Thursday, March 12, 2020

Full Iron Circle

When I started at the Shudokan school five years ago, MaryAnn Sensei was working on her San Dan and as part of that she would teach me the katas she was working on.  Here I am five years later doing the same thing!

As part of good learning we are told to teach to really absorb what's going on in a kata.  The four kata I have are relatively simple and short in length, but teaching represents a challenge because I tend to parrot what I've been told, but I don't know a lot of the "why's" and "what fors".  

Since my usual partner, Olivia, has been out to family issues Mark has been nice enough to work out with me.  As part of that I've been teaching him the four Goju-Ryu kata I know.  So that completes the circle for to a degree.  We touched on them Monday and as of yesterday he had all four down by the end of the second class.  He still struggles with pattern, but considering it was about five hours, he did a great job for someone who lists his own memory as being really short.

I'm feeling better and better with them and I think I might jump ahead and take alook at the next one to see how complicated it is.  Whoop!

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Covid Dachi

The slow and insidious creep of Covid 19 in our region is impacting lots of things, but in respect to karate all the regional tournaments have been canceled.  That means that our focus for the last several months just ground to a halt. 

Reed uses a text string with all the black belts to give us news or ask questions.  As of this week this has turned into how do we deal with this issue of transmissible disease.   No one wants to miss class, but no one wants to wrangle with a case of the flu.  As a result we are now focusing on kata and pretty much zero contact.  

Thankfully we have a nurse in class and she gave us the info we more or less need - wash your hands a lot and don't worry so much if you're healthy.  The social distancing is probably good for the population in general, but the concern is over blown for healthy people.  If your old, if you have respiratory issues or immuno-suppressed then you might need to hide out for some time.  

This has allowed for us to focus on kata for a big stretch.  Since our new bb club is so close to the class we don't lose 20 to 30 minutes of driving.  So we are getting two plus hours of practice and instruction.  

For me it was back to Goju-Ryu basics and fine tuning my first three kata (Geki Sai Dai Ichi, Ni and Sanshin).  During the regular class it was all foot work, meaning that I had to do sanshin dachi for a half hour before he had me work with Cooper on his stuff.  My legs are pretty tired today.  

I definitely have to practice more though.  I'd forgotten a few items as per usual.  Sigh.

Tuesday, March 03, 2020

Bugs and changes

With the corona virus being in our backyard everything appears to be a bit impacted.  Work has required every one to work at home and cancelled all but necessary travel.  I hadn't really thought about anything beyond that, but last night Sensei mentioned that he's not going to the upcoming tournaments out of an abundance of concern.  Especially the ones where there are travelers from Southeast Asia going through multiple airports.  Yikes!

This means that the next tournament I had planned on might be in jeopardy.  Reed said we'll continue to work toward the tournaments as if we were going.  I guess it gives us a focus.  

We tried out a new place for the black belt group.  Mark has houses all over the area and has a basement near the club where we have our regular classes.  It's massive.  I think like 3000 square feet.  It's broken up into a lot of rooms, but it worked out for us.  Reed split us into skill groups so no one was stepping on anyone's toes.  The ceilings are a bit low with texture, so hands and knuckles beware.  This could be a new potential home base for us and certainly reduces all the driving we normally do.

The evening class was mostly occupied with working on a kata we all knew and tearing it down in various ways.  And then Mark and I tried to teach Cooper the second Kyoku kata.  I was enthusiastic, but with two teachers and one student I think we could have been better.  He's a good student so it went well even though we had poor instruction.  

Full Iron Circle

When I started at the Shudokan school five years ago, MaryAnn Sensei was working on her San Dan and as part of that she would teach me the k...