Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Midway through class I could see my right hand swelling up, which was weird because I haven't seen any injury based on class since I left my old school.  The base of my thumb was literally twice the size of the left and both hand were bright red. 

I didn't care though.  I had a huge smile on my face and a partially functioning hand was not going to remove that. The reason is because Chiten Yata, my first staff (bo) kata.  I have no idea if I'm spelling that correctly, but after a decade or more I'm finally doing a weapons kata.  Sensei has asked me a few times if I knew anything or had any experience.  I can literally count the times I touched a staff on one hand and I'm not using all the fingers.  In my last school our syllabus sacrificed weapons for more and more complex technique.  I'm sure if we could have worked in one more day of instruction we could have had that.  

Last night the class consisted of me and Kyle and bunch of kids.  I've come to enjoy these because of the focused nature.  I wouldn't want it all the time, but it's great now and then.  Kyle knows the whole staff kata which is supposedly for a more advanced level, but he was able to run me through the initial sequence for which the kata is named.  I've search on line, but because I don't know how to spell it I can't post an example.  Sufficed to say, it's the figure eight move that I have seen in the fancy katas.  In time I can record my progress for the laughs.

I practiced the initial sequence 50 time with Kyle.  Unfortunately, this is where I started noticing my hand getting more and more swollen.  Thankfully, it never got to the point where it didn't function optimally.  After a night sleep it's back to normal but it feels well worked.  

The kata has three thirds and I was able to get to the end of the first third, but even with running home and practicing immediately after class I was unable to complete that third.  The chiten yata, I think I have that.
Celebration is scheduled for March 20th!  Although I'm not testing, I'll be excited to see how it's run and how our folks do.  Crap, now I'm not sure if I'll be required to do the basics!  That would be embarrassing for the school.


Noah said...

Hopefully your hand heals quickly! My guess would be that the kata you are learning is Chatan Yara no Kon ("Bo of Yara from Chatan"). There are Chatan Yara kata for other weapons, as well--I believe Chatan Yara no Sai is pretty popular. Good luck!

Potatoe Fist said...

I will say there is a lot of similarity in the general pattern, but that's about it. I guess Yara and Yatta must be different places. Once I get it down a bit I'll video the first 3rd and you may be able to identify it better.

Noah said...

There are quite a few versions, so there are bound to be differences--there are also some Chatan Yara empty hand kata. Yara was a person, and Chatan is a place. When Westerners try to pronounce Japanese/Okinawan words, we have a tendency to roll the "r" sounds too hard, which results in a "d" or "t" sound.

Potatoe Fist said...

I figured it was something like that. Got the syntax wrong as well!

Noah said...

Haha, no worries--it happens!

Anonymous said...

Cool. I always wanted to learn a staff kata. It was beyond 3rd dan in TKD and only part of the advanced stuff in kung fu. We did use the staff's for some exercise/chin na drills but that's about it. My old sifu new a few routines and could really go to town with the staff!

Please post videos of self-knockouts! hahaha

Potatoe Fist said...

I almost did the quick step to divorce this morning. We're moving furniture around for some ceiling work so have all this space to practice in the morning.

So I'm whipping the bo around and I hear that tell tale "scratch" on the ceiling. The problem is that it's in the area we already repaired!

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