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.