Sunday, February 23, 2014

2014/02/22 Class - speed and commitment

For the last two classes we have been able, with my wife Ryoko's help, to get to the gym before class started.  I haven't been able to get Aspen and Hannah to practice with me.  My relationship with Aspen is complicated.  However, I have been able to practice on my own a little before classes start.  As a side note, there is no space for me to practice at home since our apartment is so small and crowded so getting to the gym early provides me with some valuable space to practice in.  Hannah and Aspen just run around and play.   And I guess that is fine as long as they are associating karate with fun.

I wanted to practice Heian 5-dan but one of the young black belts came over with a sheet of paper with a list on it of the kihon ido 基本移動 items I have to perform for my first belt test.  We'll call  him YN.  YN and another young black belt gave me advice and instructed me on how to perform the Kihon for the test.   They also allowed me to ask many questions.  I'm still trying to remember everything.  These things have to be remembered with the mind and the body, but with no space to practice in, the least I can do is some mental simulations.  I need to start getting my lazy butt out of bed early in the morning so I can practice outside while everyone else is asleep.

For my test I have to perform ido kihon for the lowest level (12-kyu through 9-kyu I think), yakusoku kumite and the Heian-shodan kata. 移動基本、約束組手、基本型???


Here are a few of the pointers I got from them.
  • execute moves with speed and commitment.  Like you mean business!
  • execute with big motions
  • execute kiai with confidence.
  • stand up straight, don't lean forward into the punch.

移動基本 idou kihon This was on the sheet of paper they gave me.
  • 下段払い構えて下段払い5本
  • 回って挙げ受け5本
  • 回って外受け5本
  • 回ってなおる
  • 後屈立ち構えて手刀受け5本
  • 回って前蹴り3本
  • 騎馬立ち 蹴上3本
  • 上段直突き3本
    • 挙げ受けー>逆突き
  • 中段直突き3本
    • 外受けー>逆突き
  • ??中段内受け?
I have no idea what the test is going to be like.Will I have to fight?  I have no gear.  Will I have to do 自由組手? I don't know.

Feb, 22, 2014   Muto-sensei 武藤 忠師 (

Kihon (basic) drills

I can't recall everything that we did.  But Muto-sensei had us do more high kicks than usual.

As for punches, he had us doing something that I haven't figured out how to do.  It was the last punch drill.  The drill was something like doing an upper block (挙げ受け) while stepping backwards and then countering with a punch (probably gyakuzuki).  But I haven't been able to figure out exactly what we were supposed to be doing.  Gosh I feel so uncoordinated!

The last kick drill we did was, while standing on one foot, 前蹴り、横蹴り、後ろ蹴り、前蹴り.  Hannah loves to do that one for some reason.  Very cute when she does it.


Aspen and Hannah got dressed for kumite but then, just like the last time, Hannah decided not to do it.  Aspen worked hard through all of the kumite until he knocked down towards the end during the 自由組手.  He had a helmet (メンホー) on so he was OK physically but he was pretty shaken up.


Kon-sensei was there and so we split up into two groups.  Kon-sensei took the black belts, and Muto-sensei worked with us others.

  • heian shodan
  • heian nidan
  • heian sandan
  • heian yondan
  • kanku dai
Muto-sensei told us that most of the moves from the Heian series came from the Kanku-dai kata.  It is kind of a long kata but it was interesting.
Muto-sensei had us two white belts go through Heian-shodan as if it were a test.  He had us go through it once and then gave us some advice, and then we went through it again.  He said with that performance I would be fine (for the kata) for the belt test.  Pointers he gave me:
  • keep your upper body upright, don't lean forward.
  • do it like you are the man in charge.  
  • stand tall and put your chest out.  Be confident.  Make it look like you know your shit. 

One of my problems has always been a lack of confidence, and I think Aspen too has this problem.  You can't do the katas, or karate without some confidence.  Just practicing Kiai loudly makes me feel more powerful and gives me more confidence.