Thursday, October 29, 2015

I Promised...

I promised to myself that I would not gripe about my physical ills on the blog, but since I've had some time off working on the house I've collected a slew of small issues.  Most notably my right foot has three puncture wounds that have healed enough that I can endure class, but last week's session produced a tear in the pad of my big toe.  Which simply produces the worst pain until it healed up.  I guess it's the constant pulling and movement.

So last night I'm doing good, but notice another spot on the right foot is giving away.  Great.  This time near the pinky toe.  I should have called myself Pinkytoe instead of Potatoefist.  

It was just Mark and I until an boy of about five was brought into class.  This isn't usually a big deal, but the kid's parents are the most beautiful people I've seen.  All white teeth and blond hair with a tan.  And on top of that the boy is able to focus the whole time!  Damn perfect people.

Reed Sensei had us go through movement drills that made us look absolutely horrible.  So move forward, block/strike, turn to the open part of the stance, block and strike, turn forward do it again and move forward.  We looked worse than the five year old.  Super embarrassing.  At one point a guy came in to watch and I think he left after 10 minutes.  Probably wondering why a couple of advanced belts looked like lurching drunks.

We finished up with Kata work and although nothing new was learned on the Kusanku I did refine a few pieces.  

I'll be in out for the next month making attendance very sporadic.  I'm hoping December allows me to get into a regular pattern.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Move and Sprawl

Two nights in a row!  I'm practically a lifer at this point.  Ha! After such a long time off I was incredibly sore on Tuesday.  I still felt pretty horrible this morning, but I was kind of excited to work on something new. 

Unfortunately plans went a little sideways because we did a lot of basics which I clearly needed.  Shudokan uses a very direct approach and they are okay about crossing feet on attack which I can't even begin to do unless I concentrate really hard. That and very twisted torso on the reverse punch.  I mean it makes sense to cover a lot of distance, but it takes a lot relearning on my part. 

I'm also out of practice as it relates to distance and contact.  My left punch was severely needing some recalibration.  I struggled so much and partner was a slight 19 year old girl.  If I made a poor contact I would have taken her head off. 

While we practiced variations on that Reed Sensei brought out the mats and for the next session.  Which was defending against the sprawl.  The standard first attack from someone with a wrestler background which goes for the legs needs to be countered by a sprawl.  Basically jetting the legs out wide and making your weight forward and down.  Each of use did a couple of go rounds trying to tackle someone our own weight, but Reed is a big man and it didn't go well for me. 

We then did a 6 o clock, 12 o clock position to turn the attacker over and get into an arm bar.  Lots of fun, but I split my food pad and ground  a lot skin off my feet ouch. 

Great night and I feel very exercised.  Well see how I feel tomorrow!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Big Sweatin'

I just realized I haven't posted since August!  Well I'm back for at least three sessions before travel and work get in the way again. 

Back in August we decided to work on the house again  which meant that we'd be working every night and every weekend.  It's been grueling, but we've made major progress.  During this time the only time I've had to myself to practice is really early in the morning.  Three katas a day has allowed me to keep most things in place.  I was rewarded in class when Reed Sensei said, "well you've obviously been practicing", boom!

After a brief warm-up I taught, or retaught, Sarah the staff routine and after a few goes at that Reed moved me back to the Kusanku and refined my boo-boos.  I got learn the next section which was a lot of fun. 

On the ride home I realized I haven't been moving like that in a long time.  Lots of ab work to jump around.  Argh.  This weekend I turned 49 so I felt pretty good that I still move pretty well and kick pretty high.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Kata 2

After warm up Reed Sensei got me back on Kusanku to introduce me to the next couple of pieces.  Since I actually haven't seen the complete kata I have no idea it's overall length or complexity.  So it's kind of fun to iron out the components as they come.  

Periodically Reed will stop and work through a piece of the kata. When I asked he said he hadn't taught this one in five years!  I don't know if I could remember anything if I stopped doing it after 6 months.  He certainly has a phenomenal memory.

After that it was back to the elbow techniques. This time I was trying to test my knowledge by going first, but I was only able to get through the first five and still needed hints.  We got through the two bunkai and application and then moved up to Mark's third kata's work.  I hope I'm helping him memorize this stuff because it comes slow to me.

The heat is almost unbearable outside, but the sport's club where we have class is nicely air conditioned.  For some reason I don't cool down that much when I'm changing out, so I'm perspiring before we even get started.  I'm wearing a light gi and it feels so close and clingy.  Yuck.  

No running or weights due to travel and I'll be leaving town tomorrow for the rest of the week.  I'm 200 lbs this morning.  Hopefully I can keep it under control.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

New Kata!

