10 Days To Go!

"So how do you feel about things?", asked Reed Sensei.

"If you asked me a year ago that I'd even have any of this vaguely looking like I knew what I was doing, I would have said you're probably crazy.  That being said, I'm pretty darn happy that everything looks fairly good after a year of hard work.  My biggest concern being that I recover from an error without looking too bad," I replied.

Not the most auspicious conversation, but it was illustrative of where I'm at in the process.  Normally Reed will simply state, "You are doing great and could do the test no problem; I just like to see things more refined".  He no longer says that, but asks how I feel about my progress.  

Mark likes to point out that that Reed will try to refine our moves up to two days before the test.  At that point he says, "you are good to go".  That got me a chuckle, because Reed could always find something to address, but he knows at a certain point we jus…


Daniel and Reed are getting together whenever they can so they can knock of Reed's requirements for his test. I believe he's going for his 5th degree?  He has to show 10 kata and create bunkai for all of it.  Very exciting stuff. 

We meet at the garage again around 5:30 and got started going through my test requirements.  Although there was a lot of notes on the my first kata we were able to get through all the requirements and do some extra refinement before my alarm went off. 
Since I really didn't have anything important to get back to at home I drug my leaving out.  Thus I got to participate in their bunkai contstruction.  Our school requires that the moves from a kata need to show a practical or impractical move to go with them.  Since there is no right or wrong move the imagination of the presenter can make for some interesting interpretation.  

Reed wanted me to work with Daniel so he could see how it looked.  This meant taking a lot of twisting falls.  Since I was …

Speed Test - 14 Days!

I'm still on call so I was only able to go the after class last night.  Which turned out to be fairly awesome.  Daniel Sensei and I chatted for some time and I realized no one was showing up.  So we ran through my test and I don't recall ever going through things so quickly before.  I was literally wheezing by the time we finished up. 

I hadn't realized that Mark and me have a pace that we go through and we tend to stop and rework things off and on.  Consequently it takes us about 15 to 20 to finish.  I think it took Daniel and I about 10 minutes altogether. 
Reed showed up a little later and ran me through my Kyoku kata.  He originally wanted to run through my whole test, but we ended up reviewing a lot to work on in the kata.  I can't say that I was frustrated, but I sure thought I was doing a bit better than his corrections would indicate. 
Due to the feeling of pressure to get ready, Reed and Daniel are trying to meet as much as possible.  So we'll be meeting a…

18 Days To Go

I keep telling myself that I am feeling pretty good about the test coming up.  I've been studying this stuff for a year and Mark and I get through it pretty easily, but there is always errors.  I don't think we've gone through our application song and dance without at least one hiccup.  I had my wife video us but I'm actually dreading looking at it.  We hadn't warmed so we were a mess to be sure.  After about three run throughs we looked okay.  

I'm currently on call so I'm living a weird schedule.  I can't be farther than 20 minutes away from a computer at any given time so going to class is out of bounds, but that's more because if falls before 5 pm.  My real time shift ends at five.  So Mark took pity on me and came out to my place to practice for an hour so I could be close to work.  Although I didn't get any emergencies I was able to get work done during the hour I had to sit here.  

After class was just a run through over and over again of o…


It was kind of a big deal last night as I turned in my Black belt paper/thesis.  I went through six revisions and two modest rewrites to come to a grand total of five double spaced pages. What a joke.  I remember suffering through writing my masters thesis and some other big research papers that probably took less time and effort than these five pages.  I mean I love what I wrote, but I'm guessing after it's read once or twice it's going to go in a folder somewhere and influence exactly no one.  My wife enjoyed reading it though and it provoked a few good discussions.

I also turned in my testing fee last week (or farther back), so I'm on track.  I just need to rent a hotel room for the night of testing and I'll be ready to go. 

Reed Sensei wants to put a little structure into class so one Wednesday a month we'll do self defense and another we'll do sparring.  That makes for something to look forward to! 
Mark has returned from a bit of illness and was ready t…

23 Days To Go (Shūdokan 130)

I like to reserve this blog for writing specifically about class but my regular life is feeling like it's impacting things at the moment.  My Mom started developing Dementia symptoms a few years back and they've been accelerating at an alarming pace lately.  After a bout of sickness that was mishandled by my Dad and her she had to go to the hospital.  Things are in a messy state because my Dad is having troubles making clear headed decisions.  My wife has volunteered to travel to the East coast to help him out while they try to put their affairs into order.

I'm consumed with guilt about not being there, but it's not that I could have done much except fretting and generally pulled my hair out.  It all seems so chaotic with no clear idea of what to do next. 
Last night I was just starting class and got the two little girls (much to my chagrin).  I didn't have much patience anyway, so when my brother called I had to leave class to get the latest details I felt mixed dr…

28 Days

Well, there's no zombies in this post, but I'm under 30 days until confirmation.  When I start thinking about how far I've come I get electric feelings in my hands.  I remember this from my old school when I was just starting to learn stuff.  My feet felt like they were alive with lighting.  It's a bit of a let down to know that it's a by product of adrenaline bursts, but when it happens I feel like Iron Fist for a second.

I went to class with a lot of dread assuming I'd be teaching the girls all class again.  I went really early so Mark and I could practice as much as we could and we got a solid half hour of work in.  I ended up leading the warmups and gritted my teeth when class assignments were handed out.  Low and behold Mark and I were told do the Nifanshi Shodan Oyo!!  I've never been so happy to do repetitive work.  We literally did the same thing for the whole hour.  Reed would come up every couple of minutes and correct some portion that needed some…