Summer of the Samurai

This summer I have decided to start training in the Japanese Martial Art of Iaido.  Iaido (drawing way) is based on Iaijutsu (drawing art) and was practiced by the samurai until the mid-1800s when the Japanese Feudel system collapsed.

Why Iaido?

I have been looking for a new martial art to study for about a year now.  At first, I was looking at the more practical arts like, Systema, BJJ, Krav Maga, and going back into Muay Thai.

But, with my current martial resume of holding black belts in Shotokan, TKD, American Kenpo, and Wing Chun, in addition to other auxiliary training in other arts, I felt is was time to engross into a more mental martial art.  I love my Iron Palm training and that is mostly mentally focused.

I looked at Kendo, but that is too sport-ish for me.  Then I came across Iaido, simple yet elegant.

The katas are short but intense. Iaido sword techniques are renowned for their practicality, immense cutting power and gracefulness.

Which Iaido

I have selected 2 different organizations to take instruction through.  Both come from different origins.

Toyama Ryu

This style comes from the Toyama Military Academy in Japan.  These are the techniques that were taught at the academy pre-world war ii when the academy was in operation.  Much of the tradition and ceremonial movements were stripped from various techniques that were taken from the various branches of Iaido, in the goal of making the techniques as efficient as possible for use on the battlefield.

Muso Jikiden Eishen Ryu

This style is one of the most practices branch of Iaido in the world.  It is one of the only branches of Iaido that has an unbroken Lineage dating back to its inception.

The techniques of Musō Jikiden Eishin-ryū are broken up into sets based on the principal starting position of the kata and by skill level. The majority of the study is focused on these solo katas.

Musō Jikiden Eishin-ryū has 45 solo katas and 45 paired katas; some of these paired katas are rarely taught.

My expectations

Well, I am hoping to have the ability to decapitate a head or limb if needed with a sword, though nowhere near practical.

In all seriousness, I am looking to dive into the Samurai philosiphy and looking forward to the mental and physical challenges Iaido will present while I journey through the system and internalize all it has to offer.

Goodbye 2016! Hey 2017, what’s cooking?

2016 was a year filled with ups and downs.  Making it one heck of a roll-a-coaster of a year.

The year started off with losing my father in January, which came only 6 weeks after losing my maternal grandmother.  These events led to a mid-life crisis and a period of depression that lasted the summer.

In addition to the low points, there were also the high points in the year.  I both took and passed my ISACA CISA(Certified Information Systems Auditor) exam in June and was awarded my certification in November.  This was originally a certification I was pursuing when I was working at Apixio Inc., a health care big data startup.  2016 also proved to be the year where I achieved absolute balance or work/life.

2016 also represented the first year we spent in our new house that we purchased post Hortonworks IPO.  Additionally, I started officially teaching Wing Chun, Xing Yi, Yi Quan and Iron Palm.  This includes teaching open classes in the park on Saturdays along with teaching private lessons at my gym.

Ryan also started attending Transitional Kindergarten and speech therapy.  Denise is attending first grade and has started taking piano lessons.

All in all, 2016 was a busy year.  2017 will be just as busy if not more so, and will hopefully have more ups than downs.  I will be persuing a few more technology/security certifications, expand my martial arts instruction, will have Ethan start attending pre-school, see Ryan go into Kindergarten, watch Denise progress to 2nd grade and so much more!!


Mid-fall 2016 Update

Over the last six months a lot has changed.  The kids are back in school.  I switched to a new position at eBay that has me working in San Jose instead of San Mateo.  I have re-invested myself to the study of Ving Tsun.

I took my Certified Information Systems Auditor exam in June.  I passed with a score in the top 20%.  I just got my application for certification submitted just a week ago.  It took a bit to get all the work verification forms completed and signed by previous mangers.  This certification requires 5 years of verified related experience.

