Monday, December 28, 2015

The year is almost over and I haven't made an update to the log since November 18.

I hurt my hamstring in June while running in the JAL International Marathon and have been nursing it since then.  Recently it has gotten worse and I have finally stopped running and karate and gone to see a doctor.  The doctor just took x-rays which didn't tell him anything about my hamstrings and then told me to schedule a date with the MRI technician.  They just wasted my time, my time off, and my money.  I hate hospitals.  The doctor I was going to before is gone on extended sick leave.  I wonder what's wrong with him?  He was a good doctor.  I'm not so sure about this one.

Before my hamstring got really bad I paid the money for the next testing.  I'm sure I could have deferred it but until when?  So I went ahead and took the test anyway.  It was a disaster, but for some reason I got moved up a level.  Ross and Mary also took tests. Ross moved up two levels to 5-kyu and Mary moved up one from 12 to 11-kyu.  I don't think I'll have her take a test again until next December.  She is just not ready yet.  They are both still more interested in having fun than learning. I need to figure out ways to make learning and improving their skills fun and interesting.

What made me think it was a disaster?  There was three other brown belts who were all a level higher than I and the test was for skills I have never studied yet.  I've been trying to find some information on the interwebs about these skills but am having a hard time.  Maybe I will have to swallow my pride and ASK somebody.


Recently we learned Sochin.  Then on Saturday, the upper level belts worked on Sochin, Jiin and Unsu.  I sat and watched because of my bum leg.  I have never learned Jiin and Unsu so I was very jealous and wanted so bad to work with them.  Instead, I took some video for later review.   Actually, we did go over Jiin once before but it was so short that I never learned it and never spent any time after that working on it.  To many to learn not enough time to polish any of them.

Jiin looks simple enough, and I feel like I've said that before.  Unsu looks like it will be more difficult for me to learn.  There are some moves in there that I have never done so it will take some time to figure them out.

With our karate club, since we only meet twice a week, we have to do much of the work of learning the new kata and moves on our own.  They get introduced at practice and then if we want to be able to do them we have to work on them at home.  I'm sure most people work on them at home anyway, but it would be nice to have more time with an instructor or with other learners.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015



The JHS kids were gone.  They all have tests at school coming up soon.  I was feeling really tired and I sweated a lot.  Muto-sensei had me stay in one spot during kumite and had the kids rotate around me.  I hate this. Its a lot of pressure on me and I sweat so much, that a pool of sweat accumulates around me and grosses the kids out.

For kata we worked on the Heian kata thru Heian Yondan.  Then we did kata shiai practice.  I had to do Jion and Kankudai.  I feel like I need to practice them.  I need to practice all the Heian kata too.  When the hell can I? Where can I?

Saturday, November 14, 2015




We didn't have a lot of members there for this practice.  A was gone so it was just H and I with Ni along.  Usually when I have to bring Ni with us, I can't practice.  I wasn't expecting that I would be able to practice on this day but I put on my gi anyway.  As it turned out, one of the new members, a little boy who is about 4 or 5, was my saviour.  Or rather, his father and little sister were.  They played with Ni and she didn't bother us at all and I got in a full practice.

Kihon and Kumite were a bit light.  We didn't practice them too hard and then we worked on Kata.  The other brown belts and I worked on Kanku-sho.  Muto-sensei asked us to work on Bassai-sho but no one knew how to do it and we had only just gotten an introduction to Kanku-sho the last practice so we worked on that.

I was able to get about two twenty minute practice sessions in on my own during lunch breaks when I worked on Kanku-sho.  Once for twenty minutes straight, just to learn all the steps and then once just for a few minutes as I went through all the other kata I have learned, just trying to keep the steps in memory.

I really need to spend time working on performing the kata and not just on learning them and trying to keep them in memory.  I would say my kanku-dai is improving.

We have a test coming up soon. In just under a month.  It looks like I need to practice Heian Godan and Tekki Shodan.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015




This time we didn't do jiyu kumite.

NY was teaching some of us Kanku-sho.  However, we didn't have enough time to go all the way through it.

Kankudai - Three of us brown belts did Kanku-dai in tournament style.  Muto-sensei gave us some advice when we were done.

Advice: Do the moves appropriate to your height.  So, if you are tall, you don't have to block do that two handed cross block thing towards the end of kanku-dai with your hands extended all the way.  And if you are short, you might have to raise your hands up higher.  Do the moves as if there was an actual opponent there.

Kanku-sho has 39 moves.  NY showed us up to move 33.  It shouldn't be too hard to memorize.  This is the second time I've seen it.  But I have never worked all the way through it.

Apparently, many kata videos on YouTube are pirated from DVDs.  There are also many videos of kata performed at tournaments.  From now on I will be careful not to link to possibly copyrighted material.
Paul Walker of Shotokan Sensei, however, has uploaded many instructional videos to his YouTube channel.   Here is one for Kanku-sho.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Quick Update


Muto-sensei was unable to come to practice last Wednesday so the group canceled practice.  In my opinion, we should get together and practice EVEN IF the instructor can't come.  Saturday, I took N to practice so my wife could rest.  A and H both practiced fairly well. Then I finally had a practice on Wednesday, Oct 28.  There was a 4-year-old? who came with his mother, father and little sister to observe.  He was very eager to join.  His presence there encouraged me to work hard.  I wanted the group to look good. I practiced hard and was very tired by the end of practice and there was a few times when I almost fell over because my legs were so tired.  I'm starting to feel old.  I even got confused during Tekki Shodan.  It is Friday now and I'm still quite sore all over from practice.  My chest never gets sore but all the muscles in my back, especially my upper back get sore.  So do my biceps and shoulders.  My legs, too.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Running 10k


Ran another 10 km this morning.

Pain check
right shoulder
right elbow (a little, mostly no pain)
right mid hamstring (still tight and a bit painful)
right high hamstring (just feels kinda funny with a tiny bit of pain)
left high hamstring (same as right)
left inner thigh and lower left abdomen area - still feels a little funny but not painful.
right ankle - still feeling stiff
lower back - none
upper back - none
neck - none

Ran without making a lot of effort to run slow.  Pushed it a little going up the first hill. Overall ran around a 6 min per km pace. Slower than my usual training pace but faster than slow.

Ran 5 km yesterday during lunch.
Ran two loops around the sports park almost entirely all on grass.

Ran 10 km on Wednesday.


Started doing push-ups again.  Did 3 sets of 20 last Wednesday.  Right shoulder hurts but not too bad.  Right elbow is oK.  Chest sore.

