An ever-changing life inspired by the pneuma


Training update – October 23 to 28

Filed under: Cass' training blog - martial arts, weights, running — feyMorgaina @ 05:39

Okay, it has been awhile since I updated on my training. So here it is:


I did manage to make myself run. I ran to Yonge and Bloor using the same route as before. This time the total time was 9 minutes 28 seconds for the one mile. Not my best time, but still good. Some days are easy; some days are hard.


I went to gumdo. I got to learn the next duelling technique (#4). We learn two new ones each belt level and two new patterns as well. I decided to take taekwondo after as well. I noticed my endurance for sparring has improved since I started running.


I went running again. I ran to Yonge and Bloor again for the one mile. I took a short break walking through the concourse (had to buy some hair elastics), then I ran home from Park Road. My time for the one mile was 8 minutes 16 seconds. The run home from Park Road is just over half a mile. My time for that was 4 minutes 58 seconds.

After my run, I went to the do jang again. I took the patterns class and helped teach again. It’s always a pleasure, especially when you get really good students to teach. Then, I decided to take the next taekwondo class. We did lots of non-contact sparring (very hard to do as you have to have good control to not hit each other!). I took a surprising fall (OUCH!) doing a back kick. I think the floor was little slippery and I tried to move forward too much during the kick. I landed pretty much flat on my front and my face. 🙁 I’m fine though. Just more embarassing than anything.

After the do jang, I went to the gym to get some weight training in. Here’s the list of exercises. It is pretty much the full circuit, except for some free weights that I do for the shoulders (keep forgetting about those recently – don’t know why).

Leg press
Hamstring flexor
Hip adductors
Hip abductors
Pull-ups (again military and parallel)
Chest press
Bar pulls (works the muscles next to the scapulae on the back)
Pectoral press
Shoulder fly
Shoulder lift
Bicep curl
Tricep extensor
Leg lifts
Back extensor

Afterwards I did my push-ups and some stretching. Then I headed home happily worked out and totally tired.


I missed gumdo class, but took taekwondo. It was a good class, we are getting to practice other kicks more often. After class, I practiced my new sword duelling technique and the taekwondo palgwes. I haven’t decided what forms to do yet for the demo. Still trying to decide. I need to practice the palgwes more.


I went to gumdo class. It was good. We get to do more stuff because there’s no taekwondo classes on Fridays. We had a normal class, then got to work on patterns. I learned about half of the next pattern (#4) and the next duelling technique (#5). We then got to practice candle snuffing and some one-on-one sword sparring drills. Then we did some free sparring with the foam swords.

What a busy week! I’m beginning to think I exercise all the time. Hehehe. Now it’s time to get some rest as I couldn’t sleep for some reason.

Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame

Alchemy Explains How a Lit Candle can be Snuffed Out by a Sword


Okay, this has been on my mind so I thought I’d do a little research.

Since I started taking gumdo classes, I pretty much assumed that if a sword generated enough wind, it would snuff out a lit candle. This assumption was based on the fact that a person can blow out a candle if they exhaled enough air at a lit candle. Going further with my assumption, I assumed that a bigger candle flame or more lit candles would need more wind than a small flame or just one candle. Therefore, in trying to snuff out a lit candle with a sword, a significant amount of speed in the sword cut (force) is needed to generate enough wind for the task of snuffing a candle (or two or three or more). Of course, an equivalent amount of control is required to stop the sword from hitting the candle. Now, for some reason, no one seems to believe that a certain amount of force is needed to put out a candle flame with a sword. (Some people may think that since even kids can snuff a candle, it doesn’t require force. Well, I really don’t think people are giving some of these kids enough credit, they may look small but they could actually be generating more force than what is observed – and trust me on this since I know lots of little tykes in martial arts.) Below is a little explanation on blowing out a candle (from Principles of Alchemy).

Well then, how come I can blow out a candle?
Because the candle flame is small and you can blow a lot of air!
The three methods we discussed for extinguishing a flame (Water, Earth and “bad” Air) all smother the fuel, and thus keep the oxygen out. But blowing out a flame doesn’t smother it. Instead you are stripping the fire away from its fuel.

What?! What are you talking about?
Fire makes more fire by continuing to the burn the fuel. Fire needs fire to continue burning.
Nope, I still don’t get it.
OK. As a fire burns in a particular spot, it runs out of fuel. But the heat it gives off is enough to cause the fuel nearby to ignite.
When you say “ignite”, you mean to start burning. Right?
Right. So a fire must constantly search out more fuel to burn if it is to be kept alive.
Yeah. So?
So, when you blow hard on a candle flame you are using your breath to push the hot flame away from the fuel. Remove the heat from the fuel and you’ve stopped the reaction.
Oh, I see. So when I try to blow out a small candle I’m trying to push the flame away from new fuel.
That’s right. A bigger flame requires a bigger push of air from you to push it away from the fuel.
But at some point the fire is too big to blow out. Right?
Right! The bigger the flame the more air you need to push quickly at it in order to push the fire away from the fuel. In the 20th century they have some fire accidents involving very good fuels that produce very big fires. To put out these “super-fires”, they must use explosives to blow the flame away from the fuel.
Wow. Sounds exciting.
But I’ve noticed that I can make a flame grow brighter if I blow it just a little. Gently.
Yes. When you blow gently on a small flame you push a fresh supply of oxygen to it. And you might even help the flame reach new fuel that would normally be out of reach.
So, you can make a fire better or worse by blowing on it!
Yes. It depends on the size of the fire and how hard you blow. I’ve seen people try to swat down a fire with a coat or apron. If the fire is small enough and they swat it correctly, they put out the fire. But sometimes they make it worse! They fan the flames, adding more oxygen and making the fire grow.

