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Monday, December 22, 2014

From stone to water !!!!!!


I started my journey in martial arts way back in 1985. Yes a long, long, long way back. 

When I  joined all I wanted was to be able to fight like Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. I just wanted to become tough like a rock and break everything that comes my way.

Years passed, I started understanding martial arts and its purpose.  The training use to be so hard that every training session would bring out new aches and pains. There were a few years when I think my aim was no longer to get tough like a rock but to just get through a training session at a time. Those were the best training years. Every class I would train like there was no tomorrow. Pushing myself beyond  my threshold.  Listening and doing what ever I was asked to by my Sensei. Most importantly I learned to be punctual and my life started to get disciplined. Personality traits like Honesty, Courage, Rectitude, Loyalty, Benevolence, Honour, Respect, Compassion etc started to get imbibed in me.




Few more years down the line I was no longer interested to train to be a rock.  Though my body had transformed in to a rock, it was no longer my aim or my reason to train. I was slowly but surely transforming in to a very adaptive person. I could train for hours without food, water or sleep. I could sleep just as comfortable over a rocky surface as I could on a soft mattress. I could manage in harsh weather conditions. My pain threshold had grown far beyond what I could imagine. I had become some one who will give his all unconditionally to those I call my own or even those who I just meet but are in genuine need of some help.

Though I wanted to become a rock when I had joined and had become one too but my body, mind and spirit had undergone a transformation far beyond being a rock. 

I had become like water!!!!

I can adapt to any situation that I am thrown in to by life.  Like water I am soft, gentle and free flowing but like water I could also change the course of a river and when required I could burst out with enough force to protect some one or defend myself.

It is just so amazing what a  few decades of martial art training  can do to a person.

Have not only seen the change in myself but also in the students.

If this is the change that training in authentic and traditional martial arts bring, then in my opinion this is all that is needed to have a more understanding, tolerant, giving and peace loving society.

A rock has become water !!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

What ails Indian Women????????

I write this article without any desire to point fingers or pass any judgement on any person or gender. The article is aimed at addressing the sad state of a country that I was born and brought up in. However if the cap fits you well, then I do hope you wear it and do change for the better. 

"How cultured a civilization is, is known by the way they treat their women " (do not remember the name of the wise man who used these words).

Sadly we are not a cultured society. The way women are treated in India is not some thing to take lightly. If the women do not collectively stand up now the future for the next generation of women may just get worse than it already is. I often hear parents complaining about how their children are going out of hand. Sadly the parents are indirectly teaching their kids to stalk, ogle and pass lewd comments at women. 

You find that shocking???????
Well if as a parent you take your child to watch a movie from Bollywood, Tollywood etc then it is sort of a signal to the child that my parents attest the kind of behaviour portrayed in the movie. Sadly the story line of most of our movies are monotonous and very wrong for the kids. So if you take your child to watch a movie where the lead actor (hero) of the movie stalks a girl daily at the bus stop, at her college and so on. In the movie the lead actress does not create a scene but keeps ignoring the man and finally they date. WOWWW!!!!! are we all blind this is what the kids are learning and the boys become men and are doing the same things on the road, while the girls are growing up in to ladies who keep ignoring the insensitive and in human behaviour of these men.  What great work is the censor board doing??????????? They sit and focus on how short is the shorts the actress wears in the movie but what about the immoral, unethical ideas and mindset that is being fed to the viewers movie after movie after movie. It does not matter how short or long your clothes are what actually matters is how your mindset is.  While I use to provide high profile security and bouncers, I have even seen men eve tease and try to molest a lady wearing a burkha with only her eyes visible. So it is not what you wear but how you think that matters.

Well but every time some incident takes place we will surely have some ministers, religious leaders etc blaming women and the way they dress for it. This shows the narrow mindset of the people we sadly keep electing to work for us. SHOCKED !!!!! Yes they are actually employed by us.

My ratio may be wrong but I feel it could be more than the percentage I quote because sadly I see Indian men leching, ogling at women and even passing lewd comments all the time. The women have sadly got habituated to this. Most of them think how many people will we fight with daily and just ignore it and move on. However this makes the matter worse. Women should stand up at the slightest disrespectful behaviour and should be united as one.

There are about 95% men in India who fit in the category of lechers, oglers, gropers etc. The remaining 5% or so are ones that suffer from the image these 95% so boldly set. Am in the 5% and I am personally petrified to be in a public area where there could be lots of women. If am standing in a crowded bus, I literally hold the hand rail very tight because am scared of bumping in to a lady because of the sudden braking of the bus etc. Today quite a lot if not all women in India see an unknown man or a stranger as a possible molester, chain / purse snatcher or rapist. I do not blame them for this. I blame the men who are evolving the way the women see men. In my city there is a narrow lane filled with lots of shops called general bazaar. Usually lots of women frequent that lane. I never go there because am scared of an unintentional bump in the crowd could be misunderstood and I will get in trouble. Two of my good friends (both women) have tried to get me over the fear of going to that lane with them but I have always refused. 

It is not only limited to the boundaries of our country. The image of Indian men as such is not good in many countries. Are we happy with that? Are we going to keep talking of our wonderful cultural past our space program and lots more but avoid the fundamental ailment that is eating away at the foundation of our society itself. Women are an integral part of society and not giving them due respect is a sign of a decaying society.  

The behaviour of men is forcing a change in the way women see men. I conduct a lot of self defense and fitness workshops for women employees of corporates. Often after these workshops some women come and ask me about how to respond at the lewd passes verbally and at times even physically made by their seniors at work or how their gym coach feels them up under the pretext of correcting their posture and making them exercise well. I feel very sad when I hear women tell me such things. I feel sad that a person has to go through such treatment. 

 The right approach is to educate and change the men from behaving in this manner that is even worse than a wild animal. Sadly neither the govt, media or law is taking strict action to bring the change. When a monstrous act of rape is committed all that happens is - the media get a few days to fill their pages or time slots with the news, the ministers of the opposition blame the ruling govt, and the law is stuck with an outdated legal system that the British left us with (except for a few amendments here and there, whenever required) and not to forget the self proclaimed self defense experts who make good money every time such an incident takes place. After a few days every thing goes back to normal like it never occurred, until another incident comes to light just a few days later. This is repeated again and again since many years now.

There should be a strict law with a very befitting punishment for an heinous crime like rape. In the absence of the law there are three  ways women can bring the change -

1) To be united as one -

Easier said that done. I have seen many times that in a situation where a lady is in trouble and if the matter goes to the right authorities (police) to resolve, often the other women who were witness to the situation will blame the lady for the incident itself.  I do not say support the lady if she is wrong but if her wrong actions are a result of the wrongful and disrespectful behaviour towards her by a man, then do mention the wrong done by the man. 

2) It is not OKAY!!!!!

If some one by his words or actions makes you feel uncomfortable then stand up then and there. There is no let it be or we will deal with it if he repeats it again. I do not say hit every man on the road but be firm and let your resentment be known clearly by using simple yet firm words. If that does not work do inform the authorities of the same. Delaying or avoiding to get such people reprimanded by law or appropriate action will not only make that person a danger for you but also for other women around.

