Wednesday, June 30, 2010

!@%*ing Knee

A couple of years ago I promised that I’d stop complaining about physical pains or injuries in class knowing that there is a fine line between whining and letting Teacher know that I had an impediment.  I made that pledge to myself, because when I saw others do it I thought it was incredibly unflattering to the student and the result was mixed.  Most folks can’t remember to hold back unless it’s an obvious injury.

In interest of full disclosure I have a chronic irritation in my right shoulder which is perpetuated by our constant shoulder locks.  My L5 is a bit dicey and can lead to spasms if I don’t stretch regularly and the other massive problem I’ve got is my left knee.  Apparently the inside surface (cartilage) of the kneecap gets easily inflamed.  That takes endless patience to rehab and beatings doesn’t help at all.  Last time I had to take about two months off from class and that was painful in itself.

That being said following vacation I savaged my knee playing on the neighbors trampoline.  This means no running until the inflammation cools off.  Of course we go to class and bulk of the first hour is cat stance.  In the beginning I didn’t feel a thing because we were warmed up, but as time progressed the pain just kept growing.  At the same time I noticed something that gave me a little pleasure – all the bicycle work that I have to do as part of the rehab process is paying off.  I could sit in a fairly low cat stance without problem – a first for me until the knee starting playing up.  Ugh. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Shaky, shaky

After three weeks off I presumed that moving and kicking and such might be rather painful.  The over indulgence at pretty much every meal made the multitude of plane flights seem like mobile veal pens for humans.  I’d put on 8 pounds in that brief amount of time.  All my pants are tight and I’m always looking for an excuse to put on sweatpants. 

My friends call and invite me over to dinner.  My immediate response, “is this a casual affair?” and then, “how casual?”

Since I’ve got back I knocked of two of those pounds, but I’ll feel better once I’m back into beatings and the gym regularly.  The addition to the blubber is that prolonged inactivity sets me up for knee problems.  As soon as I try anything after a couple of weeks of sitting around my left knee acts up.   So when I got back the first thing I did was inflame it.  So running is out for a while and I have to sit on the exercise bike with no resistance to rehab the knee.  Not exactly a great way to burn calories. 

Class was nice though.  I thought I could get away with a high stance to baby the knee, but the higher the stance the more I tend to straightened the leg.  Kicks instantly got off balance.  Teacher had a great time pointing that out.   So I tried lower stances and didn’t have any problems.  When everything is warm it’s good to go. 

Teacher has been putting me with all the new students for some time.  I went to thank him because not only has it been fun, but really helpful in correcting my own form and so forth.  He told me that was exactly the reason he did it. 

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Whiplash Hustler

Last night we took a lot of falls.  I’d forgotten that we had new people that had no idea how to slap so I’d grit my teeth when they’d reach out to catch themselves when I’d throw them.  So we’d stop and I’d do some basic education about landing, slapping, foot and hand placement.  The only problem was that to get them used to the timing I’d hold them longer in order to set them down.  I’m going to say that this is a bad idea through and through.  My lower back is absolutely thrashed.  Thankfully, no spasms, but definitely tired and sore. 

I did a lot of Uke time to get the new folks into the groove of the throws, but as a result I got sloppy with my slaps and ended falling wrong more often than not.  When I fall wrong it’s really wrong.  I don’t land in one piece, my head isn’t tucked, etc.  One of the new guys threw me beautifully and when I hit my lower back beat all of the rest of my by a beat.  The last thing to hit the mat was the back of my head.  Whiplash!

I figured when I woke up this morning that I’d be miserable, but thankfully 800mg of vitamin I eased my woes.  My back is sore and so is my neck, but not as bad as it could have been.  My primary worry being that I’m going on vacation tomorrow and sitting in a plane seat for multiple hours does nothing for me or my back.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


I was having one of those Karate Kid moments where Pat Morita was using some mundane task as a base for a movement. I wasn't that awesome, but I was working with a new student, Nurse, and found that if I broke blocking exercises up and did repeating patterns she immediately got the rhythm and did a nice job. I'm awesome.

The 2nd half of class was mostly a tripping throw. Going calf to calf with someone and rotating their shoulders until they fall. I'm the king of falling. I can't stay up when my shoulders are twisted so I'm the best Uke anyone can get. I was partnered with Trucker for the first part of class so my arms bruises from last week had a nice flair up while we did exercises.

Trucker has decided to make more of class and start studying on the outside. Our class is complicated in that we teach in Japanese, but it's a Korean art. We forget to tell people about this and they assume it's just Karate. Anyway, Trucker called me and I had to go through the whole history of our school and help him with some internet searches. The frustrating part of TSD is that we are not affiliated with a school down South or anywhere else. So our style is a blend of Karate and TSD with a bit of Aikido mixed in. This makes learning material very tough to focus on. TSD has a wide variety of style if you go by the internet. I've found two sources to be most reflective of how we do things, but neither is very similar. Master Kil and Master Pak are my favorites.

Our school started as an informal club with no fixed curriculum. Teacher Slim would just teach whatever he could remember off his head. He has four Black belts, but his only 2nd degree is in TSD. When the old students moved on and the other Teacher moved away my Teacher stepped up, but everyone knew Japanese and not Korean. So when Teacher got his black from Slim we just stuck with what everybody knew. I can say that I wish we had a static curriculum from one of the books, but I've been there long enough to see the benefits of how Teacher runs class. It may seem eclectic, but we all progress in a circular fashion.

Your Clothes, Book Cast With 100%

  At 6:05am I looked at my phone quizzically while trying to wake up.  My SaBomNim (master teacher), who is legally blind, sent me the messa...