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Showing posts from December, 2014

Shūdokan 18 - Judgement

We're between two holidays and class membership is minimal.  Two kids, a teen, Marcus and me.  Sensei is still focused on prepping for "celebration" which is the nickname for testing.  In this vein the class was structured around one portion of the testing called "bunkai".  I always took that word to mean practical application of the moves from kata.  However, this appears to be components that everyone acts out at the same time at various levels depending on skills.  So the white belts would do a side kick whereas brown and black has to a spin, downward block, side kick and into fudo dachi (low stance) followed by a schto (I have no idea how to spell this word, but it's a strike with the bottom ridge of the hand straight from the chest).  We were only able to get through a few of these before we got bogged down in technique correction.  Even with the five of us organizing the different levels was technically challenging for Sensei.

At the end of class Sens…

Shūdokan 17 - Pre Holiday Rush

Class was down to it's bare minimum which I would assume would be standard for the week of Christmas.  Traffic is building and people seem to be in a hurry, so it's pleasant to go to class and just focus on one thing for a while.  Kind of like a Zen retreat with punching.

Class was spent on a longer warm up, which I find that I need to get my legs completely ready to go. This included kicking drills for the most part and then we broke up into skill groups and it was back to working on Wando kata.  Not that I don't mind working on this frequently, but I do like variety and it can be a bit much to work on in such long repetition.  My regular joke is, "only 47 more times to go".  Thankfully, that's well received.

One portion of the kata (which is very definitely Goju Ryu based), requires a small sequence of Sanchin footwork combined with a typical Goju block.  To me it's like being asked to rub my belly and tap my head with the addition of pretending someon…

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 thinkin…

Shudokan 15

I'm not sure what happened last night but I got little to no sleep, or at least it feels that way.  I normally associate that with drinking too much on a weekend night.  When the alcohol converts to sugar at 2 am and I thrash around because my heart is pounding like I'm running up hill.  Well, I wasn't drinking and I was in bed at the right time after a very long night at beatings.  I should have passed out and slept like a log.  Instead I kept surfacing every hour.  I was grateful when the alarm went off.

Due to the short nature of class time, the black belts meet after class on Monday and work out for another couple of hours.  I originally thought it was just to get the one Brown Belt, Mark, up to speed for his test, but I see that folks just want to get together and continue working.  There is way too much content to be covered or reexamined for the two hours a week we normally have.

I'm loath to miss any class because I'll be missing new material or assistanc…

Shudokan 14

Image
Missing class blows.

Due to some unexpected tasks at work I ended up missing Monday's class.  The irony being that I was going skip class anyway because my parents had intended to visit from the East coast, but my Father got bronchitis.  I thought to myself, "well, at least I get to go to class".  Then my wife revealed that she got tickets to a fancy house tour in the city at the same time.  Sigh.   For some reason being at work late seemed even worse.

I got to class early to warm up.  The room is empty the hour before, but we back up to a cardio class so we rarely run long.  If we do, women with bulging biceps and calves start making their way around the outskirts of the room, letting us know to wrap it up.

This is what I imagine is being said in the background
The bummer alert went off when I was talking to Kyle.  He ran through all the parts of the class, but the big part was they ran through a "celebration".  Apparently, this is what they do a few times a …

Shudokan 13

As I've mentioned before, Shudokan has a focus on a couple of areas and apparently one of those is elbow techniques. To assist Mark in his Black belt exam the Teachers have him teaching me the 10 techniques in an effort to cement his knowledge and introduce me to the fun stuff. 


Step to the right while blocking left.  Right snap kick to gut groin, close in with right elbow and cross left and back to the right.Step to the right while blocking left. Right knee to gut, double hand grab to head, right knee to face, twist head to side, elbow straight down to head.Step to the right while blocking left, upward elbow strike to jaw, spin with elbow to stomach.Step to the left, block right, left elbow jab to ribs, right hand grabs their left wrist and with left hand at shoulder stand roll other over at waist, elbow in back.Step to the left, block right, right hand grabs their left wrist and with left hand at shoulder stand roll other over at waist, immediately bring them back up for leg swe…

Shudokan 12

This is the beginning of my second month at class and I hadn't really considered trying another martial art; unlike the thirty day trial I had planned.  I'd forgotten until one of the kids mentioned it.  I guess that means it's a good fit after all.  The only complaint being the length of instruction is fairly short.  Two hours a week doesn't allow for a lot of personal interaction with a teacher.  

To remedy this I've made myself available to the others as much as possible.  The oldest student, Mark, is working towards his Blackbelt exam and requires extra time to get a lot squared away.  To make that happen I've offered my basement as a secondary training environment.  It's got a cold floor and a low ceiling, but it doesn't cost anything.  Sensei has offered to bring over some sport floor tiles to reduce the impact for falls and allow us to take off our footwear.  Last night we were able to meet and hour and half afterwords.  

During class MaryAnn Sense…