The Warrior's Path

A great course about budo and the history of martial arts held at Dharma Gate Buddhist College in Budapest. The presenters were Szabó Balázs, Szemerei Márton and Abe Tetsushi Sensei.

Knitting for Friends

This winter I am a lot into knitting and doing hand crafted things. Stay tuned for more posts about knit items I made for my friends. I always include the free patterns, too!

Guest Posts

You are a martial artist and you have a story to tell? You have a beauty tip you want to share with everyone? Why not tell it here, on Beauty and Aikido? Any guest post is always welcome. If you want to feature on my blog just leave me a message and I will post your story.

Kawaii Makeup and Fashion

I love and follow the Asian fashion, skin care and beauty trends. If you are also a big fan of Asian beauty and style, stay tuned for my reviews, tutorials and hauls!

Presenting Aikido Dojos

This is a series of posts where I am presenting different aikido dojos from all over the world. If you want to feature too, do not hesitate to leave me a message.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Bath Stuff


I decided to talk about some items I use to bathe. I like the relaxing effect of these products and wanted to share with you some opinions. You can also witness my wonderful cover of Hot Stuff as an intro and as an ending theme. Hope you enjoy it just as much as I did. It is my least edited video that I filmed with my web-cam ^.^y

Bath stuff presented:

1. Oxana, Melisse- Kräuter-Kur-Bad
2. DM, Balea- Bademomente Sense of Japan
3. DM, Balea- Bademomente Sense of India
4. Kneipp, Wacholder- Muscle Relaxing Effervescent Bath-Juniper
5. Tetesept- Oriental Hamam Bath
6. Ilex- Italian Bath Salt (the randome yellow salt)

I use body oils and butters to moisturize after bath. Before I started aikido, I went swimming regularly. I sometimes skipped using body creams and realized my skin got really dry. Water in swimming pools is being disinfected with chloride. This is really harmful and aggressive to your skin. The only thing you can do against it is wash it off thoroughly with a shower gel and immediately moisturize. In summer I still swim a lot because I love being in the water, so my skin needs a lot of hydrating. Here are the products I talked about it the  video.

1. Naturland- Body Massage Oil
2. Body Butter- Avocado Olive
3. DM, Balea- Body Butter for dry skin, Coconut

~~ Hi again to my viewers from Germany, especially if there are some from Würzburg!~~

I am wearing no make-up in the video ^.^ that's how brave I am!
My nails are Crystal Gel Nails, my mother made that lasted for more than a week intact. I also made a video of how to remove them. Post about that coming up also.





Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Beauty of Suwari-Waza


This week on the Monday training we did a lot of suwari-waza. At a certain point I found myself thinking about the beauty of execution from this position as Sensei was demonstrating. I sort of had an aesthetic experience while watching the smooth movements of Sensei and of his flexible 2 kyu uke. It was the movement and that different sort of dynamics that these techniques have that made me pensive. At home I started thinking about it some more and wondering whether other martial arts also use suwari-waza. I also browsed the web to find the perfect picture for this blog post I was already composing in my mind.

I was already researching the web for a while when I just thought I could as well post my question on reddit and see what feedback I get. Here you can read some of the comments I got. It seems like suwari-waza is also used in jujitsu. I cannot find much information about that, though. Should you have some good sources, do let me know. Iaido is a martial art I don't really know much about and apparently they also use suwari-waza. This was practiced by Crane Sensei also. See my post about an inspiring quote by her.
 
I was just gathering some more information about suwari-waza when I found out that in Iwama-style aikido one of the main non-aikikai aikido branches techniques always start from suwari-waza, more exactly in complete seiza. This is in contrast to most other styles where the practitioners often start already on their toes (kiza).

Some people on forums also ask themselves if suwari-waza is of any use. It seems to me that these are more the practitioners who fight for fighting´s sake. My opinion on that is close to what Zarilli Sensei says in an interview (see more here). Once you practice a martial art, you are not likely to be the typical victim. You are no longer walking around with your head in the clouds as perfect pray for pickpockets or even more tough attackers. All in all, you are most likely to lean towards the thinking described in this little converation I once read somewhere:

Aikidoka: What would you do sensei, if you were attacked on a narrow dark street in the middle of the night?
Sensei: Why would I possibly be walking down a narrow dark street in the middle of the night?

This is more like my attitude. What is your attitude towards the martial art you are practicing? Do not hesitate to leave a comment. 

