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Showing posts from September, 2011

Teaching With Little Sleep

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As I’ve mentioned before I occasionally have difficulty with getting to sleep for a couple of days, but exhaustion usually wins out and by the third night I’m all back to a normal.  I’m not sure what’s going on lately, but I’m on my fifth night in a row of disrupted sleep.  What I feel like now.Just like Tuesday Teacher had me run the class for the first hour while he slept in an attempt to catch up on jet lag and fight his cold.  I had kind of anticipated this and had a few ideas to work on before he showed up.  I’m somewhat fixated on working on things that I’ve been avoiding. Primarily I’ve been avoiding downward blocks to Roundhouse kicks.  We had once tried this and I got a hellacious goose-egg on my forearm that ended up taking weeks to heal.  I assume it was a monumental bone bruise.  Just like any injury anticipation of pain starts playing on technique and then I shy away or adjust incorrectly.  So I worked on blocking roundhouses and ate bitter for awhile and was fairly surpr…

Teacher Is Back!

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I was leading the warm-ups as usual and had just got to the sit-ups and felt that tell-tale pull in my neck.  Figures – nothing like giving myself a tweaked neck before class has even started.  Duh!Not me – I’m lumpier in real life.Teacher had called me during the day and sounded horrible.  He’d picked up the flu or a bad cold during his travels and it was beating him up.  He asked me to run the first hour while he slept and then he’d come on down.  He showed up while I was introducing distancing with the side kick.  Most of the time distance is closed in the side kick via a step behind towards the Uke.  In times of stress, like sparring, that step behind might not occur and it’s replacement is a shuffle.  So the rear foot replaces the front foot in position.  The trick is keeping your balance so you can still deliver a decent kick.  Easier said than done. We spent the rest of the evening working on locks and throws.  The nice thing about having him back is that I can insert myself in…

Classes 6 + 7

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The Cherub and I were doing some light hand work and for whatever reason he decided to pull a technique out of one of our katas that ended up going through every bit of my defense and plowed into the flesh over my nose and between my eyes.  The unfortunate part of this being that he picked a spear hand.  Traditionally a really advanced technique because it’s coupled with a lot of hand conditioning we don’t do.  In reality if you pulled this technique you’d probably break all your fingers.  So The Cherub tags me once right between the eyes and the blood starts.  Neither of us is aware that he’s cut me and somewhat concerned about his control I stop the action and asked him what he did.  He shows me hitting me in the same exact spot!  Gad.  There’s actually cuts there – I swear!The Cherub.  I imagine that he might come across odd to the average joe on the street.  He has pale skin this side of sour cream, fairly bright red hair and very thick glasses.  I think he’s around 15, but fairly…

Classes 5 + 6

I’m having a hard time sitting down and typing for any period of time since I normally do these updates while I’m at work.  That’s what keeps the brevity most of the time.  For whatever reason work has picked up and so typing is broken in to a half sentence here and there.  Keeping to any kind of theme is really difficult.I think I’ve mentioned that I like using an outline for class, but gave it up because of the dependence it was creating.  So for the last couple of classes I gave up on that and stuck with a loose two portion approach.  For instance, last night I went with a blocking drill that I changed twice and then had a nice flow going so we could get a focus on in-fighting.  The second half of the class was split with kata and then throws.  As a rule TSD doesn’t really have throws, but due to our local school roots we have a few hip and trip throws. Both ideas came out of our last class where I learned an important teacher lesson.  Never put a exhausted guy back into sparring. …

Class 4

Or, “All by myself” <sung in a haunting way>.  This would be my first completely solo class and I chose not to have an outline sitting by the front of the class.  I figured that it was creating a weird dependence in such a way that I couldn’t think outside the outline.  I’d planned to have two to three sections of class with leg work first and then our version of scaled down Aikido next.  I was kind of taken by an idea suggested by Uchi Deshi when I asked him for some pointers.  He said that if there is a student getting ready for testing that he’ll run through the exam several times and fine tune anything that needs work.  Since we rarely know when Teacher is going to test this wouldn’t have worked out for us, but just before he left he told Dave that he would test him when he got back in September.  I thought the next couple of classes could have a little time on focusing on his test.  So class started well and we blew past the hour mark while we were all into the kicking dril…

Class 3

Not much to say other than that by the break I was pretty much running out of ideas. Thankfully Teacher showed up to save the day. I really thought my outline was going to keep me going all the way through, but I realized my fanatical attention to the clock is not helping me here. I started precisely on time and then spent a fairly long time on warm-ups. That left around 35 minutes of instruction before the break. “No problem,” I think. Well, I was wrong. I had about ten minutes worth after words. Teacher had me do everything up to that point including opening up the dojang and turning on the lights. I led the bow in and he didn’t show up until we got near the break. At the end of class he told the class while he was gone for the next month that they’d all get to participate in my education. Boy, was I thankful for that. Everyone is being extra nice, but I thought that was even better.