Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Kata 2

After warm up Reed Sensei got me back on Kusanku to introduce me to the next couple of pieces.  Since I actually haven't seen the complete kata I have no idea it's overall length or complexity.  So it's kind of fun to iron out the components as they come.  

Periodically Reed will stop and work through a piece of the kata. When I asked he said he hadn't taught this one in five years!  I don't know if I could remember anything if I stopped doing it after 6 months.  He certainly has a phenomenal memory.

After that it was back to the elbow techniques. This time I was trying to test my knowledge by going first, but I was only able to get through the first five and still needed hints.  We got through the two bunkai and application and then moved up to Mark's third kata's work.  I hope I'm helping him memorize this stuff because it comes slow to me.

The heat is almost unbearable outside, but the sport's club where we have class is nicely air conditioned.  For some reason I don't cool down that much when I'm changing out, so I'm perspiring before we even get started.  I'm wearing a light gi and it feels so close and clingy.  Yuck.  

No running or weights due to travel and I'll be leaving town tomorrow for the rest of the week.  I'm 200 lbs this morning.  Hopefully I can keep it under control.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

New Kata!

As I've mentioned before Sh┼źdokan is very focused on kata.  The preset movements act as a foundation to everything done at the school.  First comes kata, then the bunkai and finally the application.  

Unlearning the casual brutality of my old school is not difficult, but I often look back fondly on how tough it used to make me feel.  I miss the physical contact, but not the injury so I console myself with the excitement of learning new stuff as a replacement.  However, my learning curve is a bit modest.  At six katas, I'm still getting fine tuning tips and reminders about footwork etc. 

To my pleasure, last night Reed Sensei hit me up with, "let's work on a new kata tonight" again.  Before that started Mark and I went through the ten elbow techniques and then worked on the Kyoku series.  

The Kyoku are specific to Sh┼źdokan meaning that they aren't supposed to be shared openly.  That being said they feel fairly normal in the scope of kata, but their bow in and out are unusual.  Working with Mark on their bunkai and application didn't take that long since we'd worked on them in the past I could kind of remember them reasonably well.  

My new kata is called Chattan Yata Ku San Ku.  I have no earthly idea if I'm spelling that correctly.  Apparently, we borrow several kata from Yata from Chattan (or maybe that's the other way around?).  Reed Sensei tells me this is black belt kata which will have some jump kicks.  We made it through the first leg so now I have something new to practice!

Exercise note

I'm trying to keep consistent with the running.  I got up to 2.5 miles, but it was littered with stops and one of my calves gave up on the return.  Assuming I have time tonight I'm going to try again and see how it feels.  

I'm keeping up with the weights, but's relegated to the weirdest most broken up schedule I could imagine. For instance I did shoulders at 5 this morning.  What the hell is wrong with me!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Low Legs, Lowest Legs

It was a fantastic evening.  I had been having a difficult time keeping a regular schedule in the last month mostly due to season tickets to our local Women's soccer team and a lot of social obligations. So actually getting to class has become a pleasure as well because it acts as a stabilizing force in an otherwise chaotic schedule.

There are 10 techniques and I notice everyone has there mnemonic.  Here is my new list:


  1. Stop 1
  2. Stop 2
  3. Stop 3
  4. Waiter 1
  5. Waiter 2
  6. holding
  7. Slippery
  8. Elbows
  9. holding
  10. Knockdown twist
Of course, this morning I can't remember what I call number 6 or 9, but I'm getting better!  


I worked the rest of the class with MaryAnn Sensei on her application of a Gojo Ryu kata.  I'm about a foot and half taller than her which is great for her because of the Aikido-like management of the attacker.  I walk up behind her and grab her arms which lead to a complicated arm lock (because I don't let go), a heel to the groin, followed by a Judo throw.  I think it's a Harai goshi or Hane Goshi, but unlike a Judo throw there is no way to exit and slap.  So you just eat the mat with your arm drawn up behind you.

All 40 throws. The Harai and Hane are tucked in there.

When it was my turn to be the defender I was operating at the height advantage/disadvantage.  I have to squat lower than MaryAnn's hips to do the hand work and the throw.  After four attempts I ended up having to stop due to burning knees and thighs.  I'm sure I'm not doing something correctly, but this is for MaryAnn's next rank so I doubt I'll need to work on this anytime soon.

So Four Monks Walk Into A Bar...

New Kata alert! Reed told us about a week ago that he wanted to jump ahead a bit in our katas to learn Shisochin.  I gather Goju-Ryu isn&#...