I took a position at eBay in April as a Sr DevOps Engineer in the Enterprise Security Operations and Development team in the Global Information Services org.  Since joining, I have also been named the organization’s Crypto Infrastructure Specialist.

We are also approaching our one year mark for living in our new house.  It has been so nice.  The fact that I have a gym in my backyard is just great and something I had always wanted.

Changes and Losses

The last 5 months have definitely been a real trip.  I have suffered two large losses in my life of that last couple months.

On Thanksgiving Day 2015, my maternal grandmother passed away.  She was in a nursing home due to breaking her hip a couple months before.

On January 5, 2016 I received a call about my father being hospitalized for liver cirrohsis, and that is was unclear how much time was left.  I flew out that Friday and was there at his side at my aunts house as he took his last breaths.


Kids, Work, Traffic, Fitness, Coding and Maybe Sleep

For the last three and a half months, my days have been jammed packed solid.  Between the family, career, fitness endeavors and having a coding addiction there is very little time for any thing else.

I get up at 6:30 to get Denise ready for school. Once we leave the house, we do not return home until 7:30 in the evening.  She goes to bed an hour later, during which time I go for a run around the neighborhood.  After she goes to sleep, I take a shower and end up sitting in my office writing code.

Currently, I started rewriting one of my python applications at work into a RESTful api.  I have decided to write the api in Go since Go is a language I have been dabbling in and it is time to build a real app.   Not sure if I would use go for anything that I needed to create really quickly or anything that doesn’t really need concurrency.  My applications manage hundreds of servers and firewalls and need the concurrency that Go provides and that is where Python falls short.

Iron Skills and Wing Chun training logs

Now that we are settled into our new house and I have my new private gym on site I have started a couple new training regiments.

Wing Chun – I have started a new home training regime for my Wing Chun practice.  I have started a training log at My Jeet Kune Do and Wing Chun Journey site.  Please feel free to visit and follow my training.  I will keep the training log updated at least on a weekly basis, though I will strive for more frequent updates

Iron Skills – As with my Wing Chun training, I have started anew with my Iron Palm and Iron Skills training.  I have a renewed vigor for the skill and have started training again.  I have also created a training log for this which can be found at The Iron Skills Den.

Whether you want to follow along out of curiosity or whether you train in one of these disciplines also, you will find my actual training journal, and my insights into my training and my personal experiences as I journey through these arts searching to improve my skills with each passing day.

Any and all viewpoints, opinions and thoughts are my own, from my viewpoint and based upon my training across several disciplines over the last 32 years.  I do not care whether you agree or disagree with what I feel or experience, but you must respect it for being my experiences and thoughts.

Moved into our new house

We have finally moved into our new house, one week ago.  After spending about 5 weeks doing some remodeling on the one portion of the house the previous owners did nor remodel before selling it, we are finally living there.

After living with another family of eight for 3 and a half years, it seems so quiet and peaceful now.  The kids now have their own rooms and the fifth bedroom has become my office.   In addition to the attached three car garage, there is a detached two car garage in the back, behind a covered 2 car carport.

I have converted the detached garage into my gym, I have a 10’x12′ padded area, wing chun dummy, rice bag trainer, three section wall bag, punching bag, multiple dumbell sets and several kettlebells.  I also have three iron palm training stations and a breaking station.  There is more than ample lighting in there for working out after dark.


Creating my own simple compiled language

Looking to learn a new  programming language or even improve in an existing language, I have been thinking about what project I could start.  After doing some reading on LLVM, I have started creating a simple compiler with JIT functionality.

I have decided to do this in C++ first, then will do the same thing in OCamel and then finally Haskell.  There are a couple reasons on why I chose to do this.

Continue reading Creating my own simple compiled language

The rebirth of my blog

Over the years I have maintained several blogs.  They always ended up being a blended group of posts.  At this time, I have decided to move to a dual blog setup.  This will allow for more focused posts to go into the blogs, making it easier to find content on the topics readers are interested in.

Continue reading The rebirth of my blog