Sparring in MorzineMorzine is a pretty peaceful place to be, but even here combat sports like boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai have started to become a popular way to build strength and get into good shape. Boxing, for example, is a really good full body workout and it is also a sport that sharpens speed and mental awareness; Its pacing is great for developing reflexes. Boxers, kickboxers and martial artists are also famous for being able to get into the minds of the people they are fighting and read them. This can appeal to anyone who values both physical and mental abilities and wants to become stronger in both. Granted, Morzine is not exactly a mecca for this type of sport at all, but I noticed that there has been a little bit of interest recently, so I thought that I would provide some basics for those looking to pick up a pair of boxing gloves and try.

Investing in Gear

One of the things that is really nice regarding sports like boxing is that they generally require only very minimal gear. There are a couple of things most combat sports have in common. Everyone who will actually be fighting in a match must have their own mouth guard and some also require protection for the head. Hand wraps are also essential. And, of course, everyone needs to have a pair of gloves available for many of these. A pair of gloves is essential for giving their wearer support, protection and comfort in a match and in practice. There are many different styles to be aware of depending on how they are sued. For example, boxing gloves used on a bag are different from good Muay Thai sparring gloves.

A bag is pretty much a must to buy when practicing in Morzine as there is not a fully fledged boxing club here (yet). So, if anyone is serious about practicing boxing, kickboxing etc. with any regularity in this area will probably benefit a great deal from having their own heavy bag for practicing regularly. This piece of equipment can really be essential to developing the proper style, and there are different sizes, styles and weights of bags to help in this.

Finding like-minded people

Just because there is not a major scene in Morzine does not necessarily mean that there aren’t some possible options for people interested in learning. Combat sports are very popular in France overall, and we have many champions and major names in the country. So, some of the personal trainers at the local gyms might have the experience to do one-on-one training if they are asked. Also, because Morzine is so convenient to several larger cities, there are some good option for those people who are willing to make a drive every once in a while.

Sports like can be great physical and mental training for the right kind of person, so I hope that this guide is beneficial to people who are interested in it.

Decorating Chalet With Digital TechnologiesCelebrations are creeping up week by week. We, the owners of Chalet le Coffy, have been already preparing for the winter holidays. To celebrate, we wanted to come up with some interesting ideas. One of the ideas was to decorate the chalet. We have done it before, but as owners, we wondered how we could make the chalet stand out compared to all the others. It has been done many times before, so what could they have done differently? That was when one of us owners came up with the option of utilizing the magnificence of digital technologies. Decorating for the holidays is something to look forward to.

Let’s discuss the advantages in using digital decorations. One of them is that there is no worry of any messes. Digital decorations create backgrounds that cannot be beaten by traditional décor. Physical props have nothing compared to what digital decorations can achieve. A second advantage is the professionalism shown using simple effects.

If you already have a television, DVD player, computer monitor, or projector, then you are set when it comes to materials. Show to other people your amazing abilities behind the use of technology to deliver quality visual pieces. We had to purchase a portable projector to achieve the look we were going for. I bought projector lamps for replacement from the UK.

Decorating Chalet With Digital TechnologiesThe third reason people should start decorating with digital technologies? It is really fun to play around with these awesome special effects on a television set. If you want to witness cool winter effects from the comfort and warmth of home, then you can do so with these tools. This brings us to the last advantage: the projection effects look simply great!  The relationship between a lightly hued surface and a projector bring amazement before your eyes. It is a great place to display animation. Windows and walls are examples of where to do this. Luckily, there are different methods of displaying digital decorations.

There are different ways you can display decorations. This includes front projecting, back projecting, and the usage of computer monitors and television screens. Front projecting is using a projector to project a decoration straight onto a surface. Instead of a TV or computer monitor, the projector simply does it job onto the light surface. Not only is it a great way to show effects, but may be the easiest way to do it if you are just learning. Make sure you have enough room on the wall and do not walk in front of the projector!

We used back projecting for our decorations. Back projecting is when the projector is set behind a curtain or transparent covering and projecting through it. I like it because it is great on windows, plus, I can make sure to hide and protect the projector from visitors. Just be careful with the beam since you want the image just right–not too dark or too light. Projectors can’t be too close to the surface or too far away. Be sure to test it out beforehand.

Television and monitor decorations are a great way to use this technology. Make your own moving painting like a fireplace or snowfall. That way, you don’t have to use a real fireplace or pay more for actual physical pieces. Be sure to check out what works for you this holiday season!

