Showing posts from March, 2017

A Visit From Eli

We rarely get visitors to class due to the time.  We start at 4:15 and a majority of folks probably do these classes around 7 pm in the real world.  So we are a combination of after school and pre-dinner.  If we wanted to expand the student body we'd have to have a better time slot at the health club.

So when someone shows up in a gi that we don't know, it's a moment of excitement to be sure.  I'd forgotten that Reed needed to pick up a final kata before May.  He's going for his next rank (fifth?) and wanted to pick an old friend's brain.  Eli Sensei is from a Shotokan school and had the day to work with Reed and the gang on that one Kata.  

Eli no longer has a school to go to, but has been practicing non-stop since he's been 5 years old.  His background is based in the older, more physically demanding schools of the past.  His hands are an uneven testament to breaking; sporting broken knuckles and uneven surfaces.  With that kind of life I assumed he'd b…

37 Days To Go

Previous to class Reed Sensei will send out a group text to let us know if we are having an after class in Daniel Sensei's garage, but he'll also let us know if something is up.  Yesterday he included the note that we might be having three new students. 

New students are a small reason to celebrate.  If anything the life blood of the school depends on new people coming to force growth and development.  I think I've been the only new student that's been consistent for the last couple of years which is a shame because injection of new folks here and there have been fun and interesting, but the bottom line is that it means that money isn't really coming in.

Reed has pointed out that he's horrible about advertising or growing the business and Daniel has a marketing background, but seems stalled about what the next step is.  In the past the natural feed for new, young students was via home-schooling gym credits.  After there was some shift in that process the school …

44 Day To Go

I'm coming off a week of being sick couple with the start of allergy season so my hoped for relief is disappearing before my eyes.  Thankfully, when I'm moving/exercising my runny nose and sneezing dries up.  The only time it became an issue was when Mark held me in an inverted position and my nose would start to run. 

Everyone was in pretty good spirits after a weekend of tournament.  We had relatively good placement for all our players, but most notably was Daniel Sensei picking up first place for weapons.  Reed Sensei might have picked up first place for sparring, but some bureaucratic snafu got him skipped in one of his classes.  However, second place was pretty good I think.
Mark visited a tournament that was fairly local run by the head of Yoshida teriyaki sauce.  I guess it's pretty spectacular.  They fly folks in from Okinawa to run the seminars and the have the top competitors from all over the world come to compete.  There is even money to be won!
I've got 44 d…

Fight Night Review

Pride goes before the fall; or so they say.  I was into my third match and hardly making any points.  Sarah has completely shut me out and Kyle and I had gone to sudden death.  I got one point on Reed because of an error on his side. It was only late into one of the matches that I realized that I wasn't trying anything particularly interesting as a result was paying a price.

As part of the prep for tournament Reed Sensei has been doing a bit more sparring practice.  A big piece of that is strategy.  He said he originally had 57 tricks of the trade, but over the years found that the jab and follow up punch was what got him all of his medals.  So that's what we focus on a lot.

This goes into conflict with so much of what I'd been doing at my old school.  Most often we led with kicks for judging distance, but that doesn't get any points.  So it's that clash of semi reality and sport karate that's so frustrating to me.  However it is fascinating to finally understand…

A Tourney

The regional tournament is growing near (March 18th) and Reed and Daniel Sensei are going.  Due to the time and money involved I didn't really think it was a good idea for me, but their enthusiasm is making me question my decision.

The class got converted to a testing laboratory last night.  Mostly it was talking and discussing the classes and weights for the various competitions.  I found out that I'm in the rarified group (Masters) that doesn't have a lot of membership.  45 and older has no weight class nor weapons which I found interesting.  Just sparring and kata. 
The problem with Blackbelt only sparring is that even though I'm a 1st degree, I might be going up against very high ranking folks.  What a joy.  They are most likely sneaky and thoughtful.  Although I'm not to that point yet, I see that I would probably get suckered easily. 
The other part of competition, since it's an open tourney, is that there is no public demonstration of Kyoku kata.  So I…

Test Run Through

I think the count till the test is around sixty days.  With that in mind, Reed used the after class to run Mark and I through the test.   

The test consists of:

1. one run through of Kyoku Roku Dan
2. one run trhough of Nifanshi Sho Dan
3. demonstrate all ten bunkai - two times each
4. two run throughs of the KRD application; once as defender and once as attacker.
5. two run throughs of the NSD oyo; once as defender and once as attacker.

After looking fairly well through most of this well completely fell apart on the NSD oyo.  We'd been doing it wrong for so long that it was messing us up.  So that'll have to be retooled.  Just two moves, but we were crappy with that anyway so a relearn is going to take a bit.  The problem is that if we have an issue we need to go directly to Reed to confirm.  The other folks have long forgotten the moves and tend to cement our bad behaviors.  

Reed gave us a sheet of notes, but thankfully a lot of what we did was good, but the stuff we need to work o…