3) Learn to fight back -

Though I provide self defense training, I personally feel we are trying to resolve the problem the wrong way. It is the mindset of the men that needs to be changed nothing else. However we can not just sit and wait for that to happen. So it is better to get trained and trained by the right people. Most people do not know anything about self defense and yet are self proclaimed self defense and security experts. I could give loads of examples of such experts but I think it is better that some day they learn it the hard way. If one is teaching sports martial arts then he/ she may not be able to train you for what you may face on the road. If your trainer has just a 15 days or few month expert training certificate then too they are not apt for training you. I trained in martial arts for over 20 years before I got in to the field of providing bodyguards. Even with twenty years of training behind me I was learning new things every time I would end up in a self defense situation. My experience in the field provided me an insight in to self defense that 20 years of rigorous training in martial arts did not. This insight had lead me to form Jukaado - An Unarmed Combat form.

Pepper spray, pens, hair pins etc are not something that work in a real life situation. Want to know why??? Watch our video below -



Jukaado provides free one month training to all women at our class. To enroll contact us at the link given below - 


I could type a lot more and discuss the issues in depth. However it is not a thesis so lets just end it with a hope of change. A society that respects, protects and values women who are the foundation of the society itself.



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

When the INSIDE realigns with the OUTSIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  

 I have often heard of people talking of connecting within or of advising others to look within to resolve the uneasy and restlessness that at times ruins everything around us.

I have pondered on this concept of  "Connect Within" and have even given it a try.  I do not agree with it. 

I have always liked to question the world around me and not accept anything because someone says so but only if I find there to be a logical explanation to it. Well by logical I mean what my not so normal, crazy self can relate too. I  feel it is my training in traditional martial arts (under wonderful teachers ), the discipline, the quest to train not only my body but also my mind and spirit, that has pushed me towards spirituality much before I could even spell the word. I started training at 4 years of age and I just connected with the training like it was the calling of my soul. As I grew in age I always pondered about life and all that there is to it. It lead me to read a lot about different beliefs, thoughts, and even the religious texts or books of quite a few religions. I may not be an expert in any religious text but from what ever I could understand over the years of reading and pondering is - Deep down all religions preach and aim for the same level of understanding from the people that follow it. I like the positive energy at religious places that preach compassion for all, love and joy. Recently I have been lucky to be invited to be part of such a place. Have been there twice and both the times I have felt the positive energy and have really enjoyed myself there.

People talk of connecting within like they have to switch on the laptop and connect to the internet. I do not think it works that way. The truth about meditation is 60 -70% people have a placebo effect of experiencing a connection within but actually it is just a figment of their imagination which they believe and reinforce as their truth. 

When we use the words "Connect Within" itself we are giving more importance or authority to the outside. There is only one being that exists. It is a union of our body, mind, heart and soul. It can not be separated. They all work in unison. We walk, we talk and so on because our mind and body together decide to do so. We can not separate them. So if they are one why do you need to connect? There is nothing to connect within or outside. 

According to me in our journey of life,  through the ups and downs, we go through change. Our situations and experiences change us. However the change is caused to our body, mind, heart and soul in different ways. A situation may toughen us up externally but make us more compassionate within and so on. This is where our body, mind, heart and soul start to drift in different directions. When the drift between them keeps increasing we start to feel emotions like Fear. Fear can make our smooth sailing ship of life sink without even a warning.

Fear is an addiction more difficult to get rid off than any vice known to man. While it is an addiction that is difficult to get rid off, it is also very easy to get rid off . Now that is a contradiction - I say it is difficult to get rid of and then I say it also very easy???????????? 

Well let me explain. Fear is the result of our body, mind, heart and soul being at different levels or at different places. The only way to get rid of fear is to realign the body, mind, heart and soul. Most of us are constantly trying to connect within so we are focusing on only the soul and leaving the rest. I am sure we all know people who supposedly meditate regularly but these same people are also known for their temper and in-compassionate behaviour. So why does this happen? Isn't connecting within a solution for everything? 

Why do some people who are very spiritual look young even though they are way older than they look? Why do some people make everyone around them feel warm within?

Well it is simple - If we can work at realigning ourselves as one, then we can get rid off - Fear. It is not something you can snap out in a jiffy. It is something we need to consciously work on with our eyes open while experiencing the world around us. Anyone can be quiet when everyone is quiet, try being quiet when everyone is talking to you. I have actually done this. I have gone about with my normal life but have not spoken to anyone for a whole month. I urge everyone to try it sometime. Try it for just a day. It will be fun am sure.

With our every breath, with our every step let us work at relating to whatever we do from our body, mind, heart and soul. The results of what ever that is done with the unison of the body, mind, heart and soul is bound to be positive. We use the phrase " give it your best" or "Give it all you have" but very seldom do we actually commit to anything as one (body + mind + heart + soul ).

We talk of giving gratitude for all that is in our lives but we should do so not only by our words but also by our actions. 

There is a deeper meaning to the very simple looking sentence above. I will not spell it out. I will let you all ponder on it and if you still do not get it do write to me.



Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back to (insane) Training Till I Drop after my ACL surgery.

Today I was talking to a dear friend about my ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear in my knee and the surgery that followed. Well it got me all nostalgic.  I know some of you will yell - "NOSTALGIC, who feels nostalgic about an injury that required a surgery" 

Well those who know me or have trained with me wont be surprised with my statement. It is just the kind of person I am.

If you are not aware of my surgery and all the rehabilitation that I have undergone, kindly do read my previous article by clicking on the link below. That will help you understand this article better.


Hope you have read the above article.

Every human being is different and everyone's body responds differently to injuries and workout. Do not follow anything I have done unless your Doctor or Physio have recommended or approved it. I have been training for over 27 years now so my body responds to exercising in a very different way. All my workout and exercises that I have done are known to my physio and monitored by him closely.

I would like to thank (Dr.) Mr. Bharatram of Body Mechanics, my dear friend and physio for all his guidance and patience in dealing with a person who wanted to jump and sprint when he could not even bend his knee. I would like to thank Dr. Naresh Hanagodu my orthopedic surgeon for the surgery he did on my knee. Dr. Naresh has been very helpful and patient too with a very impatient person as myself.

Coming back to my recovery from the ACL surgery - 

By December 2013 (5 months from surgery) I was able to walk normally and even jog short distances (5kms) at ease.  I use to cycle a minimum 10 -15 kms twice a week, swim for an hour 3 times a week,  run a bit twice a week and exercise on the machines at my physio's clinic everyday.  Yes, I know that most people do not train so much even when they have no injury.

Many people find it difficult to rehabilitate. That is not because the surgery was not performed well or the physio is not good (both scenarios could be true, however usually it is not) but mainly because most people do not like to exercise. It gets to you when you have to just keep exercising and the improvement you see is very gradual. This results in many giving up on their exercise routine and hence their rehabilitation stops too.

I did stick to my training routine and went a few hundred steps beyond that too. Well it is not easy to keep the insanity that lies within me dormant for too long.

By March 2014 I had started training with my 30kg rock but now I use to shoulder press them while wearing a 10 kg weighted jacket. 

