Thursday, October 30, 2014

Rose City Digest - Shudokan 3

With an audible grunt I hit the hardwood poorly and rolled to my side and back, looking up sheepishly at the two Senseis.  As part of the class we were reviewing Bunkai (practical applications coming from kata) from Wando.  This particular component was how to get out a double lapel grasp.  The breaker (Uke) drops into a low stance and the grabber (Shite) gets drug off balance and setup for a knee in the face.  My partner is a foot shorter than I am so ended up going way off balance and then to the floor.   

For my second class I already feel part of group.  It's like I never left the environment, which is what I really love, but my flexibility and cardio are pretty modest and acts as a reminder that I have been away for a fairly long time. 

MaryAnn Sensei paid me a nice compliment when I was demonstrating the Wando kata, "Oh my" she said.  I wasn't sure what that meant and assumed I was doing something that didn't jive with Shudokan. "No", she said.  "I think we'll to talk to Sensei about trying something different."  I realized she meant that I probably wouldn't be challenged by the complexity.  I assured her that we might as well complete the kata since I was rusty and this was a good start.  I would have preferred the first, but there you have it when you wear the black belt to class.

I was pleased to see Reed Sensei come into class because it might mean that the warm up period might be abbreviated.  I'm so sore that I'm popping Ibuprofen regularly just to keep ahead of the pain that seems omnipresent.  Apparently at 48 the ability to repair physically is going to take a bit.  Thankfully it was short and the bulk of the class was instruction.  Great pacing.

You might notice that I use that frequently.  When I taught it was the thing that bothered me the most.  Teacher (back up North) would talk at length at times breaking up the flow.  When I taught I tried to fight at by keeping the pace going constantly, but it exhausted me.  It dawned on me later that was what he was probably doing - grabbing a breather.  Anyway, Reed Sensei has a practiced, measured, calm approach.  Very nice.  

Monday, October 27, 2014

Rose City Digest - Shotokan 2

I was barely able to contain myself this afternoon.  I mean I was at borderline stroke level blood pressure by the time I got to the dojo (by that I mean the rented room the class is held at).  I haven't been to beatings in over a year and my modest practice in the morning and general lack of exercise made for a very nervous entree into the class.  

I thought I had made a nice selection in that the warm up for the class was incredibly minimal, but the second Sensei ran the class tonight and I was in for a modest surprise.  

"50 jumping jacks", she said.  Followed by "50 squats".  

I realized I might be in for some problems.  I didn't quite start huffing and puffing, but the stretching afterwords was difficult.  I can't imagine how I'm going to feel tomorrow.  

The thread of class was working on Kata.  I was partnered with a 8th grader who walked me through Wando (?).  I was able to learn a small portion of it before we ran out of time.  Just moving was nice, but I experienced a modest amount of sadness thinking of all the time I spent learning all the hyung in my last school.

I texted my old teacher and said I was extremely nervous.  His advice, "pretend you don't know anything,  you should be good at that."  Ass.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Rose City Digest - Shotokan

The reality of moving South has broken a lot of expectations I didn't realize I had.  I've been here since March and it's only now that I'm getting out of the house to search for a new school.  The Rose City has so many schools to chose from that I had to develop a criteria list to help me winnow it down.  Before I created the checklist I visited what I presume is the nicest Martial Arts school I have ever seen.  

Like any burgeoning metropolis, the Rose City has sprawled enough that it has consumed the neighboring small towns and they have become enclaves and districts.  The school I went to took 40 minutes so by the time I arrived class had already started their warm-ups.   My class was an unaffiliated Tang Soo Do school running from a previous club model.  At $55 a month it was a relative bargain at four hours a week.  

The place I visited was located in the most affluent suburban area in the region and it showed.  They had their own standalone building which appeared to be brand new (later found out, only four or five years old) with floor size of about 3 competition fighting areas.  $165 dollars would get me 2 hours a week, but the Teacher was willing to work on that for me.  I would say that the worth was built into the instruction.  I'm used to waaaayyy different pacing.  For an hour worth of exercise there was no down time and he managed the class professionally for all sorts of skill levels.  Their version of Moo Duk Kwan was Soo Bahk Do.  Very similar to what I know.  

After visiting I realized that it exceeded my budget by two times, but the real killer was the time commitment.  Being new to driving in traffic like this made the 40 minutes to get there seem like a drive across the state.  So pulling roughly 3 hours out of my day wasn't going to fly.  I almost wept when I came to terms with that.  

More likely than not, my commitment to my new old house and the responsibilities it required precluded me from searching for a place to take a beating for a lot of months.  As of late we are down on our savings from all the projects and therefore can't move forward, so our time has opened up.  

Fast forward to endless web searches and I selected a school down the street to try out for a month.  Shotokan Karate.  Nothing like what I'm used to, but it's in Japanese (which we did our class in instead of traditional Korean).   

Here's my criteria:
  1. geographic closeness
  2. style
  3. cost
  4. general quality
  5. student makeup  
Here's the rating:
  1. Geo - 10 minutes
  2. Style - Shotokan - hard style with similar roots (maybe?)
  3. Cost - standard, but feels high after years of more for less
  4. GC - Very good instructor who is straight to the point.  Taught a full nelson escape I'd never seen before.
  5. Students - Sigh.  Back to a very small class with every spectrum of the skill that matched ages.  Age 7 to 55?  Only 6 students.  I was hoping for a place that had like 20 folks regularly, but I don't think I can get that without a TKD McDojo.  
I start Monday and I'll report my progress for the month.  After than who knows.

So Four Monks Walk Into A Bar...

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