Did another 3 x 20 push-ups again yesterday. Only a little bit of chest soreness.  Right elbow fine. Right shoulder a bit painful today.  Not too bad. Need to gradually start adding more strength work in. Why did I ever stop?  Oh, yeah. Because my elbow hurt.


Didn't go to karate on Saturday as I had other obligations.  My wife took Mary and Ross to practice but didn't stay to watch.  She doesn't want to.    Ross said he had a good time at practice.  He never says that.  I wonder what they did?  Ross has been practicing Jitte at home. Mary was practicing Heian Shodan and Heian Nidan today!   I do believe they are starting to like this!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

So many new kata

Over the last couple of practices Muto-sensei keeps asking us to do new kata that I still haven't had the time to memorize yet.

Tekki Nidan

I have pretty much memorized Gankaku and I am still working on Hangetsu.  I still practice Tekki shodan and Kankudai the most.  I have practiced Gojushiho-sho (or is it dai?) and I'm really beginning to dislike it.  I'll keep it in memory but I don't want to ever do it for fun or competition.  I'm completely clueless on the others.  I haven't had the chance to work through them yet.  Although I think I have seen Meikyo-nidan enough that it will probably be the next one I work through.  I have instructions for all the others but none for Meikyo-nidan.  I did take a video of N.Y. performing it at full speed.  I need to get a new video of him performing it slow with commentary!  Yeah!  Let's do that.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Running 9.7km: slow

right hamstring soreness

I ran down to the park at night because I wanted to stay in town where there was light and because I wanted to stay close to home.  One circle around the park, library and welfare center, with a little dip into the pool parking lot, makes 1 km.

I did side stepping and carioca on the way to the park but didn't do line stepping, windmills, planks or hip thrusts.  

I felt OK during the run with no more pain than usual and stretched after the run.

Today, my right hamstring muscle is sore right around the middle of the muscle. I could feel the area around my sit-bone on both sides talking to me.  Telling me not to push it.  I also could feel the funniness that's going on around the inside of my left thigh.   My lower left abdomen area felt fine.

I'm going to keep running close to 10k and see if things get worse or stay the same.  I really should go see a doctor but I'm afraid what he might find.

I'm also thinking that I might have to take a break from running and karate both to recover.  The only problem with that is I just can't make strength training and stretching a habit.  It is difficult to do outside and my wife won't let me sweat in the house.  

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Run 3.56km Slow

Run 3.56 km, Slow

Did side stepping and carioca only.  Getting lazy.  Ran to the top of the ski slope and then tried to practice Kata at the top.  It was too slippery.  So I ran back down to the parking area and continued kata practice there.  I was not practicing hard.  Only going through the steps and thinking about my form.  Before I knew it, it was almost 6 am so I had to quit and hurry back home.  I did all the Heian kata, Tekki Shodan and Kankudai.

Pain check

  • lower left abdomen area
  • right hamstrings muscle mid area
  • right and left hamstrings where they attach to the sit bone. 座骨
  • lower back
  • right shoulder
  • right elbow
  • right and left hip joints

Should I go see a doctor?  Will the doctor just chastise me for waiting so long?  Will the doctor even be able to DO anything for me?  I need new hips.  

I've been thinking of stopping running completely after the Food Valley half marathon and just do strength training and stretching until spring.  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday, Run 4km, Slow

Running. 4km, Slow

I started running again. I ran about 4km very slowly on Wednesday. Felt fine. Hamstrings a bit tight and painful.  A few hours ?? later, a pain in the inside of my upper left thigh.

Ran again today. Slow. Did sidestepping, carioca , and line stepping first. Finished the run and felt fine.  Showered. Hamstrings started to feel tight and painful. Soreness increased throughout the day. Around lunch. New pain, or rather an old pain resurfaced. Lower left abdomen area. Hurts when stepping with left leg or raising left knee. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mini Gasshuku - More on Gojushiho-sho

Muto-sensei, Yanai-sensei, Kitamichi?-sensei

We had a sort of mini-gasshuku.  Muto-sensei said it would be fun but in reality, it wasn't much different than a regular practice.  It was pretty much the same, just twice as long.  Needless to say, the extra length gave us extra time to get instruction on basic skills and to get more detailed advice on kata etc.

I pretty much learned Gojushiho-sho during this time.  Pretty much.  Not completely.  I kind of forgot Kanku-dai and Tekki Shodan and Empi!!  Too many damn kata to remember and not enough time to practice them all.


Kitamichi?-sensei, (I'm not sure what her name was!) told us that the rising punch in Empi should be done like a regular Shotokan punch, just rising.  She said that your hand starts at your side with our fist in a palm up position and then you rotate it into the palm down position as you push out and up into the punch.

Also, after working with her right by my side, I learned to get lower when doing Empi.


There was a little confusion on moves 51 and 54.  Should the right hand push out and the left hand punch and then switch when doing the mirrored side?  Or should it be the other way around?  It may be that the left hand pushes out and the right hand punches on BOTH sides.

excerpt illustration from the kata gojushiho-sho
Illustration from "27 Shotokan Katas"

Instructions for 51a, "raise your left knee while performing left tateshuto-uke." and for 54a are "raise your right knee while performing left tateshuto-uke. 

In "The Kata Book" (R. Redmond) he writes 
51. Vertical Sword Hand Block (Hidari Tate Shuto Uke). Raise the left knee into the chest, and block with an inhalation at about half force with a right side vertical sword hand block.
52. Middle Level Punch (Migi Chudan Jun Zuki). As the foot stomps into the floor, punch strongly with the right fist to the middle level with a sharp exhale at full power.
53. Double Open Hand Low Level Block (Morote Kaishu Gedan Uke). Look to the right, and double open hand block to the right side without raise the arms from their current position. Exhale sharply and focus quickly.
54. Cross Your Feet - Step the left foot over the right foot so that the outside edges of both feet are touching each other. Step speedily at first, then slow the step greatly and pause somewhat as the stepping foot reaches the floor. Produce a long inhalation during the step, and remove any existing muscle tension in the previous technique.
55. Left Vertical Sword Hand Block (Hidari Tate Shuto Uke). Raising the right knee into the chest strongly, block with a vertical sword hand at half power while inhaling.
56. Right Middle Level Punch (Migi Chudan Jun Zuki). As the right foot stomps into the floor, focus a right middle level punch with a sharp exhale.
55 and 56 can be performed in reverse with the right and then the left hand. The same is true for this kata as it is for Gojushiho-Dai. Why these techniques are performed left-right and then left-right again is a mystery that no one seems to have the answer to.
His instructions for 51 say "hidari tate shuto uke" in the title but then "right side vertical sword hand block."  Then at the end he writes that "55 and 56 can be performed in reverse."   So perhaps you can do it left-right, left-right or left-right, right-left.  However, the Kanazawa videos (Labeled Gojushiho-dai, not sho) show him performing it as it is in the "27 Shotokan Katas" book with two left vertical sword hand blocks.

