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Showing posts from February, 2015

Welding With Children

The horrors of the past have come to revisit me.  I have become complacent in my outsider student status, but that was disjointed sharply by MaryAnn Sensei last night. 


In my old school my Black Belt test had a few things predicated before I could take the actual test.  The test not occurring until my teacher was satisfied with my progress in a few areas.  The first I will call "Deal with your fears"  or "For god's sake, they are just kids." 


After years of teaching the adults off and on my teacher noticed that I only took a peripheral interest in working with the kids.  The patience required was well beyond what I could generate even on my best day.  But when he went on vacation I would take up the challenge to provide continuity for the kids.  He didn't usually take kids under six, but there always seemed to be a row of kids around four years of age eating their boogers and generally not knowing their left from their right. 


So when he wanted me to be rea…

Progress report

Slight change of plan last night after we bowed in.  In fact so much so that I didn't even know what the Sensei said to me. One of the other students told me, "he wants you lead warm up."  Oh right!


I'm usually shifting my brain into neutral during the warm-up, so suddenly being in charge again after years of leading in my old class threw me off somewhat.  I think I did everything we normally do, but some of it was out of order, but no one appeared to mind.  But by leading I ended up missing out on the little run that goes around room five times and then back around the other way.  It's a great way to warm up.  Ah well.  


Kyle and I completed the Chatan Yata Bo Kata, but I'll need a lot more assistance on that one.  Actions are good, but transitions from stance to stance are missing in a lot of pieces. 


After class we headed down to my basement dojo to work with the gang on the test prep.  Judging doesn't feel like my forte', but I gave my best shot af…

Preppin'

Last night was back to the preparatory grindstone.  As of tomorrow the class has 30 days to get ready for Celebration.  Celebration being the general term for gathering the various schools and doing testing.  In the past all the schools in the Northwest region would get together with their families and it became quite the event.  Due to the cyclical nature of martial arts school membership the event is now a very modest affair. 


Instead of a big road trip to Yakima we have the head guy come here and sign off on tests with a big social/dinner afterwards.  If I understand correctly Shihan Morris is into his 80s at this point and his sons are showing signs of their age which may preclude the celebration from occurring on the selected date.  However Sensei will continue on treating our curriculum as if we are going to have the gathering. 


Mark will be going for his Black Belt and Ivanna will be going for her 2nd degree.  And thankfully I won't have to do anything.  I was a bit concern…

Chokarama!

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Clutched tightly between the thighs of large man, with my own shoulder compressing the veins in my throat, I struggled to understand why I was so jealous of Bob and his judo class.  But that was a very small thought as my desire to breath overruled pretty much everything else.  

Bob has recently started Judo class.  I am jealous of Bob.  The mechanics of Judo make it necessary to practice with other people.  The mechanics require the practitioner to engage physically with another person. My current art is very traditional.  We do not engage physically very often.  I am on my 26th class and we have done groundwork about 3 three times.  I am not complaining, but I miss the chess like struggle of using the body in 3 dimensions and letting kinesiology take over when other senses are not centrally engaged.  

So while we prep for Celebration next month I assumed that we would be working on kata and exercises ad nauseam.   During a self directed warm up Sensei pulled out mats and and prepped a…

Weps 2

I just realized that I had forgotten to post after Wednesday's class, however it wasn't much more than a repeat of Monday's course work.  Kyle got assigned to me to continue my work on the Chatan Yata staff kata.  I'm pretty sure that's not the way the name is pronounced, but until I get an authoritative response from Sensei I'll go with Noah's best guess with spelling/pronunciation.  
Ironically, Kyle showed up early to work on the kata anyway so we worked on it until MaryAnn Sensei showed up to start the class.  My new word is Say-deit-say.   Again I have no idea as to the spelling or pronunciation, but it's said at the beginning of class to call the students into formation.  Blackbelts not instructing stand on the right of the Sensei perpendicularly.  Instructing ones face us and the students are in a line facing the Sensei.  
After bow in (Go-zi-mash-e-tah) Kyle spent the rest of the class helping me get through the first third of the routine.  In add…

Weps!

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 th…

Dojo

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Just a quick note to the fans that I've made a lot of progress on my basement dojo.  When my Sensei was moving he had to clean out his storage and had a huge pile of the those 3 x 3 interlocking sport mats.  For helping him move I have a semi permanent borrow of a huge stack.  So I've been cleaning them and installing them downstairs for the last several weeks.

I've done a couple of rolls and the mats are very compressed.  Of course they are on concrete, but whatever foamy goodness they had 10 years ago seems to have left the building.  Still, it creates a nice insulating layer against the cold floor.

Behind The Scenes

Since I have been writing this blog I have struggled with the direction of the writing.  I would like to be entertaining, but I really started it with the idea that I would have a location in which to store my notes from class and have people reflect on those if they felt they could add something.  

Since I have started Sh┼źdokan I figured I would just stick with the notes and not worry about the personalities in the class.  The class is small enough and folks are nice enough that I don't feel the need to write about them much.  

My last school had such a cast of characters and in regular rotation that I could have really spent most of my blog writing about them.  This was most likely because I lived in a small town and everyone knew everyone and their business. For instance my good friend ended up divorcing his wife and soon she was dating another one of my good friends from class.  It would put us into a weird situation in which we couldn't talk comfortably.  

A compounding feat…