Category Archives: challenges

whether it is a family member, a friend, or a stranger, if a good challenge is presented before me i will give it my all to accomplish it!


I had hoped to receive a few major scholarships but I have actually lost one that I have had for the last 3 years.  Thankfully I have my 2 part-time jobs and I’m getting decent hours.

I have decided against a home-stay since I will only be in Japan for one semester and the time spent commuting back and forth to campus would be draining and I think I would miss out on a lot of opportunities.  I look forward to meeting and getting to know the people from around the world in the Seminar houses of KGU.  I still have so many unknown factors that will play into this but I am a cup half full kind of guy and I like to think that everything will work out in the end, especially if you have put everything you could into making it work.

As a Martial Artist I have been considering joining a martial arts club or circle at Kansai Gaidai.  A club is very different at KGU than it is at UMass.  I have heard that clubs in Japan are more like the USA university varsity teams as they have 3 hour practices, 6 days a week.  While “circles” in Japan are more like our clubs, meeting up several times a week but not as often or as intensely as the clubs do.

I am also concerned with my Japanese levels as I think that my listening and comprehension skills are the most lacking, I will likely need that the most.  Who know’s, one step at a time.


Study Abroad: Japan

I just received my Official Certificate of Eligibility for study abroad in Japan at Kansai Gaidai University (関西外国語大学).  This is the third time I am trying to study abroad in college and so far something has come up or changed to make it so I was unable to go.  At the moment I have several challenges in front of me before I can call this definite but I have put everything on the line for this to work. I have purchased round trip plane tickets through United Airlines, I have withdrawn from my UMass dorm, been removed from UMass courses, and there is no turning back now.  I am so happy that I am actually following through with this, but it is not without it’s risks.

realization and desire; my plan

When I was 4 years old I started training in TaeKwonDo in Florida.  I continued for several years, entering in dozens of competitions along the way, traveling, meeting new people, and having amazing experiences.  Then I moved to NH and went a few years before I felt a longing to get back into the martial arts world.  I then moved to Kajukenpo and Pai lum kung fu, training in those styles for a few years and then injured myself, bringing my training to a sudden halt for about 2 years. Then switching back to Taekwondo after I had healed enough to train and getting my car so I could drive myself longer distances without relying on my parents. Once I entered college I continued practicing TaeKwonDo more and more and eventually entered my first collegiate competition.

Let’s just say it wasn’t my best set of results.  But at the same time I loved it, it didn’t matter if I had won or lost, it was about pushing myself and seeing what I was capable of, as well as what others were capable of.  From there I could see just how much work I needed to do to compete at their levels.  I was having an amazing time while balancing coursework, a part time job, friends, and TKD.  At the second competition I was leaner, faster, stronger, and smarter in the ways of competition fighting.  I still had a long way to go before I would be able to compete with the highest ranking competitors from universities and colleges like Harvard, MIT, NYU, UCLA and more, but I was starting to hold my own. Saddly that was my last competition at the collegiate level since, I just finished my Junior year in college and I have recently come into contact with the people I had trained under as well as the people I trained with in Florida as a small kid.

Since talking with everyone I have realized that I could do so much more, push myself so much farther, but only if I was the one who truly wanted to, if I was going to push, if I was going to dedicate my whole self into this.  There is no changing the past, and no use in wishing you had done something differently, there is only now, and the future that can be changed, but I will not let go of my past.

I have decided to dedicate myself to training every day in order to compete on the national level for TaeKwonDo.  I will not, cannot, slack off.  I will eat healthier,   go distance running, body-weight train, possibly weight-train, bike to and from work (6 or so miles each way), and most importantly I will practice TaeKwonDo every day.

My goals to reach are as follows;

-win a local TKD Tournament

-run a 5K

-be in great health/ shape

-compete in nationals

-maybe more to come later

This will not be easy and I will not pretend that it will be.  Yet that does not change the fact that I will give this everything I have.

Monster Marketing project; best thing ever

When I first heard that I would be randomly paired with 4 other random people to form a marketing team to increase market share for an undisclosed brand, I was not very happy to say the least.  I was expecting to team up with 4 others that I signed up for the class with to create a powerhouse of skills.  Things never turn out how you expect them to I guess.  I was at least hoping to get a mixed group of men and women to have a wide range of opinions, backgrounds, and so on to give our project the best angles possible.

Again I was thrown for a loop getting 4 other guys; I was stating to see a pattern here…

Either way that was how it would be and we set to work and before we knew it, we had all become friends, and jad developed a solid marketing plan.
Along with the planning of our marketing plan, I was to do a portion of the background research ( easy enough) and then make a professional level poster (uhhh) , then film (oh boy) and edit (even worse) 2 videos, one a viral vid and another a commercial styled.  Both to be put on Youtube and other media/ social media sources. . .