Update: I also looked up some information on Daito-ryu-Jujutsu (literally, "Great Eastern School"). This is another martial art that I discovered thanks to the comments from people on reddit. Takeda Sokaku the founder of Daito-ryu-Jujutsu was the teacher of O`Sensei Ueshiba. I have already read before, that Ueshiba practiced Jujutsu before founding aikido. Some roots of techniques should be then found in the Daito-ryu-Jujutsu.



Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Blog Layout and New Background

☆~~Hi All!~~★

I have been struggling to find the most appropriate blog background and the best layout since the beginning when I started blogging. At present I am experimenting with this new eye popping violet one. I would like my layout and background to be in harmony with my content. I would also like it to enhance the value of the content. Please share with me how you have chosen your blog background and why do you think it represents you the best.

For me up until now the stages were as follows:

1. Plain blogger template- nothing creative, just using the template at hand and starting writing my content.

2. Shabby blog template- it was cute for a while but then I found it too drab for my personality

3. Cutest blog template- new, energetic, attractive

I might one day design my own blog background. Is there anyone among you that has already done that? Please post a link of your blog in the comments and I will check it out and share opinion on it with you. Now you also have the chance to vote for a week whether you like my new background or not. I will take your votes into consideration!

What I am also trying out is a signature. I created it yesterday and will be using it on the bottom of my blogs.

Update: The majority voted that my design is: More lively then the previous one.
Thanks for those who voted! 





Tracking your Orders

A post for my Hungarian readers basically, but it can be applied to other countries also that cannot be tracked directly through StrawberryNet. It is really important for you to track your orders, on the first hand because you will not stand and wait for it to arrive without even knowing that it was never dispatched. On the other hand I like tracking the order because of the thrill of it, to see what stages are still left until the cute little package of goodies reaches me.

As you already know I have ordered some more stuff from StrawberryNet and now I will describe how I usually track an order. It is pretty easy, but I just thought it might help if you are not used to doing this.




First you get a mail with  number that looks like this and a link where you can track it:
Order #:1130736047
This is a sort of order confirmation number.
Then you also get a tracking number

Track this parcel: RB297705187HK

In some of the countries you just need to click on the tracking number, select your country and you are directly connected to the tracking of the parcel. For Hungary, the Magyar Posta will help you in this next step.

 

 

For Hungary and a number of other countries, you have to go to the homepage of the postal services in your country. In Hungary you can track it the parcel here. This is what the tracking information will look like. My parcel landed already in Hungary and I am really close to getting it.

 

 

Oh boy, oh boy! Hope it arrives on Monday. However with this rainy weather it is not very likely that I would need a high SPF protection.

 

Update: On 23.03 I was able to pick up my stuff from the post office. Under the motto: Trust is good but double checking is better, I immediately checked the validity with the cosmetic calculator. I found out that the Estée Lauder BB Cream will expire in June 2013 (produced in June 2010) and the Shiseido Sun Protection Stick was manufactured in 2009 and will expire in 2012. I also used them each day since they arrived. Will review them soon!




Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Inspiring Quotes- Gina Zarrilli


This is another post from the inspiring quotes cycle.

It is by Gina Zarilli Sensei. She started aikido in 1975 at New York Aikikai under Yamada Sensei. She received her Shodan in 1979 and has taught at New York Aikikai since then. She has also taught at major seminars and camps around the world.

The quote goes as follows:


"Train as hard as you can when you're young. Watch everyone around you, watch the men, watch the women. Find from everyone what it is that speaks to you, that touches you. What classes do you like the best and why? Who speaks the language that you can understand? Who moves in a way that feels good to you? Just watch everybody and everything. And then eventually find your own path--- and have a great time!"
--- Gina Zarrilli Sensei

One should never get tired of observing and trying, making errors and trying again. Even if from time to time you do get tired of it, it is human. You don't need to be concerned. It happens to me also and I am brave enough to admit it. I also shared it with you in this post. All that matters is for you to be able to flip back.
 
In addition I think I do follow the principle from Zarrilli Sensei's quoite. It is not always easy. I wish I were just able to focus on aikido so totally like Zarilli Sensei describes it in this interview. In her youth she had flexible jobs and in the daytime was training each and every day. That is an admirable degree of commitment and perseverance. As much as I would like it to be it is not applicable to me and my lifestyle. Reading the interview I sort of imagined the atmosphere the state of mind one can have when training so hard. Meeting the fellow aikidoka every day, building up a great relationship with them and developing yourself.
Aikido is a martial art, that is a process which you go through. Some call it getting to know yourself better others call it personal development. For me it is now mental and physical learning process. As I am a person who never gets tired of learning, it suits me best.