Shoulder pressing a 30kg rock while wearing a 10 kg weight jacket.


In March I had noticed during my training that a slightest jerk or bump would make me feel a bit unstable in the knee. The next day I had asked Dr. Bharat ( my physio) about it and he showed me some exercises including jumping on the trampoline in some variations. Well initially the shocks that I felt in the knee were unexplainable but I just continued with the workout. Within  a few days I could see the improvement. I began to jump higher and felt much better and more stable than before.

In April 2014 I pushed myself a bit further to test my recovery. I pulled a 300kg ground roller with a 75kg man standing on it for a distance of about 50 meters.  Every few days I would increase the distance by another 50 meters.  However I did not go beyond 200 meters as I did not want to put too much strain on the knee. 

                                      Pulling a 300kg ground roller with a 75 kg man on it.


My leg was feeling stronger and the aqua exercises along with the trampoline workout were really speeding up my recovery.  I could feel the improvement during my runs as I was now using both legs in  proper balance and without any discomfort. 

Towards the end of April I ran to my physio's clinic with a 10 kg weighted jacket. The clinic is about 2.5 kms away from my home. So I ran to the clinic trained on the machines there and ran back home. This surely boosted my morale. It did not mean that I did this often. I have always been cautious and have listened to the signals my body has given me. If you feel strain or uneasy rest, ice it and stretch. If you still do not feel better do not train till you consult your physio. 

                            After jogging to my physio's clinic with a 10 kg weighted jacket.

Every step that I took getting back to my original training levels made me more determined to work harder and wisely to rehab the right way. It is easy to get carried away at times however it is best to keep your head on the shoulders. 

In the month of May 2014 I conducted the Jukaado training Camp. We trained non stop for 36 hours at the camp. At the camp I ran 10kms with my students and am happy to say I finished first. 
I had recoveredddddddddddddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Running 10 kms at the camp in May 2014.


 I have been training regularly and gradually increasing the intensity a notch at a time. I am now located in Thailand and am looking forward to train like I use to before my accident. I did break down a banana tree in Thailand by kicking, punching and elbowing the tree. Well most people strike a banana tree after it has given fruit but that makes the tree weak. The tree I struck down had not given fruit yet. I did not try it again though as I do not like to break stuff and I like the bananas that the tree gives.







                                        



Well I did say looking forward to train like before but I think I have crossed that a few days back. Just a few days back I did a very tough workout which is a confirmation that am back to Training Till I Drop. It is not easy to do a plank for long if your leg muscles and knee are not strong enough or in recovery. The knee has surely healed well since  I could do 5 sets of 6 minute planks without any discomfort.

The workout I did a few days back - 
Went cycling but the rain played spoilt  sport. Only cycled 5kms. Then struck the log, 500 repetitions each of punching, open palm, wrist, hammer strike with both hands. 500 sumo squats and regular squats each with the log ( 10kgs ) resting on the arm at shoulder height. Shadow boxing followed by 1000 repetitions of various Ab exercises. 5 sets of 6 minute plank with a 10kg log on the back. 600 knuckle push ups. 1000 kicks and knee strikes. Ended with a good stretch.




My Students - 
Am amazed at the ability of my students to keep up with my insane training demands from them. They are all super tough and super fit in my eyes. More than that they are all awesome human beings. I do miss the fun we all use to have training together at class or while cycling or at the pool or the very interesting, intellectual and humorous talk that Swamibabu (a senior student and instructor at Jukaado) would have with me during our morning jogs or our regular trips to fill our stomachs with yummy food.  I am happy that they are all still training in Jukaado under  Sensei Sravan Kumar - San Dan ( 3rd dan black belt & representative of Jukaado in India), a senior student of mine. We are looking at organizing an International Camp for Jukaado in Thailand in 2015 (hopefully during the summer). 


The only thing that is weak is the mind that gives up!!!!!!!!!
 



Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The inspiring person is actually the inspired!!!!

Today I received a message from a student who use to train with me over two years back. He showed lots of potential when he had joined. Alas ! the IT / Corporate work culture and timings literally sucked the life of this very young and adventurous student of Jukaado - Anil Singari.

 It is always nice to hear from students even if they have discontinued training. I am blessed, for many students who I have taught even ten years back still do keep in touch with me and we share our views on various topics. It is like an unseen bond that exists between us. 

Anil Singari was telling me how according to him I am an inspiration to him. He appreciates that I always follow my heart in whatever I do.  He was also happy that I have moved to Thailand.

Well am happy that some people consider me to be an inspiration, however honestly am the one who is constantly inspired by all that I see around me.

I have been inspired by Thailand from the very first time I came to Thailand in 2011 as a tourist and made a few Thai friends. The Thai culture, the people, the perennial greenery and natural beauty had me sold.

I have been contemplating to move to Thailand and be part of the country that inspired me in many ways since 2011 when I first came here. Well in 2014 I have made it here and am really happy being part of the Thailand Teach family in Bang Rachan, Singburi. 


I have always believed in giving back to society in whatever way I can. Well I seem to be in  the perfect place to do so. Have to settle down and find ways to make the difference here while balancing the job that buys my bread and butter. 

Have so many things on my list of things to do in Amazing Thailand. From forest treks to wild life safari's, from training with Muay Thai Legend Buakaw to setting up a base for Jukaado in Thailand, from rock climbing to motor biking around the country on a good cruise bike. I would also like to find a Buddhist monastery far away from any big city or town where I could spend a few days just meditating and breathing in positivity with every whiff of air. Oh the list can just go on and on. 

Life is awesome only if we wish to see it that way!!!!!!!!!

There will always be things to inspire us, what matters is are we looking for inspiration or are we busy looking for flaws.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Teaching in Amazing Thailand!!!!

I sit here today typing this article not just to put up my experience or to thank all the people that have helped me on this journey but also to give an idea to those who are looking at teaching in Thailand. I am willing to guide and help anyone through the process including the paper work for the visa. However It should be known that am not a visa agent nor do I know anybody in immigration or any government office. Am just a teacher who is willing to guide or help other teachers. I know the process as I went through it recently and if you follow the steps properly and have all the required documents you can get your non immigrant visa  without any issues.

I have been searching for a teaching position in Thailand for a while now. Got myself added to few of the groups for teachers or teaching in Thailand on Facebook. Opened an account on Ajarn.com and also used other websites like teachingthailand.com , ajarnjobspace.com and so on. I think my biggest disadvantage was I was searching for the job sitting in India. Most schools prefer to meet the prospective teacher in person. So it is my suggestion that you do come down in person and look for a job.

I do not wish to kick up the native and non native argument again. However this is what I feel - A native speaker who is not a teacher or is just choosing to teach because they wish to live in Thailand is not a person suitable to teach. I do belief non native speakers can be just as good at teaching English as any professional native speaking teacher. The problem is that a decent number of non native speakers who desire to teach are also just doing so to be able to live here. When I went to give my TOEIC test in Bangkok I was waiting in the line and few non native speakers ( do not wish to mention their countries) were registering. Now the person at the registration desk asked them - Would you collect the TOEIC score by yourself tomorrow. A pretty simple question, however all three of them just could not comprehend the question even after it was explained a few times with hand gestures too. It is such non native speakers that are giving a bad image to the genuine and qualified teachers too. I also feel approving a TOEIC score of 600 is okay for an admission to an University abroad but for a teacher the requirement should be a minimum 800 out of 990. I have a TOEIC score of 960 out of 975.

