Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Time Compression

And then class was over.

We got started late and then went into the break and then class was over. I can't decide if I like it when class flys by and there has been a loss of time or frustrating because it didn't feel like I was working hard. Well, you know I was working hard, but you know what I mean.

One and two step sparring for the first hour. It was pointed out that I didn't need that many strikes after a block. Teacher Slim pointed that out to me in a rather memorable fashion. I was favoring a short rib strike followed by an elbow or two quick punches to the head. So he pulls me to the side and punches me in the short ribs. Naturally, I curled up around his fist like a slug around a new flower. He pointed out that my head was no longer in the same position and, therefore, I shouldn't be punching to that space.

So after a lot of retooling I started thinking with my legs. Lots of knees to the head of the bent over guy.

After break the mats came out. Since Teacher Slim was there it meant that locks and throws were going down. After I don't know how many chokes, throws and locks class was halted. Learned an awesome counter for the rear seated choke if I can move fast enough.

I still couldn't go to sleep until Eleven.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Practical Application

More bruises! This morning a big blue one on a bicep and big brown one on my hand. I know the one on my hand came from the wrist locks, but where did one arm come from? Mysterious and I don't bruise very easily - at least I haven't in the past.

I assumed that since my legs were barely functioning that we'd be doing kicks because karma is like that, but instead it was night of applying kata and then an evasive move to throw.

In TSD our katas can seem often bizarre (to me anyway) and since we don't have formal bunkai we are often left questioning the practicality of certain movements. So Teacher took a couple of odd bits and made sure we had an idea of how they played into reality - fun!

The rest of the class was devoted to evading a bear hug attack. Teacher's friend was all drunk the other night and he got to pull this one out of his hat. We do the double upward block (from kata!) then using an elbow to the shoulder, a behind the elbow pull and a step out of the way the uki goes flying. It took about an hour to get it flowing, but it was awesome fun when it worked correctly. No effort for a beautiful flight.

Ironically my legs were nicely loosened up all the activity.

Realisation - we need more people for the class. We're going to be losing two more folks this summer and then it'll be Nilon and I with Beard on occasion. Yikes.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Gym Note

9:55 mile (struggle to run)
225 Squat (barely able to move this morning)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blood and Softness

Where do they come from? In the shower last night after beatings I noticed two holes in my hand and something that looks like a burn mark on one forearm. I can't remember doing or receiving anything that would create these but there you have it.

The first hour was dedicated to sticky hands! This is rare, but fun as hell. Nilon and I did it for a full half hour without the shoulder strain that usually accompanys the exercise. I assume that means that I was relaxed enough to learn.

Second hour was a big shift - soft block and evade. This is one of those integration things that is apparently very hard for me. TSD is so hard style and then Teacher shifts gears and makes things all touchy feely which I apparently suck so bad at that I create a vacuum. Still interesting and fun. And when done correctly requires no muscle. Fast night.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Down Time

I skipped beatings last night. I had to work late at the second job and by the time I finished dinner class had already started. That and the pain up and down my left side didn't feel very motivational. If it sounds like I'm making excuses - I am. Everytime I laugh it hurts and when I rolled over in my sleep last night I woke myself up from discomfort. Nice. I'm so tough.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It's full of stars...

The afterimage of a hundred flashbulbs flashed in the darkness. After the static in my vision cleared I tried to quickly pick myself up and get out of the way of the next uki. I took a horrible fall and the result was a sore neck and momentary loss of vision. Tough night.

We started with punching and kicking drills that somehow seemed incredibly fun and fast. I got paired with Nilon and AOS. Nothing really new, but Teacher Slim came in for his once in a month visit. He was to my one side correcting my newly developed bad habits, while Teacher corrected my old ones. Making a fist, breathing, etc. As usual Nilon struggled to remain consistent with the exercise and immediately started trying his locks and grabs. Teacher Slim really doesn't have patience for such things and wandered away. When I have both of them its like watching ADD in stereo. Teacher Slim only wants to teach advanced moves and concepts - often pushing far beyond what I capable of doing, while Nilon wants to try whatever he can think of instead of the exercises at hand. This frustrates me because I want to know what Teacher Slim has to offer, but you really have to concentrate and give him your full attention and that's not possible with Nilon.

Nilon, whom I used to call Nut, was getting on my nerves again last night. I'd like to think that I was making my peace with him, but he has special powers to drive me over the edge. The more energy expended the more he gets energized. Thankfully he took a three hour hike before he came to class. Even the constant exhortations of "relax" from the teachers had a limited effect.

So the mats came out at half time since Teacher Slim was there. Nilon, still full of vim and vigor took care of that all by himself. Youthful energy makes me jealous. But seeing it makes me even more tired.

So it was on to Aikido. I may have mentioned this before, but Teacher Slim had some exposure to Aikido in the past and has taken some favorite things from that art and combined with them with some really painful stuff from Gojo-ryu.

We partnered up and then practiced all the basics and a little of the advanced moves. From there we had the person in the middle and the rest did a line. Attack, attack, attack. Supposedly we are trying for variety, skill, and timing. In reality there is a lot of poor falling, poor throwing and general poor execution - well, at least from me.

And that's where the stars came in. Beard pulled me in and executed a wrist lock and take down so fast my feet left the ground. I didn't even have time to tuck my chin. Boom. From there everything got a little less smooth.

One of the moves takes the attacking hand and moving it into a circular block to move the arm out of the way. You then take your other hand and grab the back of the head forcing it down and if executed well then the uki ends up doing a roll out. I crashed to the floor thunderously. I got a really sore foot from that one.

I slept like a log last night.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Fog Of Weekend

I left beatings early to catch a plan to the city. I know I had something interesting to talk about, but I'm so tired right now I can't remember what it was.

I think Nilon and I were trying sticky hands. I saw a video on another blog by some fellow that was a definite expert. So we tried this and there some moments of synchony but not much beyond that. I helped with the kids class. This does nothing good for my blood pressure.

Uninspired on a Monday morning. I feel like I was gone for a year.

Went to a bar on Saturday night with a friends and his friends. Missed two fights right next to me. So much for me situational awareness. No kung-fu skills here.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Video Review 2

I didn't have much of a class last night because I got called into work after we started. I did have enough time to catch myself on film though. Here's Bassei again. Although I can get through the whole Kata Teacher notices that I'm trying to rush to the end and don't have any dramatic pauses. I think you can see that he's correct...

Bassai in the park

Holy Cow!  So much time has passed since I've sat down and collected my thoughts for a quick update about my martial practice.  March wa...