Martial Arts Videos

Recently, I collaborated with a friend to put together two martial arts videos. Mainly, I wanted to give videography a try. Having trained in martial arts for several years myself, I appreciate working with a Martial Arts World Champion. Check out these videos:

Bo Form

Wushu Form


Why I wish I learned French (and other languages)

In school, French is a mandatory course from grade three to grade ten. I never placed much importance to it and didn’t do as well as I should have. After completing the mandatory grade ten French class, I never pursued it.

As the years go by, I graduate, go to college, and finally land a job. I take on martial arts out of boredom and realize it’s a lot of fun and it helps me to relieve stress from work. I am immediately obsessed with it. I never thought it would be something I’d enjoy much less even try. I take on whatever I can including seminars and conventions.

The first convention I attend is in Quebec City. About 12 from my club attend and it turns out to be a fun weekend. My group immediately starts generating interests because there are so many girls who are attending. (I never thought of this before but there is a high male to female ratio. Yay, me!) Among the many people I meet are a few from France who could only speak French. Needless to say, I didn’t make a very good impression as I try to make a conversation, or lack thereof. We couldn’t communicate to each other.

Did this teach me a lesson to go out and get something from the library to learn French? No.

Annecy, France © Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Years later, I am still training at the same club and attending seminars and conventions. The next World Convention is in Annecy, France and I set out to go. My focus is more on martial arts than learning French. I feel lucky that my group knows the federation organizers well, some of whom are from Ontario, Canada and are in attendance at this convention. We get to hang out with them every now and then and it proves to be very helpful for those of us who don’t speak the language. Especially in the restaurant setting. I know basics like viandes, poulet and jambon. I find out gambas is shrimp and that’s what I order the second night in France. The week in France goes by with very little incidence with the exception of the one French man swearing, or at least yelling at us from afar as we take a trip around the lake on a motor boat. We did stick to our group as much as possible. Not fun if you’re the type of person who wants to do more exploring around the city and meet people. Someone from Welland, Ontario says that my show off roommate is not making a great impression on the french and they’re making fun of her.

Prior to me leaving this club to pursue other martial arts, there is a visitor staying at my club for a few days before heading to Ottawa. He comes from the host club in Annecy, France and only speaks French. I didn’t know this initially and asked my instructor who he is. Yes, he’s good looking and I try to speak to him. We somehow get the basics but someone in class helps me and others out by translating for us. I don’t know how I communicate it but I get his email and message him months later. Initially, I have this long-a** message in English and he doesn’t respond. Then someone tells me of free translations and that’s how I translate my messages before sending it to him. We are still friends today.

On another note, I join capoeira not too long after leaving the first club. Guess what? The music they use in their games must be sung in Portuguese. Most of us learn by listening. As I progress, I find that it gets more difficult because we also have to learn instruments, sing solos, and speak in Portuguese to help accommodate guests from Brazil when they come to teach. I feel like it’s a losing battle, and that’s not even learning the martial arts portion of it. I leave but will always and forever promote the style and the group I belong to.

As a child, I never learned my mother tongue and it is certainly a loss. I’ll always look and talk like a foreigner in my birth country. It is a tragedy. Not only that, being able to speak two or more languages can certainly create opportunities in the job market such as working for the government or working at the airport.

This picture below is of a roda (pr. hoda) which is a capoeira game.

Yonge & Dundas Square filled With onlookers as a capoeira game plays out. © Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Called Duo Kata, it is a set number of pre-planned moves that show the possibilities of how to engage in a fight. The man and woman are not competing against each other but work together to create this scene. The woman reacts to a very light kick. This competition took place in Annecy, France when I attended the convention.

Dual of the martial artists - Duo Kata is a team-style tournament

Published in: on September 8, 2011 at 7:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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