We also went over Meikyo nidan, jion and kankudai.  I also practiced Tekki shodan a little.  We didn't have enough time to actually learn Meikyo-nidan.  This is maybe the second or third time we have touched on this.  We never spend enough time for me to learn it.

Ross learned Jitte for the first time and pretty much memorized all of the moves. Mary worked more on Heian Shodan and Nidan.  She was looking pretty good.

Kumite for Ross and Mary

We had a mini mock kumite bout and I was sub judge.  I don't have much confidence. Maybe there is some directions in the handbook I was given about scoring.  Or maybe I just need to ask more about it.    Mary was very timid about hitting her opponent until Muto-sensei urged them to hit each other harder and she finally did and got in a good solid hit and got a point.  Ross did really well against an older kid.  He blocks and dodges really well and got a good square punch in.  He wasn't able to land any kicks, though.  I didn't have the opportunity as there were only younger kids there on the second day when we did this.

I went all out during the first day of gasshuku and made the bottom of my feet very sore.  I also got sore muscles all over and was without power on the second day.  Hopefully the sore muscles I have now will go away soon and I won't be left with more injury.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Class notes: Get closer


  • Kihon
  • Kumite
  • Kata


We worked on Jiin, Empi and Gojushiho-sho.  Or rather, we worked on Jiin and Empi and I worked on Gojushiho-sho after practice. I discovered that, the old videos of Kanazawa-sensei are marked wrong. In those videos Gojushiho-sho and Gojushiho-dai are backwards.  Crown confirmed that for me. Gojushiho-sho is a long kata. I get to about step 30 and then I forget what's next.


N.Y. is always trying to give me advice.  The problem with that is I usually can hardly hear him or understand him.  And it is always during kumite practice when we only have about 30 seconds with each partner.  It just isn't working.  I appreciate his efforts, but what I really need is more kumite practice and less talking.   I need longer practices.  I need training in some basic punch and kick combinations.  Once I get some basic combinations mastered and can start to figure out my own.

Advice: We do a three step kumite.  This is not sanbon kumite.  It is a three-step kumite.  You get your fists up as if you were ready to spar. You announce your strike (jodan!/ jodan ikimasu! / jodan mairimasu! trans: upper level=head strike). Then you take two steps toward your partner while your partner takes two steps back and on the third step you throw your strike and your partner practices receiving it. I was told to strike ON the third step.  Not to step and then strike.  I think Muto-sensei told me this before.  I really am so clumsy and uncoordinated when it comes to kumite.

The new kids, three siblings, are doing well.  The girl is afraid of hitting or of being hit I feel.  But it is hard for me to tell because I am not watching, I am working with her.  She is maybe 9 or 10 years old and it might just be that me being so much bigger than her makes it seems as if she is afraid of hitting me. She did however, hit me.  Several times when we were doing free kumite practice.  Her timing was great.  She would wait till I started to jab and then slip a jab of her own in and hit me in the stomach.  She was getting points.

Still, most of the kids are better than I.  By better I mean more skilled, with more knowledge and experience.  I wish I could understand them better.  Recently it seems as if one of them is unhappy with me.  Maybe that one has decided not to like me.  Maybe that one is angry with me?  She is much better at kumite than I am.  I find it very hard to get a strike on her.  She blocks almost everything I throw at her.  However she doesn't put much effort into practice.

Get closer

Lately I've been thinking that we need to stand closer to each other during kumite practice.  How can you practice blocking strikes that don't reach your body? And if you can, is that the kind of practice you want to do?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Gojushiho-sho? Dai?

We had practice as always, except that the some of the bigger kids were not there.

One of the highlights of the practice was that the brown belts started learning Gojushiho-sho with one of the black belts. However, I think  that he may have gotten some of the moves mixed up so that we were doing a hybrid Gojushiho-sho-dai kata.

I need to make some time to learn this one.  It is a bit long but there doesn't seem to be any difficult moves in it.  It shouldn't be a problem to learn all the steps.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Class notes


The older kids (7th, 8th, 9th grade) were all gone as they had tests to study for.  Kids are asked not to do sports the days before big test.

  • Kihon
  • Kumite
  • Kata

Ross and Mary and I went to practice almost an hour early.  We did some agility exercises and then Mary and Ross and I took turns deciding on what we would do next.  Our workout got cut short when a thunderstorm knocked out the lights for a while.  By the time the lights came back on the other members had started to arrive.


This was the same as always with a little more emphasis on form, probably because the older kids were gone.  We did gedan barai.  I really wanted Mary to pay attention during this time but she was too absorbed in her fingertips to pay much attention.  I had to skip a bit of my own practice to keep her engaged.


Same as always, except that the black belts were gone so I got to be the unmoving partner while the others rotated around.  I am ashamed to say that I still have difficulty doing soto uke.  I wish I had a partner with whom I could just practice what I wanted to practice, including soto uke during yakusoku kumite.


We did Heian Shodan through Yondan and then moved on to Wankan, Kankudai and Jion.  I still have troubles following Muto-sensei's counting.  When I learned the kata at home, I learned every move by it's official count.  So Heian Shodan has 21 moves, but Muto-sensei counts it with 20 because he counts move 3 and 4 together as one.  I'm sure that makes it easier for people who are only learning at practice.  The same goes for Heian Nidan and Kankudai and many others.   He bunches some moves together as one count so I'm never sure if I'm following his count correctly.

The way he teaches us Wankan is different from the Kanazawa videos and from the 27 Shotokan Katas book illustrations. He has the right arm go out instead of the left.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Notes for 2015-08-19


As we had just recently had a belt test Muto-sensei was giving out new certificates and belts to those who gt them. We have lots of brown belts now.  Three kids have cought up with me and are now 3-kyu.  One got promoted to 1-kyu.  The three new beginners all got promotted, with the oldest jumping from nothing to a blue belt, which must be 8-kyu.  Ross was promoted up just one level to 7-kyu and Mary got her first colored belt.  Ross and Mary were not able to attend the regular testing and so they had their test just before practice with only Muto-sensei presiding.  He had already decided beforehand what level he was going to give them so it didn't matter much.

Lesson learned. 

I practiced with Ross and Mary almost everyday we were home to make sure they could pass (I knew they would) and hopefully that they could jump a level.   I realize now that we must take our tests on the official day of the test if we want a chance at jumping up a level.  Mary improved a lot.  Ross not so much.