I would like both the native and non native speakers to realize that this is not an argument or debate between us. It is about providing education to the next generation of Thailand. We need to stop fighting and work together. In my personal experience I have made some real good friends on facebook both native and non native. All of them have always been there to reply to my queries or help me find a job and so on. So lets all just decide to work together and be impartial, as there are unqualified ( i dont mean just a degree) teachers among the native as well as non native speakers. Lets be united as one against those who are not qualified to teach irrespective of country, race or colour.  

Thailand Teach -
I met Robert Newton through one of the groups of Facebook for teachers. I use to keep pestering him about coming and volunteering for him after I get a job in Thailand.  He is a wonderful human being, very down to Earth and giving. Robert is in to providing volunteers to teach at the schools they are connected with. These schools are often under funded being in the rural area however the kids at the schools are really bright and eager to learn. I have added the link to the Facebook page of Thailand Teach-

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thailand-Teach/289975994428274

If you wish to make a difference then do try to get in touch with Robert and volunteer whenever it suits your schedule. I say so because I have taught at these schools and when you see kids eager to learn but the school can not afford a qualified English teacher due to lack of funding, it does touch you within. I personally hope to volunteer more often, finding a balance between my job and volunteering is what am working on.

My Story - 

As I mentioned above I had been applying for a teaching job for any add or post I saw on websites and social media and finally got a lead  for a teaching position at a school in Lopburi. The teacher who was teaching there was leaving and they wanted a replacement. After about 20 days of applying for the job I suddenly get a call on my cell in India for a telephonic interview. Well I did get the job too. The school sent me the basic outline of the contract, things like the wage, the duration, hours and that they would pay for the visa and work permit. I was in regular touch with them. I resigned from my job at a school in India and applied for the visa. Now after having resigned, applied for the visa as well as buying my flight tickets, I get a call from the school telling me to be at the school the next day or else I do not have the job any more. Well that was a great shock for me. I immediately messaged my friend Robert (who lives in Thailand) to call and speak to the school and try to convince them to wait. Well that did not work out. I do not have any hard feelings against that school or the person who took this absurd decision at the last minute. I have forgiven them and I thank them for what they did. It is because of what they did, that I got to know and meet a wonderful human being as Robert Newton and his wonderful family nor would I have got the wonderful job that I have at a school in Singburi. 

So here I was with my passport at the Thai embassy in India getting stamped for a two month tourist visa, had paid for the flight tickets for the round trip ( you need to buy round trip tickets if you are coming in on an tourist visa), resigned from my job at the school in India and I was left stranded by the school in Lopburi after confirming the job.  

I did discuss it with Robert and few other teachers who were teaching in Thailand and all suggested I should make the trip as with my qualifications I would surely get a job within a few weeks. Robert was very kind to have offered that I could come down to Singburi and volunteer for him while searching for jobs. I should inform you all that Robert does not run an employment agency, he helped me with giving me details of the schools in the area as well as taking me to some of them only out of the friendship we share.

I took the flight to Bangkok on 8th August. Took the airport link sky rail to Phaya Thai and then switched to the sky rail (BTS) for Mo chit. The Mo chit bus terminal is about 3km from the Mo chit BTS station. At the Mo chit bus station you can get an A/C bus to Singburi for 120Baht or a Mini bus for the same sum too. The advantage with the Mini bus is that it takes you to the small villages around Singburi. So you might just find a stop next to where you live.

Thailand Teach is at Bang Rachan, Singburi. That is where I was at too. I did volunteer at two temple schools for Thailand Teach. It was a wonderful experience. After about 2 weeks of applying to schools online, through leads from friends and the schools in the area, I finally got a decent offer from a school in the area. By now I was very fond of the area and its rural setting. I also got along well with everyone at Roberts home. So it seemed perfect to accept the offer and there I was with a job. A few days after I got the job and a day before I signed my contract with the school I got another offer closer to Bangkok for 5,000 Baht more than this offer. However I refused it as I had already given my word to the school. The next on my list was to change my Tourist Visa to a Non - B Visa. I had to get all the paper work ready and submit it at Chaeng Wattana Immigration Office in Bangkok with having 15 days left on my visa. That was a challenge but again I had some very nice people helping me and guiding the school on the paperwork. My school has helped me a lot in getting all the necessary paper work ready within a relatively short time.

I got my Non - B Visa from the Bangkok Immigration Office just a few days back with exactly 16 days left on my tourist visa. Phewwwww that was a relief. Have started the process for acquiring my work permit.

I would like to thank everyone that has guided and helped me through this journey. Have been helped by both native and non native speakers. I have made some good friends too.

Well besides being a qualified English teacher I am also a qualified martial artist and hope to teach the kids (and grown ups)  martial arts too.

You could check out my martial arts website below.
www.jukaado.com



I guess Thailand has decided to keep me after all !!!!!!

I am always here to help or guide those who are seeking help or guidance with regards to teaching in Thailand or guiding with getting the right paper work ready. Do get in touch with me if you have any queries. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Veganism - Tried the waters & here is what I feel.

Most of you may not know me, so here is a brief about myself. I have been training in martial arts and various fitness routines for the last 30 years, have done my Diploma in Sports Medicine, am a qualified English teacher, have an insane appetite for training, love good food, enjoy cooking, teach meditation and healing, am a personal trainer, a life coach, a martial artist and most importantly am Human.

Nowadays food is often broken up into the numerous food groups and eaten by selecting what we feel we need more (proteins, carbohydrates etc). Well for me food is much more than that, it is one of the physical ways to nourish our body, mind and soul. The food we eat is vibrant with the energy of the person cooking it as well as the person eating it. Have you ever wondered why the food cooked by a mother or a loved one tastes so good? Well it is simple when food is cooked specially for us by a loved one it is cooked with love and that energizes the food with positivity. This makes us feel  nice and happy when we eat it. Have you ever wondered why most religions and cultures believe in saying a short prayer to thank for the food they eat before they do eat it? Well am sure we do not need food in front of our eyes to thank God / the universe or anyone for it. We can express gratitude at any time of the day. I feel the concept of offering thanks for the food we are about to eat has come about so that no matter what mood (angry, upset, depressed, happy, bubbly) or energy ( positive or negative ) the person cooking has charged the food with we bless or charge the food with positive thoughts of gratitude. This makes the food more nourishing for our body, mind and soul. 


 My Tryst with different eating habits including Veganism -

Being a personal trainer and a martial arts instructor it is important for me to understand the effect of different eating habits on the body so I can train people who follow such diets. With this is mind I have been a vegetarian for over 3 years, have lived on only raw fruits and vegetables for over 6 months and now am a Vegan.
Before we go further I would like to mention that these are my views and are based on simple logic and not clouded by any propaganda of any sort.