If you feel like it, please do reflect upon this question: 
What is aikido for you? 
and share it with me in a comment.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sonya Eye Shadows

 


From the line of natural make-up products, I would like to present some eye shadows I have. In the mean time I learned from the little elephant, how to make a showcase of pictures and I will use the technique in this post. Above you can see several swatches of eye-shadows and of two eye liners.

Hereunder, I tried to group in what combination I would use the eye-shadows. With Pot of Gold you can do a daytime look which can be built upon with  Sunfire and transformed into an evening look.

 This Golden eyeliner would complete at best this look.


Then there are the rest of the eye-shadows I could not really group with each other. However, they could separately be matched with other colors from my different pallets.

I really like this deep green, that has a really fitting and descriptive name: Cactus Green.


Then there is this blueish grayish color called Sterling



And my absolute fave for clubbing and going out  is this misleading white which turns into a completely different and fun color when applied: Hologram


Hope you enjoyed this post. Do not hesitate to comment and share opinions with me.

As spring has come and I am sort of running out of my Neutrogena SPF moisturizer, I ordered an SPF Day Cream and eye contour stick from StrawberryNet and will present them as soon as they arrived.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Inspiring Quotes- Coryl Crane


I have been browsing the web searching some material about women in Aikido and I have found a really inspiring quote on this site by the Aikidoka Coryl Crane, here is some information about her:

Coryl Crane
6th Dan, Shidoin, North County Aikikai
Crane Sensei began her aikido training in 1978 while at the University of California, San Diego, where she was studying for a visual arts degree. In 1981 she commenced studying with T.K. Chiba, Shihan. In 1991, she founded the North County Aikikai, presently located in Solana Beach. She is a certified instructor (shidoin) of the U.S. Aikido Federation Western Region, and has long been involved in its organization. Her study of the martial arts also includes Iaido, the art of the sword, and Zen sitting meditation. Aikido has taken her often to Europe, where she has taught in England, France, Germany, and Switzerland. In 1999 she published “Aikido Conversations in Drawings and Words” which she co-authored with artist Joyce Cutler-Shaw.

She sure is a role model for other female aikidoka


The quote goes as follows:
"I think we're all inhibited in many different ways. And I see aikido as a process of dropping those inhibitions and releasing a spirit of aliveness and vitality, that you can say that is really that person, that is unique to each person. And I really believe that that's what aikido is about for all of us."
--- Coryl Crane Sensei

I find this observation really applicable to myself also. I feel most of the time really tensed on trainings and still need to find the path to set myself free. At the beginning it is the fall that causes you trouble and the unusual position of the body. The strange movements and names of techniques might make you feel uneasy. I do feel that easiness and lightness of mind and spirit once I am at home after the trainings. I still need to develop to reach that special state of mind that Crane Sensei is describing above while practicing aikido.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cosmetic Calculator

Buying cosmetics online is always more comfortable that walking around huge shopping centers. In the mean time you need to be really careful about what you are buying and always double check. We are talking about products you are going to use on your face and that can cause irritations, redness, infections and what not.


This is one of the eye creams I bought from StrawberryNET. I like buying cosmetics online from time to time. On the one hand because they are many times cheaper, on the other because there is a much wider range to choose from. What I also like in online shopping is that one can look at many products from home, check reviews and impressions about products and then decide. Until now I ordered some cosmetics from StrawberryNET and from e-bay. In the case of cosmetics bought online, one should always be really careful. There can be cases where they have long been staying on the shelves and expired.

Where can I check whether my product has expired or not?

In order to make sure your product is still ok, you can check the date of production on sites like this:

http://checkcosmetic.net/

All you need to do is identify the batch number and enter it on the site above, or a similar one.

What is a batch?

Cosmetics, just as many other products, are produced in batches. A number is assigned to each batch and with with the help of this number you can identify among others the production date and the shelf life. This batch number should be either on the container or on the outer packaging.



In normal case, you should get the shelf life of the product and how long it is still OK to be used.


What do I do if the product expired?

Should it be the case that your product has expired just stay calm. There is always a solution! What you need to do is contact the customer service or the person you bought from on the internet. You need to place a reclamation and are entitled in this case to a refund.

