Thursday, March 31, 2011

Back to the Beginning with Training and Bloggin'

About three years ago, I started with the idea to have a training blog on I would chronicle my preparations for the 10th Annual International Chinese Martial Arts Championship. My goal was to try for the Southern Style Grand Championship and by sharing my progress, I would hopefully entertain, inspire and inform others while also keeping myself accountable.

I trained hard on my lunch breaks, doing multiple reps of my weapons sets and my empty-hand set. I still have scars on my hands from the iron rings I wore on my arms, to provide added weight to my arms when doing the forms. The rings gave me some hellacious blisters, but I was just too stupid to know when to quit. I also skipped lunch for several weeks, preferring to go to the college gymnasium and squeeze in a good training session.

But immediately following my return from a fantastic week of camping, hiking and rock climbing in California with my son, The Tsarevich, and
my father and step-mother, I got the axe from my job. Just another victim of cutbacks in higher education, they told me.

It took the wind out of my training. Knowing that I had only a limited time until my salary and benefits ran out, I decided to forego the tournament that year.

That was three years ago. I've continued training with a lot of the usual ups and downs, chronicling them here with you, my friends. I occasionally drifted off into other subjects, like the stupidity of taking guns to political rallies and Disney's purchase of Marvel Comics.

I also shared excerpts from my novel, "Taming the Tiger."

Lately, I haven't done much with this blog while I focus on illustrating "Taming the Tiger", as well as continue in my efforts to get my writing c
areer off the ground.

All that is in addition to some family struggles.

Well, my financial situation still sucks! I'm now focusing on hopefully going to grad school at the University of Tampa to get my Masters in Education degree. If I get accepted, I'm looking to start a new chapter in my life as a science teacher.

But despite my finances, despite all that I have going on, I'm looking to enter the 13th Annual International Chinese Martial Arts Championship in Orlando. I'm doing this because, based on what I've seen at other INCMA tournaments this year, there will be three events for Wing Chun practitioners: Wing Chun Hand Forms; Wing Chu
n Weapons; and Chi Sao.

I took 2nd place in Chi Sao in 2005. I've been wanting to go back and try for the gold for more than five years.

But now, I find that they have forms and weapons events for what is pretty much my core art. No matter what, I will go. Somehow, someway, God willing, I will go to that tournament and compete and win the Wing Chun events.

Of course, I'll also enter the Over-35 hand sets and weapon events, using Yau Kung Mun/Bak Mei Kung Fu sets. Hey, I didn't spend a shitload of money three years ago for a top-of-the-line kwan dao only to have it sit and collect rust!

Now comes the hard part. No, I'm not talking about training. That'll be a bitch, but that's not what's killing me.

No, it's the fundraising. I estimate it will cost roughly $300 to $350 for entry fees, transportation, a new Wing Chun pole, videotaping
fees and spectator admission for my family. I have been trying to sell off large parts of my personal library for no other reason than to make some room in my house.

But whether the government and the media want to admit it or not, we are in a depression. That stuff just ain't selling right now. And most of what I had that was worth any value, I sold to help pay for my son's adoption.

So as I return to this blog and some heavy training, I'm going to appeal to you, my friends and readers. I new I'd never get rich off of blogging, especially about something as personal as my own training and fitness regimen. That was nev
er my intent to make any money off of this.

So I very humbly ask you, my friends and readers, if I have said anything here in the past three years that entertained, informed or inspired you, if you feel you'd like to return the favor, to throw a little money in my hat via my paypal account at rsledig(insert symbol for "at" here)

In return, I will keep you all informed of my training progress. I will also let you all know how much I've collected and publicly thank anyone who does contribute on these pages. You will know how every cent you've contributed has been spent.

Also, if you are in the market for old comic books, LP's, rare books and paperbacks, keep checking here, too. I'll be linking to my eBa
y and Craigslist postings with great deals for collectors. And, if you happen to have any wish lists for old Marvel, DC or independent comics, email me at heykidscomics(insert symbol for "at" here)

Thanks for your support!