It has been about 5 + months now that I have gone Vegan. In these 5 months I have had the opportunity to interact with many vegans from all over the world. In my opinion being on a Vegan diet is good for our health on many levels.

 Let us go through what is my take on Veganism - 

It is surprising to see so many vegans convinced and vegan because of the so called "Cruelty " issue. Lets look at this logically. If we are against cruelty then we should all go stay in a cave like hermits. Yes I love animals and am against ill treating or harming them. Man is cruel in many ways. Say you are a manager and you shed all your workload on those working under you - You are being Cruel. If you are a bully or beat up women, your wife or children after getting drunk - You are being Cruel. If a person who is homeless and has not eaten for many days, asks you for some money and you refuse - You are being Cruel. I can go on with numerous examples of cruelty that man commits against another human. Coming to animal cruelty  - I agree that it is wrong to force cattle to constantly produce milk all its life. We do not need milk for survival no animal needs milk all its life to survive and thrive. Well man is an animal too. So why torture and keep drugging cattle with hormones so that we can have a glass of milk or a slice of cheese. Coming to animals slaughtered for meat - Well I have often heard vegans say things like - I have seen how the animal suffers at the slaughter house, it is so cruel hence I have become Vegan. So by that logic if there was a way that the animal would not go through the ordeal at the slaughter house and yet be chopped up in to a juicy steak would you eat it?? Well if cruelty is your only reason for being Vegan then you should be okay with eating meat if its cruelty free. In many countries we now get Happy Meat - that is meat from animals that have lived a happy life on an open ranch, had freedom to run around, eat grass from the fields and so on. So all the cruelty mongers should be okay if this so called Happy animal is slaughtered without cruelty. I feel there are people who by their religious beliefs are vegetarian ( I respect that totally ), or are gluten and lactose intolerant who are in many ways vegan out of no choice. These people go around making outrageous claims and pics. I have seen pics on Vegan groups and forums of cattle supposedly being skinned alive and then thrown whole in to a meat crusher. Well lets look at it realistically, you can not skin an animal alive firstly because it would kick its legs around and keep fighting making it impossible to skin. Moreover no animal will be alive after being skinned as the pictures show and claim. Any animal including man would die even before they are skinned say 1/4 of their body. Then the pictures show the alive and breathing cattle being thrown after being skinned in to a meat crusher. Well cattle have big strong bones and if you are going to throw the animal whole in to a meat crusher you are going to jam and spoil the machine in just one animal. So realistically most of these pictures and posts on vegan groups are a hoax. Then there are futile arguments between meat eaters and vegans that plants also are living and so on. Well scientifically it has been proved that plants feel pain too and even sense that we are going to cut them even before we do. So the plant goes through more cruelty than an animal in many ways. As we keep breaking the vegetable and fruit from the plant causing it pain and  suffering every time we do so. Is it that just because the plants can not make sounds or it does not have legs to kick around in protest, it is not considered cruel???? If cruelty is your reason to be Vegan then only eat vegetables and fruits that fall off the tree or plant on its own. Well am sure that is not feasible for even 0.000005% of people on the planet to follow.

Vegans talk of cruelty and when I posted on a group about Figs being a non vegetarian fruit (yes Figs are non vegetarian fruits as every fig ripens only after a fig wasp enters it lays eggs and then dies inside. The eggs hatch and the baby wasps fly out but the mother wasp that dies inside is obviously absorbed by the fruit while it ripens) and as vegans do not consume animal product a true vegan should not consume Figs. Well these same so called people who are Vegans because of the cruelty factor got upset with my post and started deleting my comments. Isn't that Cruel??? Anyway I left that group out of protest and started a group on Facebook  called - Vegans for Health. -  https://www.facebook.com/groups/1433811710190964/

A group is meant to be open for all to discuss and express their views not to be cruel and delete them.

Well I feel if you are living in the world and among people being Vegan as you are against Cruelty is being hypocritical and trying to put up an image of being holier than thou. So I always suggest and try to reason with my fellow Vegans that be a Vegan for health and not because you saw some video on cruelty. I feel being Vegan has numerous health benefits and am a Vegan for health. 

The animal products that we consume in our daily life are milk & its products, meat, fish, eggs, honey
Lets look at the few reasons why being Vegan is good for health -

Milk - It is not needed by man or any animal after the initial few months or year from birth varying from animal to animal. Moreover animal milk does not suit humans and in fact causes the calcium in our body to deplete rather than increase as is popularly believed. Animal milk is also high in casein. About 85% protein in milk comes from Casein. Casein is one of the biggest and best promoters of Cancer, it is a carcinogen. 
So consuming milk is not good for our health. Do read this book for more details - The China Study.

Meat / fish - Meat is quite a good source for nutrients like creatin, protein and so on. However nowadays to meet the huge demands for meat they are being fed and injected with loads of growth steroids and hormones. This makes them grow big and fleshy in a very short span of time. When we consume them we also ingest the growth hormones and steroids. This is one of the reasons for increasing child obesity worldwide. I do not consider consuming steroids or growth hormones as healthy.

Eggs - Just like meat the hens are injected with huge doses of hormones making them lay many more eggs than they would normally lay. This is the reason why many have started calling eggs vegetarian as there is no life in the egg from the start. It is just a chemical concoction forcibly created by the hen due to the hormone overdose.

Honey - Most of the honey we get nowadays is 70 + % synthetic. The companies dilute pure honey with glucose and other ingredients to make more quantity and therefore what we think is honey is mostly a gooey and sticky mix of chemicals and is not natural. In the good old days honey was freshly removed from the hives and sold as it was harvested. They would only chop of less than 30% of the hive so that the bees do not loose their home and their colony is not left homeless. This is very difficult to practice on a large scale when the demand for honey is so huge.


So after considering all the above food groups I believe being Vegan is good for health. A student brought out a good point that Plant life is the only form of life on Earth that sustains on the five elements of nature (sun, water, soil, air & space) hence their superiority. Moreover plant food is easy to digest and the nutrients in them get absorbed better than the nutrients from animal foods.
Many Vegans and vegetarians have this phobia of not getting enough protein because they do not consume meat. Well if you eat a well balanced diet consisting of all the vegetables, fruits, seeds, pulses and nuts you will be getting more protein than your body will actually need. From the time I have gone Vegan I have not specifically consumed any protein shake or food. I use to drink soy milk before but have not touched it in over 3 months and am still building muscle mass without specifically eating protein rich vegan foods. So just relax and nourish your body with good food. 

This article is not aimed at finger pointing or blaming anyone. It is aimed at creating awareness about the real and logical reason to be Vegan. I have benefited in body, mind and spirit by being Vegan. Are you ready to be a Vegan for health???????

We welcome you to Vegans for health - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1433811710190964/    

Friday, March 21, 2014

Life is like a piece of paper.





Many a great Zen masters have considered simple tasks like Origami, maintaining Bonsai plants, Calligraphy etc as meditative practices. It is for this belief that even Samurai's practiced these arts to control their minds. Origami is the Japanese art of making objects with paper. When you keep repeating a particular shape by folding the paper again and again,  you do achieve stillness of the mind. A still mind brings with it peace and tranquility. You can introspect in to life or even ponder on something that is troubling you. A solution will surely follow. However one must not try to force the solution instead let the meditation bring out a solution for you. The Japanese believe that if one makes a 1000 paper cranes ( Tsuru ) then their wish gets fulfilled. 

