Shūdokan 19 - Happy Feet!

Did you ever have one of those classes where everything the teacher says appears directed at you?  I had that last night.  By the third time he stopped the class to make a point I was starting to blush. Although he didn't look at me directly, but I'm pretty sure that my issues were stimulating ideas to point out to the class.  Dang!

I can't say what makes the teacher chose the nightly curriculum but last night we fell back on 10 kata. Since this is major component for testing he hits this pretty hard.  Each person has to perform 10 katas.  The students perform one and wait for everyone to finish.  Then we are critiqued.  This eats up class time so much so that I worry that we won't get to the tenth one.

After the first Kata, the teacher brought up the overhand block.  I'm not saying that I a super student and that I've got the concept after the first time I'm told, but I was getting a red face because he'd told me already the rationale for how he does the block like he does.  I love it and I'm trying to do it, but trying to remember old kata didn't allow for the space to recall to do the overhead blocks in the "new" fashion.  About the sixth block and I remembered to start doing it.  And then he grinds it in during the explanation.  Ugh.

The next component to draw his attention was Happy Feet.  My second kata was much like the first, but my "C" step forces me to move my feet around while I seek balance.  Boom he saw that and was like, "yeessssss".  Probably the worst part of this was that he pointed out something that I never knew I did or even thought about.  Moving from one stance to another necessitates a shift in balance and he wants to see no movement in the foot.  To him (and I agree as much as it chagrins me) a constantly shifting foot indicates that the balance is not set before movement.  A solid and still foot indicates a strong base and good balance.

Finally, when we got to move advanced and explosive katas he stopped us and pointed out how important breathing is.  I couldn't stop from inwardly groaning.  Breathing is one of my worst problems.  I often hold my breath to point of exhaustion, hardly aware I'm even doing it until I'm completed doing whatever I'm in the middle of.  His story instruction was basically that.  Verbal exhalations remind the person that they are breathing.  Keeping it quiet doesn't do anything for you.  So when we went back to the next Kata I tried hard to breath loud, but I was so wrapped up around the feet issue, totally forgot about half way.  Arrgghh.

I should mention that I'm so self-absorbed that I never noticed if the other advanced students had an issue with this things or not.  I was just so wigged out that they were plainly issues for me.  MaryAnn did give me compliments about the power I bring to the katas.  However, this is only in contrast to the others around me.  They don't appear to give anything gusto in my eyes, but what do I know?  I can barely walk and breath at the same time!


screamingabyss said…
So I'm curious -- do you do what SK kata you know or do you mix in TSD kata?
Potatoe Fist said…
I really just know the one kata, Wando, officially. However each Shudokan school chooses kata as they see fit. Here is a comparison chart. The ones on the right are Shudo and the right are Tang. So you could say I know some, but not all...
taikyoku Shodan - Keicho Hyung Ill Bo
taikyoku Nidan - Keicho Hyung Ee Bo
taikyoku Sandan - Keicho Hyung Sam Bo

Heian Shodan -
Heian Nidan -
Heian Sandan - Pyung Ahn Sam Dan
Heian Yondan - Pyung Ahn Sa Dan
Heian Godan - Pyung Ahn Oh Dan

Tekki Shodan - Nihanchi Cho Dan
Tekki Nidan - Nihanchi Ni Dan
Tekki Sandan - Nihanchi Sam Dan

Bassai Dai - Bassai
Bassai Sho -

Ron Jensen said…
I feel your pain! I'm going through the same breathing issues (again). I'm also trying to make sure each technique is finished (example, punch) at the latest point by the time the stepping foot touches the floor. This is raising all sorts of hell with whatever technique I did have...but I'm determined to work my way through it. Best of luck, though I'm sure you'll break through these issues sooner than later.
Potatoe Fist said…
It's nice to know that there is fellow travelers Ron. Keeping my feet steady is killing me! What a habit I have.

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