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Friday, March 6, 2015

Free practice

Free practice, of sorts.

Since the last tournament we have had .... three? practices.  The weather has been bad and so have the roads and the instructor has not been able to make it for the last three times.  So, we have done it without him.  Basically, just playing around in a karate sort of way with a little bit of organized practice thrown in, but not too much.   On the second practice Crown showed two of the other members and I all the steps in the kata Gankaku.  It was not too long or too difficult until the very end, when you have spin around on one foot, without loosing your balance and then do a side kick/punch like in Heian Nidan/Yondan.  In the videos I watched last night of two famous instructors/athletes, both either wobbled or hopped on that move, being unable to keep their balance.  Seeing as how it is full of those side snap kicks, I'll have to say it is not a kata for me.

We have a standing kick bag and a kick mitt and we used these to practice kicking and to fool around and play some karate themed games.

On the last practice we had this week on Wednesday, we did a lot of physical training.  We did a lot of sprints, we did some races while carrying other members, while carrying the kicking bag, while carrying chairs, whatever there was there to carry.  We did a "dirty dozen," which is something that I introduced to them as a workout I did when I was in high school.  You sprint across the gym and when you get to the other side you do one pushup, sprint back and do two, sprint back and do three and so on until you reach 12 sets and have done 78 pushups.  You can do it with situps or burpees or whatever you want to do it with.   I am sore today all over from that.  I have sore legs and a sore upper body from the pushups I think.

A and H have had a good time the last three practices and Hannah has even been receptive to practicing Heian Shodan with me at home.

We did a mock Kata shiai at the last practice and afterwards Crown gave everyone advice on how to improve their kata.

Crown gave me some more advice on Heian Yondan.  Keep your head at the same height and don't make your body go up and down.  Keep your torso upright as if you had a rod going through your body.  Keep your fists straight with your arms and try not to flex your fists back.  Rotate your forearms.

*Sigh* But alas, this may all be futile.  The kids' mother is upset that we haven't quit yet.  She says she has already allocated the money for Karate into a by mail educational program that comes with a special tablet for the kids.

I told the club that we would go to the next Gasshuku and we are seeing if we can get another belt test done then just for us.  Do we go?  Do we quit?  The cost for Karate for one year for the three of us if only two of us do gasshuku and take belt tests is ¥144,000.  That's a lot of money.  At the current exchange rate that's 1200 US dollars.  The cost for the educational program depends on the year the student is in school.  For a 3rd grader it is 78,000 yen.  A little more than half that of Karate.

I have been trying to convince my club to start having an extra day of practice without the instructor so we can have three day so of practice a week.  I know they have talked about doing that before.  Maybe, just maybe, if they start that, then the kids and I can "quit" karate and just go to the extra practices or any practices when the instructor is not there.  As long as the kids are enjoying it, and we don't have to pay the instructor, then their mother won't mind.  HOWEVER, we won't be able to test to get new belts so easily and it may be difficult to go to tournaments without a club/dojo sponsoring us.