Tears And Progress

It had been a week since I'd been to class and that feels like a hundred years.  I wonder about how the shared training and the stresses it brings can create such a powerful drawl to the group.  I may not like all the people there, I might not like training some days, and I can feel my frustration clearly due to the division of training others and practice myself, but in the end it all pulls me back like a vacuum and when I walk away I feel so much better mentally and physically.

Last night was typical in that Mark and I arrived early to warm up and end up chatting.  He then pointed out that the last couple of classes had been trying in that the new boys were just running around out of control. Neither Mark nor Kyle had been able to keep them in check.  Apparently they were disruptive enough to even warrant Reeds attention.
I groaned thinking this was going to be another lost night with kids who could care less, but mentally pulled up my boots and focused on the task at hand.  After…

New Year, Fast Star

I hate showing up late for class because I'm never quite in the correct mind set and never quite warmed up for immediate action. 

I got called by work just as I was leaving the house.  I had to make some calls and send some emails, but I was on the road as quick as I could which had me arrive to class with about a half hour left. 
After I bowed in Reed had me be the kicking demo dummy.  He was demoing the hook kick for the orange belts.  Which meant in my first two minutes I got kicked three times very hard.  Sigh. 
I ended up helping the new black belts with their test preparation and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to help a little bit, but overall couldn't remember the overall moves.  Brain is full. 
After class turned out to be me and Daniel Sensei.  We went through all my Bird katas and refined as much as my brain could handle. 

Here's my current progress on Ka Ku Fa.

Five Birds and a Fat Thumb

The class schedule is a bit spotty due to the holidays, but I assumed everyone would be back at class last night.  It ended up being me as the only adult other than Sensei Reed and six kids.  On top of that it was fight night.

Because so many of the kids are fairly new, sparring and prep for sparring took most of the class.  Jabs leading to a cross was a nightmare.  Reed has endless patience and knows not to get wrapped around trying to fix everything.  That being said, the repetition that he provides is awesome because within a few weeks I've seen the kids pick up all the basics.  Foot work seems to be the biggest challenge.  Telling someone and showing someone doesn't always sync for the kids.  In time they finally pick it up as they realize they have finer control over their limbs.
Eventually we got around to the sparring portion of the evening.  As part of that Reed and I did a demo of bowing and point system.  However, on the first start two of our judges immediately starte…

Bruised And Birds

I'm still incredibly sore, so I was experiencing a bit concern about how active we were going to be.  I honestly thought it was going to be fight night again and didn't think I could face any fast movement.  However, I got in late and everyone was holding a Bo (staff) so I was pretty sure sparring was out. 

Sensei felt like it was a good day to start everyone on a basic Bo kata for some reason.  It was kind of fun.  The kata is Ten Ryu no Cone Sho.  I have no idea how to spell that, but the first couple of moves that we learned are pretty neat and have good bunkai.

That was literally the whole class.  I guess because it was so small he felt like that was a fun day.

After class we working on Ka Ku Fa and refining on all the other bird kata.  Lots of notes that I got to work on this morning in my ice cold house.  The heat is having a problem on our brand new furnace.  Yeah.

Rolling With Loose Intestines

Where to start?  In just two hours I feel like I've packed in enough to write a book, but I will spare you my blathering and just focus on the good bits.

Yesterday I was experiencing some severe digestive problems.  So the age old question came up  - do I go to beatings on the off chance I might need to exit in the middle of things?  I decided to go to class because I felt pretty empty which seemed like I would be less likely to have an accident.  

I joked with Mark that if I got punched in the stomach things would probably go badly for me.  Since we aren't usually that impact intensive in class I felt like I would be safe.  What I forgot was that Monday could either be basics or self-defense.  Much to my chagrin it turned out to be self-defense.  

To accelerate my discomfort we started out with jumping jacks.  I've never done such light jumping jacks.  Thankfully we only did fifty.  I was gritting my teeth by the end though.  

The class turned out to be to be super small.  On…

Hot Date After Fight Night

It was Wednesday and that means self-defense or Fight Night.  Before class we usually chat while we try to warm up a bit more.  I'm constantly worried about how slow I am off the line when it comes to a leading jab followed by a reverse punch.  For this school that is the bread and butter of point fighting. 

At my old school, we didn't get to go to tournaments because of the location (an island) so our sparring was a mix of reality and test of technique.  Since I've been at my new school I've had to retune and it's been really tough.  Points are awarded in a very rigid fashion.  For instance, a punch has to fully retract and a jab will never get you any points.  Keeping this in mind while someone is punching or kicking at you provides a lot of difficulties. 
We did a very long warm up with plenty of movement drills, which I have come to love because it's not something I think I do well in sparring.  And then it was on, but we really only had about fifteen minut…

New Stretch For Old Man

Preparations for the Quarterly testing have begun in earnest.  In our school testing is called Celebration for the colored belts.  I believe this is to put a positive spin on something that folks normally stressful and try to get people to see that progression is something to be celebrated.  

As per usual, Mondays mean I'm going to be tired because I didn't get a good night sleep.  However, I've been trying to keep my regular schedule during the weekend as much as possible so I get a good night sleep during the start of the week.  This appeared to be working as well because I was able to go to sleep around 10 pm.  This means I could get up at 5 without any problem.  

Alas, the plans of mice and men often go awry and I was no different.  I was awoken at 4 am by the retching sounds of my cat.  For those of you not familiar with this incredibly upsetting noise, it resembles a broken pump trying get started until the mess gets ejected.  Unfortunately for me I didn't move fas…