Thursday, June 28, 2012


I haven’t been feeling particularly healthy as of late so I end up going to the doctor for an unrelated reason (to remove a cyst on my head) and totally forget to tell the doctor.  Derp!

Anyway, I’ve been looking for excuses to avoid going to class so I can go to bed early, but I need the exercise so badly I decided I better go tonight and sweat a bit.  It’s not that I’ve been not working out it just feels like my relative progress is modest at best.  It feels like I’ve got a potbelly and that I have to outrun the damn thing. 

For instance I could run a 5k pretty regularly in May and now I struggle with 2.5 miles.  I know it’s not far off distance wise, but I’m barely making it. 

My lousy diet is mostly the cause, but living clean this week has made no change in how I feel.  Mostly tired, a constant headache, some lethargy, but not so bad that I don’t exercise some. 

Anyway, class was supposed to have a visitor, which I absolutely love, but the dude never showed up.  We ended up working on long punches and then working them into technique and then added a throw at the end of the technique.  Kind of fun and the class flew by.  So good exercise, but I still had an ice cream bar before class.  Damn ice cream!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Unfocused Goal

We are continuing to have a small number of folks in class which is really fine, but my attention deficit would like a little more variety at times.  The two new kids are usually placed together to work on basic skills while the three of us more experienced folks are placed together for some advanced technique.  A lot of what Teacher has us focus on is really stealing balance and a focus on technique.  In my case I frequently miss the technique and immediately exert muscle.  To any of the experienced folks out there you'll recognize the fault in that.  

The move we worked on was a block to the inside that terminated in an elbow strike to the liver.  From there the blocked are was elbow locked against my chest/stomach and then we can move the uke anywhere pretty easily.  

Well, for me that didn't ever want to go correctly.  After some time focusing on the micro, I realized it was a macro problem.  For others these moves are easily managed, but if I don't picture what I'm going to be doing with uke then the move falls apart.  I have been focusing on doing the technique only and now I'm at the point that I need to know what I'm doing from beginning to end.  

Another problem I've been experiencing is that I have no sense of when I'm making folks hurt.  With the plethora of really flexible students with little or no pain response I get very sloppy.  So I got partnered with Beard and apparently I reefed way too hard on his elbow (during the aforementioned technique), so when he gets a turn he cranked on me hard enough to make sure I was hurting this morning.  I really would have been okay if he just told me - ah well.  

Friday, June 15, 2012

Little S!*@%

It happens every couple of years in class.  We get a new person or someone in the class develops in a way that absolutely grates on my nerves.  It's happened again with one of the younger students - Cherub.  

Cherub was one of our younger fellows in the adult class who totally fit the mold that folks are starting to identify with martial arts classes.  He's home-schooled, fairly intelligent, self motivated, but has no association with group sports.  

Over the last couple of years he's become very good at technique and has an unquenchable desire to learn.  He's an absolute sponge.  However, he wants to practice advanced technique as much as possible, but that comes with the annoyance of him grabbing me and doing the technique poorly and painfully.  

This in it of itself isn't horrible, but last night he was just unstoppable and every new attempt was even more painful.  He was literally getting on my last nerve.  By the end of class I could barely move my hands.  

I thought about it some and came to this realization,  he has the highest pain tolerance I've ever seen and therefore has absolutely no empathy when it comes to locks and grabs.  You can see it in his eye when he does a technique way too hard  - just absent of any kind of connection.  Then he laughs because he's unaffected in kind.  

After that much torture I was able to sleep extremely well.  I turned out the light at 9.  That's a rarity.    

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quick Note

Quick news post.

We had a gal from the kids class move up to our class.

We only had four folks not including teacher.  Makes for intense lessons, but makes me sad.

Those intense lessons are intense.  I had my neck cranked around about one too many times.  However, my knowledge and usage is getting better around balance stealing and recognizing my desire to escape close in fighting.  It's terrible around shorter people - with good reason.  They hurt.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Hurried Catch Up

To those of you who follow this blog it's no surprise that I've fallen behind on posts.  I honestly haven't had too much to write about, but I got kind of beat up in class last night and there is never a bad time to post bruise pictures.

To be forearmed is to be forewarned

I don't remember getting mauled like for several years now.  There was point where I was bruising all the time, but that eventually went away around the time I finished up my green belt.  The other strange thing is that these are red.  Who ever heard of red bruises?  The barely seen one on my hand is actually the aubergine of a nice one developing.   

If anyone ever did a development curve of the stages of martial skill acquisition I'd be the first person to help out with the name of the various stages.   I know that around the green belt the repetition of basics was mind numbing; the endless plateau of never feeling like you are learning stuff, but knowing that you'll pick things up in the end.

Then there's this point where I learn something new and it puts all my basic learning into a new light.  This happens periodically; usually when I develop an insight in some move or technique.  The end result is that I feel like a beginner again, but one that can do everything moderately well.

What I'm trying to say is that I've been a Black Belt for awhile and I feel like I'm experiencing both of those stages at once.  Everything is repetitious, but I also see it in a new light which ends up making me feel like I'm starting over again.  Is there some point where you feel like you have mastery?  Or, at least, less incompetence?
Since the class has been small, as of late Teacher has been focusing on really complex technique which is challenging to us all, but fun and intellectually gripping.  

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...