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Potty Mouth

As I become more relaxed around the young students I find my behavior becomes more collaborative instead of instructive.  This is not necessarily the best approach and I find after the fact that I should cut down on the funny faces and jokes.  If I could keep it together I think the lesson would go better.  I just seem unable to manage that.  

Last night I was assigned a brown belt to run through his black belt test work.  He'll be tested in September and he's got a lot to get squared away before he's ready for his test. He's self motivated, but having time with the more experienced instructors would be a lot better than me.  I can only judge kata and point out improvements, but the techniques are still a bit mysterious to me.  He's got two months.  Tick Tock.

After about half the class I was give to the ten year old girl, Miya.  Her karate is very solid and she's earnest about her practice.  However, she vexes me with specific questions instead of just doing.  I…

Two Big Birds

I've been studying Haku Chofor about three weeks now.  Although it's not overly complicated there are fine tuning items to get squared away.  For me it's been the hands and keeping my fingers together.  Last night I got started on the second of these "bird" katas.  This is Haku Cho Dai. 

The somewhat humorous story Reed tells me is that the first kata looks as though the learner went to class and only learned the first part.  The second resembles the first, but it turns around and returns to the staring point like every other kata. 
It's not actually true because the katas are different enough that there would be no mistaking either, but the pattern is definitely the same.  I think that can be said about most katas though.  Anyway, this one is long in physical space.  I'm lucky enough to have a long living room and my wife begrudgingly allows me a chunk of it for kata, but the Dai takes up all the space available. 

We didn't have too many adults in clas…

Sweep The Legs!

After the last bunch of visitors had passed through the house and the obligations had been met, I can go to Karate with a minimum of guilt.  Of course while we were gone on a weekend trip my wife was busy prepping plans for ripping out another rooms walls.  So my fun time has dried up fairly quickly.

Thankfully she doesn't pressure me too much on Mondays and Wednesdays.  I think she understands I need to get my exercise and attitude adjustment as much as I can.
Last night was fight night.  Which means that Sensei Reed is getting the kids closer to sparring on a regular basis.  However, the class is relatively light on adults at the moment so he ended up managing the three ring circus while I helped our only brown belt work on her test.  We got through most of the bunkai (30!) which ends up with a few sweeps.  As an Uke (the attacker and loser) I mostly throw a punch and get beat up.  The sweeps aren't usually a big deal but I took my falls on hardwood.  This morning I'm defi…

Curriculum

During my black belt confirmation trip to Yakima, Reed Sensei and the others went to great length to talk about the upcoming year.  This was to develop the curriculum to match the other schools in the region and pitch ideas back and forth.  Through a lot of stories I've heard all kinds of the passive-aggressive behavior that the schools have had with one another, but for the most part they want to be on the same page.  However, having a head master who might not be absolutely consistent from time to time creates friction.

An example in Kata.  He tells one school hands are this way and another school that way.  When testing happens one school fails all the tests because their hands are wrong. How is the local instructor supposed to deal with this?  He teaches his students the other version and then they go back.  As you can guess this might create some feelings. 

To contend with this students are taught to expect flaky judgement at tests.  Not fair, but that's the way life is …

Two Senseis And The Cramps

"That's the name of my band.  You've probably never heard of them."
The tongue and cheek comment of many young musicians who like to quote that line in the Rose city seemed appropriate today.  The ridiculous, but fun situations I end up being in made the perfect band title.

Our regular class was a play day because of Celebration on Monday.  In the beginning of class Sensei said, "you can play or you can train."  His wife and I ended up training on the same kata for the whole hour.  It was fairly well needed in my case, just because I hadn't seen regular training in a few weeks.  His wife hadn't even been taught the kata.  So it worked out for the both of us.
I will say this, the children realllyyyy enjoyed their time.  I've never seen 45 minutes been so animated, and loud.
After class was brutally hot in the garage, but I got Daniel and Reed as teachers.  I needed to complete my learning of Pinan Godan.  I'd had the first half down, but needed t…

Teacher To The Stars

I'm trying to be better at recalling the schedule Sensei has set for class, but because we are getting ready for Celebration (quarterly testing in other words) the content of class has been devoted to getting the under-belts ready. 

Sensei thought he was going to be late and wanted me to start the class, but he showed a little bit early.  I'd spent a couple of minutes practicing the bow-in and didn't realize my part was just Hajime mas.  "Begin we will,"  in English.
Before class Mark gave me a "thank you for training with me" gift!  He's a fine artist so I was fairly pleased but felt dorky since I don't have anything for him.  My wife was happy because that's going to go up on a wall somewhere. 
Since we had time we ended up practicing bo kata and then Pinan Godan or as much as we could recall.
Class started and I knew where it was going to go before we even bowed in.  Time to teach the girls. Sigh.  However, I was only given Niva and without…

Relativity

A big part of my life is wrapped up around people visiting during the summer months.  Our home in the Rose city is pretty big so having visitors has become a fairly regular.  This summer we have exactly no weekends free.  Our current visitors are my cousin and her family from PA and that's been pretty great.  I don't have a sister and she's pretty much the closest thing I've got in that case and I also get along pretty well with her husband.

While they get out and tour around I try to see what my schedule looks like and what I can fit in.  Thankfully I was able to go to the first hour of karate last night.  I thought we were going to be doing a false celebration to get the students ready, and I was partially correct.  I was given to the brown belts and told to run through their test.  We had forty-five minutes and I didn't think that was going to work.  The Black-belt exam is pretty extensive and usually takes an hour at the very least. 
However, I was given some un…