Kletterhalle 7 in Basel

On a recent trip to Basel, I visited the local climbing centre – Kletterhalle 7 – and was blown away by how amazing it looked and how quiet it was! (There’s another centre in Basel that specialises in bouldering).

Kleterhalle7 Climbing Area

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a belay partner, so I had to limit myself to the bouldering area. Which was more than enough to keep me entertained for a couple of hours.

Here’s a video of my first try on a medium-light (that’s how they grade the problems) roof route. And yes, I fall on the last move :) By this point, I had done all the light  problems in that area, so my forearms were begging for some rest.

I need to bring a belay partner with me next time. I really want to give those big walls a go! :)

Kleterhalle7 Bouldering Area Kleterhalle7 Bouldering Area






It’s so freaking frustrating… It happens… every… single… time.

Every time I’m loving a new sport and starting to see some progress, I get injured. It happened with Judo, with Parkour, with In-Line Skating and now with Lucha/Gymnastics.

Yes, one or two times it might have been my fault – with all the excitement I pushed too hard or tried to go too fast – but not this time. I was doing everything right, taking it slow and really listening to my body. I was doing strength training and stretching, trying to make sure my body was ready. I was avoiding crazy moves and progressing slowly. I was taking rest days seriously, for crying out loud!…

But no… one day I wake up and bam!… new injury! Take that! How did it happen? No idea. It’s just there. Deal with it.

Grrrrr!… I just want to do sports! Is that so much to ask? I mean, I need to do sports!… Now what? I stop for a month (or more), and all my progress will go down the drain… Back to square one!

Well, I guess I’ll get some time to work on my japanese :/

Small Victories…

A month into my decision of working on my flexibility I’m starting to see some results. I can now touch my toes without stretching or warming up beforehand!

I know this is nothing special for most people, but for me it’s amazing as I’ve always been pretty tight.

I’m obviously not stopping here. I’m gonna keep working on it, as I want to improve even more and be able to be comfortable in these positions.

Learning Japanese

I’m not one to hang around the house that much, as I’m constantly doing some kind of activity outside, but with the rough weather closing in on London it’s bound to happen more often, so I need something to keep me busy so I don’t go nuts.

51jQSc18OAL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Today I went to Foyles Bookstore in Soho and bought a copy of Samuel Martin’s Basic Japanese. This is coming more than a year late, though. When I went to Japan in 2014 I decided I wanted to learn Japanese, but never really got into it. Better late than never, I guess. I’ll try to spend a little time working on my Japanese on rainy sundays!

Side note: I had forgotten how pleasant it is to spend some time in a nice bookstore. It’s almost like meditation :)


Gymnastics: Piked Front Flip

Just got back from saturday’s session, where I did my first piked front flip.

After doing a bunch of tucked front flips with the springboard, I was told to do one while keeping my legs straight and grabbing them. After a few tries to get the hang of it, I started landing it from the springboard onto a mat, and then I did a few on the tumbling track.

I still need to fix a few things, though.

  • Because I lack flexibility and compression, I can’t easily get into a pike position, so I tend to not compress enough.
  • I tend to get out of the pike position a bit too soon.
  • I tend to open my legs a bit, instead of keeping them tight together.

Lucha: The International and Barbra Streisand

I’ve been doing Lucha Libre (mexican-style pro-wrestling) for 7 months now. I could – and should – write so much about it, but I’ll leave that for another day. Today, I just want to sum up what we were up to in the last couple of sessions.

We drilled one of the foundational spots in wrestling: The International, mainly paying attention to our positioning and the emotion we’re portraying. (Here’s a nice post about it.)

We did the Barbra Streisand, which basically is a surprise reversal into an irish whip. You’re running the ropes, duck a clothesline, duck a back elbow and while on it you grab the left arm with your left arm and come to a squat-ish stop, then perform an irish whip; now your opponent can do the same thing.

We also tried a variation where instead of reversing it with half a turn, we switched ropes by doing only 1/4 turn or spinning more and doing a 3/4 turn.

We practiced a new wrist-lock escape, grabbing the ropes to do a front flip. We did it kicking the leg back like it was a webster, box jumping and jumping with the right foot on the rope.

(Me and Duane did a more flamboyant variation where after the front flip we immediately did a backflip and another front flip. That could work in a kind of more comical match.)

After the flip you can feed around to the left, going through the center of the ring, into a drop-toe-hold to finish the escape. Flip the opponent over by picking up his left foot and throwing it up and around to the right, and then elbow drop him on the chest.

I also tried a cool wrist-lock reversal with Malek, where you do the first spin under the arm as always, and then you step with the left foot on his left thigh and jump/swing/kick the right leg to the left over his head. It helps to place the right hand on the shoulder for balance and support.


Gymnastics #4

It was pretty much all about the front flip — apart from a few ridiculous jumps (like 450 splashes) on the mini-tramp, incited by [Crazy] Cam (a mate from lucha that was also there).

After a few front flips on the mini, I moved on to do them on the tumbling track. I then asked a teacher what I should do next, and he told me that the following step would be to do them on the floor, which would force me to jump into the flip instead of stomping the ground to get a bounce out of the springs. He demo’ed how I should be doing it, but it was tricky to really see the difference, although I understood what he meant.

Something like this:

I tried a handful onto a mat on the floor, and landed a couple successfully. But I feel like I’m still not jumping correctly. Need more practice, I guess!