With visitors in town I was unable to get to class on time due to traffic from the airport, but I was able to get into class for the last 10 minutes. I was somewhat disappointed to miss so much of the instruction, but I was in for a hard treat.
As I learn the small differences between my old style and Shudokan I've come to the realization that my old teacher would really have preferred a much more informal environment. The class had started out as a club so the formality was inconsistent. The members of the class enforced their own rules depending on background. For instance a gal from a hard school would do push ups if she showed up late and another would cup his elbow when he bowed to shake hands. I brought in the "everybody shake hands after instruction" after class after experiencing at an Aikido school.
At my current class the "tradition" for late comers is to sit in Seiza (on your knees with feet crossed). This isn't a big deal if there is some padding, but this class is on hardwood. Talk about trying to make yourself light! The Teacher finally gave me the, "please join the class" after a couple of minutes.
We were reviewing the "escape from bear hug" we touched on the other week. Ten minutes of escape, elbow to head, standing guillotine, to fall into full guard until tap. Then the reverse and fight into side mount.
The brown belt in class is working toward his Black belt exam and this includes 10 katas, 10 elbow strike patterns, 5 assisted bunkai and 5 European blocks. This appears to be a phenomenal amount of memorization and I'm not sure when the testing is supposed to occur. I'm very foggy on what European blocking means as well. No free-sparring though. Weird. However, since that's been removed my overall health has been great.
After class we went to one of the black belt's homes to work on the assisted bunkai. Bunkai being the practical application of kata. It should be noted that it's in the 50's and we were on a concrete floor. I thought the hardwood floor was tough for a couple of minutes of seiza, but in the assisted routine I have to take a side fall. The concrete doesn't love me. I actually had a tough timing sleeping because of the aches and pains. So much for the lack of sparring and the pains it causes.