In life whenever we strive to get an outcome we usually get the opposite. What we should do is - Give our best shot and let the universe decide the outcome. 

                        Get up, get some papers and meditate while you make cranes!!!!





Monday, March 17, 2014

The hype of super foods






Being a martial artist and fitness trainer am often asked by those training what specific foods or super foods should they consume. Well my answer always had been eat a balanced diet. 

With the people all over the world getting ill often and many having a sedentary lifestyle, they tend to search for easier options than sweating out and making the body stronger and fitter by working out. This laziness is well exploited by certain people / businessmen by hyping up so called Super Foods. So lets look at if we really need them or not. 

This is my logical and realistic point of view, it is what makes common sense. The world has numerous countries and temperature zones all having varied weather patterns, soil, topography etc. The people living in different areas are also built or grow up with a body to suit the place and the kind of work they are meant to do. Similarly plants, vegetables, fruits and grains that grow in different areas are best needed for people in those areas. Even if you eat a food that is brimming with all the nutrients and minerals you may need, it is usually thrown out by the body and not absorbed completely as our body does not need huge quantities of them. The only way you benefit is by making your wallet lighter and a placebo effect of feeling healthier because you now ate some Magic Food.

I have been training for over 30 years now. Have never given much importance to any so called super food and in fact do not even consume any specific food often. I just maintain a balanced diet and try to eat all that I get locally. Now some may think that would make me unhealthy or unfit but if you do feel so you are welcome to come and train with me and you will see how fast you get winded before I even get warmed up. Nowadays there are so many so called super foods available all promising super health. I find it very amusing seeing people going out of the way to get them. I do not say these food items are not healthy or important, all I say is eat what you get locally and not what is hyped about. All greens have minerals and nutrients may be in varying percentages or traces. I have even found it funny that vegetarians and vegans feel they are weak or missing out on nutrients like creatine because they do not eat meat. Where as those who do keep loading their body with food that has creatine. I have been a non vegetarian most of my life have even tried being a pure vegetarian for 3 years, have even lived on only raw fruits and vegetables ( no rice, lentils or any cooked foods) for 6 months and now am Vegan too. Through all these different eating habits I have never felt weak or made sure I eat specific foods to compensate for lack of certain foods in a different eating preference. I feel if you are feeling that you need to compensate then there could be only two explanations - 1)- You miss what you can not eat now and are trying to get something that tastes as close to what you can not eat anymore, 2) - You are misguided and misled in to the unnecessary hype of super foods and feel you need them or will get weak or malnourished. Well both do not make sense. If you are craving something you can not eat then do not deprive yourself, eat it and stop eating it not because its is the latest thing to do but because you understand how it is not good for your body. If you are misled then well you just need to go and train and stop telling yourself you are weak. In our country the laborers who work for road construction and repair works are not even able to afford normal vegetables often. They end up eating rice and some spicy watery curry or dal with very little if any vegetables, yet they work daily for 8 - 10 hours under the hot sun and have well chiseled bodies that even regular gym goers and diet conscious people do not have. So are these laborers being over dosed with protein and other supplements by their employers or are they some sort of divine beings, who get tough and strong by virtually eating not even 1/4 of all that we eat. Well the answer is simple GO TRAIN. 

          EAT A BALANCED DIET AND TRAIN TILL YOU DROP

                                               THEN

         THE SUPER FOOD MAY NEED YOU INSTEAD OF YOU NEEDING THEM!!!!!!! *




* Do consult a qualified trainer before embarking on a training program, excessive training could cause severe injuries, fatigue or even permanent damage to the body. Start slowly and build on it.   



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Realistic approach to Veganism.






There is a lot of skepticism that you may face when you mention that - I am a Vegan. Well lets take a realistic view of what is Veganism. In my opinion a Vegan is a person who wishes to eat and live healthier and hence moves on to a Vegan diet. Just changing to a healthy diet is half the battle the other half lies in changing your lifestyle and becoming active and physically fit through exercise. Irrespective of being Vegan or not most people are against animal cruelty however if you are brought up with everyone drinking milk or eating meat and even schools promoting milk consumption then it is difficult to move away from that. 

We like to help, educate and support people in moving to a healthier diet like the Vegan diet. Yes it is difficult at times to leave everything and become Vegan suddenly. We do not wish you to do that if you are finding it difficult but will guide you through our group on Facebook to go Vegan smoothly - 



There are reasons for why being Vegan is considered to be a healthier diet. Let us see some of the products that are not consumed by Vegans and scientifically understand how they are harmful to our health. In general Vegans do not eat any animal based products and by products. Lets start with the main product that most people find difficult to leave. Milk and milk products like butter, cheese, yogurts etc form a very important part of the diet for most people. 85% of the protein in milk comes from Casein. Casein has been scientifically proved to be one of the biggest promoters of Cancer. In other words Casein is a big carcinogen. In general all our bodies have some cancer cells which get neutralized by our body. However consuming substances which are carcinogens helps promote these cancerous cells and then we succumb to cancer. So avoiding milk and milk products is surely in the best interest of our health. Moving to meat - Meat from various animals and fish are a good source of protein and also other components like creatine, omega oils etc. However meat protein is difficult for our bodies to digest and moreover our bodies are not able to absorb all the nutrients from meat. Nowadays to meet the growing demand for meat most meat sources are fed or injected with growth steroids, often over dosing the animals. This makes it very hazardous for us to consume them. Where as protein from plant is easily absorbed by our body and though we do use pesticides and fertilizers on crops it is any day less hazardous than filling our body with meat fed on growth steroids.  Honey is the other animal product Vegans avoid - In today's day and age Honey is procured from bee farms and most honey manufacturers use other chemicals which they mix with the natural honey to increase its quantity etc. So we end up eating a processed and synthetic form of a natural product called honey. Honey in general is good for health but in the good old days honey hunters would only cut off 30% of a natural bee hive there by not destroying the bee colony and they would sell the pure honey as it is. So I did rather stop honey than eating chemicals and fool myself that it is honey. 

If you have any doubts about the above do look it up and if you would like to understand in detail you could read the book - The China Study. 

Recently I had joined a group to be with fellow vegans but sadly they seem to be very fanatic in their approach and arrogant. I voluntarily left the group yesterday in protest after they kept deleting any comment or views that I shared and by no means were my views anti vegan. If you do not agree with someone you should express your view or debate on it peacefully and logically and not cowardly delete their comment. The group on facebook - Hyderabad Vegans is very one sided and stuck up to their stand. I am against animal cruelty of any form however if someone mentions he / she is having difficulty going vegan you do not tell them that - If its difficult for you just imagine how much the animal suffers.... and then send them videos of animal cruelty. You need to support the person provide realistic solutions to their problems or issues they are facing to move to the Vegan diet.  We can not stop animal slaughter by crying out loud Cruelty Cruelty or by trying to stop the government by opening new modernized slaughter houses. Those who want to eat meat will get it from anywhere and shutting slaughter houses will lead to butchers killing animals on their own in possibly very unhygienic and unmonitored conditions. The right approach is to spread knowledge of the health benefits of a Vegan diet by doing so we could even win over a butcher but by just crying out Cruelty Cruelty the butcher wont even pay heed to what we say. 

