Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Belt and Rank

Our class is going to be taking a break for a week or so I was going to bring my video camera to get a couple clips of us practicing kata or kicking each other. When I get there I had to stifle a groan when I realized that camera had no charge. So no video this week.

Cook brought in his new born daughter for a few minutes before attending class. He let me hold her for a few minutes which aways evokes a bunch of feelings for me. Thankfully he took her off my hands, but not before I was awash with sentimentality. Hell of way to start class.

Lots of kicks for the first hour and then a few self defense exercises in the 2nd hour. We went over Kata for a bit and the word came out, "everyone sit to the side." This is followed by, "except for ____." The irony of this was that I've have been thinking about what a test for my Brown belt might consist of. However he called Cook and after the test he gave him his first Green tab.

Since Teacher customizes each test to the user I was thinking how I'd do my own test in his place. I was thinking that I would have to do all the Kata that we know up to this point, Sparring for a longer than average period, Do some multiple attack scenarios, show effective wrist and joint locks, and them demonstrate a technique as if educating someone.

Most likely he'll see that I accomplished all that over time and the test will be some formality, but I guess I should be thinking about it. I just feeling an itch that means things might be moving forward again. With Cook getting his 1st rank my anxiety popped up a bit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sleep interrupted

So I've got a problem living in the far North. As the days get shorter I tend to have more problems sleeping. What happens is that I was born in the South so my biorhythms tend to be fairly "normal." By that I mean that when it gets dark I tend to relax and think about bed. I get into the rituals that mean I'm getting ready for bed - cleaning the kitchen, taking care of the cats, etc. This gets a little difficult when the winter comes. As you all know the farther you get North the shorter the day gets. When my wife and I lived in the Arctic there are certain times of the year where there is no light.

So what I'm trying to say is that around 5pm my body wants to go to sleep and sends me signals by being drowsy and so forth. If I indulge in this and go to bed early I can't get to sleep; setting up a frustrating cycle of tossing and turning and easily disrupted sleep. Add to this two old cats that like to come at all hours and announce their cat problems. Arggh.

So I count on beatings to help me sleep by working me hard enough to be exhausted to get to sleep. Even that isn't working, so tonight (after class) I'm on a sleeping pill and drinking a single malt in hopes that I'll soon have to go to sleep.
Class included what I think is Bunkai. Uses components of kata in actual application. We use the knife hand in several Kata and tonight we drilled with that quite a bit. I'm not a particular fan, but just a few oopsies led to to me flexing my throat muscles in anticipation of a strike that never came. Perhaps this will change in time, but I have no training in hardening my hand in that fashion. My wife laughs at my use of a brick to harden my knuckles.

Although she's never mocked me about the brick I thought I saw give me a couple of glances. Then, while we were having a party, a few people noticed it under the coffee table and my wife ends up telling everyone how I'm always training with it and so on. Everyone looked impressed or weirded out. I'm wasn't sure because their was beer involved.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

"Not the good ear!"

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but one of Beards ears is sort of mangled. In his childhood a dog got hold of him and tore it lose. The reattachment was only so good so it's a bit off kilter. It's not something easily noticed until he points it out. Last night we were practicing a series of elbow blocks that lead into some knee strikes. The first would go into the groin forcing the Uke down and then second would be in the face. When practicing with Teacher he had his head slightly askance so when the second knee came up he came up with the quote for the evening - "not the good ear!"

We spent most of the second hour working on wrist locks. I was placed with Priest who is a willing student so I got to review all my knowledge while I suffered mightily at his hands. I presume this means I'm a good teacher.

After class Teacher pulled me aside and pointed out that my right crescent kick is out whack. He had me do the left leg first and it was awesome - enough so that one of the news guys said, "whoa." The right just won't make a nice circle. It's as if I'm fighting my own legs and hips. Something to work on.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Toe Jam

As I drove home last night I actually said this out loud rather dryly, "well that was self-fulfilling prophecy".

Normally I have a mantra I say to myself before class to get my head straight. I do this while I'm sorting out my gi, belt and water for class. It's basically this, "don't take it personal, you need this exercise, don't fear injury, but be careful, etc." Although I say this all the time before class it really hasn't come true to any degree in a long time. Last night broke that healthy stretch, but thankfully it appears to be nothing more than a painful sprain of the big toe.

I'm hobbling around today, but I don't feel any of that lingering frustration about class or myself that attends a "bigger" injury. Hopefully I'll be at class on Tuesday.

So Four Monks Walk Into A Bar...

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