Shudokan 16 - Fight Night!

Despite any small misgivings I might have had with the Shūdokan style or how Reed teaches them, there were safely put away last night when we got to spar.

I think I've mentioned that the style that Reed presents is fairly straightforward.  By this I mean simple punch and kick combos and actual forward and backward movement.  Granted I haven't seen him spar against anyone at his skill level so I'm basing a lot on just what I've seen in class as part of lesson.

Class started as a "10 Kata" night.  Which is actually like what it sounds like.  We are to perform ten unique kata (if you know that many) or repeat the ones you know until you hit ten.  We stop at the end of each kata and the Senseis walk around and provide a critique.  They start by telling you what you do well and what to work on.  A nice formula.

Much to my chagrin, remembering my basic forms from Tang Soo Do became a painful process in stopping and restarting. There was much squinting and thinking as I rolled back the years to remember my first four or five forms.  I also had to announce which one I was doing.  I remembered about six names.  Very embarrassing.  I usually practice the last 5 black belt forms and my new one from Shūdokan.  So to dredge up stuff that I haven't practiced in over a year was a fairly horrible experience.  At one point Reed came over and did his version of Bassei Dai with me, but of course our versions were different, making our attempt look a Dick Van Dyke-esque off set dance competition.

We still had time left in the class after all that and thus the sparring.  A square was laid out with a judge on each corner and the match would go to 3 points.  Reed asked me if I'd like to go first and had me hold up my hand. He punched it very lightly.  He must have seen the blank look on my face then and when asked me to do the same to his hand.  He was telling me that's the impact level. Ahhhh.

The match went very quickly.  My one to his three.  I was a bit embarrassed because it was really run in and out type competition, not advanced technique practice.  I'm just not used to it.  Back in the old school we went until we hit three minutes or someone was sitting down.  This is all high speed and getting the right setup for a response.


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