What to do… what to do….

This is one of those times where the blog is more for me… where I want to write something to help me think through it, to help me remember what I’m thinking. But if someone wants to comment, great.

I’ve got some things rolling around in my head. Trying to think about what to do.

Guns, specifically reloading

One gun thing that I’m not waffling about… I need to step back on my formal working and step up my informal working. That is, be it teaching classes or taking classes, I have to be selective and moderate here. I’ve been really diving into this because there’s so much I want to do, but it’s consuming too much time and I have to pull back. Because the flip side is, I have to get to the range more regularly. The trouble is going to the range is a massive time sink for me but you know… if the ONLY thing I can do is go to the local indoor range and do “abridged” work (e.g. can’t practice draw from concealment, but I can practice press-outs, I can practice 25 yard groups) well, so be it. Some live fire is better than none, and if my only recourse is the local indoor range well, so be it.

On the reloading front…. as you can see, I’m getting back on the ball with .38 Special. If I keep up with it, even if I slack off a day or two here and there, it should be done by the end of the month. So… rifle time. But, what? .223? 6.8? .308?

I recall when I did rifle last time (which was my first time ever with rifle reloading), I had a dog of a time and it just wasn’t happening. Why? Potentially numerous factors, but too difficult and costly (time and money) to nail down. But my thinking then was to just load cheap 55 grain .223 FMJ’s using well-establish recipes and see how that did. Work out any bugs in technique or gun issues or whatever, then go back to serious loads (e.g. hunting stuff). Since that time I’ve gotten into 6.8 SPC and really want to reload for that… but the main reason there? Because I want to use those Barnes 6.8 SPC 95 grain TTSX’s, which you can’t get in a factory load. The thing is tho, reloading 6.8 is just costly, period. Even trying to do “cheap plinking loads” isn’t cheap. And for whatever reason, a few days ago I got some itch to do .308.

Yes. My present leaning is to do .308 Win. Why? I’m not really sure, but I think it’s because .308 is such a great caliber and well.. it’d be cool to do something beefy. 🙂  It’s kinda hard to do .308 wrong… so many people just say “yeah… 45 grains of Varget or 4895 and you’re good to go”. I’ve got a bunch of 147 grain FMJBT’s from Dock, I’ve got powder, I’ve got primers, I’ve got cases, I’ve got dies and shell holders and everything you need. Why not? My thinking? The new range up north has really long yardage. I’ve been toying with the idea of an elk hunt with my Dad. If I want to do that? I probably should be able to ring the gong on demand out to 500 yards. So… working up a .308 plinking load would be in my best interest. And once I can ring the gong like that, then get some Barnes 168 grain TTSX (or maybe 180 grain, if my rifle can handle it) and make a hunting load.

So I don’t know. I may well change my mind again. But I picked up 1000 CCI #200 large rifle primers today, and my present leaning is .308 Win, just cuz. 🙂

Empty Hand Martial Arts

I stopped Kuk Sool practice for 2 main reasons: tired of the political bullshit and greed, tired of the lame-ass training approach. The art is sound, and while it has things I don’t care about (e.g. sword), it’s rather solid in its foundations so long as it’s taught and trained in a practical way.

That’s part of why I went to Kali, Silat, Muay Thai, JKD, boxing: practicalness. I wanted to focus (thus why I didn’t add BJJ to the mix), I wanted more practical, where people did spar and go to town. Where a takedown was performed and you went to the mat because you were put there, not because you said “ok, and now I cooperatively fall to the ground”. The only real reason I stopped this was a practical one: just couldn’t make classes.

So I’ve been out of the formal mix for some months and want to get back to it. I have been thinking about Aikido and even paid a brief visit to a local dojo. Been talking to an old friend about it, reading up. And while there’s something about Aikido that interests me, for some reason I just can’t pull the trigger on it. Yes the philosophical notions are interesting to me to explore, but they conflict with my own philosophy. Furthermore, let’s just be frank — I like hitting things. 🙂  There’s really no striking in Aikido (yes there is atemi, but certainly nothing like say Muay Thai). Plus you have to find the right school, because Aikido spans so much and risks being watered down and too new-agey-touchy-feely; old-school Aikido I could be cool with.

So I found this one school, “Martial Arts Center of Austin“. I know the location and well, while the website doesn’t strictly say, I know that was Brian Duffy‘s place. Brian Duffy’s a legit guy in the world of Ed Parker’s American Kenpo. I even recall my old Kuk Sool teacher, Dewain Perry, telling me how he and guys from Duffy’s school would get together and full-contact spar all the time, only having to stop because they were getting too hurt from going too rough (they liked to “go”). 🙂 Thing is, last few times I drove by that place I don’t think I saw Duffy’s name on it. And if you look at this MACA website, they are really devoid of any idea of who is running the place… no instructor names, no instructor bios. But I do see Kenpo on the schedule. The schedule tho… it’s got a ton of stuff, seems an eclectic place. Not 100% sure what to make of it. Then over here, this guy reviews all the Aikido-related places around Austin and spoke highly of MACA. I’m not sure what to make of the place

But the real kicker? Watching the videos of that school rekindled a desire for particular training. Yeah, I kinda like traditional arts, formal but not uptight. In the end, the body only moves in so many ways, and heck, if we want to talk about Aikijujitsu lineages then Kuk Sool eventually falls from that tree (look at the Hapkido bridge). So really, what’s the difference?  I have had thoughts about rejoining Kuk Sool, because I didn’t get to leave it under the circumstances I wanted to. Especially now that Master Lee has broken off from WKSA gosh… he’s a great guy, worthy of respect because of who he is, not what he is. I know if I joined up that way, there’d be no real political b.s. to have to deal with. But what about training? As much as I love Master Les and know HE can be a pretty hardcore guy, the way he runs his school is very family oriented and NOT hardcore at all.

