Warning: Angry rant below....

I need to vent. Our school has had a "dress code" forever which is T-shirts (instead of gi tops) are allowed on saturdays(all year) and every day during the summer months only (June thru September). And they have to be karate-related t-shirts. The rest of the year, full gi is what you wear. I don't think thats unreasonable. But lately at the dojo, I've been noticing some students wearing t-shirts instead of their gi top. So I asked one of the instructors what was going on. Apparently, there are some students who complained that they wanted to wear t-shirts all year. They didn't think it was "fair" that they could not. They even went so far as to threaten to leave the dojo if they couldn't be accommodated. So the policy was changed. Now, certain "winter" t-shirts are allowed all year.
You will NOT see me or my son wearing a freakin t-shirt during the winter months . I would love to know who the whiney babies are that caused this to be an issue. Why?? Is the gi top too hot? Too cumbersome? Too uniform-y? well suck it up! its Karate, for crying out loud! The gi is part of the whole experience. It just blows my mind that people have the you-know-whats to complain about these things. I couldn't imagine owning a business like this. Maybe I wouldn't have many students. I don't think I could stand all the whiney babycriers. "What? you don't want to wear your gi top? Then GO HOME!" There's no whining in karate. If you want to join a dojo, then follow their rules! don't try to change them for your own selfish reasons! Grow up!
Ok, stepping down off my soapbox now. Thanks for listening.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!


Spar Wars

So, Saturday was Spar Wars. My son and I were signed up for the 1pm time slot. We got there in time to watch some other matches and we stayed for a while after to watch some more. I had never seen Kyoshi spar seriously before yesterday. He is a big man. He is also very fast and very powerful. He teaches while he spars and if you're paying attention you can learn a lot. If you're not paying attention you will hurt a lot. Now, it is also important to note, that he only goes as hard (or a little harder) as you do. So if you go into the match in full attack mode, expect to get taken down a notch or 2. There were all ages sparring him. Some of his opponents only came up to his waist. I love watching those matches. One of these kids was doing back to back spinning hook kicks. Not even coming within 2 feet of landing any of them. But Kyoshi would pretend to dodge them all and praised the boy for his efforts. There were lots of cute little kid matches. Kyoshi is known for his powerful spinning hook kick. He got everyone with at least one. His speed and force depended on the size and skill level of his opponent. For the little kids he was slow motion, ending with a tap to the kid's head with his foot. I did pretty well in my 2 minutes. I took a decent hit to the head , (I'm thinking that was because I hit him in his head) but all in all I dodged his kicks pretty well and he was obviously very kind. Next came my son, C. C is 15 years old. He has been going thru a rough time. Those of you who have teenagers know what I mean. They want to make their own decisions and sometimes you have to let them. He stopped going to karate a couple months ago - I said he could take a break but not quit. This is his freshman year in HS. He has ADHD. He's having a hard time making the right decisions. Anyway, long story short-Saturday was his first day back at karate. Kyoshi has missed him and knew about what he was going thru. They bowed in, shook hands and sparred HARD. The first spinning hook kick Kyoshi threw landed squarely on C's jaw-POW! Knocked him off balance, and then Kyoshi got him in a headlock and took him down to the floor. My friend M is looking at me saying "are you okay mom? are you worried?" I was fine, I knew he wasn't going to end up at the hospital or anything like that and frankly, he needed this. C could not get out of the headlock. Kids watching were yelling "Elbow him!" but Kyoshi also had his arm trapped. After a bit, Kyoshi released him. Finally, they were up on their feet again sparring and Kyoshi executed 2 more speed-of-light spinning hook kicks and C ducked under both of them. Good thing to, because they would have sent him flying. But he learns fast and is quick and agile. Finally the 2 minutes were up and the bell went off. They bowed, shook hands and Kyoshi gave him a HUGE hug, told him he was glad to see him back and that he had missed him. C walked out of the ring with a bloody lip and a big smile on his face. It was great to see. Now, that is tough love!


Nunchucks and Spar Wars

So I went to 2 classes on saturday. First was weapons. I brought my big girl nunchucks and had some refresher training on Nunchuku Dai Ich. By the end of the class I could get through the kata without help so that means...next week is Kama!!! I'm very excited. I have to say, though, I'm really enjoying the nunchucks. Anyway, after that class I had regular class, where we did a lot of partner work with focus pads. We went thru several combos (jab, cross, hook, upper cut) while staying in motion. I swear, the hardest part is holding the pads and remembering which way to turn them to receive the next punch. I worked with B, a brown belt who works her a** off. She is one of the group of parents who started training a couple years ago. They are all brown belts now and I can't wait to see them all get their black belts. They are so cool. Its going to be a huge group testing in about a year. So after skinning my knuckles on pads (ouchie), we worked on focus kicks-double roundhouse kicks (to the stomach , then to the head) and then hook kick/round kick combo.

In a couple weeks we have Spar Wars. This started a couple of years ago when one of the student's house burned down. Kyoshi set aside one saturday and had people sign up to spar him. The cost - $5 for 2 minutes in the ring with Kyoshi and all the money collected was given to the student's family. This year, the proceeds go to the KIAI fund which is a scholarship program for students who want to learn karate but cannot afford the tuition. So, there is a 3 page sign up sheet, you can choose the timeslot you want to get your hiney whooped that day. I have never sparred Kyoshi. It will be amusing. I'm sure he'll be smiling the whole time. That same smile he gets when he watches the adult students practice "coffee grinder's" ( a breakdancing move also) or like at Thanksgiving cardio kickboxing , at the end of class,when he had us do partner sit-ups where we lined up in 2 lines across, facing each other -in sit up position , ankles locked with your partner, do 10 situps, making sure you do "high tens" with your partner each time,then after 10, rotate to the right and do the same with your new partner. and over and over and over...that twisted, evil smile he gets watching his students suffer like that.
I'm looking forward to it! :)