Yo, I haven't posted here in a while because I've been busy getting settled into San Jose — tomorrow will mark a month (!) since I arrived.

Anyway, the apartment that I share with my girlfriend is pretty sweet. It's downtown and within walking distance of pretty much everything important, i.e. the bars and approximately 553 taquerias. It's also above a dojo (a martial arts gym), and the dojo teacher, who is also our landlord, lets us train for free.

This was a big deal for my girlfriend because she has an advanced belt in tae kwon do, but she hadn't really practiced in a year and was starting to feel depressed and out of shape, as one does. Naturally, she was ecstatic when she locked down the apartment.

Anyway, before I came out here she kept talking about us training together, and I was like yeah, okay. Then I came out here, and she started bugging me about going to class. And then I finally caved (after a week of being here) when our teacher started bugging me too.

So, I went to class, and I've been getting my ass kicked four times a week since then.

Advertisement

I'm 26, and I've never ever done martial arts in my life, although my girlfriend tried to teach me the fundamentals of tae kwon do at one point and failed miserably. It's been quite the learning curve here.

As far as I can tell, the techniques I've been learning are a mish-mash of moves from boxing, traditional Vietnamese martial arts and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Our teacher (who is also our landlord, did I mention that?) is kind of scary in a I know he could kill me with his bare hands sort of way; his father is some sort of Vietnamese martial arts grandmaster and I guess kind of a big deal in that community. (Side note: I've tried to find info about my teacher's dad, but there is like nothing out there about him in English.) Anyway, I guess my teacher learned from his father, and now he's trying to teach what he knows to whomever is willing.

The only thing I seem to be good at so far is boxing — yesterday I was practicing with my girlfriend, and my teacher had to tell me to stop punching at her so hard. My favorite thing to work on is bo staff techniques, although that has been going painfully slowly.

Advertisement

Class is difficult, and my teacher is total hardass (I could probably write a whole post about him), but it's I guess it's already paying off because I've been losing weight, which I've been wanting (needing) to do forever. It's also nice to know that if, god forbid, someone were to grab me on the street, I have some sort of idea of how to fend them off effectively (my teacher is really big on self-defense scenarios).

TL;DR I moved to San Jose and started getting my ass whipped in a dojo.