but with two athletes each training 3-5 times per week, soap is bound to go quickly.  Each bar is bound together extremely well, I have dropped more than one more more than once (yes yes, I’ll not enjoy an experience in prison, I know), and the bars have suffered only minor dents.

Being a Canadian has a lot of merits to it – least of all the Maple Syrup – but it has downsides.  Arm Bar Co. ships to their distributors, who then re-sell to consumers.  The Canadian distributor is, a local B.C. company, and I am more than happy to give my business to them and to Chad.  However, this puts me at the mercy of the distributor in terms of the various flavours Chad releases.  Upon placing my last order about five months ago, they stocked only three – the three that I have sampled – even as more flavours were being released.  Currently, they have a fourth: the Milk’n’Honey.  I will be ordering this flavour when I place my next order – though that won’t be for several more months – and hopefully by that time they’ll have the Acai and Shamp-Broo in stock.

So we keep ourselves clean, which helps keep our training partners, friends, and family clean.  All we need now is a cool soap dish.  Any recommendations?

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Triangle Army, Respect the Technique

Triangle Athletics Giveaway

Who likes free stuff that is awesome?  I hope you raised your hand, because I’m bringing you news of a giveaway!

My sponsor Triangle Athletics is holding another contest for one of their comfortable and sleek Brooklyn kimonos.

Enter their Facebook giveaway here, just under a week left!  I don’t think there’s an easier contest to enter!  So get on it!

–Kiyoshi “The Prototype”
Your #1 Canadian eh?
Respect the Technique, Triangle Army.