As he is often told by Muto-sensei, Ross needs to step and not shuffle.  He always drags his feet across the floor instead of taking steps.  Mary of course, learning form Ross, does the same thing.  I will have to remember this.  Since we have been practicing so much coming up to the test, I am hoping we can keep the momentum going and work on improving their basics and kata more.  I'm not sure how I can help them work on improving their sparring skills.


I worked on Bassai-dai with the new brown belt and NY.  NY was a little unsure on one spot of the kata but I was pretty sure.
Move 12, step up half a step with your left/back foot as you move into back stance for knife hand block.
Move 16, bring your elbows up and back (kiai)
Move 27, there is no chambering action before the first yama-zuki.
Move 35?, for the final move (knife-hand block), bring your rear (right) foot up quickly smack into your left foot and then snap your left foot out as the front foot into back stance and then kiai.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tekki Shodan

2015-08-05  6pm to 8pm, Muto-Sensei


It was hot and Muto-sensei did a little too much chatting so we didn't get as much work in as we normally would, which was fine because it was so damn hot!

We ran through kihon pretty quickly, cutting out some of the things we normally do.  Nothing special here.


Again, we went through this quickly, with the final free sparring (jiyu kumite) cut out.


We split into two groups. Black belts and those about to be black belts and the other belts.  Muto-sensei worked with the lower level members and the black belt group split again into two groups.  One practicing Tekki Nidan, the other, my group, practicing Tekki Shodan.  We didn't have much time to practice.  We slowly went through Tekki Shodan while a better member coached us on the minute details of hand placement and leg movement.


  • The steps should be done quickly.  The first step especially. He said it was like you were trying to sneak in an attack on your opponent.  
  • The hook punch should be done at solar plexus level and should come out about even with the side of your body. The elbow should be bent at 90 degrees and the arm should be pointing slightly downward.

From a PDF book I use for reference from the now defunct site

Directions for Tekki Shodan by Rod Redmond from "Kata, the folk dances of Shotokan"
1.     Begin - Stand in the closed feet stance with the left open hand over the right in front of the thighs. The palms should be turned in, and the fingertips should point straight down. The fingernails of the left and right hands should overlap.
2.    Step Across - Look to the right. Step the left foot over the right, but not too far in front of it. As you perform this kata, you will cross your feet at the ankles many times. If you put the crossing over foot too far in front of the support foot each time, eventually you will work your way forward by about 3 feet. Step so that the outside edge of the left foot is touching the outside edge of the right foot. Bend the knees as you take this step.
3.      Back Hand Block - Raise the knee of the right foot up into the chest keeping the foot close to the body and step out into a horse riding stance. The step should describe the top half of a circle with the foot. From the hands' current position, block outward with the back of the open right hand to the middle level. The left hand should draw back against the waist.
4.     Elbow Strike - Still looking right, strike with the left elbow horizontally to the right. Pull the right hand palm inward to meet the elbow. The forearms should be parallel to the right side, not at an angle. The difficult part about this technique: Do not move your knees, even if you cannot turn your hips. You'll have to twist at the waist.
5.     Cup and Saucer - Look to the left. Bring both fists down to the waist, strongly drawing the right hand back and putting the left fist vertically on top of the right fist.
6.     Down Block - Continue looking to the left. Block to the left side with a left down block from the current positioning without any chambering action.
7.      Hook Punch - Draw the left arm back strongly and hook punch with the right fist across the front of the chest. The forearm should be angled downward slightly. The arm and the chest should form a rectangle when viewed from above. The elbow finishes bent at 90°.
8.    Inside Block - Step with the right foot over the left with the feet very close together. Step very quickly, but then pause slightly at the part where the foot touches the floor, and then continue with the movement. Step up with the left foot in an arcing stomping step as in the second movement of this kata. As you do this, reach with the right hand over the left drawn fist to chamber for an inside block. As the foot lands, block with the right hand inside outward. Some people, who have reverse engineered the applications for these techniques, recommend that you not throw a choked inside block without its folding component like this. In order for this to work as an arm bar, it requires the execution of a full inside block. So, an alternative way of performing this technique is to reach forward with the left fist, and to reach underneath the left arm with the right to fold for the block, then inside block strongly as the foot stomps. This is probably a more useful technique in the end, but most style kata competitors prefer to perform their techniques with shortcuts that will make them snappy.
9.      Sweeping Blocks - Down block with the right arm. The left arm should sweep up and outward with the fist pointing at a spot just about the left ear. The palm should be down and in. Be careful not to reach with the right shoulder or turn the torso when you perform this technique. The shoulders stay in place.
10.   Close Punch - Bring the right arm up so it is in a hook punch position. Bring the left arm down and flip the wrist so that your fist is pointing upward in an uppercut position with the elbow resting on the back of the right wrist.
11.    Return Wave Kicks - Look to the left and lift the left foot up without changing the position of the hips or the right knee. Lift the foot so that the sole is upwards and in front of the groin. Snap this technique, obviously, and as you set it down, swing both arms to the left, turning the left wrist over so that the left fist is now overhand. The left elbow should still be on the wrist of the right forearm.
12.   Another Return Wave Kick - Look to the right. Perform the mirror image of what you just did above. Wave kick and then continue using the arms in their previous position, and swing them around to the right as if outside blocking with the left arm. Flip the wrist over so that the palm turns upward again. The elbow never leaves the right wrist.
13.   Cup and Saucer - Look to the left as you bring both fists to the right waist in a cup and saucer position.
14.   Two Punches - Punch to the left with the left fist from the cup and saucer position. Hook punch with the right. Unlike Kanku-Sho and other kata with two punches, these punches are not both straight. The right arm should finish at a 90° angle and pointing slightly downward. The left should punch straight out. The fist of the right arm will never pass the edge of the body. Kiai on this technique.
15.    Back Hand Block - Fold the left hand under the right and slowly block with the back of the left hand. Decelerate and add tension as you progress.
16.   Elbow strike - As before, elbow strike into your left palm. You are going to do the rest of the kata as the exact mirror image of the first half from this point forward.
17.    Cup and Saucer - Look right. Cup and saucer to the left waist.
18.   Down Block - Down block to the right side.
19.   Hook Punch - Hook punch with the left arm.
20.  Inside Block - Step across with the left foot, step in an arc with the right, stomp as you land and inside block.
21.   Sweeping Blocks - Down block with the left arm. High sweeping block with the right as before but on the other side.
22.  Close Punch - Pull in the left arm to the hook punch posture. Set the elbow of the right arm on the back of the left wrist as you close punch to the chin level.
23.  Return Wave Kick - Look right. Return wave kick with the right leg. Block outward and overhanded with the right arm without changing the structure of the two arms.
24.  Another Return Wave Kick - Look left. Return wave kick with the left leg. Block underhanded to the left side.
25.   Cup and Saucer - Pull both fists to the left waist.
26.  Two Punches - Punch with the right arm to the right side. Hook punch with the left. Kiai.
27.  Finish - Return to the opening posture by pulling the right foot back to the left into a closed feet stance,. Place the left hand over the right as before.