As I've mentioned before Sh┼źdokan is very focused on kata.  The preset movements act as a foundation to everything done at the school.  First comes kata, then the bunkai and finally the application.  

Unlearning the casual brutality of my old school is not difficult, but I often look back fondly on how tough it used to make me feel.  I miss the physical contact, but not the injury so I console myself with the excitement of learning new stuff as a replacement.  However, my learning curve is a bit modest.  At six katas, I'm still getting fine tuning tips and reminders about footwork etc. 

To my pleasure, last night Reed Sensei hit me up with, "let's work on a new kata tonight" again.  Before that started Mark and I went through the ten elbow techniques and then worked on the Kyoku series.  

The Kyoku are specific to Sh┼źdokan meaning that they aren't supposed to be shared openly.  That being said they feel fairly normal in the scope of kata, but their bow in and out are unusual.  Working with Mark on their bunkai and application didn't take that long since we'd worked on them in the past I could kind of remember them reasonably well.  

My new kata is called Chattan Yata Ku San Ku.  I have no earthly idea if I'm spelling that correctly.  Apparently, we borrow several kata from Yata from Chattan (or maybe that's the other way around?).  Reed Sensei tells me this is black belt kata which will have some jump kicks.  We made it through the first leg so now I have something new to practice!

Exercise note

I'm trying to keep consistent with the running.  I got up to 2.5 miles, but it was littered with stops and one of my calves gave up on the return.  Assuming I have time tonight I'm going to try again and see how it feels.  

I'm keeping up with the weights, but's relegated to the weirdest most broken up schedule I could imagine. For instance I did shoulders at 5 this morning.  What the hell is wrong with me!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Low Legs, Lowest Legs

It was a fantastic evening.  I had been having a difficult time keeping a regular schedule in the last month mostly due to season tickets to our local Women's soccer team and a lot of social obligations. So actually getting to class has become a pleasure as well because it acts as a stabilizing force in an otherwise chaotic schedule.

There are 10 techniques and I notice everyone has there mnemonic.  Here is my new list:

  1. Stop 1
  2. Stop 2
  3. Stop 3
  4. Waiter 1
  5. Waiter 2
  6. holding
  7. Slippery
  8. Elbows
  9. holding
  10. Knockdown twist
Of course, this morning I can't remember what I call number 6 or 9, but I'm getting better!  

I worked the rest of the class with MaryAnn Sensei on her application of a Gojo Ryu kata.  I'm about a foot and half taller than her which is great for her because of the Aikido-like management of the attacker.  I walk up behind her and grab her arms which lead to a complicated arm lock (because I don't let go), a heel to the groin, followed by a Judo throw.  I think it's a Harai goshi or Hane Goshi, but unlike a Judo throw there is no way to exit and slap.  So you just eat the mat with your arm drawn up behind you.

All 40 throws. The Harai and Hane are tucked in there.

When it was my turn to be the defender I was operating at the height advantage/disadvantage.  I have to squat lower than MaryAnn's hips to do the hand work and the throw.  After four attempts I ended up having to stop due to burning knees and thighs.  I'm sure I'm not doing something correctly, but this is for MaryAnn's next rank so I doubt I'll need to work on this anytime soon.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Exercise Note 2

The heat in the area is showing no signs of going anywhere so I grabbed my running sandals and hit the road in 100 degree, arid heat.  The strange thing about being in such a dry stretch is that it didn't appear that I was sweating at all.  I am fairly used to perspiring a moderate amount trying to move my 200 lbs around.  I realized later that it was probably evaporating as fast as I was producing it.  I never felt uncomfortable, but I only ran for 13 minutes netting me a 1.3 mile run.  Not very exciting, but with reconstructing my gait and a slight fear of overdoing it in the heat I thought I did pretty good.

I only took one pause at the turn around, but I did feel sorry for people out in the heat as I trundled by.  A man chasing his stomach while his lovely moobs swayed to a mild beat has got to put anyone off their chow.  I wonder how my wife can tolerate the site.  However, this might explain why she has the lights off in the bedroom when I come to bed.

The important part of this note (really not all about self-loathing) is that my legs don't hurt at all, but I have a small amount of tenderness on the tip of one toe that must have been rubbing incorrectly. Talk about a great progress.  My knee didn't show any sign of wear or tear and my legs feel comfortably exercised without the gripping pain from my last go round.

I squeezed in a shoulder work out while we watched TV later in the evening.  It feels great to use weights again after all this time, but I must admit it's a bit upsetting to use such small amounts.  I'd rather keep away from injury though and I'm keeping my eye on the long path.

For those of you interested in near barefoot running here's the site I eventually chose because of the price of make it yourself shoes Xero Shoes.