The Alps and Air GunsSince Morzine is such an outdoorsy place, we receive many questions about swimming, fishing, skiing and hiking in the area. Recently, a Canadian asked me about the possibility of using an air gun in France. So, I did some research to answer his original question, and I also thought I might post the information here for those who are similarly inclined.

Basic Information

To start off, both people unsure of what an air gun is and seasoned experts alike can find a wealth of information on this portal. There’s a lot of information that provides descriptions, explanations and product reviews and it was helpful for me in being able to help my Canadian friend out. Ammo and pellets are readily available in France.

Transport

Now that we have a better understanding of what air guns are, we need to know what French authorities have to say about them. Air guns up to 20 joules are legal to buy in France with proper proof of residency and can be bought into the country with a valid EU Firearms Passport. They must be packed and transported safely. Carriers (like ferries or airlines) need to be notified in advance and have issued written permission for the transport of the air gun. Carriers may also have additional restrictions. So, be sure to plan ahead and contact all of the relevant parties. Beyond 20 joules, more paperwork and permissions will be needed to bring in an airgun.

New Licensing Laws

In 2013, French law changed regarding licensing and permitting practices and the size and power of air guns. The new law that states that air guns under 20 joules or 15 fpe are legal to use on your own land without registering them. This new provision is found in Sous-section 3 : Armes de catégorie C, Rubrique 4, Item 4°, for those who want to have all the information, but It is only in French at this time.

Anything over 20 joules requires a license, which can be obtained from a gun club with ID and proof of residency (e.g. a utility bill) for around 40 to 60 euro and the gun cubs yearly dues. It also has to be declared to the Prefecture. My Canadian friend’s Gamo Big Cat Air Rifle requires a license and registration. But, he is willing to deal with the authorities and he is more than happy to join a local gun club. Also, some areas have additional restrictions, so be aware.

Hunting

Another good reason to join a gun club is that using an air rifle for hunting or pest control is illegal in France without membership in one. You will need a licence de tir, which will arrive about two weeks after joining an allow you to buy a .22 rimfire, shotgun or hunting rifle to use on your land or on land where you have the owners written permission to shoot. For hunting off your property, you must have a permis de chasse, which requires an exam. There are seasons and restrictions on hunting some animals, particularly hares, so be aware of these before going out on your big hunt.

Crossfit Training to Stay FitI love the winter months in Morzine. With the arrival of the first snow the whole region wakes up to a flurry of activities. Tourists flock to the area and the snow covered slopes take on a splendid and festive look with the skiers dotting the slopes. I have a great time in winter and the skiing gives me enough physical activity that I need not worry about my fitness, but it is the non-winter season that I’m worried about.

While I can pick out any of the physical exercises, it is the crossfit training that appeal to me more. I met a friend of mine a few weeks back that sparked my interest in crossfit. He said that he chooses crossfit traning, as it offers the best ever body workout that has the same program model for everyone, only with the intensity level changed, according to the age or fitness level of the individual concerned.

Scalable exercises

The best thing about crossfit exercises are that they possess a universal scalability that makes them ideal for any type of individual irrespective of the experience he possesses. Each day a single workout is given, which can be scaled based on the skill you have. For instance, if the workout needs squats with 120 pounds, but you are capable of only doing 40 pounds, then you can start on that level, or if you are not able to do the squats due to injury, a similar movement can be substituted till you get on to the level as prescribed.

Who can do it?

Crossfit though is suitable for everybody, everyone cannot do it. It is ideal only for certain categories of people.

Beginners in weight training who have not done weight training before find it ideal.

People who love the feeling of belonging to a community and support group find Crossfit a great outlet.

Fitness enthusiasts who cannot rest a day without having done their exercise for the day like the structured format of crossfit and the consistency present.

Former athletes who have been attuned to the feeling of camaraderie, competition and teamwork find the crossfit workouts a wonderful choice. Since the workouts involved fixed time limits for each repetition set, the competitive spirit in the athletes is aroused and they also like the nationwide competitions that take place in crossfit communities worldwide.

Starting the training

A CrossFit classes are generally provided free for the first class, so you can try out the workouts and see if they fit your purpose. The first class is the introduction class where you are given an overview on the workout, body movements involved and the benefits you get. I decided right on in the first class that the workouts are definitely for me. I also decided to make my muscles a little bit leaner, so I use bodybuilding supplements to create and drink tasty and healthy protein milkshakes.