Tekki Shodan with Directions in English

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Just so I don't forget.
Crown said it is best not to kick when the opponent has both hands up? Because it is easier for them then to grab your leg. Kick when they only have one hand forward/up?.?.

We kinda worked on Tekki Shodan and Nidan and Suishu. They screw around so much that we have hardly enough time to  do anything. It is really getting irritating. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Notes: 7/25/2015




We did a shortened kihon practice.  Muto-sensei took the white belts and A, to even out the numbers, and the rest of us did kihon without the head black belt leading.  He was hard to hear and he wastes a lot of time. The extra time gave us a bit of free time to do some of our own practice while we waited.  I am always a bit unhappy with how much time the black belts waste when left to their own.  They are still kids and really just want to have fun.  They have all the time in the world but I don't.  I am old and I want to learn and improve as much as I can as fast as I can and with only two practices a week, I don't want to waste any time.  Enough complaining.


The group is going to do en Embu at the summer festival this weekend on Sunday but A, H and I won't be there.  We are going to a foot race that day, as we always do every year.  So the kids were practicing for the Kata emub (enbu? 演武).  I practice Jion, dantai kata with the other two brown belts.  A dan tai kata, is when a group of athletes perform one kata in unison, kinda like synchronized swimming.  There is one leader and the others follow.  I want to write down how we did it so I don't forget. There were three of us.

1. The three people line up and the leader calls out. "ki o tuke, rei" and you bow and walk out the the edge of the court and again the leader calls out, "ki to tsuke, rei" and you bow again.  You walk out to where you will perform, stop and do it again.
2.  The leader calls out "Dantai kata!" and steps forward or backward, depending on how you want to do it I guess, while the other two (in a three man group) step forward so you are in a V.
3. The leader calls out "kata mei" and you all yell out in unison, the name of the kata.
4. The leader calls out "Yoi!  Hajime!" and you all start the kata at the same time and do the whole thing in unison as much as possible.
* It is important that all the members are as close to the same height as possible because otherwise your step length will different and it won't look very good.
5. After finishing the kata the leader calls out "Ki wo tsuke!, Rei!" and you bow again and then "Mawari migi!" and you do the little funky military turn to the right and line up and then walk back.

If I remember correctly, the leader also calls out "susume!" to order to you move forward.  It is all very militaristic.

Once again they have introduced more kata.  You can't introduce a kata once, practice it one more time and remember it.  At least not they way we do it.  I can't remember the one's I've "learned" and then we move on to something new. I guess this means more training in the park.

I really wish I could get more kumite practice and advice but kumite is so exhausting. You can't realistically spar for more than a few minutes.  At least not at my current level of fitness.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

So many Kata, so little time



I wanted to take the time to first write down how we start and end the classes for later reference.

We always line up according to rank, with the higher ranks on the East (to my left) and in two lines.  We have about 16 members now so that's about 8 in each line.

  1.  Line up according to rank, facing the front of the room (North) where the country and club flags are hung. We all kneel down into a seiza (kneeling) sitting position.
  2. One member calls the following
    1. Mokuso (which means to close your eyes and "meditate". But we only do this for a few seconds.
    2. Mokuso naote
    3. Shomen ni rei (bow to the front of the room)
    4. Noatte (go back to sitting position)
    5. Sensei ni rei (bow to the instructor)
    6. Naotte
    7. O-tagai ni rei (bow to each other - but we bow again to the front of the room. The idea is to have each other in mind when you do it.)
    8. Noatte
  3. Then the instructor starts the class, We do Kihon, Kumite, and Kata and then we have the closing formalities
  1. Again we all line up and sit seiza
  2. The same member calls out 
    1. Mokuso
    2. Dojokun - everyone repeats after the following
      1. Hitotsu - Jinkaku kansei ni tsumomeru koto
      2. Hitotsu - Makoto no michi wo mamoru koto
      3. Hitotsu - Doryoku no seishin wo yashinau koto
      4. Hitotsu - Reigi wo omonzuru koto
      5. Hitotsu - Keki no yu wo imashimeru koto
    3. Mokuso naotte
    4. Shomen ni rei
    5. naotte
    6. Sensei ni rei
    7. naotte
    8. O-tagai ni rei
    9. Naotte
  3. Then the instructor makes a few comments and then says Renshu owari
  4. Everyone bows again and runs to the instructor to say thank you.

Kata - Meikyo Nidan and Miekyo
Yesterday the black belts and I were practicing Meikyo Nidan and Meikyo.  The last practice we were practicing Gojushiho Dai.  And before that we were practicing Gojushiho Dai and Gojushiho Sho.  Sometime about this time last year we were doing Kanku-sho.  None of these I have yet to memorize, let alone master.  There must be twenty kata that I've been introduced to but I've only been able to remember all the moves to about 12 or 13 of them.  I just can't remember 50 to 60 steps of  a kata all in one sitting.  I don't know how these kids learn it on their own, but when I get the chance to learn them on my own, if I can find the time and the space, I start at 1 and go through the first 3 or four steps, and then start over and add the next three or four steps and keep starting over and adding more steps until I can do it all the way through to the end.  The meikyo kata are fairly short so they should be easy to remember.  But I still haven't been able to remember kanku-sho, Gojushiho-sho and gojushiho-dai.  

Money, money, money
I got A and H new face masks and some new leg guards.  Karate costs enough money as it is just for class, grading and tournaments. Having to buy expensive gear, which you can't even try on because there is no shop around here, is very hard on the wallet.  Karate is an ART and a SPORT.  It is a traditional Japanese art, and most traditional Japanese arts are expensive to do.      I don't mind paying for lessons, and I don't mind paying a small fee four tournaments, but I still hate paying such high fees for belt tests.  That's just a load of bullshit.  It's a scam.  Almost like a pyramid system.  But we still do it.  I keep hoping that in time we will get a less expensive instructor, one who doesn't charge so much for tests, if at all.  But I imagine that the going rate is probably set.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Early morning, in the park kata practice

We now have 5 new members with the possibility of a few more coming for a visit.  The three newest members are very young.  So now we finally have a group of about 6 young members. This means my kids will have some people their own size to train with.  This is good.  It motivates A and H to work harder to be good examples and to help the newbs.

