Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stay WARM and Stay ACTIVE....with a Shuttlecock!

Question of the Day: If you had to choose, would you rather deal with really hot or really cold weather?

I'd just like to answer my own QOTD for a moment and make a case as to why I'd rather deal with really cold weather. Well, personally I get nauseous in the heat and just like cool weather in general. My practical argument is the fact that you can always put on more clothes if you're cold. When you're in the sweltering heat, though, you can't just...like, peel off your skin. :/

Aaaanyway. On to today's post! x)

In China, when the youth got cold during the wintertime they would do anything they could to work out, exercise, move their body. Stay active. One of the most popular sports that they would play was with the shuttlecock, or as the Chinese call it, the jianzi.

You can buy one for yourself HERE or you can make your own!
You need these items:
1) scissors and tape
2) ribbon OR feathers OR strips of plastic
3) string
4) 3 coins (which allows the shuttlecock to land on its feet every time)

Last year, I learned how to kick the shuttlecock as part of my high school senior project. The shuttlecock is basically like a feather hackysack, and the actual sports game is similar to badminton. The Chinese enjoyed playing with the jianzi because it was cheap, fun, and warmed their bodies in no time. If you've kicked a hackysack before, you know what I mean! You have to constantly balance and twist and turn to make sure the hackysack never falls to the ground. You gain a lot muscle in your legs and you learn to balance.

The feather shuttlecock is most popular, but if you don't have any feathers you can still use plain old plastic or ribbon. Take a plastic grocery bag and cut it into strips of plastic. Fold them, starting at the middle, around a few coins and hold them secure with tape or ribbon or some other substance. It may not work as well and it may not be as fun to use, but the general idea is still there.

When you make a feather shuttlecock, you can find rubber bases in a Chinese supermarket. Twist the feather ends together and stick them into the base. Use glue or tape if you need it to keep the feathers in tact.
In that first photo, if you look close enough you can see the feather jianzi that have coins as the base. Tie the coins together with string. Remember, the more coins you use, the harder and faster the shuttlecock will fall to the ground, and the more strength you'll need to keep that shuttlecock in the air.

This is what a feather jianzi looks like after it has been put together!

Fun fact: In China, they use chicken feathers to make their jianzi.


It takes a lot of practice to be able to kick the shuttlecock well. You can play with it either on your own or with friends and family. In fact, it's even more fun when you kick it with other people! After you do it for a while, you won't even notice how good you've gotten! My dad kicked the shuttlecock a lot when he was younger, and got to the point where he could kick it over 100 times without dropping it on the ground or barely even moving from his original spot!

Stay warm! =)

~TRA

P.S. It's best to find a room in your house that has ample space and no breakable objects. If you don't mind the cold too much and if it's not snowing, you can even take the jianzi outside on the sidewalk or driveway for more room and to show off your new skill!

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5 comments:

Becca. said...

ooooh that looks lovely! :)

and i couldn't agree more with your comment, that editorial really changed my mind about her new cropped pixie haircut!

thankyou for the comment on my blog :)
& hope you had a good christmas!
XOXO, BECCA
www.fashion-train.co.uk

Amanda Sablan said...

Looks interesting. I've heard of shuttlecock before but I hadn't known what it was until now. Never played anything like this... :0

Your cold weather argument IS practical but I can more easily endure the heat than the cold so I've always preferred being really hot.

Becca. said...

they do, i'm totally considering buying them... how has your day been?

thankyou for the comment on my blog :)
XOXO, BECCA
www.fashion-train.co.uk

Trisha said...

LOL your shuttlecocks are cute, but I had never heard of kicking them! :D

Talli Roland said...

Hm... I'm going to say I'd prefer hot weather. I really really REALLY hate the cold!

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