~~Take care of your skin beauties!~~

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Aikido Basics and my Small Frustrations

When I was taking the exam for the 6th and 5th kyu together, I did quite a number of things incorrectly. On the training seminar this weekend I found out which were the ones put down on paper by the examiners.

One of them was shomenuchi ikkyo, as it is a very important basic technique I was supposed to repeat it until I can do it correctly and show it to the examining board. This is the technique:

I failed to make it out of several reasons: incorrect foot movement, not sitting on the toes when pinning, etc.

The second one was katatedori iriminage:

 

Here I failed to find the irimi point, instead of pushing the chin I was pushing the neck. In ura I was not keeping the atemi and so on.
Third technique I had to present again was aihanmi sihonage. 

 

I was not keeping my hands in front of me, not controlling efficiently. 

I also had to repeat the 4 jo katas but apparently I was not holding the jo correctly. I didn't even have the chance to show once again the 12 jo kata, because I was sent back to repeat all and give it one more try. I got really frustrated about this and came home. 

I suppose this is not the best example and definitely not one to follow, but shared this post with you to let you know that you might always have your ups and down in aikido like in everything in life. Maybe next time...

Dior Travel Palette

I have always admired the gorgeous palette Dior can create. I finally decided to buy a palette for myself.


It is a travel palette with several gorgeous colors. I opted for this one, because a normal size palette has a lot more of one single color and I am not likely to use up that much. In this one I have the basic colors I use to set my eyeliner: black and brown, several light colors for the inner eye corner.



The blue I can use with some outfits. Pink is always nice and the golden colors also. So this is just the perfect palette for me. I will use it really often. You can see the beautiful shimmers in the next picture I took while the sun was shining.

 
Another close-up 



The applicators are from a soft sponge. I will use them for sure also in parallel with my brushes.

And now the well deserved swatches:

 

Really shimmery and pigmented, just as the other side of the palette





~~Can't wait to do some looks with it! ^.^y~~

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Aikido Effect. Techniques and their Names


There are a lot of new words you learn once you start aikido. One cold say this is one of the effects of aikido on you but for sure not the only one. As the names of the techniques are in Japanese it is rather hard to keep them in mind and for a beginner they are rather overwhelming. At the moment I am there where I at least know the name of the attacks (which are of course much easier and less numerous then the neutralizing techniques). I still find it hard to keep in mind the names of the techniques we practice. Today we did a lot of things from ushiro katatedori and katadori menuchi, (these are some names of grabs) but I could not tell what the names of the techniques were. This is really bothering to me and I tried to do something against is. I sometimes watch YouTube techniques on the web and try to memorize the names. Some other aikidoka from the dojo suggested I should write a training jurnal...but how? As soon as I get home, I forget the names. All in all, I am having a lot of fun at this training camp. It is the first one where I can really enjoy myself, because I can fall better and don't have severe pain in any part of my body. Earlier, when I fell really badly, it was hard to pull throught a three hour training. But now I can enjoy it and pay attention to the details. Maybe at a certain point I will remember the names of the techniques also. Tomorrow the seminar is continuing and there will be some exams also. I am not taking one this time because one needs a lot more knowledge to be 4kyu.

Update: In the end I was supposed to take an exam to correct errors from earlier. See my post about that here.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Quick Hair Routine


I totally missed my blog during this one week of minimal internet use (I had time to connect to the web only on Tuesday night!!!!) 

This post is about a hair styling tool I got for my birthday. I am showing in this film the way you can use the crimping function to get more volume on the roots. Getting more volume to your hair is particularly important for oval and elongated faces like mine in order to create a rounded effect. I also use the Babyliss flat iron in this video, because to get the flat iron on the Remington one would need to turn the ceramic on the other side (which is basically impossible because it is damn hot) So if you want to use the crimping function and then straighten also, you would need another flat iron also.

In the video I used the following for my hair:

Syoss- Heat Protect Styling Spray
Remington Multi Functional Hair Tool- Crimper
Babyliss Straightener

Make-up:

Max-Factor- Foundation 070 Natural
Max-Factor- Under Eye Concealer in Ivory 303
Sephora- Colofrul pro pallet for brown eyes
Sonya- Rose Petal Blush

AND

OMG
OMG
OMG

I am back from a business trip in Germany and bought my first Dior Pallete at the airport in Frankfurt.
Can't wait to make some original photos and swatches and share them with you!
After so much sitting in the car (average 500km drive daily) I will just relax at the aikido seminar we are having this weekend.


Update: here is my blog post with the swatches from the Dior Pallete

The Voice of Aikido

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