Showing posts from August, 2016

No Warmup!

Although it happens on occasion it is fairly rare.  As soon as we bowed in Reed Sensei grabbed Mark and me and ran through the application portion of Nifanshi shodan.  So my warmup in reality was a lot of head twists and face smashes.  Not ideal, but the amount of time to get directly into practice was great.  We then got partnered with the young ladies (8 and 10) to continue the pattern and then switch sides.  This lasted for the entirety of the class. 

After class was just working through the bunkai for Roku Dan.  I keep thinking that it's going to go fast, but for the forty minutes that I'm there we dig further into the foot work and body placement.  However for the first time we were able to get through all 10 bunkai.  It is a lot to absorb, but we are doing very well.  If I could have stayed for the last half hour I think Dan Sensei would have started the first part of the application.  I hate that I can't stay longer.
I've got two pages of my Black Belt paper writ…

Shūdokan 95

I'm trying to compare the time I've been going to the amount of classes I've been to lately.  I don't think the overall number is worth really remarking on because it's going to keep climbing, but since I'm closing in on 50 numbers are taking on a larger significance.  I think I've been going for a little over a year with periodic gaps due to construction efforts.  I'm fairly pleased by recent progress and part of this is tracking my new katas.  Learning the Kyoku-Dan kata has been kind of grueling at times due to the level of finesse that's required. 

This level of finesse bumped up another level last night when I had to go over each hand position and foot position until I understood why they were going where they were going.  I also had to slow it down which gave me a flashback of my old teacher telling me to not rush to the end.  Whoops. 

Regular class was a lot of kicking.  However Reed Sensei decided to stop using each others hand for support w…

Big Toe

After class on Wednesday I went to bed, but ended up tossing and turning most of the night.  I woke around 3 am thinking that I had dislocated my toe during the night.  I've definitely jammed my big toe in the past and this level of pain by-passed that.  I kept reviewing what I might have done that would have hurt so bad; a kick that dislocated, a break that's finally showing itself or a cramp?  

I finally got out of bed at four and called the nurse advice line and she thought it was gout.  Since I'm living a very healthy life at the moment I totally disagreed, but the pain was getting worse and worse.  It didn't warrant a visit to the ER, but I was starting to lose my ability to think rationally.  I couldn't put a bag of ice on it due to sensitivity and my wife managed to get me to gag down a handful of Ibuprofen to take off the edge.  

At this point I noticed my foot had to start to swell and I couldn't put any pressure on it at all.  After finding out that I c…

Random Fight Night

On Monday Reed let us know that we'd be sparring on Wednesday.  I'd rather he surprise us on the day of the because I get anxious.  I'm not sure why I get so anxious, because I tend to enjoy the experience after the fact. 

We started the class working on the second Kyoku.  The Kyoku kata are specifically Shudokan in nature.  Due to my weird entry into the confirmation period I only know the first and now the eighth, so Reed asked Mark and Sarah to get me to work on the second.  Thankfully the work we've been doing on the ultra complicated ones makes the second kata feel relatively easy, but I'm sure I couldn't do it any justice one day later.
After that we set up for sparring.  This presented a challenge.  We had four adults and six children.  None of us (except for Reed) has any real experience judging.  My few runs at tournament didn't require me to participate in the judging side of things.  Although it shouldn't be tough, the basics, or the lack there…

Four Month Learning Curve

The big excitement from last night was that Ivanna taught me the last couple of moves of Roku Dan!  She was thankfully fresh from teaching Mark the same thing last Wednesday.  Right on the tail of that I was able to learn the tenth bunkai related to this kata.  

I'm trying to measure the success so far.  Four months to learn the entirety of the kata and the 10 bunkai.  That's not to say that I'm actually refined to the point of comfort, but it looks pretty good.  I'm sure the last two sequences will need to be refined, but I love that the bunkai absolutely matches the actions taken in the kata.  It makes it easier to remember.  For instance, the last bunkai blocks the kick, steps in with a reverse chop to the ribs.  Uke grabs your wrist and you do a twist and push.  Boom!

Anyway, I'm down to eight months to have all the bunkai locked into place so I can start on the application.  I can remain consistent Reed might be able to confirm us sooner, but to have the level o…


Following our five hour experience in Eugene and adding a hour and half drive afterwards I didn't end up practicing the new kata until the next morning.  Even then I was only able to get through a few stretches without it falling apart.

It should have been absolutely predictable that we were going to work on the kata at some point soon, but I was surprised when it became the content of the class and the after class.  All other content was moved to the side in order to cement the moves as quickly as possible. 

After reviewing Anan with Reed I was given the task of teaching it to Ivana.  I felt somewhat intimidated since she's several ranks above me, but she's got a rather pleasant attitude so whereas we didn't get far we were accurate.  After we ran through as much as we could I was given the task to play judge on two of the brown belts while they ran through five kata.  The rule is one compliment, one correction and then move on.  No second attempts because time was com…

5 hours

Sensei contacted me on Thursday to see if I could travel up to Eugene with him to work with Albert Sensei.  He and MaryAnn had several questions about specific pieces of the kata then needed to work on and then, if time permitted learn a new kata.  My job was to learn the new kata with Sensei and hopefully act as another repository for knowledge. 
I didn't want to miss the opportunity to meet Albert Sensei, one of Reed's teachers for over 14 years.  The drive is an hour and half out of the thorn city so my whole Sunday was going to be shot (and more than likely, get me in dutch with the wife), but as usual I felt honored to be invited along and wanted to get a look at this level of training.  A kind of "peering behind the curtain" kind of thing. 
Albert Sensei is an unassuming man with a peppy, upbeat attitude and a non-stop patter.  He clearly loves to teach and educate.  He wants to make sure you understand exactly what he means and this can mean he'll give a l…