Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Mop The Floor

Illness and seasonal obligations are making the class fairly slim which can be a nice thing.  It's similar to a private lesson in that the attention is comprehensive and specific.  However it can be grueling.  The intensity is much more so you must come to class focused.  

There was only four of us for both club and class.  During the club I spent most of my time working on my Nidan Kata with our fourteen year old black belt.  She recently passed her exam and tends to get placed with me to help me with my "elementary" kata.  She's incredibly detailed in her reviews.  I feel like I have to nurse my ego at times though.  I'm like four times her age and have been practicing Martial arts for an accumulative time of two decades at the very least.  And then she points out all the stuff I need to correct, which by the way, are all accurate.  I shrivel a bit on the inside.  Shouldn't I better?

In regular class we mostly worked on bunkai after a protracted warm up my MaryAnn.  I'm finding that I'm very inflexible in my back/torso.  When did that happen?  Freakin' Fifties.  You never know what part is freezing up until it sneaks up on you.

Reed is absolutely amazing in that he takes from each of our kata and rotates us through all kinds of techniques.  I was Todd's for his white belt stuff and then he'd be my Uke for the complicated Goju stuff I was doing and back and forth it went.  I can pick stuff fairly easily, but asking Reed for assistance to suss out some tidbit can be painful.  He'll need to do the technique a few times to figure out the question and that means I'm going get my face ground into the floor fairly hard.  I never tap soon enough with him.  

Although I wasn't in any particular pain when I got home I took some Ibuprofen as a prophylactic.  I ended up sleeping nine hours!  I guess it took more out me than I thought!


Thursday, December 12, 2019

So Four Monks Walk Into A Bar...

New Kata alert!

Reed told us about a week ago that he wanted to jump ahead a bit in our katas to learn Shisochin.  I gather Goju-Ryu isn't really big on assigning meaning to their kata, but our teacher's teacher was somewhat religious and would connect something to everything.  In this case the kata was about honoring the dead.  And for whatever reason this time of year seems to be a good time to remember folks.  

So while we were learning it last night I asked what the words actually meant.  We know Shi means four, but that was about it.  So while we practiced Reed dug through  
his books and figured out that it meant four monks.  That's about it.  Sigh.  Not much of a story connected because that's the way of their school.

In regular class we practiced and went through the whole thing.  However today I was having problems remembering it, but thankfully I have videos from Chinen to help me remember.  Last night after class and this morning I apparently forgot a section.  Sigh.

Back to practice between teleconferences.  

Watch this guy rip through it.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Three Shots To The Chin

I remember once reading that if you're in a street fight remember to clench your jaw.  I think the rationale was that it's supposed to suppress a knock punch or broken teeth.  

With this in mind I tried to clench my teeth when I was working with Cooper.  We were doing bunkai for one of his katas which after a small exchange end up with a back fist to my jaw and then two follow up punches to the same spot.  

The first time we did it with contact I got that famous jangle letting me know that I definitely didn't have my jaw tight or that possibly it didn't matter.  Ouch.  

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At black belt class I thought we were going to learn a new Goju-Ryu kata, but for whatever reasons I got pointed back to learning the second of our Kyoku katas.  I'm learning those to get ready to be a testing partner for Cooper when he goes for his Black belt exam.  I've got three more to go.  The tough part is that each one has more and more bunkai connected to it.  Trying to remember that is difficult. I gather the fifth one has 8 bunkai!

The Nidan isn't much harder than the first pattern wise, but what I did find challenging is that there is a lot of stuff going on.  There's even a new stance, kiden dachi.  It looks like a painful ballet move for me.  Ouch.

That and shoveling tons of mulch had me sleep a nice sleep!  And now to practice.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

GoJu Basics

I do go on about the basics, but learning a whole new style certainly has a way of dictating what you need to focus on.

My work life and social obligations have been complex enough that I've only been able to get to class once a week.  I'm always in fear that I'm missing and falling behind, but Reed pointed out that we are way ahead of the schedule because we on a three year program.  Being three kata in means that we are "ahead".  

This means that we work on the basics.  That means it's doing muashauke's and sanchin dachi's until we're blue in the face.  So that's what we'll do and then on the side I keep learning the Shodan kata for a upcoming brownbelt so I can be his partner.  So life feels pretty full.

Of note - part of sanchin is that you a proper stance so that you are strong in certain ways.  To check this another person hits you in certain ways to confirm that.  One of these is a kick to the groin.  Although your knees aren't touching you should be able block enough to stop the shin to get to the groin.

While we were practicing we tried to do the "tests" while we were in our best stances.  One of those tests is that kick.  However the kick is done with the shin, not the foot.  As the shin comes up between the legs the lead knee jams it up and the other thigh traps it.  

Unfortunately Olivia used her foot and went up without friction into my crotch.  Ouch.  Thankfully she didn't put any gas into the kick.  Lesson learned.

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Side news!  My old buddy Bob Patterson is alive and possibly kicking.  He actually moved to my part of the US.  Who knows - we might get to meet in real life!

Tourney Bound?

Hey All.  I went back at it last night.  "It" meaning I went for the two hours since my cold has passed and my regular level of fi...