44 Day To Go

I'm coming off a week of being sick couple with the start of allergy season so my hoped for relief is disappearing before my eyes.  Thankfully, when I'm moving/exercising my runny nose and sneezing dries up.  The only time it became an issue was when Mark held me in an inverted position and my nose would start to run. 

Everyone was in pretty good spirits after a weekend of tournament.  We had relatively good placement for all our players, but most notably was Daniel Sensei picking up first place for weapons.  Reed Sensei might have picked up first place for sparring, but some bureaucratic snafu got him skipped in one of his classes.  However, second place was pretty good I think.
Mark visited a tournament that was fairly local run by the head of Yoshida teriyaki sauce.  I guess it's pretty spectacular.  They fly folks in from Okinawa to run the seminars and the have the top competitors from all over the world come to compete.  There is even money to be won!
I've got 44 d…

Fight Night Review

Pride goes before the fall; or so they say.  I was into my third match and hardly making any points.  Sarah has completely shut me out and Kyle and I had gone to sudden death.  I got one point on Reed because of an error on his side. It was only late into one of the matches that I realized that I wasn't trying anything particularly interesting as a result was paying a price.

As part of the prep for tournament Reed Sensei has been doing a bit more sparring practice.  A big piece of that is strategy.  He said he originally had 57 tricks of the trade, but over the years found that the jab and follow up punch was what got him all of his medals.  So that's what we focus on a lot.

This goes into conflict with so much of what I'd been doing at my old school.  Most often we led with kicks for judging distance, but that doesn't get any points.  So it's that clash of semi reality and sport karate that's so frustrating to me.  However it is fascinating to finally understand…

A Tourney

The regional tournament is growing near (March 18th) and Reed and Daniel Sensei are going.  Due to the time and money involved I didn't really think it was a good idea for me, but their enthusiasm is making me question my decision.

The class got converted to a testing laboratory last night.  Mostly it was talking and discussing the classes and weights for the various competitions.  I found out that I'm in the rarified group (Masters) that doesn't have a lot of membership.  45 and older has no weight class nor weapons which I found interesting.  Just sparring and kata. 
The problem with Blackbelt only sparring is that even though I'm a 1st degree, I might be going up against very high ranking folks.  What a joy.  They are most likely sneaky and thoughtful.  Although I'm not to that point yet, I see that I would probably get suckered easily. 
The other part of competition, since it's an open tourney, is that there is no public demonstration of Kyoku kata.  So I…

Test Run Through

I think the count till the test is around sixty days.  With that in mind, Reed used the after class to run Mark and I through the test.   

The test consists of:

1. one run through of Kyoku Roku Dan
2. one run trhough of Nifanshi Sho Dan
3. demonstrate all ten bunkai - two times each
4. two run throughs of the KRD application; once as defender and once as attacker.
5. two run throughs of the NSD oyo; once as defender and once as attacker.

After looking fairly well through most of this well completely fell apart on the NSD oyo.  We'd been doing it wrong for so long that it was messing us up.  So that'll have to be retooled.  Just two moves, but we were crappy with that anyway so a relearn is going to take a bit.  The problem is that if we have an issue we need to go directly to Reed to confirm.  The other folks have long forgotten the moves and tend to cement our bad behaviors.  

Reed gave us a sheet of notes, but thankfully a lot of what we did was good, but the stuff we need to work o…

Shūdokan 120!

After a week and half off I was excited to get back to work.  Of course a week and half off means that I'm going to forget a few things and it was apparent right away.  

Mark was at class super early so we went over a lot of basics as quick as we could.  Of course we forgot two areas which mess things up.  The first was in the Oyo for Nifanshi.  We forgot the second kick and then everything just gets messy.  Later we spent a good ten minutes reconstructed the final moves of the Kyouku application.  Not an auspicious return and with about 60 days to go.  Yikes!

I did find out last night that after the confirmation we are allowed to have 6 months of "fun" before returning to the process of learning the 2nd degree material.  I chatted with Daniel about his favorite weapons kata and thought I would request a Kama kata.  I was hoping for something flashy, but it really depends on what they have available or if I can make my own.  I'm not pro, but I'd like to see a lot o…

Tears Of Innocence

My wife and I don't have any children.  It was a combination of choice and circumstance and we're pretty okay with it.  She was a teacher for twenty plus years and acts as a Doula on occasion so she has enjoyed young people around her over the years.  As I've mentioned in past posts, I'm not much of a child person.  As such, my old teacher made sure that I had to teach kids classes for a stretch.  I'm not sure if that was a practical joke on his part or just helping with the whole teaching process.  Maybe both.

In my current school the classes can be incredibly small, so Reed Sensei can cycle through each student and give them individual attention.  However, the class can get just big enough that we should either all be doing the same thing to make it manageable or break into groups with separate teachers.  In the second scenario, available black belts will act as the extra teachers.  

We have a new young fellow (maybe six) named Everett.  He is enthusiastic, but not…

Mano A Mano

In keeping with my Spanish theme from my last post I thought I'd try start with a bang.  A literal bang.  

Regular class was taken up with Celebration, the seasonal testing for under black belt grading.  For once I was able to concentrate on what was going on because I knew the kata and techniques well enough.  I just had to judge two people in the middle of their brown belts and there were doing all the same techniques, so I was able to compare and contrast.

Just as we were leaving to go to afterclass Reed Sensei said that Daniel wanted to practice sparring because he was leaving to a tournament soon.  The normal spike of adrenaline I normally experience wasn't really happening.  I guess I was tired.  

When I got to the garage, where after class takes place, I was the only person there for about ten minutes.  I stretched out and tried to go over some common attacks and counters that I thought might help me out with Reed.  I've never sparred with Daniel so he was an unknown. …