I have moved from a meat eater to a Vegan and though I train about 4 -6 hours daily am feeling more energetic and stronger than before. So am sure with proper guidance anyone can.

 We welcome all to join us or seek our help in going Vegan for a healthier and fitter self.



                                                                        Lets be realistic and not fanatic!!!!!!!!!!
 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Women Toughies of Jukaado


The women at Jukaado seem to have taken an Oath to tire me out with their every ready to train attitude. Over the last few months all the women training at Jukaado have just decided to train and improve in all aspects of health and fitness. May it be training at the Dojo or my training outside the Dojo like swimming, cycling, jogging and so on they are always there. I have been noticing that from the 1st of January 2014 whenever we plan a training session outside the regular training at the Dojo there are more women than the men who turn up to train. It is so nice to see these women of all age groups training so well. Am sure now they are ready to defend themselves if they need to. They are really showing a spirit and will power that has earned my respect for their conviction. Recently one of our senior male students said - These women are in blasting mode now, they will beat up anyone now. I think I have to agree with him. When so many people consider our training insane and extreme these women make the training look so simple and are eagerly waiting for moving a couple of notches higher.


My Day - 
   
            Started my day with a good 1.5 hour swim with the women battalion of Jukaado. We had a few races and someone just kept cheating and making excuses every time she lost but it was all fun and we were just having a good workout topped with a healthy dose of fun. Then they took me to a diet breakfast point where I did not get the dollop of butter nor the melting cheese on the dosa. However it was very tasty and it is the companionship that makes the food tastier. Had to rush to my physio for an evaluation of my legs improvement. Was delighted to hear that am improving fine and can continue with my workout. Since I train a lot food is something that I can not do without. Went to the super market and got a lot of veggies and some chicken to make a salad. Nothing particular but something that was slowly formulating in to a recipe. Did an hour of workout with weights and went to train my personal training client. Summer has made its advent am feeling the heat nowadays. Did a bit of workout with the client too. Rode home with amazing music in the ears and luckily no traffic. Came home and took a nap of 2 hours and woke up and made a salad that is just mouth watering.

 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Should we swim against the flow to reach our goals???


Life is like a flowing river with ups and downs, curves and bends. We often hear the wise advising us to go with the flow. Well what is this flow? Should we just blindly follow the flow giving up on our goals, desires and even the instinct to survive ?

Goals are our aims or targets in life we wish to achieve. Some are smaller goals set for a month, week or day while others are long term goals say ten years down the line. Am not against having goals am just to realistic of the uncertainty of life where change is the only constant. So then what do we do ?

We make promises to people when we do not know for sure what will happen the very next minute. Yet when we make the promise the person promising and the person who receives the promise both believe they will fulfill it. So we do not know what will happen a few seconds later yet blindly shoot arrows hoping to hit the bulls eye hours, days, months or years later. 

Well then what should we do?

In life I firmly believe we need to find our calling. Something that we feel we would be eager to wake up to every morning. Something that no matter how many hours we spend on we could give it a few more hours. In today's rat race a child's future is sort of planned much before the child can spell the word PLANNED. Even if it is not planned we all need to earn our bread and butter and many times we end up with jobs we do not like but do it to make ends meet. Now we start hating the job, we start hating the situations that led us to this position. All this hate and fear brings a lot of negativity in to our life.This is where all the complications in our life begin. 

Life is worth living only if we have a passion that fuels the blood in our veins. Follow the passion with love and compassion but not with fanaticism. For with fanaticism we will be bound to get upset when things go sour. Just keep doing what your heart and mind enjoys and while doing so let the flow of life lead you to where you need to go. While following your passion you could have a normal 9 - 5 job even if you feel it saps the life out of your passion. It is a matter of creating your reality the way you envisage it. 

Life will punch you down but every time you get up the next punch feels softer than the one before. So get up but not with anger, hate or fear but with compassion in your heart and passion in your hands. We have the power within us to visualize the change we wish to see. Work with your heart even if you do not like the job you do. Well it is simple, you are stuck with it till you get something better so why grumble or detest it. Instead give it your best to the extent that there is not a chance to point a finger towards you. When you can do this though you do not like the job you will feel a sense of achievement and joy within which further energizes your passion in life.   

It is good to have goals as it helps get our priorities in order however when we get married to or fanatic about achieving the goals we tend to loose the actual point of why we wanted to achieve it. 

Have goals, have dreams, work towards them but do not get attached to them for we do not know what lies ahead and if we are attached we will swim against the current just to reach somewhere out of ego or pride, if we do reach there it will hold not much value to us any more.

It is okay to have dreams and never have them fulfilled or even have them shattered. Just accept the now and move towards the path you desire.

In life we can have dreams and if we keep believing in the dream being our reality and compound it with effort then it will surely become our reality . Where we go wrong is we do not just have dreams we get very precise about how, when, where etc should it become our reality.

When we go to a restaurant we see the menu and order what we desire to eat. Then we let the flow of life take its course and let the food reach our table. Do we get precise and ask that only a particular person should cook it and only a particular person should bring it to our table that too through a specific path? We do not. Similarly in life positively order your goal / dream and let life find the best way to get it to us.


No matter how fast flowing and rough the river of life is it has to calm down as it nears the ocean. So ride the rough like a roller coaster so that you can cherish the calm when it comes. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Jukaado is a martial art but Jukaado is a family first!!!

                                                   The Pool where we swim.

I have spent 95% of my life till date in the martial arts world. Have always been fond of the way Samurai Clans / families stood by the members in the clan like an extended family. When I started on my own with Jukaado, this is what I was aiming to achieve. I feel I have done pretty well in achieving it. How many martial art organizations are there today where students and instructor interact and train even outside the Dojo? How many martial art organizations train in fitness routines beside martial arts? Well there will be only a handful who do this. Yes many martial artists individually beside training at the Dojo may go for a swim or do weight training or cycle and so on but as an organization not many.

At Jukaado am always reachable for my students on anything they wish to discuss from training related to personal issues. Though we are all from various religions, backgrounds, belief systems etc we are all together like an extended family.

Jukaado does not only teach you martial arts it helps you grow physically, mentally and spiritually as a human being. We go to swim , jog, cycle, run marathons, triathlons, dine and lots more together. We have two professional runners who train at class and I usually wish them before their marathon run. Just some time back one of them called me after returning from a well run marathon. She said something that really made me feel the family bond is mutual with my students too. She said - I was waiting for your wishes before the marathon and if you had not messaged me by evening I would have surely asked you by night. Hearing this from a student really made me feel happy. I have students who are 10 -15 years older than me but the respect that they give me and the faith they show in my teaching humbles me every time. I went through a pretty testing last few months after tearing my ligament and my students have stood by me, encouraging me and even boosting my morale. Few months back one of our senior most student in age and training saw me doing lunges before class and there were few other students around, now I know a few lunges is not a strain to the legs in anyway but seeing me do them he too started and stopped after few counts and said - this is killer, normal person also can not do but you are doing it so well, you have recovered. Though I knew it was not an impossible exercise his words did boost my morale to quite some extent.

