Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Potty Mouth

As I become more relaxed around the young students I find my behavior becomes more collaborative instead of instructive.  This is not necessarily the best approach and I find after the fact that I should cut down on the funny faces and jokes.  If I could keep it together I think the lesson would go better.  I just seem unable to manage that.  

Last night I was assigned a brown belt to run through his black belt test work.  He'll be tested in September and he's got a lot to get squared away before he's ready for his test. He's self motivated, but having time with the more experienced instructors would be a lot better than me.  I can only judge kata and point out improvements, but the techniques are still a bit mysterious to me.  He's got two months.  Tick Tock.

After about half the class I was give to the ten year old girl, Miya.  Her karate is very solid and she's earnest about her practice.  However, she vexes me with specific questions instead of just doing.  It's good for me because it makes me focus on those specifics and it also allows me to tell what I do and don't know.  

Eventually Louie joined us.  He is also earnest and has fairly good karate relatively speaking.  He's six or seven, but seems to pick up things very quickly and shows good skill so far.  As we progressed through our lesson, and this is where I'm attacking him, I noticed several men in the gym area connected to the studio where looking at us quizzically.  I was shooting a kick and punch at a six year old who is maybe an eighth of my weight who responded with a kiyai and punch to my gut.  

I experienced a moment of embarrassment because it totally looked like a giant trying to beat some kid.  I mumbled to the kids how I looked like a dumbass.  Miya gently reminded me that I shouldn't use profanity around kids.  I was a bit chagrined and apologized and we moved on.  Of course after class I had to make light of my slip with the adults.  

"You're an A - S- S."  Holy cow I'm less mature than the kids in my class.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Two Big Birds

I've been studying Haku Cho for about three weeks now.  Although it's not overly complicated there are fine tuning items to get squared away.  For me it's been the hands and keeping my fingers together.  Last night I got started on the second of these "bird" katas.  This is Haku Cho Dai. 

The somewhat humorous story Reed tells me is that the first kata looks as though the learner went to class and only learned the first part.  The second resembles the first, but it turns around and returns to the staring point like every other kata. 

It's not actually true because the katas are different enough that there would be no mistaking either, but the pattern is definitely the same.  I think that can be said about most katas though.  Anyway, this one is long in physical space.  I'm lucky enough to have a long living room and my wife begrudgingly allows me a chunk of it for kata, but the Dai takes up all the space available. 

We didn't have too many adults in class on Monday night, but instead of working with the kids I was put in the corner to work on Haku Cho.  I was then introduced to Dai and fumbled through the first half.  After I started getting some comfort I got a few of the girls to work on Pinan Godan.  For the most part it went well, but in time the complaint of "my legs hurt" and other classics started.  Mind you this was after a speech from Reed talking about exactly this kind of thing.  Sigh.  I guess it's a constant battle. 

After class was just me and the Sensei's Reed and Daniel.  The heat was pretty intense, but we opened the garage door for the small amount of breeze.  We completed the whole kata and went over the details as much as possible in the time I had. 

I let them know how much I appreciated their time, but they just shrugged it off.  I can only assume that teaching gives them a lot of pleasure, but after I left they went about working on their own things.  How many hours must they put into this? 


Thursday, July 06, 2017

Sweep The Legs!

After the last bunch of visitors had passed through the house and the obligations had been met, I can go to Karate with a minimum of guilt.  Of course while we were gone on a weekend trip my wife was busy prepping plans for ripping out another rooms walls.  So my fun time has dried up fairly quickly.

Thankfully she doesn't pressure me too much on Mondays and Wednesdays.  I think she understands I need to get my exercise and attitude adjustment as much as I can.

Last night was fight night.  Which means that Sensei Reed is getting the kids closer to sparring on a regular basis.  However, the class is relatively light on adults at the moment so he ended up managing the three ring circus while I helped our only brown belt work on her test.  We got through most of the bunkai (30!) which ends up with a few sweeps.  As an Uke (the attacker and loser) I mostly throw a punch and get beat up.  The sweeps aren't usually a big deal but I took my falls on hardwood.  This morning I'm definitely feeling it on my one hip. 

Reed then set up three rings and each of us had to judge.  I have to admit it's the cutest fighting I've ever seen, but I feel crappy having one kid lose and take it personally.  We got through three or four three point matches before the end of class.  The kids were all pretty stoked afterwards so I would count that as a win.

After class we worked on my Pinan Godan.  Then we worked on the five bunkai (it's like two-step sparring).  Senseis Daniel and Reed would rotate with me to iron out the techniques so that we can teach them in the future.  The fifth is my favorite because it contains a double foot sweep.  The front one and then drop into a spinning sweep for the rear leg.  I doubt I could do it very quickly in real life, but it would be awesome to see used by someone quick.

So Four Monks Walk Into A Bar...

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