The ramp or elements course is the next class, once you decide on joining the CrossFit workouts. This involves teaching nine basic movements in CrossFit and the need for sticking to proper form while exercising. This session is very valuable as you get to know how to perform the deadlifts, squats and presses perfectly.

Regular sessions include an hour or 45 minutes course that included doing the workouts prescribed like dynamic warm-up, strength work and workout of the day.

Samurai Training Camp in MorzineFor as long as there have been two people with different goals, there has been conflict. Sometimes, conflict can be worked out with words – talks, treaties, compromises, all of that. Other times, conflict can only be resolved with combat. The ability to defend oneself from an attacker is a skill everyone should develop, because you never know when a “crazy, isolated incident” could involve you. I took this attitude with me to a Samurai training camp in Morzine, and in my opinion, it was this attitude which helped me to get through the process without a hitch.

Well they didn’t give us any real katanas to play with, but we did get to practice swinging around what I think were called kendo – that’s like a sword, but blunt and made from a lightweight wood rather than a dense metal. Getting hit with a kendo still hurts plenty, I guarantee. But they don’t really inflict grievous wounds. A samurai’s blade was his best friend, the only thing standing between him and death, so I figured we would be doing some sort of swordplay, with or without the real weapons. Samurai used other weapons too though – like massive clubs such as the Tetsubo, or Kanabo.

That first club was so massive that I couldn’t even wield it effectively. The second one was lighter, but didn’t do nearly as much damage upon landing a blow. I wouldn’t want to be caught on the receiving end of either though; they were both pretty fearsome weapons. The training camp was fun and all, but it’s just not practical to walk around carrying such hefty weaponry, or dressed in expensive armor. My choice for a self-defense class would have to be MMA, or something similar to that. I recently bought a comfortable BJJ kimono for that specific type of training, too.

I like MMA a lot, so maybe I have a bit of bias when it comes right down to it, but there’s no denying that using your body for self-defense is much cheaper and easier than buying a bunch of gear to accomplish the same goal. Granted, people would probably be less likely to mess with you in the first place if they saw you carrying some long, lethal blade or a massive, bone-crushing club, but again, it just isn’t practical. I like it so much that I even train with my favorite grappling dummy with free time I have while sitting around at home. You can’t really bring a samurai training camp into your home, you know?

Well, maybe you could, after all. I know plenty of people that collect weapons, some modern, some from ages long past. But if you ask me, there’s a lot less risk involved in beating on a dummy with your hands and feet, as opposed to swinging around potentially fatal tools of war. What do you think? Would you rather be armed when conflict comes to you, or would you take comfort in knowing you have weapons nobody can take away from you in a fight? By all means, leave your comments.

Beneath the Alps About Internet and Data StorageI was doing some research on the internet lately about the Alps, and I was surprised to discover that there is a unique, new business buried 1,000 inside a mountain in Switzerland’s Uri Canton.

During the Cold War, the Swiss government built the command center of their air force deep in the mountain so that it could withstand a 20,000 megaton explosion. It was decommissioned in 2007, but it still has all the Cold War regalia and the air of another time. Despite this, the command center is moving into the future. It is currently being transformed by the company Deltalis into a certified data center to store the content that we use all across the internet.

After doing some reading, I learned that the site of the command center was originally planned to store gold, but developers realized that data storage could be more profitable. (It really is the information age!) The cool climate of the Alps and the location deep within the earth makes the location very secure and has the perfect conditions for keeping computer components cool and running efficiently. Even more, Switzerland has a solid infrastructure and good laws on the books for data protection. This means that Switzerland is fast becoming one of the best placed in Europe for data storage.

What is striking is that the complex is so huge. It’s over 15,000 square meters and almost all of that will be used for data storage. Even though the data center is new, 1,200 square meters have already been spoken for and the company that owns the site says they have no fears about reaching full capacity in the future. They even expressed concern that their industry will not be able to keep pace with the demands!

With that kind of expansion, the need for secure data storage is obviously hugely important for making technology and the internet work. Thinking about it, we really do use the internet in almost every aspect of our lives nowadays, and it is not just a system of networks and cables. There has to be a physical facility to store all the information that we demand on a nearly constant basis. It must be well planned, and the sites have to be chosen to account for space, security, speed and many other factors. Certified data centers do this for us. Data centers make it so that we can have access to all the modern services we take for granted on a daily basis.