While out shopping I ran into an old training buddy, Ricky. We got our 1st degree black belts together, and were testing together for 2nd, so we were “classmates”. Of course, I left, but he stayed on because it’s been his dream to have his own school. Well, when Master Lee broke off, he did too, and started his own school. Running into him today was purely by chance, but it was really cool to see him and his wife and talk about things. He extended an open invitation for me to work out at his school any time and I may just take him up on it…. dust off the dobok and see how much I’ve forgotten. 😉  The cool thing? Talking to Ricky about how they train there. They are of similar philosophy to me, which is good. But also slightly different, for Ricky and the old school stable of friends well… they’re all at least 10 years younger and me and with slightly different motivations and goals than I have (e.g. I just can’t do the gymnastics they like doing). Will it mesh? Will it work? I’m not sure. Plus, could I have the long-term growth that I want? The freedom to explore and work “outside the box”? I’m not sure. But that this happened is good as it gives me more options.

So I don’t know. There’s a lot swirling around and perhaps there’s a reason I haven’t been able to pull the trigger on things. That I bumped into Ricky was odd, but perhaps part of the bigger picture. Don’t know, we’ll see.

But I think I might dust off my dobok and see how much I remember. 🙂

6 thoughts on “What to do… what to do….

  1. Shooting practice, I drug out the airsoft again and am practicing with it because I haven’t gotten the range time I want. Lat weekend went and did some shooting and hated the results. Have a post coming about it.

    • I’ve thought about doing that too. Just wish I could find an Airsoft gun with similar ergonomics to the carry gun. Any recommendations there?

  2. It’s times like this I enjoy having my own private range. 5 minute drive, shoot what I want, when I want, and practice ALL the skills I’ve learned, no worries about rules, regs, or membership fees.

    I’ve been looking into taking some kind of martials arts, for the obvious reason of it’d be very practical and beneficial for me to have, but there is a distinct lack of choices around where I live. You’ve got karate, which is 99.9999999% little kids, the mixed martial arts version of Brazilian Ju Jitsu, and the occasional Judo class, which is usually once a month.

    • It’s why I want my own land in the country. *sigh*

      Judo wouldn’t be a bad thing for your line of work. Or really, MMA stuff would be good too if you’ve got a good school. But I often say, it’s not the art, it’s the teacher and the training. For all the modern bad-assery about MMA, if you’ve got a crappy teacher and pansy sparring partners, you’ll never succeed. But going to some McDojo Taekwondo place that has an awesome teacher and people that are willing to “go”, you can get a lot more miles out of that by comparison.

      Heck, if the Judo place is once a month, how do people practice? Do the students get together on their own and train together? That could be alright.

  3. Did you ever wind up taking any Aikido? A lot of the locks are very similar to Kuk Sool, but it looks like they have much more complicated footwork, with more direction changes. I’m getting tired of Kuk Sool (5 tests into 1st Dan), and am looking to take something else for a while, wondering if Aikido would build on Kuk Sool or not.

    • No, never did take any Aikido.

      I totally understand how you’re getting tired of Kuk Sool. Been there myself. I will say, being as close as you are, it might be good to stick with it. The brass ring (well, black belt) is within reach and it’ll be nice to have it since you’ve already invested so much to get this far. But on the same token, don’t be afraid to walk away if you’re truly sick of it. I was close to getting my 2nd degree black belt and walked away because I had enough. Sometimes I wish I had finished it out, but another year of the bullshit was too much to take. Tho I have thought about joining up with a splinter group, like Master Byung In Lee’s “Mu Sool Won” group, because Master Lee is a good man and wasn’t one for WKSA’s b.s..

      Should you take Aikido? No question all the “soo” that comes in the KS underbelt curriculum lays a good foundation. Ki Bohn Soo, when you really understand what it teaches, is really good stuff. That’s the thing.. Kuk Sool as an art is really solid and good. It’s just the way it’s taught now, the business, the politics, the drama… it’s taken so much away from what’s really in the art.

      But where to go really depends upon what your personal goals are. Me, I was never into demos and gymnastics and more esoteric stuff. I was interested in fitness (which Kuk Sool is VERY good for) and in self-defense. That’s why I turned to more straight-up arts like Kali and boxing. I’m actually on hiatus from martial arts right now due to practical matters (lack of time), so my fitness right now is around weightlifting and strength building (see other blog posts). But if I had the time, I’d be studying Pekiti Tirsia Kali under Tuhon Leslie Buck. For me, that sort of combatives and the sound logic behind FMA really fits MY goals.

      So ask yourself, what are your goals? What are you wanting?

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