Now, let’s extrapolate this to blowing out a candle with a sword. Here’s what happens when a sword is swung down on a candle flame. First, the sword cut generates a certain amount of wind (air). This wind pushes the hot flame away from the wick (the fuel). If there is enough wind to completely push the flame away from the wick, it doesn’t ignite and keep burning. The candle flame will then be snuffed out. The passage above also explains why a candle flame may almost go out but seemingly comes back to life again. If not enough wind is used to push the flame away, the flame just gathers the oxygen and keeps burning the wick. The candle stays lit. It also explains why with more than one candle, one candle may be snuffed out with the sword but then be re-lit by the other candle. The wind can just push the hot flame onto the unlit wick (the fuel) and it will burn again.

Now, I’m not sure about anyone else, but if I swing my sword faster, more wind is generated. Therefore, if I swing my sword at the necessary speed towards the candle flame without hitting it (that is, abruptly stopping the strike thereby exhibiting good control and technique), the candle should snuff out. Yes, candle snuffing with a sword is done with good technique, but with a little help from alchemy.

Your local webmistress and swordsperson
Brigid’s Flame

Personality Quiz

Filed under: General — feyMorgaina @ 00:43

My score for the quiz (see below) is 47. 😀 My personality description is in italics below.

1. When do you feel your best?
a) in the morning
b) during the afternoon ? early evening
c) late at night

2. You usually walk…
a) fairly fast, with long steps
b) fairly fast, with little steps
c) less fast head up, looking the world in the face
d) less fast, head down
e) very slowly

3. When talking to people you.
a) stand with your arms folded
b) have your hands clasped
c) have one or both your hands on your hips
d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your

4. When relaxing, you sit with.
a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
b) your legs crossed
c) your legs stretched out or straight
d) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with…
a) big appreciated laugh
b) a laugh, but not a loud one
c) a quiet chuckle
d) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering you…
a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone
you know
c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay

7. You’re working very hard, concentrating hard, and
you’re interrupted……
a) welcome the break
b) feel extremely irritated
c) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
a) Red or orange
b) black
c) yellow or light blue
d) green
e) dark blue or purple
f) white
g) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few
moments before going to sleep you are….
a) stretched out on your back
b) stretched out face down on your stomach
c) on your side, slightly curled
d) with your head on one arm
e) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are…
a) falling
b) fighting or struggling
c) searching for something or somebody
d) flying or floating
e) you usually have dreamless sleep
f) your dreams are always pleasant

1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2 . (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1

Now add up the total number of points.

OVER 60 POINTS Others see you as someone they should
“handle with care.”
You’re seen as vain, self-centered, and who is
extremely dominant. Others may admire you,
wishing they could be more like you, but don’t always
trust you, hesitating to become too
deeply involved with you.

51 TO 60 POINTS Others see you as an exciting, highly
volatile, rather impulsive
personality; a natural leader, who’s quick to make
decisions, though not always the right
ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone
who will try anything once; someone
who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy
being in your company because of
the excitement you radiate.

41 TO 50 POINTS Others see you as fresh, lively,
charming, amusing, practical, and
always interesting; someone who’s constantly in the
center of attention, but sufficiently
well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They
also see you as kind, considerate, and
understanding; someone who’ll always cheer them up and
help them out.

31 TO 40 POINTS Others see you as sensible, cautious,
careful &practical. They see you as
clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person
who makes friends too quickly or
easily, but someone who’s extremely loyal to friends
you do make and who expect the same
loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you
realize it takes a lot to shake your
trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you
a long time to get over if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30 POINTS Your friends see you as painstaking
and fussy. They see you as very
cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady
plodder. It would really surprise them if you
ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the
moment, expecting you to examine
everything carefully from every angle and then,
usually decide against it. They
think this reaction is caused partly by your careful

UNDER 21 POINTS People think you are shy,nervous, and
indecisive, someone who needs
looking after, who always wants someone else to make
the decisions &who doesn’t want to
get involved with anyone or anything! They see you as
a worrier who always sees problems that
don’t exist. Some people think you’re boring. Only
those who know you well know that
you aren’t.

Your local webmistress
Brigid’s Flame