This week in karate

There is nothing more fun than being thrown down to the floor. Except maybe throwing someone else to the floor. We did a lot of bunkai Monday night. We worked on Pinan Sandan bunkai also which I had only done maybe twice and over a year ago. It’s a lot of fun. There’s an excellent take down at the end when the attacker gets you in a bear hug from behind and you have to grab his/her hands, move your left leg behind theirs and then twist and drop down and they go flying! (this takedown is also in our Kumite # 7). I’ve always had a problem with takedowns. Either I lean over too much and I get pulled down, or I don’t drop down into a deep enough horse stance, or I just try to use brute force which really never ever works. But for some reason, last night I did them all smoothly. I guess the techniques have finally sunk in. (its about time) I even threw down a couple men who are much bigger than me. Now that’s pretty cool. Heehee.
Last night I braved sparring. Haven’t done it in more than 6 months. It was a good class-not too many scary fighters (you know the kind…more interested in being brutal than practicing technique) I actually practiced some spinning hook kicks which I never do during sparring. I’m always convinced that while I’m spinning, my opponent will be way quicker than me and get to me before I’m completely spun around so I just don’t bother. But last night I did try and I was fairly successful. Successful meaning I did make it 360 degrees without being crushed. I didn’t necessarily land any of the kicks, but my aim was good. Not bad I thought. By the end of class I was wiped out. My cardio still needs a lot of help. I really need to start running again.



Went to weapons today. We worked on nunchuck dai ichi and kama dai ichi. While I've been away, they have changed some things on each kata. Why? Well, I guess over time some things have been tweaked and tweaked until they are all of a sudden different than the original intention. So at some point, Kyoshi took a closer look and fixed them. One big change is what hand we hold the small weapons in while bowing in and out of the kata. We all had been holding them in our left hand-which was non-confrontational. Along time ago in Japan, students were all forced to become right-handed so holding their weapons in the left hand meant they weren't going to attack. Well NOW...we have been told to hold them in the right hand because we actually ARE attacking. sigh. And we hold them in the left hand when we bow out of the kata..because apparently, we've already attacked, now we're done with attacking and we are peaceful again.
Another change, in Nunchuck dai ichi, there is a move where you step forward and squat down and do some figure 8s. Well they've changed that to a one knee position instead of the squat. THANK YOU! much better-i never felt very stable in that squat position and had a major fear of tipping over. And the other change is with Kama dai ichi, There is a stance change in the middle. I don't remember exactly what the stance we were in before was, but it changed into a horse stance, then is twisted into a weird back-stance/horse stance kind of thing.
AND.... I whacked my knuckles with my nunchucks. It hurt.


It feels really good to be back in karate. And by “really good” I mean very sore and bruised, but happy. I went to Monday and Wednesday class last week, both are taught by Kyoshi. Luckily for me, Kyoshi was not there on Monday, which meant he didn’t have to go thru the torture of watching me screw up royally. Sensei D and Renshi S taught class that night so it was a bit less bad-ass than it usually is. Doing some of the bunkai was down right embarrassing, though. It was good to see my karate friends. Wednesday’s class was better. We did a ton of kata and the only ones I really messed up on were Kihon Ichidan, Nidan, and Sandan. The first 3 kata we learn. The most basic of the basics and was totally off. Oh well, what are you gonna do. I wasn't practicing those at home the past 6 months. We also did a bunch of arm conditioning. That always feels good :( Anyway, my goal is to go every Monday and Wednesday night for regular class and Saturday for weapons. I think we have sparring this week. oh boy..


Frotoe, "Get your a** back to class -we miss you" Kyoshi

I got an email from Kyoshi. I better do what he says....I'm in such bad shape right now, trying to do kata at home with weights on my arms and legs just isn't cutting it. Its been 6 months for crying out loud!


someone light a fire under me please!

I have basically hibernated for the past 2 months. I am in TERRIBLE shape. It started when I joined the Shape Up RI thing thru work. We had teams, we wore pedometers and I had all these ideas of starting running again and more karate etc etc. Instead...I became the laziest slug on earth. Passive aggressive maybe? Seasonal Affect disorder? Too much stress? I don't know. All I know is that I HAVE to get back to karate. It is taking a toll on my flabby gut and my flabby brain.
I have learned some new crochet stitches in the mean time...so my right hand is in excellent shape. I started working on an afghan/Tunisian stitch and bought these really long afghan crochet hooks. I have so much yarn that was my grandmother's it would be perfect to make an afghan with it all. I'm also still working on my granny square afghan, too. I'll post pictures soon, I promise. I've also been gardening-starting seeds for this years vegetable garden and doing a bunch of yard work.
I miss kicking and punching and kata. Although, I do kata at home its not the same workout I get at the dojo. Its not as much fun either.