Early Morning Kata Practice

I am still having troubles getting back to the starting line with some of the Heian Kata.  Muto-sensei has told me again and again that I need to fix that.  So this morning I spent 45 minutes outside in the park just trying to figure out what I was doing wrong or how I could get back to the correct position.  For Heian Yondan, I am making more of an effort to step further and go further with the little "leap" done before you turn around to come back.  After that I try to make the rear-stance wedge blocks done at a shallower angle as well.  Keeping those two things in mind helped me get back to the start line where I was supposed to be.

Muto-sensei told me that you should never have to step forward from your final move back into yoi position at the end of your kata.  You should be stepping back.  After looking at competition videos and "how to" videos for Heian Yondan, it looks pretty difficult for people to end up exactly where they start.  So if you start with your heels on the line, it is pretty difficult to end with your heels on the line.  It looks like most people are ending a little further back, with their toes on the line or behind it, instead.

I had to practice Heian Yondan, Heian Sandan and then I did Wankan.  All of them I had to adjust so that I was ending up back on the line. I'll have to practice them more, of course, so I can always do them correctly and then even more so I can do them well.

Finally I spent some time working on Tekki Shodan.  However I still need to spend some time studying the diagrams and videos as I'm not 100% sure I'm doing it correctly.  That one will take some practice before I can do it quickly.  I'm just not coordinated enough.

Monday, June 1, 2015


I was trying to experiment with different ways to block/dodge jodan tsuki.  Nothing seemed to work out well. Lacking a full time training partner or more frequent classes, it might be nice to have a training "dummy" to visualize on.  In the mean time, I'll just have to keep visualizing things in my head and in the air.

I am finding the videos on YouTube of Rick Horton on karate very interesting and full of useful ideas.  It reminds me of watching old videos of top wrestlers when I was in high school trying to learn their techniques.



I've been thinking of making audio files for the kata to help practice timing.  Here is the idea.  You watch a video or someone actually doing the kata while recording the steps verbally (one, two, three ... ).  Then you can put some wireless Bluetooth headphones on and play the audio file off of your smartphone etc and practice the timing of kata as if you were practicing a song and a dance.

In other training news.  I've almost run 1000 km for the year and my first race of the year, a full marathon is this Sunday.  Which means, I'm a little wary of going to practice on Wednesday because I don't want to get hurt or be too tired.  At the same time, I don't want to skip out and set a bad example for the kids.  Would that be a bad example?

After doing some speed work last week, I have a new pain in my right hamstring up high.  This worries me much.  It reminds me of the high hamstring tear I got in my left ham doing the same thing.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New blood and Kumite breakdown



We spent a bit of extra time on Kumite this time, which I really enjoyed.  It is probably the best fat burning work that we do.  More than that, it is the only time when you have any freedom at all during our practices to experiment and learn from instant live feedback of sorts.  After going through all the yakusoku kumite steps that very last step is free sparring.  As a recap, our sparring steps go like this

  1. 3-bon kumite (yakusoku kumite) - jodan, chudan, mae-geri
    You throw three strikes in a row, announcing each strike before you throw it and stepping forward with each strike and your partner practices blocking (or receiving if you will) the strikes. The strikes are set, the timing and rhythm and line of movement is set, and you promise to do it like your partner expects so she can practice.
  2. 1-pon kumite (yakusoku kumite) - jodan, chudan, mae-geri (and sometimes mawashi-geri)
    Like 3-bon kumite, the strikes are set and you announce them before you throw them. Your partner practices blocking.  This time it is just one strike each and the receiver can practice blocking/avoiding/receiving anyway they want.
  3. 1-pon jiyu kumite (yakusoku kumite) - Like the first two steps, you announce your strike (jodan, chudan, mae-geri, mawashi-geri, sokuto) and your partner receives. There is one strike per move. The difference from regular 1-pon kumite is that you take three steps toward your partner before you throw the strike and they take three steps back.  
  4. Kaeshi waza (partial yakusoku kumite) - With this you are now moving quickly and freely and are up on the balls of your feet.  You throw three strikes in combination but only announce the first strike. It is quick, like free sparring, but your partner knows where the first strike is coming to and knows that there will be three in succession. This is the last step before free sparring.
  5. Jiyu kumite (free sparring) - This is the last step.  You don't announce the strikes.  Short bouts where you try to score on your partner with any move you can.
As you can see, the steps take you from slow structured sparring gradually to fast and free sparring. 

We have two new members in our group which is a great thing.  Our groups is so small that people quickly learn the other's habits and movements.  Our two new members are both black belts.  The younger brother is in 6th grade and the older brother is in 9th grade.  The older brother is almost as tall as I am and looks like he is probably heavier and stronger than I am.  At least that is how he looks in his Karate gi.  There are not many full grown Japanese men who are as big as I am as I am a bit taller than the average Japanese man so it is stimulating to have another member in our group who is close to my size.  There are two other members who are tall enough to be good sparring partners with me but both are much smaller in body size.  

The two new kids seem very good.  They are both fast and accurate, especially the older brother.  None of the other members come at me very fast and so I am always practicing at half-speed.  I find that even with the first few steps of kumite that I sometimes miss their throws.  If you'll remember, the first steps are all Yakusoku Kumite, meaning they announce what throw they are going to do.  Even when I know what's coming, I find that I am too slow to block it.  This is good. This very good.  It will force me to work harder to get faster.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Had a short karate practice on Saturday as my wife had found some event she wanted us to go to. A was happy to have a short practice. :-(  We did kihon and kumite and then left before Kata.  H didn't do anything at all and was being stubborn.

Saturday and Sunday's training runs went well.  I was really nervous about my Sunday long run.  I wanted to run on the dirt but the recent rains made me change my mind.  I had to confront a big dog halfway through and luckily he backed down.  I got a sore spot somewhere under my lower left abdomen.  I really need to spend more time working on strengthening my "core".  Sunday was a 26k run.  I tried to use my Wahoo AnT+ Heart monitor strap and my old iPhone.  The readings seemed pretty erratic but it was useful enough I guess.  Here are a few photos from my runs.

On Tuesday, my phone wouldn't pull up the training plans so I made my own.  8K plus 6 30 second striders with 2 minutes rest for complete recovery between strides.  This fit in with my course better anyway. I did the first two striders a bit easy then found my strength and ran the remaining four hard enough to make my legs tired and get me breathing hard.  I always worry I'm going to break something but it seems nothing snapped this day.

My eating is out of control.  If I could control myself better I'd loose the weight quickly I think and get down to my "ideal" race weight of 69 kg. I'm around 75 or 74 kg now.