Am really happy that am part of such a nice group of people who come together to train and grow together.
              This is Jukaado!!!!!


My day - 

Saturday we had swam for an hour then had a very good class on Saturday evening. Sunday morning is usually the day we go cycling and was pleasantly surprised to see so many students turn up by 5:30am on a Sunday morning after a tiring Saturday evening class. We cycled 2 rounds totaling about 17kms. Felt really nice to have increased the distance, am recovering very well with every passing day. The cycling was followed by a hearty breakfast with all of them.

As always came home and took a good nap to recover faster. Woke up feeling much better. Had some getorade to help recovery. Getorade replenishes all the salts we loose during workout and prevents muscles from getting cramps due to  being drained of these salts. It does help if you wish to train twice a day.

Evening had a nice cup of lemon grass tea and started a 2 hour workout session. I like my workout sessions as they are long and extensive but you do not feel the intensity as I do not hurry through them. Slow and steady I end up training quite a lot in a relaxed manner. I prefer this to a rushed workout. Sometimes having a lot of workout within a restricted time frame is good as it works on the cardio content too.

Curds is also a very good natural food that is very important to a person who trains. Working out a lot not only strains your muscles but adds pressure to your internal organs too. Curds is one of the many foods that help maintaining good health of the internal organs like the stomach tract, kidneys, liver etc.

Knowing good martial artists online means having so many interesting videos popping up on your facebook wall or your you tube account. One does need an hour daily to watch all of the videos or read the nice articles / posts they put up. So will end the day with watching some martial art videos online with a big bowl of curds. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Rest, Detox, Recovery Day!!!!!



I think the most effort put in by me on the day of recovery was to make this picture. Finding different pictures resizing them and bringing them together in the circle of my day was fun. Recovery is a very important aspect for a person training in any form of fitness routine or sport or martial art. A body not well rested is only going to get injured. One has to decide their recovery time and nos of recovery days depending on their kind of workout, their fitness level, any existing injuries and so on. What may be a form of recovery for someone may actually be a complete workout for another. So there is no thumb rule one needs to seek guidance from a qualified instructor to get a proper recovery schedule.

My day -

Friday is my new recovery day so I slept till 7am. Though by default my body did wake up at 4am and I just went to sleep again. I believe in the term of active recovery where you change the routine workout with something less stressful and more relaxing say like yoga or a brisk walk to a super market that is a few kilometers away and walk back with groceries in your hands and so on. However since my knee is still in recovery mode I decided to take it very relaxed and just sleep and detox through the day. Had about 6 big mugs of green tea today and a lot of fruits and juices too. 

After my morning chores were done had a few fruits and slept again for a couple of hours. Today I had two personal training clients one during the day and one in the evening. To be honest I did train a bit with both of them. Was on my way back from my evening personal training client when I thought of catching up with one of my students who would be going in for a similar surgery as I did. It had been a few days since I heard from him or met him so just gave him a call and asked if he was free. This particular student has a very strong will power and was really showing so much improvement before the news of him needing surgery came to light. However I am not going to let him stop training. Once his surgery is done with and he is medically allowed to move around by Jukaado's official physio, I am going to make him train the way I did and slowly but surely get him back to training like before. I make a lot of sounds while training, they are more to do with Kiai or allowing Ki /Qi / Chi flow. Well this particular student does the same too out of instinct. Anyway since he was free we both went to have a nice shawarma with some Kokum juice. The strangest thing is I train everyday and the body feels fine, today I did not train but my back feels a bit strained while am typing this post. May be my body does not need recovery.

Sometimes when you are dedicated to teaching you end up not being able to meet social expectations even if you would like to go. Was invited by a friend for a dinner but since my training timings clashed with that I had to graciously express my inability to attend. However will make it a point to fix up another get together some other time. 

 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

H.B.C. cycle stand needs to maintain their cycles.


The Hyderabad Bicycle Club had started a cycle stand at necklace road, where anyone could come and hire very good branded cycles for a very nominal rent. It was something that I have appreciated as it is not only a service but even an attempt to get more people moving towards cycling or getting fit. I have been using the facility provided right from its inception. It has sort of become a routine to visit HBC with few students and cycle early in the morning. Sadly over the last 5 - 6 months the maintenance of the cycles seems to have gone down hill. Mr. Srinivas ( the gentleman who issues the cycles), the mechanic and the watchmen at the HBC cycle stand are all doing a very good job, they are always polite, courteous and try to resolve all issues to their best ability.  One needs to check the bike thoroughly if not you could be walking back after cycling a few kilometers. Some of the common issues are - broken gear dials, brake pads all scrapped over, handle bar rubber grip keeps sliding off, stand keeps coming down while riding, the chain is stuck to certain gears and if you change the gear it starts making rickety noises and does not work well,  etc

In the beginning there were very few takers for the cycles and yet they were maintained very well and nowadays even on a weekday like Thursday when all the the MTB's and Hybrid cycles got rented they are not being maintained well. In my opinion if HBC does not look into it and make sure the cycles are well maintained there is a very good chance of all the people who are coming to HBC to stop doing so.

 A wise man once said -  It takes years to get a customer but a second to loose one.   

My Day - 

Woke up at 4am and remembered it was cycling day today. Was feeling sleepy and was searching for excuses to go back to bed. Just crawled out of bed and got a message from George who was inquiring  what the training plan for today morning was. He agreed to come cycling and was nice to have some human company cycling. The necklace road is a wonderful stretch of road to cycle and jog on within the city. All good things seems to come with its downside though. One has to cycle through kamikaze mosquitoes who are really very big in size. I have come to terms with getting 5 -6 mosquitoes in my mouth every time I train there. Nothing like live protein while training. George did about 15kms while I had to do turn back a bit early due to the gears of the cycle being stuck and ended up doing 13kms. It was nice though, can feel my leg and knee healing and recovering well.

After getting home sat with a nice big mug of lemon grass tea and biscuits. Filled water in the bird bath and scattered some grain for them to chow down. Today I slept like a baby and woke up after almost 3 hours. Grabbed a bite and did a bit of workout. Cooking is something I enjoy doing it is my way of expressing my creativity and mood with various spices, vegetables, meats, herbs and so on.

Left home early so I could get an hour to flip tyres and do some rock pressing. Today the ground we train in was wet and slushy so shifted the class to the stage we usually use for ground work. The change in venue gave me an idea of  a workout for today. Tied few belts together and tied there ends to two poles across the stage. Made the students do a lot of weave and punch combinations along with lots of squats, push ups and various ab exercise combinations. Time seems to fly away really fast. Here I am typing this post at the end of the day and when I look back it seems like just a few hours back and not over 12 hours which it is.

Life is a clock which keeps ticking there is no way to go back and no way to rush ahead all we can do is utilize every tick of the clock well. 

Tick Tock, Tick Tock, Tick Tock.......................................