Showing posts from November, 2016


It's thanksgiving here in the states today and usually most things around the holiday are put aside to get ready for family and cooking.  However, we took a vote and decided we'd do both classes as way to squeeze in as much training as we could.  However the first class only had five of us and then after class was only three of us. 

Reed started the class very quickly and that means the bare minimum of warm so we could get to content.  He asked how much was on my plate.  This meant that he was learning something and needed someone else to work with.  He does his best learning by teaching someone else.  Since he's kind of being pushed to work on his next belt he needs to learn four new kata under the Ryuei-Ryu school.  We'd learned Anan which was the fourth I believe, but Pachu is the first.  At any rate the pronunciation of said kata sounds like a sneeze to me; thus the title of the post.
We got most of the way through it, but class ended.  Everybody said their farewell…

On Track!

Roughly five months to go before the confirmation exam and Reed Sensei says that Mark and I are on track!

This is a big deal because after voicing some small frustrations about progress he pointed out that we only need to learn the other side of the Kyoku application and some elbow techniques. 
Many of the moves we employ in the application follow the rules of traditional karate.  The most common of these is that you block over your leading leg.  For most of the first year of training this rule is pretty much universal, but somewhere along the way the teachers start saying there are exceptions to the rule.  I assume this is the case because reality has a way of messing up what we do in practice. 
So last night we were performing a complex arrangement of arm-bars and double blocks and it was pointed out that we'd get confused because one of the blocks was not over the lead leg.  So the rule was explained to us as; "always block over the lead leg, but there is always an excepti…

Just Some More Work

My wife is about to head out of town for several months, so I'd like to spend time with her as much as possible.  As usual Karate has to take a back seat to my real life demands, but since I need the exercise no matter what I managed to do the first hour of class. 

I left the house a bit early and went to the building we have class in hopes that Mark would be there early.  My gamble was successful.  Mark has been coming to class a bit early himself to warm up and practice on his own.  So after a little visiting we got into the application, but the frustration of memory betrayal reared it's ugly head.  I could remember components of the application, but not how they tied together.  By the time we got through a couple of guesses Reed Sensei showed and started sorting us out.  But it was for not; class started and after warm up our practice outline was:
- 4 x Nifanshi Shodan Kata - 4 x Kyoku Roku Dan Kata - 2 x Nifanshi Shodan Oyo - 2 x Kyouku Bunkai
This took exactly the whole hour. …

Early Onset Rigor Mortis

Exercise, by it's very nature, is going to make the practitioner sore and stiff especially as the amount of effort is increased.  That being said, I'd hate to admit that I usually put in the amount of effort needed at the time and usually not much more. 

For me it has always been an issue of gain, fighting with the avoidance of pain and discomfort.  However with this confirmation year I'm actually motivated to do better and take the accompanying discomfort in stride.  That is; until it got embarrassing. 

As a personal milestone I'm incredibly pleased to have finished one half of the long application.  That doesn't mean I'm good at it, but I've made it to the end of one side.  The Application is a manufactured expression of all the bunkai from a single kata.  In this case it's for Kyoku Roku Dan, a kata with around 50 moves.  Instead of breaking the pieces into a one or two-step example the whole kata becomes a flowing process between two folks.  A compl…

Reap and Sweep

Earlier in the day I made a poor choice with my lunch.  I mean it was delicious, but the amount of hot peppers made my stomach feel like a furnace and eventually gave way to a wave of gas that felt borderline dangerous in the wrong situation.

So when class started I was nervously joking with Mark about the throws we take on one of the moves; telling him not to do it hard or I'll end up pooping my gi.  We made a few jokes and class got started, but just like always, any jokes seem to come to fruition as content.
After warmup we laid out as many mats as we had and grabbed our partners.  Although we didn't work on throws, my concerns about hard falls were somewhat justified because we worked on foot sweeps which still end up landing us on the floor hard.
The four sweeps: 1. Sliding the instep to outer side of the lead foot.  If caught when the person is putting their weight on the lead foot they go boom.  You need good timing.
2. Similar to the first but you bring your foot all the wa…

Progress at 6 months

I think I might have missed a few postings, but I guess there is nothing much to report that grabs the headlines.  Mark and I in a familiar pattern; Two kata, 10 bunkai, 1 Oyo, and 1 application. 

I was actually feeling very frustrated about progress.  I'm totally dependent on Mark for the partners practice and some of the pieces aren't necessarily logical and require some hands on correction to get correct. However Mark pointed out that we need less and less assistance to get going and can sort out more and more on our own.  Within 25 minutes we'd almost completed the above list. 
The Oyo is a combination of the bunkai and application.  Normally bunkai is reminiscent of my one or two step techniques from TSD; a formal attack with expression of technique in two or three moves.  However, the Nifanshi Shodan kata is relatively short so instead of just doing the two bunkai it was combined for brevity's sake. 
Unfortunately Mark and I struggled to remember this at first, b…