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Daygrinder and Bluetoe

It sounds like the title to a new buddy action comedy set in a dystopic waste land in the future, but in reality it's just two facets of my life from the last week.  

The Bluetoe refers to the color of my toenails last night while we did a run through of the test in Sensei's garage.  Alas, his wife had forgotten to turn the space heater on earlier.  Although we couldn't see our breath, the room felt like it was in the mid 50s (f) the whole time we were there.  We were extra vigorous just to keep warm.  No dilly-dally for us.  I believe we finished in about 45 minutes.  Record time.

About two weeks ago I bit down extra hard and knocked a chunk of tooth off a molar.  The pain was exquisite.  After the dentist had removed the shard and repaired the spot she said that I needed to get a night guard as I showed signs of grinding my teeth.  After making an appointment I realized that I forgotten to mention that I wear retainers and my teeth can't actually touch one another at n…

New Guy Dave

Our text feed was filled with people saying they couldn't make one or both of the classes last night.  Although that's a bummer generally speaking, it means that the class was going to be small or a private lesson.  I used to be frustrated by that, but now I'm definitely down with the attention to detail it provides and the longer periods of time we can spend on single parts of exercises.  

The black belt extra class, which meets at Sensei's house between the general class and the adult class requires a drive to the South which can take anywhere between fifteen to 40 minutes depending on traffic.  For whatever reason I got all green lights and ended up second.  Very unusual for me.  The class ended up being Mya, Mark, Sensei and me.  Perfect class.

We went through as much of the test as we could in forty-five minutes.  By the end we had made it through seven kata and their bunkai.  Not bad, but the slow up was due to Sensei's attention to detail on the bunkai.  It me…

Finally! I Get To Teach An Adult

It's not that we aren't helping each other all the time, but acting in the role as a teacher specifically to pass recent knowledge is pretty exciting.  

The two folks that made it through their year of confirmation have both decided as of last night to follow the track to Ni Dan using the Birds package.  

Blocks of Kata and their associated Bunkai/Oyo are called packages in Shudokan parlance.  In my case I'm doing the "bird" package.  At least five of the kata are straight up white crane kata derived from an ancestor of ours that when to China to learn martial arts.  So we have the version that has been filtered through Japanese culture, but it's pretty recognizable by anyone for what it is.  The remaining kata were selected over the years as the default for one reason or the other.

Starting with me (or my skill level in this year) we were given the option to select a different package which contained five Shotokan kata and five Riuryu kata.  I stuck with tradit…

A Rat!

Sensei sent out a message on the text chain letting us know that someone had contacted the local code enforcement officer about running a business out of his garage.  Namely our class!  Consequently he didn't want us there to practice between classes until he sorted it out. 

A side effect of this issue is that it has lit a fire under Sensei about finding a place.  However, a brief conversation about rent prices really shocked me.  Just finding a space in an out of the way strip mall costs around $6000 freedom dollars!  How does anyone stay in business?!

We all realize that if we had our own place it would be so much easier to train.  Some of the students train three classes in a row twice a week because that's all that's available.  That's really pushing it for some of the kids in school.  By the time we get out of the last class (8:30) I'm ready to hit the sack and they still have hours of homework.  It doesn't make for a conducive learning environment. 

By ye…

Forgotten Notes

Hey Everybody!

Oh man, it's been a long time since I've posted.  Where did the time go and all that?  I keep forgetting to write in the blog the day after.  Too much going in life, but I am still remaining as consistent as I can be with class and practice.

As I mentioned in previous posts I'm on the log slog towards my Ni Dan (2nd degree) test in early May.  If I didn't describe it in the past each exam in the Shudonkan school is from a different style.  This is a reflection of the schools roots, when it was simply a place for anyone to practice.  So many people from many styles would come and hang out, but instead of cross pollinizing the school chose to learn the style of the other folks as best they could.

So the first test, Sho Dan, is a smattering of some in house (proprietary) kata and technique and some ground level stuff from other Okinawan school.  The second degree is mostly bird kata.  And when I say bird kata I mean it.  It's 90% white crane from Wush…

Ten In Thirty

I apologize for not writing frequently, but that's mostly because I update the blog while I'm at work.  The issue is the new job doesn't have a lot of slack time for to think deeply about my Karate practice.

I recently started moving my practice around so it resembles the test as closely as I can make it.  This means I do all ten kata in a row.  Because I'm not stopping to do the Bunkai between each form I can basically do the whole thing in around a half hour. 
As a result I've found my weak spots in my kata which is great, but absolutely infuriating. I had definitely thought I had everything nailed down way better than I do.  I also learned that I need to practice this everyday because little practiced katas have a tendency to fall apart when not touched upon at least every three days.
I think I've mentioned that I had a few weeks of 10 to 11 hour work days and as a result I have crippling pain in my left hip and right ankle.  I literally sat so long I compresse…

So Much Wando

It's been a couple of weeks!  Work turned into a bit of a nightmare.  I've been working 10 to 12 hours days for about 10 days straight now.  The exhaustion didn't leave me much time to do anything, but eat dinner and go to sleep and then do it all over again.

The emergency is slowly resolving give me some more time to myself.  And maybe I'm getting used to the long days, but in any case I was able to go to class for the first time in awhile.  Let's just say that my performance was less than adequate in my own mind.  But the occasional practice I've been doing kept me from looking like a total failure.  Olivia and I ripped through out list of test katas in 45 minutes.  I didn't look good on two of the bigger ones, but the speed made me feel good.
In the main class we focused on a single kata, Wando, and I was able to refine that pretty darn well.  Lots of things I'd missed in the pass.  I took about 15 minutes to work with one of our new Brown belts, Mia. …