Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sh┼źdokan 110!

I'm always looking for something special on a milestone class, but as usual, I don't know the count of the class I'm in at the moment.

Reed Sensei said that the confirmation test would take place in April.  To me that feels like next week and we aren't exactly there yet.  There is a lot of content to go through and refine, but Reed says that we are going to be learning the other side of the long application series next week!  

I don't feel particularly smooth with my side yet and we are just starting to learn the advanced elbow techniques.  Although they aren't massively complicated they still need to be learned and become an addition to the already big catalog of material.  

Last night in afterclass we went through the application about three and half times.  I'm having some problems with foot work so we went through and made sure every stance was correct and that took some time.  After that we went over three of the advanced elbow techniques.  We have to learn 5 through 10 and I was able to make it up to 7 last night before time ran out.

Mark definitely has the advantage here.  He'd learned the ten basic elbow techniques as part of his blackbelt training in the last couple of years.  So the advanced stuff is just icing on the cake.  I'm coming in relatively fresh since I've only seen this stuff practicing with Mark in the last couple of years.  Wow, I can't believe I'm saying that!  

Yet to learn:
- Defenders side of the Kyoku Roku Dan application
- Elbow techniques 8 -10.

What I know reasonably well:
- Nifanshi Sho Dan Kata
- Kyoku Roku Dan Kata
- Nifanshi Sho Dan Oyo
- Kyoku Roku Dan Bunkai attacker/defender
- Kyoku Roku Dan application attacker
- Advanced Elbow techniques 5-7

All that being said I need to review the Oyo and Bunkai since I haven't been able to practice any of it for over a month.  Yikes!  It's already slipping away.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Bent Wrists Are My Specialty

I'm finally starting to get my sleep schedule corrected, but it's slow going.  Most of the last few evenings I find myself on the sofa being roughly awakened by my head hitting my chest.  This is around 6 to 7 pm.  Tuesday night I was fairly good because I made it 8 pm.  So I was reasonable awake for class last night.  

Reed Sensei must have been feeling some burnout on all the test prep stuff so he launched into a series of techniques that lead up to wrist locks and traps. This is always a welcome relief to me because it was such a large part of my old school's curriculum.  

I was partnered with MaryAnn Sensei, but she was clearly unused to being on the receiving end of techniques and I ended up spending a lot of time massaging her forearms after dropping her to her knees.  That didn't make me feel too good.  I wasn't sure if I was out of practice or she was just extremely sensitive.  Either way we didn't get far, but I got to introduce a whole bunch of stuff no one had seen before.  Yeah for cross pollination.  

After class was all about catching up for me.  Mark and me went through the ten bunkai, two run-throughs of the application and then three of the advance elbow techniques.  

When I got home, showered, and had a little food I ended up nodding off on the sofa again, but I made it 9 pm before I went to bed.  I later woke up refreshed and toddled off to the bathroom only to find that it was 11 pm.  Sigh.  I was able to get back to sleep and woke up at 4 am as usual.  Jeeze.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sneeze 2

In a continuing celebration of my 50th year my wife and I traveled in Southeast Asia for a couple of weeks.  Thankfully the pace and location allowed me to practice my kata every other day or so.  I was very nervous that I'd forget something, but I was supposed to be focused on addressing some small details with my big kata. 

The folks we traveled with are dedicated practitioners of yoga and meditation so our mornings would be fairly quiet.  During their meditative practice I'd go into whatever space I could fine to work on my stuff.  This was met with some humor because I have a tendency to be embarrassed about my dedication.  For them meditation is something of a regular topic.  My focus on the karate is something fairly private to me, so I'm never really sure how to address it.  If I'm lucky my wife brings it up so I don't sound like a humble bragger.  It goes a long way if I need to go and practice without looking like a hermit.

The problem with this level of travel is the jetlag on the return.  I've know that return to the West is tough, but this appears to be next level stuff in my case.  I got back on Saturday afternoon and probably hadn't slept for 40 hours at that point.  The normal course of order is to stay up as long as you can to correct your sleep pattern, but I gave up at 6pm and had the worst sleep ever as a result.  Exhaustion and jet lag made for the sweats, tossing and turning and finally a wake up at 4am to which there was no return to sleep. 

I rationalized this by telling myself that it would get back to my Monday schedule faster.  Of course I ended up going to bed way too early and repeated the cycle.

Fast forward to last night and my return to class.  I was swaying a bit but got there on time and ended up leading the warmup!  Reed grabbed Mark right away to work on something so I was the lead.  This was kind of nice because I needed a bit of time to get things moving. 

After warmup Reed had me work on Pachu for the almost the entirety of the class. 
Sakumoto doing Pachu

Surprisingly I was able to get through the whole kata in my shaky state, but this morning I couldn't remember the last couple of moves.  At least it's a bit more knowledge in the brain.  This is the first of the katas from the Ryuei-ryu school of karate.  I'm not sure I'm going to be doing much with this one, but it's nice to have the occasional change in pace during the confirmation prep.

Mark and finished up the class with the first of our new elbow techniques.  We are going to be performing five through ten of the advanced.  Five is interesting and action packed.  It starts with a standard technique and ends with a trip and arm bar. 

I can't wait to be awake on Wednesday!

Full Iron Circle

When I started at the Shudokan school five years ago, MaryAnn Sensei was working on her San Dan and as part of that she would teach me the k...