Friday, August 22, 2008


I was helping my wife prepare her classroom for the new school year last night so I didn't get to beatings. So I've included a video of me on the receiving side of Kotegashi as we do it. Not very smooth, but I find it effective.

I've also, finally, started a drill in the morning that Bob at Striking Thoughts suggested. Taking a wavemaster, doing knee strikes for five minutes intervals with push ups interspersed. In fear that I would go into arrest I started with 2 minutes on the timer and then three. Tomorrow I'll try three three minutes rounds. So far I'm better than I thought, but the wavemaster has a tendency to move away so I'm either chasing it down or pulling it back. I'm hoping to shake off those extra pounds from wine country.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I actually counted four or more times that I tried to find an excuse not to go to class last night. I was hoping that my wife was too tired from work and wanted me around to barbecue. I got the barbecue correct, but I was ushered off to beatings while she went back to school.

It's not an uncommon phenomenon for me, and I imagine others, that it literally takes wild horses to get to class, but once there I feel completely at home and totally refreshed and invigorated at the end of class.

Arms of Steel was visiting between semesters so his little sister stayed for both hours of the class. I mention this only because we did a little light sparring and AOS was pretty rusty with the sparring portion, but his sister who probably only ways 100 pounds, literally punched and kicked me with near her full force. I was thinking to myself, "who let this cat out of the bag?" and "Am I allowed to do the same to her?" I was completely discrete and punched and kicked appropriately, but most of it was rendered ineffectual because she kept getting inside my range, so I couldn't set up a good kick or punch. I hate kids.

We ended class with something I think we stole from Aikido classes. Multiple attackers and we could only use aikido to move people around. Awesome fun, but my fat was slowing me down.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Post Vacation

It seems like I'm typing that title out more often than I thought possible, but I live a good life so I have the strength of ten and bleed my vacation time to the very edge.

I went down to California to hang out with my wife and help her pack up and come back home (she was in school), but while I was down there I got to visit Uchi Deshi. I got to catch the 2nd half of his class and we were able to hang out and get to know each other.

As an aside I would like to mention that I was in amazement that I was able to meet someone through the internet, travel halfway across the world and meet them and find out that not only could we tolerate each other, but actually enjoy each others company.

The dojo he attends is easily the most impressive place I've ever been to. Two stories high and had a mat area that easily 50 by 50. Incredible. Plus the location on the beach makes it a stellar environment in which to learn the gentle art.

Tonight it's back to class and I'm already out of shape.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Weight of the belt

Teacher asks me last night, "so how does that belt feel?"

My first thought was "heavy."

When I put it on it doesn't feel right. I'm sure most of that is I'm so used to seeing the green belt that this seems out of place. The other part is that whenever I get to say Brown Belt in relation to myself I have dichotomous moment in which I say to myself, "that doesn't sound right," and "wow, I actually know something." I starting to think that a large part of the path is to come to believe in oneself and the skills you have. Colin mentioned something along the line about having the skill of a Black belt and coming to terms with the other portions of the path. I can feel myself getting comfortable with the role slowly. I can feel others giving me more respect - perhaps I'm accepting it more...

I noticed last night that everyone has heavy bruises on their arms. No one is complaining so that's nice. We still look like a bunch of abused husbands.

Full Iron Circle

When I started at the Shudokan school five years ago, MaryAnn Sensei was working on her San Dan and as part of that she would teach me the k...