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.