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Memory Of A Fourth

I've been having the worst problems with my memory in the last year.  Just hanging out with or talking to my Mother who is experiencing a rapid decline due to dementia seems to have killed my ability to remember as well.  I'm attributing it to stress since I've experienced this in the past.  

While I was in grad school I thought I was losing my mind on more that one occasion. I would leave keys in the door and thought I lost them in the subway, I would forget where I parked a car, or what I was working on from time to time.  As a result, or side affect, I would take bone-crushingly deep naps.  I don't take naps as a rule so when it happens I know something is wrong stress wise.
Although I'm not driven to naps yet, learning the fourth kata has become a huge challenge.  As I mentioned in my last post I got home and immediately forgot everything I'd learned.  That's why I was experiencing a heavy conflict on Monday.  We had a guest in from out of town that has …

The Fourth Bird

I'm running behind trying to get this details down.  So it's going to be a list of stuff.

- A bunch of folks from our school went to a Kata only tournament last weekend and did very well.  My very own Mark got first place in his division! 
- The sensei's pulled down a lot of metals/awards, so they generally encourage everyone to go to this tourney. 
- I'd been off for a week due to guests and training at work which threw my schedule off.  Nice to be back as it were.
- I was paired with Sarah to help her on black belt prep.  I found out that I couldn't remember transitions.  I was worthless.  How embarrassing.
- In the after class the senseis confirmed that my first three were fine so I could start learning Hakutsuru no Ottoko.  It has a San Shin step that makes me look like I'm a zombie lurching from step to step.  Hilarious.
- I practiced it two hours after I learned the first few pieces and realized that I had lost the whole damn thing because I had concentrated …

More Birdy

Wasn't it just the other day that I was crowing about all the new folks?  Well, we've kept Alex and Cirloo, but the two older guys didn't come back.  Was I too enthusiastic?  I'll never know unless they told Reed Sensei that they would have loved to come except the creepy guy in the flattop was too much.  I hope that isn't the case anyway.

Last night was a mix of self-defense and Bunkai from Matsu Kaze.  The took the whole class to get through one series of punch-kick combos, but it went quickly and was quite fun.  In the end we were told about a Kata only tournament next weekend.  Unfortunately, it's when I have another slew of guests coming through, so that's right out.  Sigh.  Something close is hard to miss.
Somehow I managed to cut some part of my big toe, but I didn't realize it until I got to after class.  It didn't really hurt until this morning.  I hate foot accidents because how much it effects everything.  Just walking becomes awkward. 
In…

Veni, Vidi, Amissa

As with ancient conquering generals I took the field of battle, but with fairly low expectations.  I wasn't disappointed. 

It was fight night last night, but before I got into the mindset created by adrenaline and competitiveness I decided to focus on what I needed to happen.  I've been consistently disappointed by the lack of success in sparring while at my new school.  The root cause is that at my old school there were no point systems.  We went at it with vigor and tried to protect ourselves as best we could. 
At my current school sparring is solely focused on point based work.  So practicality is tossed aside for some fairly strict rules.  The torso and head are the only point areas, a leading shot to the body doesn't count, etc.  There are all these rules!
It's been a year and some and I'm getting better at that stuff, but I don't get to participate enough to remember each  time.  However, this time I wasn't going to worry about the final score.  I was …

Three New Students!

I was running around in circles as per Monday afternoon protocol.  This means that I did not get to sleep very well on Sunday night and meant that I was pretty tired by the time I got home.  To remedy this I laid down on the bed for a minute in hopes that I'd suddenly develop the skill to nap and wake up refreshed.

This was not to be the case because the cats followed me and decided that I would be the perfect pillow for an afternoon snooze.  I ended up staring at the ceiling for 20 minutes and got up covered in cat hair and not one bit refreshed at all.
The familial stress has also started taking it's toll.  I feel like my blood pressure is sky rocketing so my face is hot and I have a mild headache much of the time.  To counteract this I need to be running and eating less.  Neither of which appear to be happening. 
So going to class has become a bit of a talisman in that I'm doing things that are heading in the correct direction for a better and healthier me. 
I got to clas…

Beaten By Children

I thought we were going to continue with learning the Matsu Kazi kata, but due to the schedule it was self-defense night instead.  As a result we learned the bunkai from the first couple of moves from the kata.  

After a modest warm up that included leg stretches I realized I had stretched in who knows how long.  I felt like I was pulling every muscle.  I clearly need to warm up a bit more seriously before we get going.  And definitely work on stretching.  Ouch.

The mats came out and we assumed two rows facing each other.  One side is the attacker and one side is the defender.  We pulled moves straight out of the kata which I don't know if I'd use in a real fight, but every bit of knowledge is good.  You never know how something can be utilized.  

Reed asked everyone to partner up with some their size and I ended up being the odd man out and partnered with Adrianna.  I think she's around eight years old, but seems good about dealing with someone well over 150 pounds more than…

Pine Tree Wind

The real name is probably "wind blowing through pine trees", but I don't speak Japanese so translation and transliteration are going to be messy at best when filtered through my soggy brain. 

It's been a while since I've been to class (one month to be precise) and since I'm just tired mentally, I wasn't sure what to expect.  Folks are getting ready for tournament, and the idea to teach everyone a new kata at the same time this quarter started last night.  So my timing was pretty good there.  Unfortunately, the tourney fall on my birthday weekend so that's right out, but I'm finding it difficult to swing those due to the time and money. 

The new kata is called Mata Kazi.  I'm not sure about the spelling, but so far we've only gotten through the first couple of steps.  I tried to remember this morning during my regular practice, but most of it slipped away.  I can recall some more of it while I'm typing, but a bad night sleep roughs ever…