Friday, March 23, 2012

When The Dominos Fall

The first domino:  Nervous about going to class after getting punched in the head.  Adrenaline was making me weak instead of getting me pumped up. 

Second domino: During the warm up we balance on leg and close our eyes for the count of ten.  I normally struggle through that anyway, but Teacher used me as an example and I just got worse even with his helpful hints. 

Third domino: Because of class numbers I wasn’t able to partake in the exercises; only to assist teacher.  I need practice as much or more as others.  We started with a hammer fist to the punching arm and using the same arm to slide up with a chop to the neck.  After that we went to two step-sparring, using it as an initiating event and then to be creative afterwards with a response.  I kept doing the same thing over and over again. 

Teacher is definitely taking time to work on advanced technique with me and I was feeling like I was starting out as a white belt.  He took away my ability to grab with hands and work on technique with forearms instead.  I could do it, but only after multiple attempts.  And even then I couldn’t apply any imagination to the moves.  I think I could see his disappointment, or maybe I was just projecting my own troubles.

Fourth domino: We practiced kata/hyung for the second hour.  This is normally my best area, but I kept getting everything wrong, tripping over my own feet, and generally not being helpful.

I later talked with Beard and told him my troubles (which I should mention no one appeared to notice)  and he told me that in Judo he runs into similar issues.  If the first throw or fall goes wrong then they all have a tendency to snowball as he over-focuses on the one piece that needs work.  

Here’s a good day – Me doing Pinan Oh Dan. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lump On Head

A blast of sparks shot across my vision from the left.  Ouch.

The class got started late and we mostly focused on the long punch.  The fist is oriented North/South instead of the standard East/West format.  If feels very Chinese to me.  It’s incredibly convenient for specific shot like into the xiphoid process amidst heavy protection. 

The whole move is something we pull out of our third hyung (kata).  On one of the long runs we cross our whole body and drive the fist while untwisting the whole body.  It’s an incredibly powerful strike. 

Here’s a guy doing our third kata.  At 13 seconds you can see the move, but he has no hip drive whatsoever. 

We practiced that with some other moves and had a grand old time twisting necks and arm locking each other.

Then Teacher does a big change out.  He wants to do an exercise in which we don’t block, but just evade – just like a boxer.  Well, after getting two roundhouse punches got landed on my head I realized that pain does not make a great educator. 

After 8 years of using my hands to block shots this was quite a change and it showed on me.  The new students were fine, but I couldn’t move fast at all.  My head really aches today. 

Friday, March 02, 2012

New And Old

The class was incredibly small last night (possibly due to bad weather) so Teacher and I got to work on stuff ourselves while the four members did basic work amongst themselves. 

We’ve got a father son team that I find interesting to watch.  The son doesn’t want to be there, but Dad has joined the class so he’ll continue to come.  I’m not sure of the logic, but it’s a bit of a laugh to see the son with his frowny face and his lack of desire to participate.  Later in class he joins in, but he sure doesn’t want his Dad to know he’s having a good time. 

While working with Teacher I discovered something – I noticed that I tend to stay out and work on strikes while he closes and does advanced techniques.  This got me to thinking – I do this all the time, but now that we have tall people in class it’s become a deficit.  I need to be able to close more because staying out where I’m at only leads to me taking a beating.  I actually need to work on advanced technique during the one and two step practice.  And I’m not smooth there.  New focus!

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...