There were few members this practice. I don't know why. Maybe they were studying for tests. Maybe they were sick.
H didn't do anything at all because she had gotten a flu shot earlier in the day and she said her arm hurt. A did well up until the very end of Kumite when he got hit a little hard in the back of the neck. I think it scared him more than hurt him. He sat down at the side and didn't do any Kata practice. He has a hard time recovering from mistakes or embarrassing situations or having gotten yelled at. He will usually just quit and sit at the side. I can understand the embarrassing situation part. He cried. He was embarrassed and didn't want to do any more. I hope he can learn, sooner than later, that it is more embarrassing to quit because of the incident than to struggle on through it. Although I think his reaction is not too odd for a young boy his age.
Muto-sensei is again having us do more combination punches during our kihon practice. We never do combinations that include both punches and kicks. Hmm... I had actually practiced twice before practice and was able to do them without too much embarrassment. I need to continue to practice combination punches moving forward and when moving backward. I still haven't decided if we will go to the upcoming belt test, but if we do, then I think I'll need to be able to do these combinations well in order to move up to the next level. I think the next level will give me a brown belt. Muto-sensei says that you might as well hurry up and get your brown belt because it won't be so easy after that to get your black belt. There are in our system, I believe, three levels of brown belt. Muto-sensei is really encouraging me to take the test and I get the feeling that he is tailoring the practices somewhat to help me personally. But then again, I'm not the only purple belt. There are others, but most of them are a level or half-level below me.
KumiteMost of the kids, the ones that started before me, are giving me advice during kumite. They give me a lot of advice, sometimes the same advice over and over because I am not getting it done correctly. I can feel that I am starting to improve during kumite. I still don't think that I'll ever be able to win any matches if I compete and am likely to get my head knocked off. Let's hope that never happens.
Tips: Don't hit too hard or you'll get a penalty. But, if you can hit him hard enough to make him quit, then you win the match. So, remember, this is not a "fight", it's a game of touché. You are trying to get points so that you can win the match. So reach in there quickly, touch and snap your whole arm and elbow back and even twist your body while you kiai loudly to appeal to the judges that you made a hit. I got some other tips too, but to tell you the truth, they speak quietly and I have a very hard time understanding them.
I stepped on the feet of two of the members last night. Is this because I am clumsy and inexperienced? Or is it because they didn't get out of the way fast enough. I can tell you something, though, after having run eight and a half km that morning and then after warm up and kihon, I wasn't feeling very light on my feet. The kids are telling me to bounce around and keep moving to make it harder for your opponent to know where you'll be or from where or when you'll strike, but I'm too heavy and tired to do that. I am no butterfly. If I could loose the extra weight that I have and get down to around 70 kg, I wonder how much lighter on my feet I would get? keep thinking that jumping rope would be good exercise for karate-ka. Running is good, I'm sure, but jumping rope seems like it would help prepare you for the constant bouncing done during kumite.
We did the Heain Kata and then Kanku Dai and Jion. I had forgotten them both a little bit. It's not that I have forgotten Kankudai, but I have a hard time doing it with everyone. I blank-out. I guess it is a bit of performance fear. I have about 10 Kata now that I need to find time to practice so I can keep polishing them.