Karate practice tomorrow.  Some of the members are going to a tournament this weekend.  Wish we had the budget to do more.  Hopefully I can take the kids to one in June.  A needs the motivation.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tuesday Run

In the morning before breakfast:

4 x 1 mile fast.
 1 mile slow warm-up,
 4 X 1 mile fast, 90 seconds slow,
 1 mile slow for cool-down.

Decided to just run fast and not try and match the pace on the training plan, which I feel is a bit slow for me.  I'm just hoping I'm not being too confident.  Was able to match my Boston Qualifying pace for 3 of the miles and was well under it for the last fast mile repeat, which WAS downhill.

Carried Nicola home from Kindergarten during lunch. Ate lunch and then walked back to work.  About 40 minutes of total walking.

Ate way too much for lunch. Too many cookies after lunch, actually.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Week of April 8 - 11

Just a few notes so I don't forget.

Two practices, one on 4/8 and one on 4/11.

Did Tekki Shodan again.  Also did Empi, which I have yet to practice enough to remember it.  I need to work on remembering all the steps.  It is hard to polish a Kata if you haven't even remembered all the steps first.

We have had a bit more time on Kumite the last couple of times, which has been nice.  But much more time, but a bit more.  There is one boy who is very flexible and can kick very high.  I is just killing me.  He rarely gets a hand strike in but he often gets a kick in.  I was finally able to successfully dodge a sokuto kick to the mid section ONCE!  He got one kick in between my gloves that stopped just a few centimeters from my nose!  If he keeps doing Karate he has the chance to do well.

Me, well, I'm old and slow and a bit embarrassed by how bad I am.  But I am learning and I am slowly improving.  Even though he is kicking my ass in kumite, I still help him with Kata.

Advice: Relax.  I am too tense.  I need to relax and work on my speed.  Striking fast and then bouncing back to emphasise the hikite.  This is how to get points.  Plus !KIAI!.  The kids are slowly starting to get more verbal.
Advice: Put both fists out at the same time and, at the last moment, strike with one.  This makes it harder for the opponent to block because he doesn't know which fist you will use.

What else?  There was lots of other advice but I can't remember it.  That is why I like to write these logs right after practice if possible.  However, my wife gets jealous of the computer when I get it out to type these up.  I could start writing them in notebooks, but my handwriting speed is much slower than my typing speed and it is barely legible.

Question: Is the wedge block in Jion and Heian Yondan the same?  The stance is different.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Practice - Tekki Shodan

  • Kihon
  • Kumite
  • Kata

Muto-sensei has been acting a bit tired and distracted the last few practices.  I hope he is OK.  I mean, he IS 82 years old.  Kihon was simple and finished early except he had us repeat some things and it was probably not on purpose.  Kumite was the same as always except he had us repeat some things and it probably was not on purpose, either. For Kata we did all the Heian Kata, Jion and Tekki Shodan.


I got a big left toe on Crown's head.  That was the highlight I guess.  I'm still terrible at kumite.  After kumite he gave me some advice after I told him I was too slow to dodge strikes.  I was referring to  Ab-kun who kept kicking me with a sokuto to the gut, even though I knew it was coming, I still was unable to avoid it.  Ab-kun actually gets hits on me a lot.  He would easily beat me in a match, though not in a real fight because I'm still bigger, stronger and meaner than he is. ;-).  NY gave me some advice during kumite.  He said to try feinting and then when they dodge, attack.  Crown's advice was to practice a movement he showed me.  He said just blocking and doing hanmi was too slow.  He said to dodge and counter in one movement. And he showed me how to do it.  Step to the side and across your body line with your back foot as you dodge and block and then step forward and counter punch (gyakuzuki).  I practiced the movement a bit and it is a lot like the first movement in Heian Godan.

Tekki Shodan

Muto-sensei wanted to teach us Tekki Shodan.  Now we have four? brown belts and he was telling us that we have to master Tekki Shodan before we can try for our black belts. I am glad I spent a few minutes working on this during lunch.  It helped because Muto-sensei was getting confused at times when teaching us.  I think I will work on it again during lunch today.

Serious pain these days.  My left leg is a mess.  My high hamstring injury is better than it was but hurts after running.  My left hip is very painful when doing karate and recently my left knee has a sharp pain that makes me wince now and again.  On my right side, arm on the inside of my elbow is very painful.  Since I use my arms every day for something, it is very uncomfortable and has been hurting for maybe three weeks now.  Time to go see a doctor.  I am always reluctant to go see a doctor for these things because I fear that it will mean that I will have to stop running and stop working out and stop doing karate or that I will have to get surgery, and go through a lot of pain to end the pain.

I'm really enjoying karate but

I'm really enjoying karate.  It is great exercise, it is nice to be a part of a group, although it would be nice to have more members and perhaps some other adults.  But the fees involved are increasingly making me think this is all just a money making scam. We are getting a legitimate service and I don't mind paying the monthly "thank you" money.  And I can understand having a small fee for Gasshuku and even for a belt test if it involves renting facilities and calling in other instructors to be judges.  I can accept that.  However, I saw the fees for testing for black belt and 2nd degree black belt and up.  It was outrageous!  The fee to take the test for 3rd degree (3-dan) is 15,000 yen. That's just to take the test.  If you pass the test, you have to pay an additional fee of 28,000 yen, if I remember correctly, to get your new belt and registration.  I can't imagine any justification for this at all.  As you go up to higher levels the fee only increases.  I saw one fee, for receiving your rank, not for  the test, that was over 70,000 yen!  

I do want to earn a black belt, but I don't want to be fleeced doing it.   It made me long for the days when I was a wrestler.  You just practiced and learned new skills and gradually improved your wrestling.  The only achievement "tests" were the actual tournaments.  If you won enough matches, you got a medal and the recognition that goes with beating the other people in your weight group.  I don't think I'll be taking another test this year.  I am perfectly happy to take it slow.  Besides, I need time to improve and build my strength and flexibility.

My current thinking for the kids too, is to not have them test at every opportunity.  If they are practicing and improving then one test a year is enough.  If they are working hard and getting better, there is a good chance they will be allowed to skip levels.  This will save us money.  I have heard of one kid in Muto-sensei's dojo in the city on the bay, who went straight to black belt.  That's a wise student.  I'm guessing he practiced for a few years or maybe for several years before he ever took a belt test.  If you can do all of the skills required at the level required, then why not?  I have heard of some instructors in the States who won't allow you to skip levels.  This is almost certainly because they want to protect their money making ladder.  If the students are paying a monthly fee anyway, and if they have the skills, then not allowing them try to skip levels is a sure sign that you need to find a new dojo.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Belt Test Results

Here are the results from my last belt test. They call it shokyu shinsa, which I guess translates as "advancement examination".  Shokyu 昇級 Shinsa 審査, together as 昇級審査. The test and the event are the same.

