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    « It's On Its Way! | Main | No, I'm not Dead »

    Of Purple Belts and Finer Things

    In my last post I detailed the innards of the belt testing I was set to experience.  I'm pleased to report that I and the rest of my family (well, my wife and 2 boys, anyway.  The girls weren't taking karate at the time) were successful in passing our belt tests in Isshinryu Karate.

    Belt progressions, for reference sake, are as follows: White (beginner), Yellow, Orange, Blue, Green, Purple, Brown, Brown w/ black stripe(s), and Black. 

    Silas was promoted from Orange to Blue.  Alice and Daniel both skipped Blue belt, going from Orange to Green.  I skipped Green and went from Blue to Purple - which is ironic because that was the color of much of my skin after the test.

    Belt tests can be brutal, especially once you hit the higher ranks.  Purple belt was pretty hard (but I think Sensei might have felt nice and cut my kumite session a little short), but my next test is going to be the real test of my fortitude.  When I test for my Brown belt, a goal I have for September this year, there's little or no holding back on anything.  I'll need to know 6 empty-hand kata (pre-arranged fighting sequences), a bo (long staff) kata, history of Isshinryu, falls and rolls, 15 upper-body basics, 9 kicks, and about 30 minutes of kumite (sparring).  Since my Purple belt test took right at an hour, I figure I'll add at least 20 minutes to that to accomodate the additional kumite.

    I need to be in peak physical condition by then.

    Which brings me to my next thought.  I'm not much to buy into what I see on TV, particularly where infomercials are concerned.  I freely admit that I am an infomercial junkie.  Most of the time I love to pick on the various claims in the commercials (see my Body Shaper review), but every once in a while I see something that piques my interest.

    In the next few weeks we're going to get ahold of the DVD program for Shaun T's Insanity.  Insanity is a 60-day fitness program that is designed to help participants rid their bodies of that last little bit of stubborn body fat.  I have NEVER, even when I was trying like mad to do it, been able to get rid of love handles and that little roll of fat that circles my body at the equator (right at belly button level).  My HIIT sessions and other work either aren't intense enough or they aren't hitting my body as hard as they used to.

    So, once I get and start this program (Alice is doing it with me - yee-haw!), I'll give you a day-by-day run down of it here at  I figure we'll get the program in early April, which will see us finishing the program in late May or early June depending on shipping time.  I expect it will be one of the more comprehensive reviews of the program out there.


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