Days at DB #4

wrestling mat

wrestling mat

Its been almost two months now since we’ve been training at DB! how time flies! It’s been getting more and more comfortable training at the DB during the past two months. I seem to have a routine down in terms of commuting to the place.

On Mondays and Fridays when i set out from my house, I’ve gotten used to biking from downtown Berkeley to Oakland water front. It’s a half hour ride and seems long for me just to get to some place because it’s not “going on a great bike ride.” But I’m very used to it now. The route is very flat so the only thing it takes is keep pedaling (and not get hit). I’ve been singing songs just to pass time on the bike. Sorry, this might make some people angry, but I bike because I need to get to  places, not because it’s fun. The song “As Long As You Love Me” by Justin Beiber seems to come up a lot when I’m biking to DB, maybe because its very repetitive, and silly romantic. I like silly romantic!

On Wednesdays when i have to get there from BART after work, the walk doesn’t seem so long anymore. It’s a nice breather after sitting in the office all day.

taking bart home

taking bart home

We’ve got some more mats, shelves, a mirror and a clock. We even got a smart phone stand for our phone because we’re using an app for the training bell. Someone donated a heavy bag. We haven’t hung it up yet because it’d take a little bit of construction to install but we’ve been having a lot of fun with it. There’s so much you can do with a heavy bag that is not even hung its amazing!

adding shelves and storage boxes

adding shelves and storage boxes

putting together push up bar

putting together push up bar

do everything with my own hands

do everything with my own hands

putting together a small shelf

putting together a small shelf

shelf for smart phone

for dirty feet from dirty floor

for dirty feet from dirty floor

view from 2nd floor of the warehouse

view from 2nd floor of the warehouse

our new (old) heavy bag

our new (old) heavy bag

I find that I’m often in a weird mental space after I practice. I feel tired and hyper at the same time, and become very chatty. I dont’t think I’m the only one and maybe that’s why sometimes we stay and chat with each other for a while. What’s really cool about having a space of our own is that no one would kick us out. Heck, we can sleep there if we want!

The most important thing that I had experienced after having our own space, besides all the fun, is the freedom from any kind of authority. Everyone knows something but nobody is the grandmaster, nobody is god. We’re all just learning, and this learning is endless. I might be missing something that could be taught to me by some grandmaster, but everything i do figure out on my own is priceless, something i truly understand and will never forget. It is an amazing feeling I hope to get from all aspects of my life.

Anyways, everything is going well, and it has been a fantastic summer so far :D

Days at DB #3

Tada! Guess what I got today? My new roller skates!

new roller skates

To reduce the pain, or rather, make more fun, the 5-6 blocks of walking to and from Bart to DB, I purchased them hoping that it will make the commute faster. They’re actually pretty heavy to carry, but they’re really fun and look super cute. Of course, I tried them out on the streets and almost fell down a million times because last time I did this I was like, 12 years old, in Taiwan XD

But I managed to make it to DB without breaking my neck today, and we did tai chi and BJJ (what a combination.) By the way that belt belongs to my friend. What’s my BJJ belt level? Well, let’s just say, if there’s a transparent belt, that’d be where I’m at now. I had a ton of fun and learned a ton of stuff!

BJJ roller skate

Days at DB #2

Today was the first official day of training! We did conditioning, and then some drills. The band next door was practicing african dance music, it was quite good actually, and we were dancing between rounds. Maybe that’s why it was such a great workout! More mats came, now it looks more and more like a gym!

mats

There were more people today, so we broke out another pair of new pads. Brand spanking new pads = pain!

brand new thai pads

And I got my set of keys! I’m a part owner of our space @ o @

keys to our space

Days at DB #1

My martial arts school is going to be closed for a while, so a bunch of girl friends and I rented a place of our own where we can still practice with each other. This is the first time which I practice martial arts without someone like a “sensei,” so I’m hoping to record some of the journey as we go along, and this is what Days at DB series is about.

So what’s DB? Well, that’s our group name, that’s all I’m gonna tell for now XD

I felt a lot more grounded after we found a place. We looked at many crazy and unsuitable places, and I realized that at this day and age land is still a powerful resource. Some of the places we visited include someone’s small garage space on a sloping hill, an area in a gigantic former foundry where there’s nails and other metal parts on the floor, a very expensive office space right out of Bart which we can’t afford, and this more organized warehouse space, which we eventually got.

The place needed a good cleaning before we can do anything in there. I took a shower after I came home, and my boogers were black! It was really incredibly dusty. But we had a lot of fun and took a lot of pictures.

At the space cleaning

The second time we came for some training. Punching on pads makes an super echoey loud sound in this small enclosed chamber. The freight elevator outside makes a cranky noise that sounds like someone’s knocking on the wall. The music band was having a party next door so we were training to some kind of groovy reggae tunes. It was very strange and very funny at the same time. I didn’t wear any shoes but my feet seem to have adapted to training on concrete floor that is not quite completely polished.

Today is the third time and we trained on the small 8′ x 8′ mat that we’ve got so far (more is being delievered). My glass tea jar slipped out of my bag and broke instantly after it touched the concrete floor, I felt very sad to have to throw out my Osmanthus Oolong before I even began training. But I soon forgot about the episode after we started rolling around!

Broken Tea Jar

It’s about 5 blocks of walking from my house to Bart, and from Bart to this place, which isn’t a big deal, but in fact, it adds up travel time, AND…when I’m about to be late for a class, 5 blocks is too much, and when I’m tired and it’s dark after class, in Oakland, 5 blocks is also too much. So I’ve been wondering how I can reduce the pain of the 5 blocks.

I’ll show you in the next post! Stay tuned!