Friday, 31 July 2009

I lost 2lbs in weight this past week. Excellent! However, I have 2 weeks vacation ahead of me. - hope I don't put 4 lbs on!

Went for a run, karate, run session this lunch time. I surprised myself by completing the first run. Surprised myself even more by running through Nijushiho 5 times. Then did OK on the run back, particularly at the end where I went through 2 katas naming each move in Japanese to get me to the end of my run.

I have been a bit down this week, and this has affected my training motivation. However, it helped that I researched some stuff on Ohshima Sensei this week. Today's run + my weight loss will hopefully give me a boost going in to my 2 week vacation ...

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Recently, I have been analysing the Bunkai for Nijushiho. I am in the process of "internalising" a set of Bunkai whilst performing the kata.

There are some Bunkai moves to Nijushiho which I really like. For example, after doing kakiwake-uke, you can modify the age-uke + tate enpi in to an arm break. This is probably my favourite Bunkai for the whole kata. But it doesn't allow for a proper age-uke technique when performing the kata. So I stick with a more simpler set of Bunkai which allows me to perform the techniques correctly (block a Jodan punch with the age-uke and counter with the tate-enpi).

I picked up 10 stones and lined them up. Then I practiced Nijushiho whilst focusing on visualing the Bunkai. After each completion of the kata, I threw away a stone.

I often wonder whether it would be more productive to teach students kata by first teaching them the Bunkai of key moves, and then after they have had some fun learning the applications, we put it all together in to the kata. I think that some students need to understand the kata before they can "get it" and this would be a way of achieving this. However, I am also aware that different students have different learning styles so this would not suit everyone. Maybe one day, when I have my own club I will be able to try this theory out.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

We went to the Loughton school dojo today and it was fantastic.

It was a traditional lesson, just like the ones when I was a low-mid kyu grade. We did basics in the first hour and all the Heian katas except Heian Sandan. I was sweating cobs by the end of that first hour. During the break I ran through a few bits of Nijushiho that I am trying to perfect (the kicks mostly). In the second hour we went through Heian Sandan in detail. Including the japanese for all the moves and stances. Also bunkai for most of the moves. We ended on some techniques to improve everyone's Miki-Zuki Geri.

I really enjoyed the lesson. It is at just the right level for my recovery period.

My boy did well and he said it was "alright". However, I know that karate will help him so I'm not going to let him give up on this. In years to come he will be grateful for this training.
My karate training is starting to work for me. I can tell this because I was able to handle an argument with my wife much better than usual. And, as a result life turned out better than normal.

I missed training on Wednesday but, made up for it on Friday when I was able to run both legs of my lunchtime training (run-karate-run). During the kata part of this training, I tried to perform Nijushiho holding mushin at all times - I couldn't do it. So, I went back to the beginning & performed Taikyoku Shodan whilst being fully present in the moment & holding Ki. It was better than when I tried to do it with Nijushiho, so I will train like this for a few weeks.

Today my youngest son is returning to Karate because I believe it will help him to iron out some behavioural issues he has. I am very excited - couldn't sleep the other night when he said he wanted to train again! He's currently yellow belt.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Break-through!!! The sokumen kekomi technique in Nijushiho clicked for me today. The key is to simply lift the kicking leg from kiba-dachi, leave it relaxed, then thrust and twist the hips. It is all in how you twist the hips. I also got the first few techniques smoother - much better. NB, there are 2 forward steps at the start of the kata. At yesterday's tournament, I saw it performed without these 2 steps - I checked some old videos and one should definitely be moving forward.

Yesterday I was a judge at the local Shotokan Karate Association tournament. I had to be careful to still take it easy (Doctor's orders) - so no referee'ing, just judging for kata & kumite. The day went very well. Sensei made the decision at lunchtime to close 2 mats and do every event on the centre mat. This was a good idea because it helped to create an atmosphere. Also because we were light on judges and volunteers.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

I have just measured my run on Google Pedometer as 1.3 miles (and back = 2.6 miles)

See my route here :-
The training session at the dojo was good yesterday. Did quite a lot of instructing though as we were getting the students ready for the tournament this Sunday. Was able to run through Nijushiho in my Gi for a change :-) Much nicer doing a kata in ones Gi but, most of my practice is in joggers & t-shirt. Did some sit ups, press ups & leg raises after the dojo.

Cycled in to work today. Did run-karate-run at lunchtime. Very good today. Felt like I had a lot more energy. 1st run completed OK. Ran through 6 katas (Meikyo, Kanku-sho, Bassai-sho, Tekki Nidan & Nijushiho (twice)). The final kata was Nijushiho and I was determined to do it full power full strength. I find this difficult to do outside of the dojo, without my Gi. But I had a very good stab at it and it felt good. The 2nd run was OK. Managed to get to the 2nd bridge before the running broke down. Then it was stop/start all the way back. However, given my current condition and everything, I think this is good progress. Just hope I have enough energy to cycle home.

I took delivery of a new back tyre for my bike today. It needs changing as it is threadbare, so I thought I would buy a more expensive one that should protect against punctures. Looking forward to putting this on before I cycle home. I'm very excited about it!!!! :-)