Oh man, it's been a long time since I've posted. Where did the time go and all that? I keep forgetting to write in the blog the day after. Too much going in life, but I am still remaining as consistent as I can be with class and practice.
As I mentioned in previous posts I'm on the log slog towards my Ni Dan (2nd degree) test in early May. If I didn't describe it in the past each exam in the Shudonkan school is from a different style. This is a reflection of the schools roots, when it was simply a place for anyone to practice. So many people from many styles would come and hang out, but instead of cross pollinizing the school chose to learn the style of the other folks as best they could.
So the first test, Sho Dan, is a smattering of some in house (proprietary) kata and technique and some ground level stuff from other Okinawan school. The second degree is mostly bird kata. And when I say bird kata I mean it. It's 90% white crane from Wushu that's been modified for Japanese sensibility and finally practiced by my tall, gringo ass.
The third is all Gjo Ryu and in the fourth the practitioner is encouraged to find a style and learn it. Fun stuff.
In my case, and the rest of the tests as well, you are required to perform ten kata in that style and execute 10 bunkai that take a piece of the kata and transform it into a technique. There are set bunkai (a two man pre-staged) given to us by the teachers, but as of late Reed has been encouraging us to invent our own. Considering the massive effort we've been putting into the kata developing bunkai feel likes it's insurmountable. Neither Olivia or myself are given to being creative in that area and just learning the basics has been challenging enough. We've still got six months so there is still room to amplify if we can.
In an attempt to do better, I've started taking private lessons with Daniel sensei so I can amplify my regular practice. I just started that last Saturday and it was eye-opening about how much I can work on. My new normal is taking notes and trying to undo bad practice or add in things I've missed.
So, for the few of you that do read this I apologize about the absence. I'll try to keep up!
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