I was promoted to 3-kyu, that's a brown belt in our club, and A was promoted to kari 8-kyu.


I need to work on

  • chaku-gan (need to "look" at your invisible opponents)
  • zenkutsu-dachi (front stance, width, depth)
  • kiba-dachi (I know I can do better)
  • waki no shime (I guess, keeping your elbows close to your sides in hiki te?)
  • hiki ashi (Guessing, bringing foot down after a kick or step??)
  • soku to (this has to do with how your foot is when you do yoko-geri etc)
  • chikara zuyosa (powerfullness)


I need to work on

  • There are times when you need to be powerful and times when you need to relax.
  • Rhythm?  Times when you need to move quickly, and times when you need to move slowly. 
  • 立ち足 tachi ashi?? Stance? 前屈立ち、後屈立ち、騎馬立ち?
  • 足首の締め Still a mystery.
Update: I talked to the black belts last night and they said that 足首の締め probably means "leg stability."  Are you wobbling when you step?  Maybe I should just ask the instructor directly. 


I need to work on

  • 気合 Kiai
  • 力強さ powerfulness
  • 手首の締め ??? 
  • 正確な受け accurate blocking
  • 決め Kime (I think I know what this is, but not 100 % sure). 


-Overall, need to get lower in your stances
-Master the Heian Kata


Running along the river at 5 am
My wife and I and two of our four kids went to the big city to visit my wife's sister and do some shopping.  I brought my running gear (forgot my headphones) and was able to stick to my schedule and get a speed session done along the river.  Here was the plan:

  • 1 mile warm-up
  • 7 x 800 m fast at about 5:00 to 5:15 per km pace.
  • 1 mile cool-down.

I got up early and it didn't take as long as I thought it would.  I didn't want to go back too early and wake everyone up so I went to the park, which was accessible as most of the snow had melted, and did Kata.  Mostly I worked on Bassai-dai.

I kinda had it learned but wasn't sure on a lot of points.  It is unfortunately, hard to get personal instruction or ask questions.  No one does.  Sometimes I ask questions but no one else does.  They just do whatever we are doing the best they can and hope if they are doing it wrong that the instructor will correct them.  I'm not saying that he doesn't, but there is just one of him and lots of use making lots of mistakes.  He can't stop us for every little thing.

1) step forward into cross-stance and perform a sort of a morote uke uchi uke.
2) turn 180 and uchi-uke
3) uchi-uke in gyaku-hanmi
4) turn 180 and soto uke in gyaku-hanmi
5) uchi-uke
6) turn right 90 degrees, bending your knees, bring your right fist in a down sweeping motion and up into position for soto-uke.
7) Soto-uke, uchi-uke in gyaku-hanmi
8) turn 90 deg. to the left (facing front again), keeping your right hand in hikite position on your hip and bring your left hand to same (right) hip while turning to the front.
block, punch, block, punch, knife hand, knife hand, knife hand, step back knife hand, left hand on right wrist, pull and downward kick and KIAI, turn 180 and knife hand, knife hand, step back, morote-jodan-uke, hasami uchi, oitsuki
25) perform a move like in Heian Godan, front stance, right hand open palm facing up lower level hakama grab, then pull up into backhanded upper level block (like manji uke?)
26) turn 180 downward block in kiba-stance,
27) like in Heian Godan, after downward block in kiba-dachi, right hand hikite, left hand slow out with palm open,
28) mikazuki kick to open palm, empi
29) funky gedan barai, one, two-three, (move 30,31)
32) hands to left hip preparing for
33) yama zuki
34 thru 37 repeat 32-33
And then there is 38 and 39.  I'm not sure how these work.  I think it's like sweeping a leg and striking with uraken.
40) knife hand
41) knife hand 45 degrees back and to the right while looking to the front
42) knife hand 45 degrees front left and KIAI.

I'm still trying to memorize and perfect the kata that people have taken the time to teach me and I keep putting Tekki Shodan on the shelf.    The above is from Tuesday.  Today, Wednesday, I went over the Heian Kata and then did Gankaku, Kanku-dai, Jion and worked a little on Tekki Shodan.  I didn't have enough time to get all the way through it.   It's a start though.   The place where I practiced during lunch is surrounded by cherry trees.  It would be nice to be able to do it again while they are in bloom.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sat, March 28, 2015 Practice


Practice menu (SAA: Same As Always)

  1. Kihon
  2. Kumite
  3. Kata

Do you call it "practice"? Do you call it "lessons?" Or do you call it "keiko?"   Whatever you call it, I'd like some different structure.  There is nothing wrong with doing the three K's.  But it would be nice to have, for example, 30 minutes more time and to have time within each of the three K's to allow each person to work on what they want within that time.  For example, I would like to spend more time working on and getting instruction on yokogeri and mawashi-geri.

This is still one of my weakest spots. Kumite.  I'm terrible.  I'm too heavy and too slow.  Most of the kids can score on me and I have a hard time getting any points at all.  The last time I sparred against that really good JHS kid, I couldn't even touch him and couldn't even see what was going on when he hit me, several times, in the head.  I do seem to remember that it was in counter to my attacks.

I will add more later.  I'd like to review my last belt test since I got the exam paper back.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

191 Kilometers

My running is going well I think.  My body is falling apart and I really should go see the doctor about my knee....  I have signed up for an early summer full marathon and am following a sub-four hour marathon training plan.  It has me doing 4 runs a week.  I have been able to follow the plan fairly well and so in the last 30 days I have run a total of 191 km, according to Runkeeper.

I am wondering..... is this fast enough to finish the marathon in under 4 hours?  Is this slow enough so I wont crash and burn and end up finishing in a death shuffle or worse?  Will my body be able to hold up for a full 41.195 kilometers?  The pace that the plan has me running at for my "marathon pace runs," what the plan calls "steady state runs," has been fairly easy to maintain.  Actually I haven't had any problems  with it at all. I want to go faster, but at the same time I'm afraid my left leg will protest.

I was doing my pace runs on a flat out-and-back course because it has markers every kilometer and I can use my Timex Ironman watch to check my pace.  Why not use Runkeeper for pacing?  There are many times when it seems to me that the pace Runkeeper tells me I am running at through audio cues is completely off.  The other day it seemed right on.  There are many settings and I don't understand them very well.  For pace there is Average pace, Current Pace and Split Pace.  Average pace seems to be the most accurate.  Current pace can be all over the place, and I am guessing this is controlled by GPS signal strength and possible by the speed of your phone.  Mine is a bit old.  I did use it for the last pace run because I wanted to run on a hilly course that would better mimic the race course and that course has no km markers.  I should go out and make my own.