Back In The Saddle

It seems like a propitious start to the year to have the class almost immediately after New Years day.  We didn't do anything ceremonial, but it appeared that vacations and very cold weather kept everyone home for our advanced classes.

Black belt club was just me with Sensei's Reed and Daniel.  As per the Monday schedule we did as much of test run through as we could.  Reed's garage is heated by a moderately sized space heater, but when I got there I started warming up with a jacket and hat on.  Once we got going it wasn't bad, but I kept my socks on the whole time.

Before I went to class I was splitting wood and chose not to use my back brace.  This turned out to be a poor choice in the long run.  Splitting is great work, but bending over and over again to pick up the split stuff appears to be the worst thing I can do to my lower back.  To add insult to injury, the Sensei's have really begun to focus on my stance in such away that I'm no long leaning forward.  Boy, is that tough.  Before bed I opted for ibuprofen and realized I should have taken it earlier as a prophylactic.  Just turning in bed was tough.

We were able to get about five kata with their bunkai before time ran out, but the amount of notes were pretty significant.  Nothing horrible, but basic things that have slid out of focus.  Hips, hands, and depth.  I'm so used to Daniel being on an A+ level with his kata that I was caught off guard when Reed give him a few notes here and there.

Regular class consisted of only Sarah, me and the two Sensei's.  When the class is this small Reed reserves the time for R & D.  The semester's kata is SonShein (sp?) which feels very elementary, but I gather it can be used for Blackbelt level tests as a rest kata.  A rest kata, as I'm finding out, is a purposefully short one set in the middle to give yourself some breathing room.

Anyway, the process of R & D is to create Bunkai and test every approach to a move to see how it works. During one of our ideas we moved into a triangle choke (grabbing under one arm and around the neck at the same time).  Unfortunately, I've been dealing with a slight neck issue and totally didn't think of it, but Sarah gave me a shock when she bared down a bit and my neck gave me a red alert.  Strangely on the ride home I noticed that I could turn left way better than I had been in able to for months.  I hope that holds.


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