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Showing posts from April, 2016

Prep Mayhem

Sensei called me in while I was on the way to class and asked me to get everyone bowed in and warmed since he was stuck in traffic.  I had to ask him the word he used before we reply "Oni gashemas" (sorry can't spell it).  He told me it was "Hajime mas"; or "begin we will".  I felt so bi-lingual. 

I started the class with bow-in and exercises and the, boom, we were on it.  I guess Sensei is starting to feel the pressure of getting everyone up to snuf for the testing.  Mark seems way better, but there is going to be some stuttering in some of the things he needs to do.  He'll do better with a better partner though. With me he can practice, but he doesn't look good because I pause too much and it ruins the flow of the routines. The ladies shouldn't have a problem, but I really don't  know how to judge their work.  To me they appear soft, but that might be what is desired for their level of work. 
We ended up bouncing from one thing to an…

Rohai Razzle Dazzle

Tonight was another class where we carried on the theme of Celebration Preparation.  I'd only had enough time to practice the Pinan Sandan a few times and had already lost a few of the steps.  On top of this the diet (now on day 6), with it's lack of carbs has left me light-headed.  Great combo.

However, providence interceded and instead of working on Sandan we started yet another Kata.  This was for the Green Belts, but since I didn't know it they threw it at me to learn.  This Kata is Rohai Shodan.  The setup and stances are new -  I guess like a bird or something.  It has the feeling of white crane or something along that line.  I have to admit I'm happy that I can pick this stuff up fairly quick since Sensei likes to put me in front of the class to lead the kata through where we had just learned.  I'm very honored that he does this, but god knows how many boo-boos I'm perpetuating with the others.

At one point he broke down the dymanics of a punch to make sur…

Story Time - The Knife And The Hammer

The Knife And The Hammer

A story by Tater

A young student approached the Master with his observation about how he was very accurate with one hand, but not strong whereas his other hand was strong, not accurate.

"You see," said the Master, "we are usually dominant with one hand or the other and some people are slightly split with their talents like yourself.  As we learn our arts we try to even out our skills so that we have a little of the knife in both hands and a little of the hammer in both hands.  At some point in your future, after you've practiced enough, you'll be as good with both hands as you are one side now."

The student thought about this as he picked his nose industriously. 

"Or maybe not in your case," said the Master.

"Hunh?" said the student.
Sigh he sighed.  "I rest my case."

Celebration Preperation

I like getting to class early and that usually gives me some time to do a bit of early warmup to loosen up.  I sit most of the day and jumping into class can be a bit stressful on my tight tendons and muscles.  This also means that I occasionally get to lead the warmup which I enjoy, but I can't always remember the sequence of exercises.  With the introduction of the hancho(?) exercises, I put those into practice when ever I get the chance.  And everyone seems to enjoy them.

On this particular occasion Sensei had to get some Gi pants for our new guy Ed.  Ed is on the shorter side, but built like a anthropomorphized beer-keg.  So finding clothes to fit him has been entertaining to watch.  His pants are way too long and are now rolled up to his knees. But, at least, he can kick now.

The term testing is really only used with Black belt level exams.  Sub Black belt testing is called Celebration - A demonstration of techniques, kata and application.  I'm unused to this format, so I&#…

Shūdokan 70

Thank god it's my 70th class because I couldn't think of a snazzy title for this post. 

Due to the sudden heat wave in the Rose city I was more than happy to go to beatings since the place we use has air-conditioning.  Strangely enough the heat is dry and drying.  You can almost feel the moisture leaving your skin.  Even with the air on I was damping my gi just during our warmup.  I guess it could have been enthusiasm. 

My wife has been experiencing sinus problems for a couple of years now and hasn't been able to completely get rid of it, so she became excited when she heard a friend finally get rid of her problem by going on an anti-inflammatory diet for a month.  So my wife did a bunch of research, and as the supportive husband, I'm going along with the process.  At the very least I'm hoping to lose some weight, but by and large, I didn't feel bad before, so who knows how this will make me feel.  Today is my first day and the change is breakfast is weird.  No…

Drop And Roll

I probably read into things, but I swear sometimes the first few minutes of socializing before class is a prophetic indication of what's to come in class.  We were chatting about breakfalls and sure enough in class, for the most part, was all about being thrown and getting up.

I was incredibly sore from Monday and I only took about 10 falls altogether, but I presume it was the rolling and getting up that was really tough on me.  The kata application (dance!) I was working on with Mark is called Kyoku Nidan (I finally got the name down) requires a break fall and a reverse rollout.  Because the rollout is on hardwood, I try to be as gentle as I can be so my knees and back take a break from serious bruising.

After warmups, which have taken a wonderful new turn, we put down as many mats as we could.  This was a bit unusual since the focus on class content is to prep for celebration (sub blackbelt testing) and blackbelt testing in early May.  I thought maybe that Sensei was going to put …

The Other Side

Now that the countdown is on for the few people in our class to go to testing in Washington, the class tension is slowly rising.  And not in a bad way.  Everyone appears to be more focused, and the after class practice time has gone way up. 

Sensei definitely wants Mark to get his blackbelt.  Mark had a five hour training session last Saturday and it wrung him out.  However, everything he does is very smooth and he's pretty comfortable with everything we do. 
The stuff he and I do in class is the application of a kata (which I have no idea of the name even though he's told me a thousand times).  I've done one side enough now that I know it fairly well and Sensei can see that both Mark and I have got it down fairly well.  So last night he had us switch roles.  Although we had a messy start we were able to get through the whole thing at a slow speed. 
As I drifted off to sleep last night I kept thinking about the parallax view of taking the other side.  It was like being in …

Ouchie Uki

After warm-ups Sensei had us move up and down the floor in the zenkutsu stance to clean up foot placement and weight placement.  Definitely more intense that I remember from my old school. 

New things:at least 80% of your weight is on that front leg (this stops feet from moving around prematurely to moving - a naughty tell).The outside of the foot is parallel or turned in slightly.  Never outward or even slightly outward.I have heard you should have your knee forward enough that can't see your toe, but it should be to the outside enough that the whole foot weight is centralized.We'd assume the stance and sensei would walk around us with a Bo (staff) and drop a pointed end all around the knee.  If the knee wasn't placed correctly then the staff would bang into your foot.  Thankfully Sensei isn't cruel and didn't slam the tip down.  Nevertheless it was incredibly illustrative. 
I spent the rest of the class with Mark working on his complex application.  I can't b…

Sanchin Bunkai

I staggered into class last night completely exhausted after another brutal weekend of house work and late nights.  Sunday my wife and I decided we need to clean up our acts a bit because we are gaining weight.  This means no booze and good food this week.  I've already lost three pounds, but my sleep is severely impacted.  I'm exhausted and cannot get to sleep.  I clearly was using booze to get to sleep, so the trade off will be thinner, healthier me, but with giant bags under my eyes. 

After warm up, we broke up into a variety of groups and I ended up getting three little girls with the instruction to teach moving front kicks.  Each girl was about one year older than the next.   The old girl, probably eight or nine, had the best understanding and had obviously practiced.  The other two had some issues with concentration, but that seemed pretty normal.  So we did kicks from zenkutsu, and cat stance.  Then from front leg and back leg.  Then we did a little with kicking at targ…