Flying Maple MartialGym Society

Archive for October, 2009

Calpis Cup – we came 2nd!

by on Oct.22, 2009, under News

The team came 2nd at Calpis Cup! Thanks to everybody for voting and supporting!

Calpis is a soda company from Japan. I believe this is the second year they have this contest. There contest have two categories: 1) Men’s rhythmic gymnastics category 2) Open category where anything goes. All teams submitted their videos in early July. Judging is like “U think you can dance” by popularity. The voting was cut off October 15th. We are the only international submission.

Our team have both boys and girls. None of them have any bodysuit either. So we participated in the open category without any expectations. Team members include: Darryl, Derrick, Tristan, Ethan, Daniel, Gabriel, Kaitlin, Natalie, Precious and James.

Kazuya and me did the coaching and choreography. It was challenging and yet fun. There were concepts and elements that we had experimented long time ago and there were elements that the kids learn over a few classes. The routine itself was done over one Saturday morning. When we try to videotape the routine, my battery ran out. We were lucky that Miyuki had a camcorder in her bag! After the first taping, we wanted to improve on it but her battery again died out in the 2nd try. So what was submitted was all from the first taping.

In case you haven’t yet seen the video, here is it on YouTube!

Congratulations to all and 2010 will be awesome!


特別賞 Martial Gym (カナダ)


◎特別協賛社 カルピス会社 より

カナダからのエントリーには、それだけで非常にうれしい 限 りです。チームの皆さまそれぞれが伸び伸びしたはじけっぷり の演技で、見る人に感動を与えてくれたと思います。国境を越 えての大会へのご参加、本当にありがとうございました。これ からも一緒に新体操を盛り上げていって下さい。


Unoffficial translation (courtesy of the Milling family)

Special entry Martial Gym (Canada)

Average energy score: 4.39 (5.00 perfect score)

*from sponsor corporation Calpis

It’s delightful to receive an entry from Canada!

This team’s energy bursts forth throughout their performance, and is full of emotion.  Thank you for expanding our borders and for participating in our competition!  Please continue uplifting rhythmic gymnastics!

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Immediate care to ankle injuries

by on Oct.17, 2009, under Injuries

Ankle sprains are the most annoying and most common injury to athletes. Most of the time, we roll our ankles, and we sit down or shake it out until the pain goes away. Well, here are a few tips to make sure that it heals ASAP and it doesn’t linger on.

Tip #1 – ICE!ice_cubeThe faster you get the ice around your ankle, the less swelling there will be. Keep it on for 20 minutes, and then take at least an hour break before you ice it again. Otherwise, your body thinks that it’s going through hypothermia and it will try and send more blood to the area (which is exactly the thing that you’re trying to avoid by icing!). Repeat multiple times a day.

Tip #2 – ELEVATE!elevateWhile you’re icing, keep your foot above the level of your heart. That way any blood that is trying to pool in your foot has the help of gravity to move it back up towards the heart. During the first 48 hours of your injury, try and keep the foot above the level of the heart as much as possible. Doesn’t mean you have to sit in class with your leg on your desk (especially if you’re in a skirt, ladies!). Only when reasonable =p

Tip #3 – MOVE IT!moveitAs soon as possible, start pointing your toe, flexing your foot, and circling it around. When you injure your ankle, your body’s reaction is to make sure that it can’t happen again. And it does this by trying to prevent you from moving it. That means that your ligaments and tendons all seize up to make sure you can’t hurt it again. Good for the body…bad for the sport. So start moving your foot gently and slowly in a pain-free range of motion as soon as you can.

Well, that’s it for now! Until next time, peeps 😉

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Training – number of hours

by on Oct.17, 2009, under Training Tips

What is optimal is highly individualized. It depends on personal goals, age, fitness level of the athlete, where the training fit within training cycle/plan, effectiveness of a specific training method affects. The advancement of sport sciences give us insights on what works (as well as what doesn’t). Even with that knowledge, coaches have to recognize that every athlete is different and fine tune training plans accordingly.

Goals – some athlete are involved because they enjoy the social interaction, the traveling and the joy of discovery and learning. Some come to training for fitness and others really want to win. Obviously, someone who needs to qualify for the Olympics within the next 12 months trains different than others. Knowing your own body, understanding  your personal goals and while maintaining realistic short-term steps are all key to realizing your goals.

Age – exposing kids to different sports at a young age opens them to an enriched movement vocabulary. This will ultimately give a child an advantage in life. Every sport have their own little strengths as well as shortcomings. Diversity at an early age minimizes such issues. Gymnastics is regarded as one of the foundations of all sports – gymnastics enables and prepares a child for other movement patterns and sports including snowboarding, skating, dancing, wushu, Mixed Martial Arts, etc.

Physical Fitness level –  it takes time to build your body to an elite level of performance – a ‘light’ training day for a marathoner is still too much running for most. Strength, flexibility, good neural muscular control all serve to enable new skills and offers better protection of an athlete. After injuries, one common mistake is to assume the body condition is still at the point right before the injury – it is NOT and you must ease yourself back into your regular training or you will risk re-injury. Athletes that condition on a regular basis will find that their body can train harder as well as recover faster! So, do get into a habit of doing daily conditioning exercises.

Training cycle – both coach and athletes need mental / physical breaks at scheduled time to avoid burn outs. These ‘rest periods’ are planned into any successful sports program. Our training season starts in the fall and we start by building up our strength fitness level and master new skills and then slowly perfect the skills as the season goes until it is ready for competition/performance. During the summer months, our planned time-off provides an opportunity for rest and recovery. Complementary activities like swimming / cycling and other fun stuff can help build the athlete in aspects not adequately covered by a specific sport. Less intensive but active fun classes are also planned into every  training month. High level athletes train more than 3 hours everyday (20+ hours per week). Some even have ‘power naps’ in the day to help increase productivity.

Resources – not every family can afford 5 days of training (i.e. time and money). However, given each of the unique situations, there are always ways to improve on certain aspects of training so that we can achieve more within the given resources. A simple example is to encourage every gymnast to do their own baseline conditioning at home, then they can have more time for skills and other fun stuff during class.

Time is indeed one of the quantitative measurements of training. Research shows that it takes close to a 10000 hours of quality training to achieve an international level of performance. Therefore, increasing training from once a week to twice a week is a 100% increase in training time and therefore will make a difference. In North America, we cannot structure our programs based on unlimited hours of commitment like China, Japan and other eastern European countries, hence, improving our programs efficiency and effectiveness is really high in priority.

Anyways, happy training!

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2009 season-end picnic

by on Oct.01, 2009, under Social

2009’s season end picnic marks the first year where the club grew to a size where we can no longer host by a club outing in someone’s home. The society helped rented a picnic spot right beside the Fraser river at Foreshore Park in Burnaby because it is so close to the Nikkei center. The picnic served as a send-off party for Kazuya as well as a season-end picnic and was tons of fun. We will do something similar for 2010 and we hope everyone can participate.

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