More stuff growing

I found a couple other random things growing that I've dug up and brought inside. One is a baby Holly plant, and the other is a baby Azalea. I think I'll raise these as possible bonsai.

stuffs growing :)

Ok, so I don't have anything interesting to say regarding karate because I haven't been. Just too busy with other aspects of my life. I'm jonesin' for it, though. Hopefully this week I'll get my dormant ass in there. Until then, i have some pictures. There are some crocuses...some lilies..and along side of my front walk there are tulips growing. I just planted those in the fall and I am so happy I didn't plant them upsidedown. (i've done that before)



I'm still here~I'll post soon :)



a couple crochet pictures for your amusement..(since I haven't been to karate in a couple weeks) the quality sucks because i took the pictures with my camara phone. The top left is a baby blanket I made for a co-worker, the hat on the bottom I made for my niece (its much more vibrant than it looks) and above is a hacky sack I made for my son. I wish I had taken more pictures of the things I made as christmas presents but..I didn't.


Warrior Spirit

So, what do you and your friends do when they all turn/turned 40? I've got an idea, pack your sleeping bags and pillows, drive down to NY, have a sleep over at your dear friend's apartment, go down to St Marks Street and get some ink! I highly recommend it. Here's what I got-
It means warrior spirit or essence of warrior. At first I thought it just meant 'warrior' but upon further research I found out it actually means Warrior spirit which is what I originally wanted. I'm very happy with it. Its on my leg and as soon as its healed nicely I'll post a picture of it.


My new favorite weapon and some self defense too

So I went to 2 classes on saturday (C and I, actually) First was weapons. There are 2 weapons classes that go on at the same time, one is all bo, the other is all small weapons. C went to bo class, I went to small weapons. I successfully passed Nunchucku dai ichi and got to start learning Kama dai ichi. So far, they are my favorite weapons. (i haven't learned Sai yet, though but thats next ) There's something about waving around sticks with big blades attached that makes you feel like a warrior (heehee). All the ripping, grabbing, and jabbing..thats good stuff. (and NO, the blades are not sharpened ) The kama I have are traditional Okinawan style (the ones in the picture) and are much bigger and heavier than what a lot of students use at my dojo. I like them. My arms are skinny and using heavier weapons will only help to improve my strength and eventually my speed. My bo is heavier than most too. So anyway, thats where I stand with my weapons. I'm hoping to have C write down the whole Kama dai ichi kata so that I can practice more at home..he's not sure he remembers it all, though.

So after weapons class was regular class. We did mostly self defense which I love. I used to be very intimidated by self defense but it is true that it becomes more natural feeling the more you do it. I was partnered up with L, who is a 3rd (I think)kyu adult female, and mom to a 2nd degree teen. She's a lot of fun to work with and I've seen a lot of improvement in her technique. She used to be one of those students that during punching/blocking drills she would not punch at her opponents face or body, but to the side..not helping her opponent to truely learn how to block..But now, she punches directly at you and she is strong! Its excellent. So we had a good time, we mostly worked on defense for different types of wrist grabs, usually ending with the attacker on the ground by using his/her own momentum to throw him/her or by using a painful submission technique to bring him/her down. I love it.


Holiday Make-up class

Saturday there was a 2 hour make up class. C and I went, of course, because I love torture. C went snowboarding on Friday night and was exhausted so if it was up to him, it would just be me going to this class. But it was not up to him. :) The class was packed. We all warmed up together and when it was time to touch your toes, Kyoshi said.."Kids, do you hear that "uuuuggghh" sound? Thats the sound the adults make when they stretch out. Also you might hear some creaking, and cracking sounds...don't be scared... Its just the adults.." Of course, we were all laughing..because it was true..After we warmed up a bit they split the class up and the underbelt kids went into the other room for their class. We warmed up some more, then partnered up for some moving basics. We lined up in 2 lines facing each other and after each basic drill, we would rotate and get a new partner for the next drill. There were also some self defense drills worked in there as well. We also worked Kumite 1-4 (these are pre-arranged short sparring drills). We did Kihon kata about a gazillion times too. And empi waza. We did bag work and then break falls. Then at the end we had to do about 20 different types of push-ups. All evil. Some were on the knuckles, some on the fingertips, some with your hands forming a triangle under your chest area, some with your hands flat but with your fingertips facing your toes, and some more with one hand at shoulder level and the other hand at waist level. Then some pushups where you push up, then lift one hand up over your body pointing towards the ceiling, alternating hands. I can't remember any more...but I am still very sore.