I had no experience or knowledge of how to do any of that, but I had the HD camera, and the never before used Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended on my PC laptop.  I then put in about 20 to 40  hours over the course of 3 days teaching myself how to use all the programs necessary to do the basics, and then going through trial and error for everything else.

I was amazed to have found something that even stumped google and youtube.  Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended has a lesser known secret, it can edit video.  As such I searched and searched and could find no answers to my editing dilemmas dealing with all sorts of problems, yet eventually figured it out.

With the combined efforts my group put together a killer presentation and came out with one of  the best grade in the class at 101% when the average grade was 80%-85%.

This experience really showed me how much doing something I enjoyed changed how I work, not to mention that with a positive attitude things that don’t go how you expected them too can work in your favor.  I am also pretty skilled at Adobe Photoshop and the poster above is an example of what I have created.

Any thoughts?


Insanity Day 5: cardio cardio cardio (pure cardio)

Today was a definite sweat you butt off day.  We started out with the usual warm-up and jumped right into a full body pusher.

Oddly enough it seems th

at the simplest of the drills are the hardest, probably since there is such a short time of span between each rep.  Either way I think I have decided upon a favorite drill so far in the Insanity Workout collection, The Mummy kicks.  This one is tough but simple and drains my arms more than anything else.

This week the abdominal workout was not included but I think it starts with the next session.
I have started to consider if my meals are the best for my goals, but as a college student I am relying on what is available from the dinning commons, for the most part, and locally in town on special occasions.  Soooooo that can be anywhere from a great balanced meal to a meat lovers pizza… not the best in consistency I think haha.  Then again before this I was only working out 2 days a week and now I am doing 6 so we will see if that is enough to make a significant difference or not.Tomorrow is the last day of our training before a rest day and I’m not sure whether I should be worried or excited to see what’s in store for us.

Insanity Day 4: Carido Recovery was great ;)

So far today was the most relaxed of the workouts Insanity  has thrown at us.  The easiest way to describe the workout would be power yoga and feel the legs burn!

This was unexpected but a great surprise.  It worked out our core, legs, gluts,  and more.  This is my favorite so far since it is straightforward, yet still very effective.  It was not as completely draining and exhausting as the other days, but it still made me sweat and have to push myself.

It seems that everyone was doing better today, not as beat and sore before the workout, and had a lot more energy to offer.  The focus on slower movements was a blessing for 2 of my friends that had eaten just before showing up…I thought they would lose their food by the end of the 10th minute, but the change-up saved them 😉

Insanity Day 3 complete…ouch

Today marked Day 3 of my Insanity Challenge, and all I have to say is …OUCH!
my legs more than anything else are truly sore.  This is pretty ironic seeing as I study a few forms of martial arts and one of them focuses specifically on the legs.  I can really feel an intense streeeeetch if I do a squat.  So far I don’t feel much in my abs, but it i

s there just a little bit saying hello.

Today’s workout was pretty intense and left me weak and exhausted by the time it had finished.  That’s exactly what I want!  I know I dread heading over to the workout zone of a lounge or basement in one of the dorms, moving furniture out of the way, then starting the insanity workout but I can already FEEL that a progress is being made (and I’ve only just begun).

I’m hoping that by day 15 I will be able to make it through every workout without needing to stop to catch my breath or such.

I can tell that I will need a lot of support from my 3 other friends that are doing this challenge with me.  especially since I love to take naps so my usual allotted time for a nap is being handed over to Insanity craze camp.

I’m considering putting up photos of before and after… but I think I will only do that at the VERY end which is day 60 or so.  Any thoughts?


INSANTIY workout Challenge, Accepted !!!

I found out last week that my friends were ordering the Insanity workout set.  For those of you that do not know wha

t that is, it is basically P90X without weights, it is a high cardio and body-weight based daily workout regimen.  It goes on for 60 days and if you complete it you are sure to gain at least cardio abilities if not a lot more.

I started yesterday with 3 of my friends of varying physical abilities and we have agreed to continue to motivate eachother and to push as hard as we can.

let’s see just how much we can do!

Challenges Update: ~April 7, 2011(#2)

So the latest news in the challenges goes as follows;

-NO  UNNECESSARY SUGAR so far everything seems to be moving pretty well, i fought off tasty looking pastries in the morning and pretended to not see candy in the afternoon, does cereal count?? im going to count it, unless it is actually healthy cereal of course?

-SPLITS: stretched the splits today(April 6th) without the machine, going to use it on the 7th…  its past midnight so i don’t think i can count it even if i do it now.

SPECIAL WORKOUT PLAN- today:accomplished! tomorrow: we will do it!!!!

Well that’s the update so far, see ya!

Challenges :UPDATE

sorry for disappearing for a while.  College exams took over the last month of my life.  I have been concentrating on all that and I haven’t posted in a while.

All of the Challenges were put on hold.  I am officially starting up the challenges again.

That includes :

-No sugar


and I will actually be starting another more soon, having to do with a daily workout focusing on core, upper, lower, and slow motion leg movement improvement.