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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. …

A Twist In The Test

As I've reported before, I'm on the long slog to the test so there isn't much to add on a weekly basis.  I'm just trying to remember and be better with the things I need to know while balancing the real life stuff.

As you will recall part of the test is to do the Bunkai.  Bunkai is a series of moves that come from the kata that acted out by two people.  One acts as the aggressor (they are the Uke) and they are the loser in the show.  I have ten kata so I have ten Bunkai to learn. So far in the process, they have not been the emphasis, so learning them has been a bit of a challenge.  We've only touched on them fleetingly so it feels like a struggle to learn them. 

The new wrinkle was that Olivia (my test partner) and I were told yesterday that we were now encouraged to make our own bunkai for the test!  This was is a fairly large change, but we now have till May to sort this out.  Olivia and I are supposed to invent them and then present them to the Sensei and he'…

Orange Skies

The Thorn City is currently covered in a cloud of ash produced by the West coast fires.  Air quality is getting close to Beijing on a bad day.  So I'm definitely not encouraged to do anything vaguely athletic outside, but the skies are beautiful at sunrise and sunset. Well, there were up until last night when the view started looking like something out of bladerunner.

Even though we are getting to the point where we are all supposed to be wearing masks I slogged up to Sensei's house to practice.  He thankfully had the garage doors closed, but the garage felt like an oven.  We reviewed older kata and did our first few kata before time ran out.  

Part of Olivia and my home is to name the bunkai to help us remember what they are.  So far I've got:
- haku cho
- haku cho dai means on in the eye
- hakutsuru no Onna means go hard
- hakutsuru no Ottko means go soft (pretty hands)

I'm stuck there because it didn't really help me sort out what I was supposed to be doing, but it'…

The Good Kind Of Sore

In my late twenties I wanted to be a body-builder.  I grew up long and thin and was incredibly self-conscious about it.  I hated wearing shorts when I was in high school because my knee joints were the largest part of my legs.  You could hang hats and coats off my hip bones.  Needless to say that drove me pretty hard to put on weight when I had the time to put into it.  Over the years I became "normal" and made many friends at the gym.  At one point I was working out with my friend Jerry, who was an actual competing body builder, I made the comment, "I can't wait to be big like you so I won't be sore anymore."

This was met with laughter combined with disbelief. 
"You know it's part of the process.  You'll continue to be sore forever.  You recognize it for what it is - muscle growth.  It's a bit masochistic,"  he said.
I can remember being so disappointed, but over the years I realized it was a built-in feedback mechanism.  If you did eve…

Notes from the Long Slog

I'm not filled with the muse to write at the moment, but here are some notes.

It's been two weeks since I've been to class.  Good news is that the recent colonoscopy only had two pre-cancerous polyps - both removed.  I'm clear for another three years, but that was a missed class night.  I didn't come out of the anesthesia as well as I had before. Thankfully my wife drove.

With nine months ago, I imagine all I'm going to be writing about is test prep.  So katas and bunkai and probably not much else.  

Progress took a bit of a back step for me since I didn't practice as intensely as I should have while I was out.  This showed as we went through the newer kata.  Aggravating. 

Monday is kata night and basics night.  The bb class was at 90 degrees plus again.  I can't believe how much water I go through and still remain thirsty.  We managed to get through first five kata with their bunkai.

During regular class we worked on Wando most of the class, because we have…

A Lovely Day For Big Bird

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There was a break in the heat finally, but I was leaving on vacation today so I wanted to get a little training in before I left so I chose the first hour of class (the black belt session) which is held at Sensei Reed's house.  When the class gets a little big we end up practicing in his front yard.  I guess the old adage would be that the lawn is good training for our feet.  Anyway here's the progress video.


Nothing to brag about, but at least I have a lot of basic movements down.  The big deal is that it's my tenth kata so it's nothing but refinement for the next 8 months.  That and learn the ten bunkai as well.  Right now I can remember maybe one or two.  Stay tuned for a plethora of badly filmed techniques.